Swedish black metal band Marduk recently had the Oakland, CA date of their tour with Incantation cancelled due to certain groups that shall remain nameless lobbing threats at the venue and the Oakland Police Department being unable to guarantee the safety of concert goers.
It’s weird how going to shows changes as you advance in age. In my late teens, I would walk two miles each way to Hairy Mary’s (RIP) for all ages matinee shows, so excited that bands like Vader, Spirit Caravan and Today is the Day were playing anywhere near me. My lame broke ass didn’t have a car or any friends that were into underground metal (being shy and awkward and going to Catholic school for the entirety of your pre-college education will do that to you) so I hoofed it, and I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. I would watch every single band, no matter how many were on the bill and my enthusiasm never wavered for the shows, even when the bands didn’t start on time, or when the bands sounded like complete shit, or when the bands didn’t show up.
I had an intro written and ready to go, reflecting on all the good and bad that heavy music in 2015 had to offer (mostly bad), but then I remembered that no one reads these long-winded, pointless intros. So, without further ado, here are eleven musical things (not just albums) that grabbed a hold of my crank and kept on yanking in 2015…
The last time I wrote about Early Graves, it was with a heavy heart. A planned review of their 2010 album Goner became a lamentation of vocalist Makh Daniels, whose life had been taken in a van accident while the band was out on tour. I assumed it was to be the first and last time I would write about the devastating young quintet who had shown so much promise. However, the remaining members of Early Graves regrouped, making the undoubtedly difficult decision to soldier on with new screamer John Strachan (also of The Funeral Pyre) at the helm, proving the old cliche that you just can’t keep a good band down. The result is Red Horse, a snorting, stomping, snarling beast of a recording that’s beyond a shadow of a doubt the San Franciscans’ most potent statement to date. The album isn’t out until October 30th, but Early Graves are already hitting the road hard, bringing their patented brand of pure Hell to the stage.
The last time Exhumed played in Des Moines, it was the middle of July. If you’ve never been to Iowa in mid-Summer, imagine being trapped in a giant pair of sweatpants and forced to walk through someone’s sweaty, overheated crotch; now you’ve got a pretty good idea of what humidity in the Midwest is like. It’s the kind of heat that causes old people and animals to spontaneously drop dead. Now, imagine a tiny venue with no air conditioning smack dab in the middle of that nasty-ass environment. These were the conditions Exhumed were forced to weather their first time playing our little one-horse town, so it’s something of a small miracle that they actually agreed to come back. Granted, they’re in the midst of a high-profile tour with death metal kingpins Cannibal Corpse (for more on them, wait for my upcoming review of their new album, Torture), but still, I can’t imagine that initial encounter made a very good impression.
Continue reading “For Those About to Rot: Exhumed @ People’s Court 04/16/12”