Monday, September 23, 2013

Metanium/ Throwdown Syndicate/ Red Torment @ Cuzco 9/19/2013

So, with so many shows (Death Ray Vision- Frederick, Day of the Beast- Baltimore, Metanium- Hyattsville, probably another one too) on the same day, work eating up too much time, and being tired- the choice was difficult. I eventually decided to hit up Metanium's free album release show at Cuzco in Hyattsville- free, could see Death Ray Vision the next day at Empire. It being in Langley Park, Metanium being a Spanish language metal band, it being free, and not sure how big the place was, I figured I should get there early.

When I got to the restaurant, there were people milling about outside, so I figured the first band had already gone on. I figured wrong, because it was dead empty inside. I was starving, so I got the Pollo Al Vino Con Hongos y una cerveza. It was decent, but not great.  There were not many people inside to start with, about 10 or so, so I was a bit delighted/concerned about the intimate show. People started trickling in, and eventually there were about 80 or so people there. not a bad turnout. If I had known they were running on Hispanic time (like my family does) I would have arrived later!

As I made my way to the door, there was a large security guard out front who did a pretty thorough frisking and ID check. I was having second thoughts if they had actual security here, ain't no one got time for a bar brawl. Nevertheless I stepped inside to find... an empty floor,with 2 burly bouncers stationed near the door. I think Cuzco meant business about no horseplay. There were pool tables in the back of the rather sizable venue, a bar, and an actual stage near the door, with some pretty loud speakers. The DC was blasting hair bands (Cinderella), metal in Spanish (???), and some heavier tracks (Pantera I think) in alternating fashion.

The first band-Red Torment- went on and they seemed pretty green and very young, the frontman/bassist in particular seemed very flustered (looking at their Bookface now, apparently it was their first show). They played mostly if not all covers- but not a good selection of them, for a heavy show. A Radiohead cover? C'mon man. I think it was not a good selection, try some Kiss or Metallica next time. That being said, they were decent- not great, but listenable. I think with a better setlist, or some original material we'd have a better idea of their potential. The crowd reaction was kind of lukewarm.

A bit later, the 3 piece of Throwdown Syndicate went on. It was about 10:45, and I knew this meant a late night if they were JUST starting. There was a tall black guy with dreads as the vocalist/guitarist, a chubby bassist who was totally into it, and a lanky white guy as a drummer. They had a groove metal type of thing going on - their sound kind of reminded me of Otep's "Battle Ready." That kind of groove, I was kind of digging, but the vocals were just shouted over it, and didn't really flow well. To me, all their songs sounded the same. However, they def brought the energy. The bassist in particular was lovin' it, I was having a ball watchin' him hustle. They kind of killed whatever momentum they started to have when they just... spent a long time between each song, just waiting or catching their breath or whatever, I don't know. Distortion or just quiet gaps seemed very awkward. A small portion of about 10 or so people took to the floor for them, and at one point a sloppy pit broke out, with Security no where to be found. The one song title I caught was something about "Ghetto Metal" or "Groove Ghetto Metal." I guess that's about right.

Around this time, some guy had some remark about my long hair, glasses, and beard making me look like John Lennon, cabron! My first reaction was...time to shave. I told him my nose was different than his in some rusty Spanish. Well it was decent enough for most of the night, as I ordered food and got a CD ($10). Another odd thing was the language flow- the MC and Metanium both wavered between English and Spanish addressing the crowd. I thought that very odd as clearly 90+ % of the crowd was Hispanic/Latino (who may or may not have actually spoken Spanish). A couple patrons shouted at the MC to speak in Spanish, which made me crack up. This gentleman, in the Suicide Silence hoodie, and I had a short exchange in Spanish and we basically decided that I could probably address the crowd a bit more consistently (not sure if I would have been able to after a few drinks).  Metanium had shirts and CDs for sale. I saw a TON of people with their shirts, which was pretty cool for them- they announced about halfway thru the show that they were sold out of some sizes (XL and L I think). Maybe I shoulda grabbed a shirt too?

I was def getting sleepy/antsy by the time Metanium came on, a quarter to midnight. But as they took the stage, I was feeling pretty re-energized. They sounded pretty good, and threw in some pretty damn well executed covers in. Particularly "Heaven and Hell," despite some Engrishy moments was pretty killer. Their singer can really wail, the guitarists laid down solos, the drummer smashed the hell out of the skins, and the bassist kept the rhythm (and the keyboard I unfortunately could not hear a lot of). These guys are some true metal dudes (and chica). If you are not familiar with their sound, Metanium is some classic/old school heavy metal or true metal. This is straight ahead, no frills, uncomplicated metal. Speaking of true metal, they threw in a Manowar cover as well- "Warriors of the World," which was very fitting. 

For their ballad "Hace Mucho Tiempo," The keyboardist played an acoustic guitar and the drummer brought out a ukelele. The drummer also had a conch shell, which he blew into for the intro of "Alma de Guerrero," which was something I don't think I've seen/heard before at a metal show. The crowd kind of slowly got into the performance, and "Hace..." and "Marcha ..." were def the songs that got the most reaction. 

The set went on, and they played their entire album along with several covers. The singer started out very strong, but by the last couple of songs, he was sounding a little rough and the entire band was pretty tired looking. Who can blame him, for that tiring set, at a late hour, and so many high notes!  A few things were off, like the solo for "Holy Diver," where the lead guitarist was going to goin into it... and then we heard nothing. I think he missed the pedal or some connection was off. The other parts of the solo were caught up with, but it kind of sucked that that unfortunate event happened. Other than that, the band was pretty tight, though I only recall a couple times where I could make out the keyboards.

Another point about security- near the end of Metanium's set, a couple fans climbed up on stage and decided to quasi-stage dive/ fall. To Metanium's credit, they more or less ignored the disruption and continued playing, despite looking a little nervous. A little after, a couple of intoxicated fans climbed up and got all up ons the bass player, who was visibly disturbed by this. The singer nervously asked where security was, but thankfully the fans just wanted a picture with the cute bass player. After that, the show went on. It just seemed security was never there when there could have potentially been a problem.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable show, despite how late it went on X_X. If you can get past the language barrier (unless you already know some Spanish), then I completely recommend to see these guys live if you get a chance. I may try to translate this, but I don't think my skills are that strong.

Next show: Death Ray Vision @ Empire

Metanium and the open floor, filling up
Metanium \m/
Metanium kickin' ass
Metanium finishing up
Some official photographer had some killer shots


Red Torment (9:21- 9:50)
  • Creep (Radiohead cover)
  • ? (cover)
  •  Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
  • Smells like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover)

Throwdown Syndicate (10:46- 11:14)
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • Ghetto Metal?

Metanium (11:48- 1:20)
  • Al Filo de Metal
  • Perdiendo El Control
  • Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath cover)
  • Veneno Mortal
  • Enter Sandman (Metallica cover)
  • Sangra El Corazon
  • I Want Out (Helloween cover)
  • Allegory of the Cave (Instrumental)
  • Hace Mucho Tiempo
  • La Marcha Vikinga
  • Victimas De La Religion
  • Warriors of the World (Manowar cover)
  • Alma de Guerrero
  • Holy Diver (Dio Cover)