CONCERT REVIEW: Black Anvil/Manifest/Excrecor/Blood of the Gods/Skrogg

I’m not quite sure how a metal show got booked at a Knights of Columbus meeting hall. It certainly wasn’t a Christian metal event, yet somehow I felt out of place in my Marduk t-shirt and inverted cross pendant. With all of the pictures of bishops and priests alongside crosses all over the walls, it didn’t seem like a place that would allow the concert. It turned out to be a pretty good venue for music. There was free parking (Palladium in Worcester, take note), the place was clean, and had pretty good sound for what it was. Vocals, and in Excrecor’s case, bass drums were (supposedly) fed through the P.A. Otherwise, the mix had to be regulated amongst the the bands’ own amps.

Skrogg were up first. Their brand of sludge-doom metal is nothing new, and the songwriting, although adequate, is minimally original. They don’t seem to try to break any new ground, instead enjoying what they do. Horns up.

Blood of the Gods played next. They are a solid death metal band with a good stage presence. My biggest complain, though, is that despite quality of the songwriting, they need to hold back on the quantity. Most of the songs went on way too long. The riffs were good, but repeated too many times. If the band cut some of their songs by at least a minute, they may have something. Horns up.

I’ve reviewed Excrecor before. I still hold that they are one of the best metal bands from New England. They got the crowd going, including some people that seemed to show up just for them. Excrecor also played at the Dover Brickhouse the night before. The sound there seemed to be better, as all of the instruments were mixed through the P.A., including the bass drums. In both cases, the performance was top-notch. They finally finished recording their debut full-length. As soon as they release it I’ll review it here. Horns way up.

Ebony Sorrow dropped off the bill, so Manifest were up next. Being a core band, they don’t fall under the category of bands I review here. I will say that they were certainly energetic and had quite a few fans there. If you like that style, they’re pretty good. Horns not applicable.

Because of the long drive time, I had to leave early in American black metal band Black Anvil’s set. I did get to see them perform the first few songs, however, and they were excellent. Bassist/lead vocalist P.D. performed energetically and seemingly wildly, yet performing with a great deal of control. Often times he only played with his left hand, leaving the right hand free to gesticulate. Guitarist/vocalist G.B. and drummer R.G. (yes, they officially go by initials) were laid-back in comparison, as far as stage presence goes. Overall, the songs were dark and extreme, which, again, felt odd in the surroundings. I’m definitely going to check them out again when I can see a full set. Horns way up.

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