Once Ballroom To Close Tonight After Epic Metal Show, Re-Opening In September

 

As Ghost Cult previously reported, Once Ballroom and Lounge, a.ka. Once Somerville, in Somerville Massachusetts is closing their doors tonight after a bit of a rough go this year. Thankfully, they plan to re-open in mid-September and are already announcing shows. Once has become an integral part of the New England music scene, not only for heavy music but as a real community building location inclusive for all people in the area. In addition to their weekly Tuesday metal nights, the club has hosted many a show that our staff was lucky to be on hand for, including particularly memorable shows from Windhand, Face To Face, Skeletonwitch and the site of the Ghost Cult sponsored Metal For Nepal 2 charity concert. Not only is the venue itself top notch, but the staff, service and the promoters who book the shows there are amazing. Tonight’s send-off includes a massive metal show with both floors going hard including the Boston date for Witch Mountain’s current tour and vaunted locals such as PanzerBastard, Upheaval, Lord Almighty, SEA, CAZADOR, Lex Russo, and more! Continue reading

Unleashing The Brewthirsty #1

In a new monthly column at Ghost Cult, New England native, metal scribe and devourer of beers Tim Ledin pairs up what he’s drinking with the perfect heavy music to enjoy it with. Stay tuned to this space in the future for more beer reviews, craft beer hacks, brewery tours, and beastly tunes. Continue reading

Windhand – Ilsa Live At Once Ballroom

 

My back was to the wall, and I felt a little wavy headed from booze and music. Sweaty under my hoodie from pregamming at the house, but the club was drafty. My eyes were rolled back under my sleepy lids, as waves of sound punched my eardrums inside out. My head nodded to the beat of every riff. Sometimes those glorious razors of sound came faster, but most of them were steady as breathing to me. Over the din, one solitary voice in pain, disgust, and sometimes joy filled entire room with so much heart, if left the crowed positively entranced.  Continue reading

Skeletonwitch – Magic Circle – Lich King – Black Mass: Live at Once Ballroom, Somerville MA

 

 Skeletonwitch – Once Ballroom, Somerville MA ghostcultmag

 

After a fairly quick work day and speedy drive to the city we are met with the universal issue when in any city , PARKING! But after spotting a Wookie known as Tim Ledin (also of Ghost Cult) and acquiring a spot we await the start of the show!

Slowly the intersection is flooded with metal heads like zombies at a mall, and slowly we all shamble in to the hopefully air-conditioned venue. For those who have not been to Cuisine en Locale AKA Once Ballroom there’s an upstairs bar to the left of the main door way and straight ahead is the main dance hall, both excellent for watching the bands and having beers. Upstairs obviously having the best vantage point to the stage aside from of course directly in front of the 3 ft high structure.

First band of the night probably had the youngest members out of all of them Black Mass. Brendan O’Hare and two cohorts make up a thrashing mad three-piece akin to Blue Cheer but of speed metal. Brendan’s vocals sound a lot like Max Cavelera and Chuck Schuldiner’s love child of sorts and back up vocals from the bassist really add dimension and punch to the already catchy vocal lines. Ending their set with the sing along of “East Coast Thrash” with a very easy line to remember with three magical words!

Up next is Lich King keeping the thrash train a moving and if you’re reading this and haven’t witnessed them live its like a mash-up of all the good things about Slayer and Exodus rolled in to one! I’m not a thrash junkie like many of my friends may be but sometimes every thing blurs together and in a flash its gone , sadly that was my experience with this band, not saying they are bad or aren’t deserving of praise just not this writers cup of tea, check them out for yourself and form your own opinion. maybe you’ll have something to show me or a song I should listen to that may really get my attention and I will become as big a fan as some of you readers.

Magic Circle is next to take the stage and start of with a quick jaunt of ‘Kings and Queens’ by Aerosmith song then almost as quickly diving in to the opening song of their set. Two more songs in I am bathed in riffage similar to St. Vitus or Pentagram and I am finally in my element and enjoying my self and being swooned by vocals very similar to the late great Ronnie James Dio being channeled from the other side, I was almost sad to see them end but now we enter the main event, the reason we are all here sweating , now .. it is time for THE WITCH!

Between sets people step out side to take a smoke break and that is where I happen to find Adam Clemans having a smoke and had a quick chat about the tour and whats in store on the set and whats in BOTH Wolvhammer’s future and the witch with Clemens at he helm and 2017 sounds promising.

What do I really need to say about this new line up of Skeletonwitch that hasn’t already been said? Yes, Chance is no longer the singer no he probably isn’t coming back to the band, but most importantly, yes Adam Clemens is the best fit for the band for the foreseeable future. Let me tell you why: because he is a new fresh face and well of ideas the band needs at this time. the band didn’t want a chance sound alike they wanted to try and move forward from his leaving and go in a new direction while still maintaining the Skeletonwitch sound, and I believe they’ve achieved that. although at first I wasn’t overly enthused about the choice after seeing Clemens works with the guys and the sound of the songs found on their new EP The Apothic Gloom (Prosthetic) Clemans fits perfectly among the blackened riffs the band had been writing.

Skeletonwitch - The Apothic Gloom EP cover ghostcultmag

Pulling put all the stops and playing a majority of The Apothic Gloom as well as some older material mixed in with fan favorites (with the exception of my favorite ” submit to the suffering” which Adam assures me is going to be on the set in October but they will not be coming to Boston…) an other notable change is guitarist Nate Garnette  has picked up on backing vocal duties which also adds to the songs as well as the performance. Sweating through the expansive set and a few beers later sadly the set is over and now begins the mad rush out of the building and back to our homes to try and make it home safe and to bed after an amazing week night show.
ANDREW FRANCIS

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