Monday, June 28, 2010

Nice review of Plague Bringer/Eyehategod...

Here is a really nice write up of the Saturday show from:

Bands: Eyehategod, Nachtmystium, Plague Bringer, Strong Intention, and Weekend Nachos

Venue: The Empty Bottle, Chicago, Illinois

Date: June 19th, 2010

By: Skull

“Being quite used to shaking off my buzz and burning the midnight oil while trying to immediately purge memories from a night of live metal, I am somewhat not used to rehashing a couple of days removed. Considering my altered state last Saturday night at the Eyehategod show at The Empty Bottle, I ask for your patience, and maybe even a willingness to turn a blind eye to whatever mistakes or foggy recollections are haphazardly documented in this entry.

Arriving 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the first set, which is horrendously late for me, my lady Kelly and I popped into the adjacent “The Bite CafĂ©” for yet another go at their incredible green curry chicken dish. Yes, every single time I hit The Empty Bottle for a show, you will again hear me praise this culinary wonder.

Making our entrance to the club shortly thereafter, we snagged a drink (the first of many) and took a spot towards the back for the first set from up and coming hardcore enthusiasts Weekend Nachos. I was surprised that The Empty Bottle was already more than half full, and the crowd was collecting up close to the stage. WN kicked into a short set of high energy, sludge spattered hardcore with reckless abandon. It took a couple of numbers for me to warm up to them, but the crowd was already well versed and familiar with the guys, giving them a great response. I’m not sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but I could swear I saw Snyder, their amusing vocalist, check on his cell phone towards the end of the set. I’ve never seen that done before on stage. Awesome.

After a curiously long changeover, and another barley pop later, Strong Intention, a trio from Maryland (?), began their slot. The crowd gave them a wide berth, giving the appearance that they shared my unfamiliarity with the band. I could swear that I heard SI play the first song three times over before they opened up and showed a little more diversity. Playing, at times, a seriously fast mix of hardcore, crossover, and grind, I found myself enjoying the second half of their performance a bit more than the first. The growing crowd, not as enthused as they were with WN, also became more responsive and did give them a more than polite round of applause as SI started breaking down their set.

Smoke. Drink.

Now, Anal Cunt had originally been in the evening’s lineup, and were removed a week or so before the show. I do not know the reason why, but it must have been an act of god (editor: ?), because what we witnessed for the next 40 minutes or so truly blew my mind. Another local act, Plague Bringer, took the stage and captivated the mob with a short set of heavy, riff laden industrial grind. Absorbing the two man act with Greg on guitar and Josh sticking to incredible shrieking vocals backed up by programmed drumming and droning effects, I stood aghast as my jaw hit the floor. Extremely focused on their art, PB gained our full attention and never lost it.

For their last number (“One into Parts,” a yet to be released track), Plague Bringer brought up Mark Solotroff, a prominent figure from the Chicago Industrial/Electronica music scene to assist with vocals. He carried with him a hand held synthesizer that couldn’t have been larger than an iPhone. At first, I thought that it was a camera and he was capturing his viewpoint on video, but I learned later that he was actually contributing something to their overwhelming sound with it. His initial moaning and clean vocal style was in stark contrast, but also very complimentary, to Josh’s delivery. The collaboration was nothing less than amazing. Plague Bringer could have played that one cut alone and I would still have felt the satisfaction of a complete set. As they began breaking down to a generous ovation, I must have looked like I had just seen a ghost. Speaking briefly with Greg later in the evening, I found out that they are in between labels with new material to release.

After stepping outside for yet another carcinogenic fix, we noticed that the club had posted a “Sold Out” sign at the door. The place was now jam-packed for Nachtmystium. Still getting a decent spot, we were then treated to an exceptional set by Blake Judd and company. Playing with ferocity and drive, they killed their home fans with an onslaught of selections from their repertoire. Losing the bass due to a broken string during “A Seed for Suffering”, they still pulled it off professionalism and poise. The new material went over well, although they omitted the curious “No Funeral” from their set list. I was very interested as to what the crowd reaction would have been if they had pulled that one out. Closing up with “One of These Nights/ Assassins,” Nachtmystium left the stage to a huge amount of appreciative applause. My only complaint was that they didn’t have more time.

Returning back inside after another butt, we soon realized our outdoor expedition was ill-advised this time around for there was almost literally nowhere for us to stand to see one of the main pioneers of sludge. Our backs were practically pressed up to the soundboard wall as Eyehategod took to the stage and ripped into “Depress,” kicking off their journey back in time covering “In the Name of Suffering” in its entirety. What can one say about witnessing such a grand event? I sit at the keyboard with almost still hands. Especially since I turned on to EHG later in life, and also due to alcohol poisoning and sheer ignorance, I cannot even account an accurate summation of what they played.

EHG completely saturated the multitudes with filth. Patton’s and Bower’s skull crushing riffs flattened the crowd while Williams’ unique vocal style, and humor, entertained and pumped us up. The floor in front of the stage was a sea of movement with people banging their heads, while also sustaining a pit despite the sheer density of concertgoers that should have prevented it. Head surfing and some stage diving developed, as well, as EHG moved on from their debut full length into a montage of selections from other releases.

There are no highlights, in a manner of speaking, due to the fact that EHG simply did not loosen their grip on Chicago for the entire length of the set. Due to my state of semi-inebriation at the time, I can’t even give you an estimate of the length of EHG’s set, except that it was a good long while. EHG left us tattered and shaken, but craving more. Before leaving the stage, Williams plugged the following night’s return of EHG to The Empty Bottle. Sadly, I would not be able to attend due to holiday obligations, although my mind would spend the entire day trying to unsuccessfully scheme my way around it…”