Monday, July 29, 2013

The Agonist / Fallen Martyr/ Demiz/ March to Victory/ Area 52 @ Cafe 611

After a long holiday, we came back to MD to catch The Agonist and a bunch of local bands at Cafe 611 ($15). I'm not a big Agonist fan, but I guess we didn't feel like going all the way to Baltimore to see Incantation et al. We ended up seeing several people including Scott, Paul n Christine, and Dorothy! And Zach of course!

 At the high point there were about 50-60  people. Not bad, but not great. We actually got there pretty early for a Fredneck show- and saw 5 bands (!)- so money wise I don't think one can really complain about that.  The Agonist had a few shirts, some CDs... Fallen Martyr had some merch too.

Area 52 (actually the second time seeing them recently) was better this time around. They had less BS going on, but they did bring their inflatable alien (which I think could have been better utilized. They sounded OK, still the faux Arsis, and a bit rough. They seemed tighter this time, and it flowed a lot better (perhaps because they stuck to playing, mostly). Their best sounding song was still 'Liberator.' They were giving out free CDs with 3 songs on them, so I grabbed one of them. Still rough sounding, but not too bad. I think a friend said it best- he can see these kids cutting their teeth on Area 52 and then going on to bigger and better things. We'll see.

March to Victory (second time seeing these guys, but it's been a while) from PA were on next... and they had a new singer- a larger woman with blood on her face (??), instead of the older guy who looked like the Jungle Rot frontman. Any preconception of this woman was thrown out the window, when the sweet sounds of harsh vox emitted from her- she sounded way better than that other guy and perhaps with a bit more energy as well. They were possibly the best of the night, despite having a short set and it was basically half covers. But they sounded sufficiently heavy, and their Death (!!!) covers were spot on. The "Crystal Mountain" cover sounded GREAT (my favourite Death Song). I am looking forward to seeing them again sometime.

Demiz was on next, and they were a motley crew. One guy had a red Subway shirt on, another had a huge spiked gauntlet, and the vocalist looked like a 'hardcore/metalcore kid. About half of them had black facepaint on (not quite corpse paint but I think they were trying). Thankfully, their ramshackle appearance belied their pretty solid set. It was a thrashy black metal sound that these guys were going for. Pretty good, very tight, but no song really stood out to me. Enjoyable, but kind of forgettable. The highlight of their set was a song called 'The Last Stand,' which was their 'Viking Metal' song, which was entirely different from the rest of their set and very Amon Amarthy- easily their best song.

Fallen Martyr, who we last saw ages ago, was on next- and they were certainly the...least conventional... of the night. They had some big banners with their logo and art and I was curious as how they were going to fit TWO on that tiny stage. I think they sounded better this time, but they still.... are not my cup of tea. Their singer looked like a clean cut guy in a suit jacket (with kanji on the back), skinny tie, short hair, glasses. I think they reminded me of Linkin Park for some reason- the sometimes clean singing sounding annoying and the background quasi-electronic ambient noises at some parts probably. There were some decently heavy guitar parts, so I liked that- but just when I would start to get into one, the singing would start or the tempo would change. I could NOT get into them still. I think my comment from last time still applies about this singer not being a good match for this eclectic blend of music. However, the crowd seemed to dig them and were audibly loud and mostly into it, so maybe its just me? This is not to take a jab at the singer's ability OR the players. They were talented, but no sir, I didn't like it.

The Agonist took a hella long time to come on and had a very short set (about 50 minutes). I don't know what took them so long (40 minutes set change), but I was pretty tired after the beverages, the traveling, the many bands before, and sitting down. They finally came on, and the crowd had a decent response. I realized I don't think I really know any Agonist songs. I've seen them before a couple times, and both times I was underwhelmed... I do recall their latest album (Prisoners) sounded the most solid of all the songs I've heard from them. I found it no surprise that those songs that I could identify from that album were the best sounding to me. They sounded loud, but Alissa's vocals were in and out on several songs. The rest of the band sounded OK, but overall it was kind of a lackluster headline set. Alissa looked angry for some reason- I don't know why, but maybe cause of the attendance? Lack of sing alongs to their songs? Grumpy? It made her performance a little annoying, IMO. On later songs, from their latest album, the whole band sounded more cohesive and even a bit clearer somehow. Songs where Alissa waas singing and the guitar players got meatier parts were def the best.  I was expecting a little more I guess.

Just realized we saw 2 Kamelot backup singers back to back.

Overall, it was a longer show than anticipated- perhaps a bit disappointing headliner wise. It was nice to get our, see people, hear some bands, but that makes it 3/3 times that I've seen The Agonist and have been underwhelmed. I dunno if I'd go see another headliner set from them. I wish we had decided sooner to get the $10 tix that some bands were offering. OH WELL.

Next Show: Mayhem Fest 2013

March to Victory
Fallen Martyr
The Agonist Alissa
The Agonist n stuff
The Agonist
The Agonist far away

Area 52  (included...)
  • Liberator
March to Victory (9:08- 9:28)
  • ?
  • Souless
  • Crystal mountain (Death)
  • Consumption
  • The Philosopher (Death)

Demiz 9:45-10:11
  •  ?
  • The Chosen Few
  • ?
  • ?
  • ? (doom)
  • Last Stand (amon amarth sounding)
  • ?

 Fallen Martyr (10:36- 11:09)
  •  ?
  • Doubt
  • ? ... tonight we are as one
  • ? til the end
  • ?
  • Body of Light

The Agonist 11:51 - 12:42
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • The Tempest (The Siren's Song; The Banshee's Cry)
  • Predator & Prayer
  • Dead Ocean
  • The Escape
  • Business Suits and Combat Boots

want another opinion?