Southern Rock inspired punk/metal, 80’s Thrash Metal, a band comeback after twenty-three years, Trump decapitations, crack busts, and semen canons?! You, my friend, either just walked into your new neighbor’s apartment… OR a GWAR concert. Let’s pray for the latter and jump into the fray! The Paradise Rock Club. Legendary venue, tiny floor space, and a sold-out show. All the makings for a Sunday night show to share with everyone at the office on Monday morning. Continue reading
Fresh from their summer tour of Europe with Godflesh and YOB, Neurosis did a quick run of dates in the USA as well. The band is not only supporting their last full-length album Fires Within Fires (Neurot Recordings), but the and has just released a re-mastered and deluxe version of their excellent Neurosis + Jarboe album, remastered by Bob Weston (Shellac), at Chicago Mastering Service, with all new artwork from Aaron Turner (Sumac, Old Man Gloom) and released it on vinyl for the first time ever (also Neurot). Ghost Cult’s Hillarie Jason took in the Boston date of the tour at The Paradise Rock Club with acclaimed Doom band Bell Witch and Neurosis’ hardcore protegees Deafkids opening. Continue reading
After being denied a chance to play Psycho Las Vegas this summer due to visa issues, Witchcraft has announced two exclusive shows in the US on 11/19 in New York at (le) poisson rouge and 11/21 in Boston at The Paradise Rock Club. These shows will certainly sell out. Tickets are on sale now at the links below. Witchcraft is still touring behind their 2016 release Nucleus, released via Nuclear Blast. Continue reading
Infamous rock legends The Dresden Dolls are reuniting for less than a handful of shows including this Halloween at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, and three shows in their hometown of Boston in early November. The Boston shows will celebrate the 14th anniversary of the bands’ debut album, and 40th anniversary of the historic Paradise Rock Club, where the band has performed many times and filmed a DVD in the past. The band have played together on and off for several years after formally reuniting some years back. Continue reading
February 18th, 2016 will be a day that most Boston death metal fans will not soon forget. The Paradise Night Club was jam-packed for a tour package that consisted of death metal veterans Abysmal Dawn, Cryptopsy, Obituary, and Cannibal Corpse. Unfortunately, Abysmal Dawn did not make it out to this stop on the tour as they were apparently stuck in New Jersey. But, as the cliché goes, the show must go on!
Cryptopsy was up first which was probably my most anticipated band of the night as they were the only band I had yet to see live. It was nice to say I had finally seen the long time technical death metal band, but it just did not seem the same without hearing Lord Worm’s vocals. Even with a set list that was a majority of old material from None So Vile (Century Media) and Blasphemy Made Flesh (Century Media), I just found myself disinterested in Matt McGachy’s vocals. The mix was also a little off as the bass was clearly overpowering the other elements on stage.
Next up, the legendary Floridian death metal outfit, Obituary. I, for one, was very excited to see them again since my first experience seeing them at Maryland Death Fest last year was limited (hey, a guy has to find food, even if that means sacrificing time in the pits). From the start of the set until the final note (which seemed like they were cut short), the fans had the floor moving violently and very well stole the show. Prior to this evening, I already considered myself a fan of Obituary. However, after this set which seemed to fly by was over, I realized that I liked them a lot more than I initially had thought. One of the better sets I have ever seen from a death metal band.
Finally, it was time for the biggest name in the death metal scene, Cannibal Corpse. Having seen this group countless times, I had most of the set list figured out going into the night. Staple tracks such as ‘Scourge of Iron’ , ‘Stripped, Raped and Strangled’ , and ‘Make Them Suffer’ were scattered into the sixteen song set. As for some surprises, we were lucky enough to catch ‘Death Walking Terror’ , ‘Pit of Zombies’ (my personal favorite) , and ‘Born in a Casket’. I had not yet seen any of those three songs live yet so it is safe to say I was very happy with Cannibal Corpse this time around. For a band that tours as much as they do, it must be hard to try and promote new material while also playing some older tunes but have about 30 years of material to cover in a short window. Having said that, switching up a few songs here and there to pull out some rarely played live tracks is always a crowd pleaser. Obviously the biggest pit of the night went to ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ which even included a few female participants!
Overall, I was very pleased with the show even after being let down by Cryptopsy and Abysmal Dawn not making it out of New Jersey in time for this show. Obituary and Cannibal Corpse proved to the Boston fans in attendance how they have stood the test of time as death metal bands and can still bring it on a live setting.
WORDS BY TIM LEDIN
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This has been a mighty year already for quality heavy and experimental music. When Boris puts out new music, it is a major happening across the fan base of many genres of music. Praise from critics is always nice, and Ghost Cult gave Boris a 9/10 for their new album. But when you hear more people talking up Noise (Sargent House) than many other big-ticket band releases this year save for a few, you know something cool is happening. Adding to that mix, The Atlas Moth, riding high off of their June album The Old Believer (Profound Lore), you have two of the most dynamic and interesting bands right now on the same tour. Then top it off with some avant-doom madness from Subrosa, and you have a can’t miss show top to bottom. While having three bands of a certain mystique and quality (especially Boris) brings out the super fans, it was a weird mix of indie hipsters, death metal beardos, bro dudes (hey it’s Boston) and even a few vest wearing dudes and chicks all together in a weird soup of humans on a Tuesday night in Beantown. Every metal show is basically an interesting social experiment!
Subrosa was up first and I was a little stunned at the hefty early crowd, already entranced by the first notes. Playing their deft, drone-y sludge, they hit you hard and deliberately. It’s hard not to be transfixed on the performance of front woman/axe slinger Rebecca Vernon. Her soul shaking vocals and skillful playing just smokes fierceness. Violinists Kim Pack and Sarah Pendelton pack in the drama with their intense, layered parts. I have spent reviews complaining about the the weird room that The Paradise is, and how it doesn’t do bands any favors sonically. Some of the highs from the strings were eaten up by the depth of the room, which is a shame since on record they are towering. Kim’s vocals were also a highlight tonight. The set leaned heavily on No Help for the Mighty Ones and More Constant Than The Gods (both on Profound Lore), and between the two, I favor the earlier album. Despite that, the bands’ best song on the night was ‘The Usher’ from More Constant…, and featured Dave Kush from TAM on guest vocals. Still, it was impossible at the end of their set not to feel tipsy from the strength and creativity of this band. I need to see Subrosa play a headline set, just once in my life. Just once.
Over the years I have learned how to spot greatness in bands, sometimes before they even know it. Usually, I am usually right about these things and The Atlas Moth is going to be a band that years from now, we point to this moment when they took off. They hit the stage tonight with a purpose and the poise of a veteran band that they have become. I have seen others shoot their collective load too fast when opening for Boris (because Boris is Boris), but not these guys. They just went up like any other show and eased into their set with ‘Jet Black Passenger’. The now mostly full room was just feeling it big time! Or it could have been some of the superb herb I sensed going around nearby me. Bathed in a wash of blues and reds (cool to watch from the crowd, crap for photographers), front man Stavros Giannopoulos and Kush on the conjoined vocals of shrieking despair and smoothness just melted the entire room. The entire band was just crushing tonight, as they jammed mostly new material from The Old Believer. The now modern classic of ‘Holes In The Desert’ was also welcomed to my ears on this night, and its a track that I hope never leaves the set. Kim from Subrosa came out and lent her playing to ‘The Sea Beyond’, which also was a treat. When the entire band gets to singing, screaming together as it does, it can be quite moving. Andrew Ragin, who produced the new album, also chimes in with synths, guitars and vocals is a powerhouse live. He is a difference maker. The secret weapon of the band is Dan Lasek on the drums. He has really upped the ante in terms of power and groove since he joined. Not since the mighty ISIS played some of their final shows in this very building a few years ago has post-metal been so well executed here. Bring on the headline tours boys!
Finally it was time for Boris. Some of the beardos had left after the penultimate act and there were some drunken bros who were loud as fuck the rest of the night, which pissed me off to no end. Moving right a long, Boris hit the stage with a boom, launching right into ‘Melody’ from Noise. Professional;, perfectly played, and most of all fun; Boris knows how to start an album or a party with uptempo, melodic bliss inducing rock. Takehashi Ohtani rocks the double-neck guitar/bass and moves flawlessly between either neck depending on what the parts require. Vocally he is a wizard: able to morph his voice to whatever the style of the songs call for. Atzuo Mizuno behind the kit is a powerhouse, as both a drummer and a performer. His vocals are also excellent and when he and Takehashi sing together, it is magical. Plowing right into ‘Vanilla’, another new song, the crowd let out a loud cheer. It was almost like a sporting event atmosphere in the room with many “oohs” and “ahhs” all night long. The opposite of her cohorts, Wata on guitar is quite restrained in her performances physically, but she is a beast on the axe. Her stoicism is only matched equally by her mastery of riffs, the occasional lead part, and feedback of course.
Although the band leaned heavily on the just released Noise, they mixed it up well with Pink and Amplifier Worship also represented too. The set list was constructed expertly as you would expect from this band. Raging rock and metal, introspective mellowness, followed again by waves of crashing melodies and other weirdness. Mid-set cuts such as ‘Ghost of Romance’, ‘Heavy Rain’ and ‘Cosmos’ just send you on an emotional rocket ship to space and back . Speaking of space, Boris has never been afraid of the space rock, but really labels can barely describe what this band does. They are reference points for those who need a paint by numbers experience. It’s much better than to let go and feel the show, rather than make mental notes such as “pop song, drone song, instrumental, thrash number”. Or maybe that is just me.
Closing out the night with panache, they chilled out with the somber ‘Angel’, then rocked with ‘Quicksilver’. After a drawn out feedback and noise rave-up, a friend of the bands’ came on stage and there was a sudden wedding proposal! The things you see at a show, man. Then the band returned and played ‘Vomitself’ and bid us all a good night!
Boris Set List:
Ghost of Romance
Taiyo no Baka
WORDS: KEITH (KEEFY) CHACHKES
As sometimes happens in the world of music journalism, one finds out last minute that they are going to a show that night. A quick shift in gears in order to make it to the show on time, and it’s off to the races, er the venue. Lucky for me weeknights in Boston are easier to get around than other cities I have lived in, and I wanted to get in just after doors opened. I had a chance to grab a rare weeknight adult beverage, mingle with my Metal New England crew, and catch opener’s Death Valley High. It was definitely an odd mix of metal fans in the room, obviously brought out mainly for Chino Moreno and his new band Crosses or †††, and vis a vie his other notable groups Deftones and Team Sleep.
Death Valley High hit the stage and they seemed to have ten guys in the band, packed on to the little stage taken up with gear. It was really only a handful of dudes, but they had a stage presence you couldn’t help but notice. They we’re a wake up call to the crowd that certainly wasn’t expecting this. Front man Reyka Osburn, with his Adam-Ant ca. 1982 make up job, is a one-man tornado on the stage. Screaming into the mike, playing guitar, and just generally whipping the crowd into a frenzy, he certainly was entertaining. It took the audience a few songs to grasp the deft blend of Nine Inch Nails style arena ready electro-goth, alt- rock posturing, with some legit throwback 80s synth work, but I dug it right away. The burned through a bunch of songs from their debut Positive Euth (Minus Head Records) and even tossed in a brief cover of ‘Rebel Yell’ by Billy Idol that has people moshing. By the time the band was ready to leave the stage and mentioned it was their first ever show in Boston, the crowd gave them a big reaction, for a little known opener.
Normally a band like Nostalghia comes along and I am all about it. Those that read these reviews of mine, perhaps think of me as a meat-and potatoes prog-rock nerd and thrash junkie going back to my childhood. But on a normal day the weirder and more out of the box a band is, the more I am apt to give them a fair shake and check them out. I prefaced this all with a detour into Keefy-land because Nostalghia came on the stage and instead of setting an ethereal mood before the headliners, they sucked all the energy and good vibes out of the room. I just wasn’t feeling it, and by the bewildered looks in the room, many felt the same way. Likely in a different setting than this, I will give them another chance, but tonight they didn’t impress me one iota.
After getting some fresh air and a fresh beer I was ready for Chino and †††. Obviously the band is not just about Chino, but he does tends to be the focal point in anything he does, doesn’t he? The group is as much as Shaun Lopez (Far) and Chuck Doom’s as it is Chino ‘s pet project, the music being the sum of their combined creativity. Also much hyped is whether the band is a witch-house group, but I hate to break it to the sub-genre gestapo, they are not. Still, they hit the stage slowly as if we were at an art presentation, coming out one at a time to opening track ‘†hholyghs†’ as the final reveal. Chino is a smooth bastard if nothing else, acknowledging the audible oohs and ahhs from both sexes as he came out. It was an orgy of Chino fangirl and fanboy worship that made me wince with every orgasmic “I love you Chino!” cried out, but at least he lived up to it with his performance.
The band was excellent as they cut through just about every song in the bands catalogue. Chino, in this setting is more like a Jazz chanteuse or a 70s R&B crooner; adopting his breathy soulful feminine wail, for the club acoustics and improvising here and there with certain phrases. There is no cheating live with Chino as so many others do, and he was in fine voice. He certainly enjoyed himself here and frequently stepped on to speakers that brought him closer to the crowd, each time making a connection with the fans. The unsung hero of the band is Lopez, who laid down a wonderful torrent of droning guitar parts, and slick keyboard work. If I had only one complaint tonight it was the electronic snare sound of Dino Campanella on the drums. The guy is a powerhouse player and a fine performer. However, he alternated between two clackity clacking snare timbres that ranged from mildly annoying to grating on my last fucking nerve all night. Oh well.
Most of the night the audience was transported away between lush trip-hop and pop anthems, to shimmering post-rock flourishes. The killer set list included hits like ‘Bi†ches Brew’ and ‘†he Epilogue’, but also the underrated numbers like ‘Blk S†allion’. The simple stage set up with just the minmal giant crosses with alternating lights fit the music perfectly sparse. Someone should give their lighting designer a medal, because i have have seen folks go too far in the past. When they came back out to the steamy, packed room for the encore and did a cover of ‘Goodbye Horses’, I totally started freaking out and lost my shit. The song made famous by Q Lazzarus is famous for its inclusion in the film The Silence of Lambs and now has a big place in pop culture too. Being a massive fan of anything Thomas Harris, I went berzerk. The cover was totally unironic and worked well with the bands musical style. Closing out a fun night with ‘†he Years’, everyone was left exhausted and satisfied.
††† Set List:
†his Is a †rick
Nine†een Eigh†y Seven
Goodbye Horses (Q Lazzarus cover)
Nostalghia on Facebook
WORDS BY KEITH (KEEFY) CHACHKES
PHOTOS BY GREG WALKOWIAK