As I mentioned in my previous post, I admit to being a relative newcomer to the stuff being put out by kvlt record label Iron Bonehead Productions from Germany, a result of having checked out Czech black metal band Cult of Fire’s ”मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान” album as it was included in a lot of top metal albums from 2014 listicles which I tend to check out every time December of any year hits for basically new music to listen to. It was a pleasant surprise for me then when after having come across some underground metal show poster but initially had second thoughts as to whether to go or not since I don’t really consider myself as kvlt in any form or shape but rather as more of a curious eclectic as always has been ever since I started digging a lot of music more frequently than your average casual listener, I had to check a bit as to why I should attend Infernal Curse’s show last Feb 6 over at Selda Dos and was led to the band’s 2014 EP released on where else but Iron Bonehead entitled “The End Upon Us”. Listened to the entire EP and glanced cursorily at their promotional photos; I was immediately hooked to both their music and costumes. Totally glad that I made the right choice to go catch Infernal Curse out of a handful of equally interesting gigs that occurred at the same time last Saturday night.
The entire show opened with sets from Synder, Amaranhig, Rabies and Miseria. I could be totally wrong about this so please feel free to correct me (if anyone reads this blog anyway, lol) but Synder for me did this hybrid of thrash metal and hard rock that I think anyone looking their way into the local underground metal scene would have a fairly easy time appreciating as their overall sound for me is totally accessible even to ears that are more used to mainstream music. It felt a bit funny to me though when the band tore through their rendition of Decapitated’s “Spheres of Madness”. Maybe I’m just more used to the original’s downtuned guitars so it’s weird yet interesting at the same time to hear my most favorite Decpaitated song ever played in a slightly higher key. Synder is kinda ok for me but could use a little less sloppiness whenever doing really fast tunes (i.e., they can still be sloppy as long as it’s not too obvious).
Totally new to Amaranhig so I can’t really offer much of an opinion with regards to their brand of death metal other than I might have heard their sound in some other bands before (but I could be wrong for all I know). Their frontman though is quite a menacing figure onstage so gotta hand them that. I might consider giving Amaranhig another shot if time permits and who knows if my first impression of them would change that way.
Rabies though, now we’re talking! They, along with like-minded act Dreaded Mortuary (whose members were also in attendance last Saturday night even if they weren’t slated to play at all), are spearheading the current crop of local thrash metal that aren’t just mere Big 4 carbon copies which are a dime a dozen in your friendly neighborhood bar. The sneering vocal style might be a little grating for the uninitiated but it surprisingly works rather well with the band’s crossover thrash, so much so that the huge D.R.I. influence is more than readily apparent both in their “Death Sentence to Mankind” album as well as in a live setting while sounding rather fresh and not just parroting what Kurt Brecht had done back then. Rabies is definitely that band both metalheads and hardcore punks in their respective local scenes can instantly agree upon, that much is sure. Would it be much of an exaggeration to say that I could instantly see Rabies playing alongside some festival with fellow crossover thrash metal bands Foreseen, Red Death and Noisem? Who knows if that might actually happen soon?
With only two members (vocalist/guitarist and drummer), one would initially be hard-pressed as to how Miseria would even pull it off as not a lot of metal duos abroad are able to do so which is why they’re mostly relegated as studio projects (just ask Fenriz and Nocturno Culto). Yes, Miseria pulled it off despite not having any bassist on hand but since I’m also totally new to them, I think I should save my opinion regarding the duo for another time when I’ll be able to catch them again.
Prior to their own set, all three members of Infernal Curse sans costumes (normal-looking long-haired South American metalheads – specifically from Colombia… really nice and humble people irl btw) were selling not just their own merch but a handful of underground metal 7” records as well as original pressings of mostly 12” metal releases from the 1980s, but what got my attention the most when they posted their records for sale on last Saturday night’s official event page a few days prior was this:
Had to check it out of curiosity and found out that Seikima-II is a band widely considered as one of the pioneers of visual kei, a uniquely Japanese take on heavy metal with a huge emphasis on sinister-looking outlandish costumes that put pretty much any Broadway production’s wardrobe to shame. It sure is no coincidence then that a blackened death metal band would sell original pressings of a visual kei band’s first three LPs since both acts rely rather heavily on image aside from playing some really good music. No idea though if anyone from last Saturday night was able to score those first three Seikima-II records (I’d like to think they have been sold that night).
But I’ve digressed a bit too much there… After a little soundcheck (still sans costumes), all three members of Infernal Curse seemingly vanished for a while only to return all bedecked in black hooded robes, inverted crucifix necklaces and corpsepaint to match their blackened death metal sound. What stood out the most for me though was the moderate echo (I’m guessing around 40%) placed on Nocturnal Profaner’s vocals to make it sound as if he is growling Satanic incantations from inside a cavern – or something to that effect anyway. Feeling sorry somehow for all those “rakistas” (worst one-word joke I could think of, ha!) who are content enough with seeing Cradle of Filth’s onstage theatrics last Pulp Summer Slam (actually sat through CoF’s entire performance; gotta give it to them for maximizing their use of the stage with all those pyrotechnics but still not a fan, sorry) instead of seeing an underground metal band whose members are all dressed like priests of darkness officiating some sort of Black Mass.
Infernal Curse’s show last Feb 6 surely is one for the books this early 2016. Wondering how the organizers of the said event would be able to top it anytime soon but I guess I’ll just have to go to more underground metal shows until then.