Monday, March 31, 2014

Day of the Beast/ Vitality/ Death Penalty @ The Lab 3/29/2014

I was convinced to stop by The Lab in Alexandria to see Day of the Beast ($9). The Lab is some sort of converted space that is used by some church in the area, so there is not alcohol/drugs/etc. there, and its got an early curfew (10PM). There were actually a number of people I knew there- Sean, Tom, Steve Harris!, Brian B, Metal Chris, Miss Annie, Ethan, DanP( Mr Day at the Beach), Danica, and Chris J.


There were about 15 people by the time Death Penalty started, and it got to about 40 as the night went on. I imagine that the horrible rain def deterred some people. Others probably went to TesseracT (early) or I think Metal Chris mentioned a Black Clouds show in DC.  Either way, the turnout could have been better, but those factors influenced it. The lights started dimming after Death Penalty, which made for a difficult picture taking exercise as well as reducing the visibility of the bands.

The venue is some sort of converted space for a church or used to be a church (or both). I didn't see the maximum occupancy, but I think about 120 would be the max. There were chairs stacked on one side, a couple bathrooms behind the stage (behind a wall that is), and in the back, near the entrance there were some pretty nice dedicated spaces for merch/entry tally/payment. A water cooler also was near one of the merch tables. At the front there were several large and nice sounding speakers. The lighting was an issue (see above), but was fine when it wasn't dimmed. The stage was slightly raised, and there really wasn't enough room to be too far from it.  Not a bad set up at all.

Merch- Vitality had a shirt, and Day of the Beast had a few shirts, 2 CDs ($10 each), and a HOT SAUCE! I got the 2 DOTB CDs, I couldn't resist.

Death Penalty took the stage a quarter after 7, so we got a late start :/  They had some issues with the mixing, the vocals and the guitars were way too low. The bass and drums sounded fine (minus the bass being Iron Maiden high in the mix). There were several guitar solos that I thought were nigh unhearable, which I disliked.  They threw in a Metallica cover that sounded alright, minus the sound issues :/  Several of the songs (War, Nuklear Kiss) sounded pretty distinctive and that could bode well for their upcoming album. I apparently last saw them in 2012, but not sure if the lineup was the same or not.


Vitality had a very Black Dahlia Murder vibe, with requisite killer dual guitars!  The last time I saw them they opened for Arkona. I enjoyed their sound then, but this time they were even better, def these guys have grown a bit tighter.  They basically sounded like  Black Dahlia Murder, but I could not tell you what any of their songs were about.  I thought the vocalist was a little out of place visually (scene/hipster lookin'), but performance wise I couldn't complain about his enthusiasm or energy.  He had a little honey bear, which he def needed in between songs. All in all, I am excited to hear more from these guys, guitarwork in particular! They def fixed the mix because the twin guitars were pretty clear and well appreciated. I recall them maybe not having a bassist tho... that was kind of odd.

The Day of the Beast stormed on the stage after a surprisingly quick changeover (17 minutes!).  I have missed them several times before (conflicts, etc.)- almost a Halestorm amount of times.  They went on without much fanfare, shredding into their thrashy death metal (with almost blackened vocals) with no remorse. They reminded me a bit of Skeletonwitch, tho their songs sounded more distinctive. They have some sort of horror/occult/ fantasy bend to their lyrics.  The guitars were good, but IMO the sweet dual guitars of Vitality were very hard to follow up. Regardless, they were relentless and combined with the drums didn't give the crowd any break from the fast paced thrashing! The vocalist Steve Harris (no, not THAT Steve Harris) stalked the stage, pacing around and leering at the crowd during guitar leads, I thought that was pretty intense.  The musclebound bassist reminded me of Kane Roberts and his bass looked rather fragile in his tattooed tree trunks of arms.  So a pretty solid band, there was finally some thrashing during a song or 2, with not too many people, but I def almost got caught in that mosh (what is it?).

I did not stay the whole time, but I got the rest of the DOTB setlist below. I left to catch TesseracT at Empire, who would be starting around 10, after 5 (!!) opening bands.  Next time I perhaps will see a full set of DOTB.  Overall a pretty decent show,  nice small venue, good sound.


Next show: same night... TesseracT!!!

Photos:

Death Penalty
Vitality
Day of the Beast

Setlists:

Death Penalty (7:16- 7:48)
  • War
  • ? Edge of ?
  • Creeping Death (Metallica Cover)
  • ?
  • Nuklear Kiss

Vitality (8:33- 9:00)
  •  ?
  • ?
  • ? (piano intro- I think this was Back to Blood)
  • ?( black metal start)
  • ?(intro stomp)
  • ? (godzilla type intro)
 Day of the Beast (9:17-  (left early, around 9:40)
  • Diabolic Separation From Hope  
  • Unknown Kadath
  • He Who Shuns the Light
  • Beyond Choronzon
  • Predators Path (Left after this)
  • The Destroying Eye
  • The Paralyzed Hand
  • Black Metal (Venom cover) 
  • Upon The Throne
  • Relentless Demonic Intrusion