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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Upcoming Shows

This show isn't exactly "upcoming" so much as "happening in a few hours." Like most shows at The Underground, it will probably cost $5 at the door and start around 9 pm. And, although not mentioned on the flyer, Ranch Ghost will also be performing tonight. Support your local scene and bring your skateboard. 

Talk about a rock show. This line up has punk, blues, and more all on the same bill. Lots of variety for only $5. Don't miss out. 

The Chimpz have left their native Los Angeles to go on tour, and they will be playing in Albuqurque on the 7th before hitting Santa Fe on the 8th. I have tickets for BOTH SHOWS, which are only 8 bucks a pop. If you would like to purchase one, you may contact me here. They will have support from local metal band When Darkness Falls on both nights, plus other local opening bands. 

See you there, my lovelies. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Born Of Osiris 2014 American Tour

Goddamn, what a show.  If they haven't reached your neck of the woods yet, I suggest you check out the tour dates and get your tickets in advance. Otherwise, you'll miss out on a truly epic concert. 

Erra, a progressive metalcore group from Birmingham,  was a decent opening band. The guitars were definitely their strongest asset. The drumming was great, but admittedly it tended to be overshadowed by melodic solos. The gutteral vocals were also good, but not good enough to make up for the terrible cleans. True, sometimes whiny vocals sound ok (Chiodos, Bullet For My Valentine), but most of the time they ruin otherwise good bands.

Betraying The Martyrs, hailing from France, are a deathcore band like any other. Not to say that they are bad. They are quite talented, but they are also characterized by the formulaic deathcore canon of  breakdowns, harsh vocals, and cymbal-heavy percussion.  If that's what you're into, then they definitely deliver, but they offer nothing different from the hundreds of other similar bands. 

Within The Ruins, on the other hand, absolutely stole the show, outshining even the headliners.  Prior to the concert, I only knew one song (Invade), which sounds even better live. The rest of their setlist definitely raised the bar for the other bands in the line up, but goddamn. Their unbridled energy and complex, technical, yet melodic riffs converged into the best performance of the night. 

Thy Art Is Murder put on a good show.  The guitars and percussion were fantastic, but they could not mask the monotonous, lackluster vocals. These shortcomings aside, they definitely have charisma and stage presence. Just watching them perform was even more entertaining than the music itself. I didn't even know the human body could contort like that. Their sheer vivacity, coupled with their tech-death stylings, augured for an excellent show. 

Born Of Osiris is one of my all-time favorite metal bands. They are simultaneously technical and fluid, resulting in a heavy virtuosity that distinguishes them from the crowd. I love the multilayered, almost contrapuntal guitar arrangements. One chugs a caustic, mantric rhythm while the other overlaps it with an intricate, sonorous melody. Although their music is very sophisticated and difficult, it is also very raw, angry, and dark. The lyrics are often a criticism of the self-destructive nature of mankind, both as a species, and as individuals. The introspective track Machine implores the listener to look within, reconnecting to their lost integrity and in the process regain their humanity. Follow The Signs, another favorite song, is a grim reminder of the downward spiral of the human race, and how it may be too late to undo all the damage we've inflicted on ourselves and each other.  These two aforementioned songs were the best in their setlist, but honestly, I don't care much for their latest album. The title "Tomorrow We Die Alive" is embarassingly unimaginative, especially for such brilliant lyricists. The music is also not up to par with their magnum opus, The Discovery. The new material does contain some mind-blowing shreddage, but there are also some repetitive songs and even one abomination that sounds like dubstep. Ick. 

All in all, Within The Ruins was hands down the best band in the show, but Born Of Osiris did not disappoint (thank god they played some of their earlier material.) The other three bands fit neatly into their respective subgenres, and although immensely enjoyable as such, they offered nothing innovative or different. 

Fun fact: For every band on the bill, you can replace the last word with  "Breakdowns" and have a good giggle. Seriously though, great concert. Four stars it is!