The first band to hit the stage was Abhorupt, which had some decent band dynamics, and their short-haired front-man was consistent enough in his vocal style. What really struck me, was when he had to continually look at lyrics for a song, and would go to the edge of the stage and peer down at it during the song, and then get back into singing it, or gargling it or... growling it. Whatever. It wasn't bad, just rather amusing. "It's death metal, man." One shortcoming however, was that they would get into a tasty riff, and then cut it short instead of going with it. So the potential is definitely there, they just need to re-hash their song writing and riff sculpting process. Otherwise, it was a pleasure seeing and hearing them play.
Then, of course... there was Grand Master.... How much more can I love this trio? They're just the nicest dudes, and the vets of this gig. Playing an onslaught of about fourty-five minutes, non-stop, and competing with the rest of the bill, which is a lot more death metal. They really tailored their sound to fit this bill, and did it effectively with harsher vocals and even more energy than the last time I saw them. The bottom line is, Grand Master know exactly what they're doing, and even if the crowd wasn't their regular crowd, everyone still had a wicked time being in the presence of their raw talent. I may be slightly biased when it comes to Grand Master, but they are really something else when it comes to seeing these guys live. While taking pictures, I went right up to the corner of the drum platform, right in front of one of the cymbals which of course Matt hit. And I felt the gust of the impact, which was exhilarating, and I could tell Matt was worried the cymbal would hit me. Thank goodness for my excellent depth perception!
Laika came on, and I could finally form my own opinion on a band that I had only heard about. They had the unique feature of a keyboardist, who, despite not always having a musical bit, brought lots of energy on the stage and air-guitared and moved around. I've seen some pretty stiff band members who were ALWAYS playing a musical piece, but just lacked the enthusiasm to make it fun. Laika was mediocre in terms of sound production for this show, because their rhythm guitarist, with a stack I'd never seen called Framus, was WAY too loud, and had a shitty over-gated tone that really ruined their sound. Over all a very charismatic band, with just that unfortunate feature of bad sound. Their bassist commanded a good deal of attention for just being brutal and funny to see, and their lead guitarist had some excellent licks. Their drummer was pretty fun to take pictures of, and over all, I sort of enjoyed their set. Rhythm guitarist just needs to TURN IT DOWN, PLEASE.
Emerging from the mist, to blast your fucking ears until after 1 am were the might Tyrants Demise, which took the prize, rightfully. They were definitely the biggest draw, and it was clear from the beginning that they would win, simply by having superior death metal magic. It comes as no surprise that they tore up the place and lashed the crowd with some heavy sounds, and of course, the energy was always high. Tyrants Demise have an excellent tone, and you can't not enjoy seeing their visceral strengths on stage. This was a death metal concert, and they played the best death metal. They eat up the stage, tear up the night and make any metal fan bob and weave, and occasionally make people want to run into each other.
|Twas a good night|