Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Black Tar Prophet, Forest of Tygers, Gorgantherron, and the Holy Mountaintop Removers at The End 1/26

And here we are again, it's time for another installment of NashVile! This highly titillating entry takes place at one of the best sounding places in Nashville, The End.

First up was low end assailants Black Tar Prophet. Prior to this show, guitarist Mark Owen had said in a facebook post on the band page that he would be returning this year. I spoke to drummer turned bassist Greg Swinehart before the show and he told me that there was some strife, and that he'd just had enough of him, so Mark was out. Thus, the band remained a twosome. Playing a three-string bass, Greg belted out some gut-rearranging stoner doom grooves while drummer Erik Dever (ex-Archdruid) banged away on drums, even throwing in a (still rather slow) blastbeat on a new song. Greg had some new cabs which had intense power. These guys are really going for the groove of Om and the crunch of Bongripper while trying to approach the volume levels of Sunn O))). Punishing to the uninitiated, these guys aim to make you feel their music as much as hear it. Listen to their split with Crawl from Atlanta:

Also, creepy x-ed out mannequin heads.

Second was Forest of Tygers. Brand new band, very first show! Featuring the talents of Jim Valosik of Nashville-native band Serotonin on guitar and vocals, his wife Rachel Valosik on drums, and Niki Carolan of Tijuana Goat Ride on noisy keyboard and vocals. Stylistically, they blew me away. The guitars were beautiful and flowing at times while violent and aggressive at others. A looping pedal was utilized some; at a few points, a riff was recorded and looped so that tasty licks could be played on top. The looper in conjunction with a pedal that sent differently effected signals to different amps really gave a lot of depth not usually found in trios. Supporting all of this depth was drummer Rachel. At first glance, I didn't notice much about her, aside from her Young and in the Way shirt, which should have been a tip-off because once she started playing my jaw hit the floor. These guys borrow a little from hardcore, black metal, post-hardcore, sludge, post-metal, and D-beat, and this girl can handle them all. Her runs and blastbeats had me impressed. Riding on top of all this are the vocals of Niki Carolan, whose screams rounded out the sound well. I wanted her to make use of the noisy keyboard, I could barely make it out, but that's my only complaint on an otherwise auspicious beginning. Check out the performance for yourself:

Third up was Gorgantherron. These guys are from Evansville, IN and play some pretty righteous stoner metal. According to their facebook description they're actually chimps sent into space in 1968 but after being evolved and trained in the ways of black and doom metal by the Andromedian race of Gorgantherrons, they returned to Earth to warn us of our selfish ways. You seriously need to read it, I laughed pretty hard. Sonically though, their sound is heavy but also nice and round and warm. It's got a great, lumbering-yet-groovy sound that's reminiscent of the greats like Sleep and Black Sabbath. The vocals were especially reminiscent of Sleep, namely on the mighty epic Dopesmoker. Great fuzzy riffs galore. Give 'em a listen, and make sure to see if you can find their photo of them in their astronaut suits:

Last up was newcomers Holy Mountaintop Removers. Borrowing members from local country-doom jammers Hellbender, this trio took jams to the next level. They started out playing as fast as they could, and nowhere near in sync. They came together for some bluesy fuzzed out rock, but at one point the drummer (who's actually a guitar player in Hellbender) was hitting cymbal with a maraca and tambourine. When not playing in free jazz mode, the bass kept time in pulsing fashion, but things got droney when the bassist switched to synthesizer. He mashed the keys as everyone else delved into chaos, but once retreating from madness, those same keys were put to good droning, melodic use. As for the guitars, that guy could shred with the best of them, but he also busted out some toe-tapping melodies when everyone's decided that yeah okay we can play together sometimes. Overall, these guys were a fantastic and even inspiring example of what free jazz and doom rock could sound like together, and I'm excited to see what they do next. I'd post some of their stuff here, but there's nothing to post! No links or nothing. Only thing left to do is get out and go to one of these shows. So do it!

Another show post come and gone. Look for my upcoming writeup of 3 post-hardcore bands and one black/doom band at a house show soon!

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