Sunday, April 7, 2013
One Master, Morgirion, Haxen, Bog of the Infidel and Grue Live at Cherry Street Station
Cherry Street Station hosted a group of black metal bands on a Saturday night, with a unifying theme of the occult, headed by One Master. As I walked in, I was greeted by the smell of incense and a small group of people that included quite a few band members, as it was early. The venue is intimate with a bit of space due to the merch/setup area being tucked away and the bar being separated, and it brought in a solid crowd for this type of show, with some people in and out throughout the night.
Grue consisted of two men wearing robes, a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer. Their style was reminiscent of more recent Finnish black metallers who emulate/worship the second wave. Melodies playing in a typical black metal riffing fashion, impressive drumming, and a nice feel that's not very dissonant but has a distinct black metal feel. It takes a bit of a stretch to make a comparison, but they reminded me a bit of Perisynti. Quite entertaining and enjoyable
Bog of the Infidel is a five-piece band that mixed black metal with melodic death metal and a bit of power metal flair in the solos - their lead guitarist had more Manowar patches than I could count, though he really needed some better clothing as his ass was hanging out for most of their set. There were clearly quite a few influences coming out at various times here - both black and death metal ranging to thrashy and melodic varieties, even some American heavy/power metal in the solos. The mix was a bit too busy and noisy to get a clear picture of what the band was capable of, but it was interesting nonetheless.
Haxen played fast black metal at a relatively constant pace. I'm a bit foggy on remembering exactly what they sound like since both them and Morgirion were very fast and vicious. I recall Beherit worship, a few classic black/heavy styled parts, and some more fast, relentless black metal. Good stage presence too, considering how little of a stage there was.
Morgirion were very fast and sharp, playing a style with lots of blast beats and a fair amount of dissonance. They were very fast pretty much all the way through, with a very full sound as a three-piece, led by a very good bassist who was an energetic and enthusiastic frontman. A bit more tasteful and less mechanical than blast-happy bands like 1349, they were relentless, but not to a fault. Great show, I'd love to see them again.
One Master were the headliners for a reason - they're really good at what they do. If you're unfamiliar with them, think of the riffing of Under a Funeral Moon mixed with the hypnotic sense of Burzum and the ritual feeling of Unanimated's most recent album. The band was very focused, appearing very serious and having fun as well. Their first two songs were extremely loud, something I noticed despite earplugs, and admittedly they couldn't hear much of anything, which made their sharp performance even more impressive as the few slips were quickly corrected for. The loudness was up there along with the impact of the band's performance, which had a certain feeling of determination and direction propelled by their style and concept around the occult. The band's four-piece lineup had two new members and one filling in (though he fit into the band and matched up right along their frontman), and they were tight, rough but not sloppy, very befitting of the music. An excellent band that I'm looking forward to seeing in Connecticut again.
This show was a great concept to gather bands around, all five bands were excellent choices, and it turned out to be a very nice evening.