I was looking forward to this show and it did not disappoint. Four heavy hitters playing all manner of sludge, hardcore, noise and pop. Gaza started off the night with a set of unrelenting angular noise metal. Nothing about these guys is subtle. Nothing. If they tell you otherwise then they are straight up lying. Loud as hell and violent sounding, it was exactly like getting hit in the face over and over with a hammer. They’re like a more pissed off Converge, if that’s possible. At times it literally sounded like explosions were emanating from their amps, it didn’t even sound like instruments playing music. (This is a compliment of the highest order, by the way.) Their singer got down off the stage after the first song and performed the rest of the set amongst the audience, getting right up close to the crowd and screaming in our faces, letting us know that we were scum and didn’t deserve to live. Or something. We loved it.
I’d like to thank Black Cobra for my sore neck. At one point I was headbanging on autopilot, the riffs and drums just took over and I was lost in a haze of distortion. They were spot on tonight, nothing was amiss. I’ve seen these guys five or six times and this may have been the best sounding set yet. There is no fat to Black Cobra’s songs, it’s just riff after riff after riff with explosive drums threatening to overtake everything at any given moment. Some parts sound, to me, like prime Ministry, when Al Jourgensen was leading his troops into speed metal battle. Other parts are just total fucking doom bliss. No complaints whatsoever here.
You’ve heard of the Eagles of Death Metal, right? Well, Torche are the Wings of Sludge. They have no right to be as heavy as they are and play catchy, poppy songs. No right at all, dammit. Husker Du + Foo Fighters + melodic Helmet = Torche (do the math). If they were playing what they’re playing right now back in 1992 then Nirvana would’ve been opening for them. It’s just disgusting how catchy some of these songs are. And yes, the Bomb String was deployed and in full effect, leveling the audience and leaving huge smiles on people’s faces. As one dude said to me right after they finished, Torche live is religion, pure and simple. Jaw dropping.
Corrosion of Conformity. Legends of hardcore. What is there to be said about them? They got up there and did what they do, which is play their own brand of Black Sabbath infused punk rock. They looked too big to be on that stage. And yes, there was a pit, but it wasn’t a “I’m going to break your neck and kill you” pit, it was more of a “Oh my God, I fucking love this song, let’s run into each other at full speed” pit. My only complaint is that they would start a song and then abandon it, such as playing a verse of “Vote With a Bullet” with Reed singing lead or two verses of Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom” and then go into something else. They did, however, play a full version of the song “Deliverance”, which got many a head banging. I kind of wish they would delve more into the Pepper-era material, even if he’s not in the band at this point, but that’s a minor complaint. COC is an institution and for good reason. Few bands manage to blend authentic doom ala Sabbath with frenetic hardcore and make it work. COC does it and they do it well. Excellent show from top to bottom. A sore neck don’t lie.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.