Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sadistic Intent and Deathhammer, 05.09.14

Any day that starts with jiu jitsu and ends with death metal is a good day in my book. But fill that day with old friends, new friends (hi, Josh from Limbs Bin!), and vegan pizza, and you have a contender for the best day I've had in the last three years.

Iron Force do the kind of old school death/black/thrash that rarely clicks with me, but I can appreciate them for their sheer velocity and the fact that their singer has a dedicated beer can holder attached to his mic stand. A little bit of personality never hurts - something more bands could apply to their music.

Inverted Trifixion play the kind of raw black metal that's easy to love - no frills but filled with enough hooks to be memorable. In that way, they're strongly reminiscent of DoC faves Narbeleth. Corpse paint is all well and good, but when the drummer started stumbling during a cover of "Transyvanian Hunger", I found myself wishing they spent more time rehearsing and less time on their make up.

So glad "slutty death metal girls" are still a thing. Local guys Natur probably are too - there were quite a few of them crowding the stage when the band started. If they have a weak spot, it's the vocals, which never quite hit the right note and detract from the band's decent NWOBHM-style heshing.
Audience appreciation is a funny thing. Some fans offer their heroes drugs (as I witnessed for myself that night), but the many in attendance for Deathhammer seemed to think that throwing crushed beer cans at the stage counted as applause. I was expecting a full hour of Apocalyptic Raids karaoke, but skeevy Tom Warrior moustache aside, Deathhammer don't really recall Hellhammer all that much. [I also didn't think Vektor sounded that much like Voivod - it's a wonder I have any readers at all.] Their thrash acted like a dog whistle for those drunk enough to start colliding into each other. When their set ran long, the band either didn't know or didn't care that the sound guy was trying to signal them. I guess they don't have quality of life laws in Grimstad.
Despite fawning over all things "old school", more than half the crowd cleared out after Deathhammer, even though headliners Sadistic Intent have been playing old school death metal since it was simply called "death metal". The band never really blipped on my radar before (possibly because I continually mixed them up with Sadist and Sadus; it doesn't help that they've yet to release an actual album). They may dress like they stopped off at David "Sunny D" Vincent's yard sale, but play the kind of thrash-rooted death metal that I can't say no to (see also: old Sepultura, Vader, Grotesque). When guitarist Rick Cortez breaks a string, changes his guitar, and is back on his side of the stage in time to nail a solo spot without the rest of the band missing a beat, you begin to understand why these guys were chosen to be the new Possessed. I continue to find the old school revival incredibly tiresome and insincere, but if it means that bands like Sadistic Intent are given a second lease on life, I'm willing to put my cynicism aside... at least for the duration of "Ancient Black Evil".