Thursday, December 7, 2017

2017 local shows recap

Ugh looking at all the shows that happened this year and all the shows I didn't make it to fills me with sadness and regret. But what is done is done, let's look at the awesome shows I did make it to! In mostly chronological order, these are most of the shows with at least one or two local bands on the bill I saw this year:

Nordjevel (Nor), Imperial Triumphant (NY), Sivad, Oubliette: Good god this night was insane. Oubliette from Murfreesboro (featuring members of Battle Path and Enfold Darkness) eerily lit the place up with their grandiose melodic black metal epic waltz styling. Imperial Triumphant were almost as free jazz metal as those Pyrrhon psychos but with a much heavier dose of black metal majesty. The golden masks and black hoods were a nice touch. Nordjevel brought the true Norwegian black metal sound all the way to Nashville in full corpsepaint. At the height of their set, going full speed with body-butchering blastbeats, these guys were untouchable. Sivad from Memphis definitely gave them a run for their money though, complete with DIY spiked gauntlets, a big ass hunting knife, barb wired wrapped around the mic stand, candelabra, and skull and tibia. Their sound definitely lived up to the theatrics, these vile fiends were absolutely relentless.

Malevich (Atl), Pinion, Vile Desecration, Ghost Of Mars: This night was so rad, I finally got to see both Ghost of Mars and Opinion Pinion. Ghost of Mars were an absolutely entrancing fusion between members of Sovereign and Mothyards/JNN. Their sound perfectly matched their name, emitting riffs that sound like they were picked up from human martian explorers long since dead. Pinion  sounds like throwing elbows you never knew you had. Social unrest, pervasive discontent, and furor over power structures are the oozes that drip from Pinion's metallic hardcore shockwaves. Malevich absolutely floored me with their energy. This show was at Blackbird Tattoo and these guys filled the whole place. Jesus I don't think I've ever seen a band with this much conspicuous energy; these guys moved throughout the whole space, no place was safe from getting run into. At one point the guitarist was piggybacking onto one of the guitarists while screaming himself hoarse while the drummer stood up and headbutted a cymbal. I think he headbutted the rest of his kit throughout the night, goddamn. As for Vile Desecration, I love these boys so much it could be considered a conflict of interest. Best black metal riffs in the whole goddamn state, if not the whole South. Unfuckwithable.

Dendera Bloodbath, Bonemagic, JNN/J.Carter collab set, Pure Land, Owen Ni: I need to make it to more shows. I really do. Making it to this one made me purely lucky. Dendera Bloodbath busted out at least one Kaoss Pad mini and layered vocals over top of it. Suddenly from out of a suitcase she produced - I still don't know what the fuck it was. It was like one of those lights you hang from from an open car hood while tinkering, but it had like a bullet shell casing around it? And it sounded like it revved like a fucking motor! And inside the suitcase it looked like she might have had some big springs attached to different sides. Boy when she used that engine bullet wand on those springs, it made a rumble like an engine the size of a god. Bonemagic was an absolute treat. Using a box covered in switches and arcade buttons and a few other devices, he started out harsh but then pulled out a lightbulb and fucking screamed into it. At one point he was shouting over what could have almost been vaporwave instrumentals, like The Body had just drank a SeaWorld of lean. JNN/J. Carter's set felt abstract as hell (wires everywhere!) but incredibly compelling. Tbh it was hard to keep up with what I was hearing for a good bit what I was able to parse was absolutely delicious. Pure Land's drones were as pure as the name implies. Like standing in a desert in the winter when the external temperature matches your body and the lines between begin to disappear. Owen Ni was the most straightforward bleep bloop act of the night. He was clearly competent and even talented, but his style of techno just felt tame by contrast in regards to the at times completely wild offerings of the other acts.

Antichrist (Swe), Act of Impalement, Shill: God bless BlackBird Tattoo, they put on some fully kickass shows. Shill were a brand new act from members of Act of Impalement and Fucked Ethos (and a few more I'm forgetting). PUNK AS FUCK. Raw, oldschool, elemental punk.You cannot stand still listening to this band, even if you don't jump into a moshpit you gotta pogo or just flail or SOMETHING. Act of Impalement were a GREAT band before their LEADER and STAR BASSIST had to leave for college or something and went on to make the MONUMENTAL blog called NashVile. It's really awesome to hear these guys hone and tighten their sound while still somehow just getting heavier, nastier, and Antichrist is what I wish with all my heart what Slayer could have been. Blissful thrash with almost black metal vocals? Like a Swedish Vektor. Like Shill, these guys made it impossible to stand still, but with 200 proof Thrash Metal riffs.

Couch Slut (NYC), Yautja, Watcher: Watcher's brand of hardcore-muddled noise rock keeps me guessing in the best ways. Listening to these guys is like trying fight a 3-armed dude, you never know how you're gonna get hit but each punch hits hard. If you're reading this, y'all already know what Yautja are all about. If you're not reading this, Yautja are the band that make me so goddamn proud to be involved in Nashville heavy music that you can brag on to people from out of state. Too hardcore for metal, too metal for hardcore, these guys grind better than anyone else. Couch Slut brought their noise rock disguised as sludge and shoved it ferociously in your face. If you ever thought feminism couldn't be aggressive or threatening, Couch Slut forcibly peel your eyeballs open to the harsh realities women face every day, in such a way that you cannot help but be compelled.

Moon Tooth, Husbandry, Sheep Shifter, Itinerant: Hoo boy I thought I was prepared for this show but I was mistaken. I came out for my boy Braden in Itinerant, whose dreamy brand of Djent did not disappoint. Captivating and engaging, these guys get my "hey this is almost as good as Cloudkicker" seal of approval. Why was Sheep Shifter on this bill? I have no idea but god they were fun as hell. To call them noise rock or post-hardcore doesn't really seem to capture them fully, they make an out of control rock and roll style all their own. The singer was all over the goddamn place, even upside down on the drums at one point. Husbandry were a dark horse for me, I was very pleasantly surprised at these Brooklynites' mix of heavy prog instrumentals acting as a foundation for their singer's almost soulful singing, offering a package similar to the voodoo Clorange used to do so well. Moon Tooth are my favorite prog band I saw this year. Mixing elements from every other style of rock, metal, and hardcore, this band is a beautiful stone soup of styles. Their dedicated clean vocalist soars over top of fierce string tapping and boogieing riffs. Tasty like Mastodon or even Between the Buried and Me but with a sort of playful giddiness.

FUCK that's so many words. Did you read all of them? I probably didn't once I get them out of my head. Again, apologies to all the bands and beautiful wonderful people I didn't get to see play, but as we end this year and begin the next, I'm going to try even harder to make it to more shows and then actually write about them! I wouldn't do this unless I love it, and all the fucking awesome sounds Nashville has to offer. Look for NashVile to hopefully getting back into writing regular articles again.

In the meantime, look for the one article I've managed to put out each year, our Albums Of The Year list, coming soon!

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