|Poster by Steve Giannopolous. Buy it here.|
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Mutilation Rites's brand of doomy, piercing black metal is absolutely refreshing and these guys are definitely ones to keep an eye on. This East Coast 4-piece, who had recently released a split 7" with tourmates Batillus, proved that even the more "straight forward" side of black metal can make for an entertaining live experience. With shrieking, inhuman vocals and music that ranged from blistering, almost Leviathan-esque black metal to drunken thrash and thick, crawling funeral doom, Mutilation Rites performed a mesmerizing, energetic set. It was definitely a bummer to look around and see that the venue was virtually empty for such a brilliant act. Hopefully things will change, as I hear exciting things await Mutilation Rites on the not-so-distant horizon. Keep your eyes peeled!
Heavy. Loud. Awesome. I've known about Lord Mantis for a few years now, what with their last release, Seventh Rule's Spawning The Nephilim, already nearing 2 years of age. With such a lengthy period of relative silence I was actually quite surprised to see that this supergroup of sorts, featuring members of Nachtmystium, Avichi and Indian, was added to this bill, but with the surprise came intrigue and even delighted anticipation. Lord Mantis's unique blend of black metal and sludge with elements of progressive rock and traditional heavy metal makes for a "balls out" heavy and energetic show. Frontman and bassist Charlie Fell's, also of Nachtmystium, fierce, charismatic stage persona added to the entertainment, as "blackened" bands normally end up just...standing there... Quite the nice change of pace.
Batillus was actually one of the first bands I reviewed here at The Inarguable, so it was a nice sort of "trip down memory lane," so to speak, to cover them yet again. Before this show I'd only heard fantastic things about their live set, and, taking into consideration their last venture into Chicago was 3 long years ago, there was no way I could afford to miss Batillus in action. Bathed in blue light, this Brooklyn 4-piece raged through some of my favorites off of their Furnace album. All the attention was directed at singer and synth player Fade Kainer, whose intense motions and impressive dreadlocks entirely made up for an otherwise still backing band. Of course, as sedentary as the rest of the band was, they made some heavy music, I actually wasn't expecting Batillus to be as extraordinarily heavy as they were, but, dammit, they really did it well. Batillus is a band you need to see live as soon as humanly possible.
Ah yes, Sourvein finally made it back to Chicago. After their last gig was cancelled a few years ago, it was bout time T-Roy and crew came back to the Windy City. Before this year I must have gone maybe 3 or 4 years without listening to Sourvein, but their new album Black Fangs definitely got me back into their heavy brand of Southern-fried doom metal. Man, were they heavy. Save for a few bands like Down or Corrosion of Conformity, I can't really say I'm too into the whole "southern metal" phenomena, but Sourvein's bottom-heavy, rifftastic live set definitely rose a bit of interest in the genre. Frontman T-Roy's larger than life stage persona, involving manic stage pacing and dancing, was definitely, aside from the heavy riffs, my favorite aspect of Sourvein's live set. I distinctly remember T-Roy asking the audience for a beer, only to have a steady flow of fan-bought beers make their way to the stage for the rest of their set. One especially generous audience member even handed over a hefty shot of whiskey to their favorite frontman. Oh yeah, and they closed with the southern metal rebel anthem "Dirty South," so what's not to like? Illinois just got the North Carolina treatment.
I ended up missing Nachtmystium's set because I was a bit of a social butterfly in the merch area, but I don't doubt it will be too long before I see them again. I mean, I'm from Chicago...they're from Chicago...you see the connection there? What I heard from the merch area was definitely nice, though.