Monday, September 15, 2014

Skeletonwitch / Ghoul / Black Anvil @ Empire 9/12/2014

I met up with John and we went to see Skeletonwitch ($18) for a one-two punch of heavy shows (yesterday was Overkill). I saw a bunch of people there too- Patricia and Bobby, Kyler, Annie, Renae, the Sanctuary shirt guy from Overkill, Nathan with a J, Allie, Nicole, Dorothy, Ariel y su mujer, Daniel G, Luke, Mary and Jason, Noc, and Metal Chris.

From a very Cloudy Stage
There were about three hundred people there, it seemed comparable to the Overkill crowd depth, but maybe a little less. There were 2 people in animals masks (chicken, horse) and Patty had her wolf hat, so she fit right in, coincidentally.  All in all not a bad crowd. I think some people were coming the NEXT day for Deceased as well, to make it a 3 show gauntlet (hey, it's been a minute for me)

Merchandise Unleashed
Of Ass and Torment

Merchandise wise, Skeletonwitch was king (Queen?) of the stuff- the horrifying desire to buy would be quenched with many shirts, hoodies, pint glasses ($10, two designs), mesh shorts ($20), panties ($15), patches ($5), back patch, LP, CDs...!!!  Black Anvil had a somber set up with two candles and two CDs. They also had a couple shirts. Ghoul's ghetto cardboard sign boasted clearly written prices of LPs ($15/20), CDs ($10), shirts ($15/20), etc. I somehow didn't get anything.

BLACK ANVIL (no, not that Anvil)

Black Anvil was on first. They had a black metal w/ stoner/retro guitars sound to them. I will say that they were heavy but they should have been louder. I couldn't tell any of the songs apart, until they stopped playing to indicate a new song. The vocals were muddy, but they had a pretty good groove going on. I think more kvlt people may be more into them, but I'm hit and miss with the stoner/retro bands of 'metal' that seem to be more sludgey than the metal I want. I always think of the other Anvil when I hear their name. No one played any solos w/ dildos this evening (Or upside down crosses for that matter). I thought they were decent, but they were really not my thing.

GHOUL
Ghoul, whom I had heard great things about from Lindsey, were up next. I wasn't sure what to expect because I didn't look them up- but basically they were a thrashier Gwar lite. They were pretty amazing and IMO blew Skeletonwitch off the stage. They not only had humour and sacks over their heads, but fake blood, monsters (always a winner), and more energy than a kid with a box of pixie stix. I could only identify a few songs, but I don't think I needed to in order to have fun. The sacks over their heads reminded me of cobra commander, oogie boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas, and the Scarecrow from Batman all at once. They are the type of band that is great live, but it would take a lot of time to appreciate a studio album with what seem to be very samey hardcore songs.

How can you not love a Kill-Bot?

Ghoul started off with some sort of tourist who was navigating Creepsylvania and met an untimely demise due to Baron Samedi (of Voodoo fame). The Baron had a chicken that he was tossing up in the air, and then beheaded it to spurt fake blood at the crowd. He also had an amputated leg to the same effect. There were several other characters including some fascist in black (looking like Karl Ruprecht Kroenen from Hellboy), a maimed biker with a smushed and sliced face who wielded a morning star (Kreig), a Killbot, some sort of hairy monster, and a guest vocalist ("Uncle Shitty"?) who growled out an Agnostic Front cover (apparently). Let's just say this show was fun, outrageous, and violent of course. I think besides the monsters the best part was the fake 'outrage' over the seemingly unjust murder of the Baron by the fascist. One band member declared he was going to create a new hashtag and tweet about it, and then Instagram. The lead vocalist basically called him a moron and told him that wouldn't do anything, that they should BLOW UP THE EMBASSY instead. And then they launched into a song of the same name. I thought their set was really fun, and the crowd was pretty much a whirlwind from start to finish!

Repulsive

Skeletonwitch came on a little earlier than the promoted time, but still put on their longest show yet (1hr, 8 minutes), during which they played like 20 songs. Although the crowd seemed very into it, the copious amounts of obscuring smoke, combined with the lack of a 'show' and some (predictably) undecipherable songs really made this headline set a but less special. It was still fun, but I think I kept comparing them to Ghoul and they were coming up short in everything except guitar solos I think. They kind of have a problem with the samey songs, so over an hour of their set was maybe a bit ... more than I wanted to hear at once? I don't know, I'm torn because I know when I've had enough, but I also want my money's worth in these days of barely an hour long set. But it was still an early show, so I did like that.





Within My Setlist

Skeletonwitch played with minimal breaks between songs. I got a pic of their setlist via Metal Chris, but of course they played a few out of order, and I am not really sure what order some were, comparing my notes to the actual list.  At one point, I believe a fan was getting on the nerves of the frontman, who curtly warned the fan not to try that again, lest he be "knocked on his ass, son." They sustained a portion of the energy that Ghoul had, but it was a different kind. This seemed to have no negative effect on the mosh pits, as I observed from not the floor.
Bonus picture of punching Monsters

Overall, it was a fun night, cheaper than Overkill, and I got see a couple new bands and see some friends that I'd not seen in ages!!!

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Setlists
Black Anvil (8:45- 9:20)
  • ?
  • ?nothing
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
Ghoul (9:35- 10:20) (gracias to Alie!)
  • Intersanctum
  • Mark of Voodoo
  • Blow Up the Embassy
  • Maniaxe
  • Kreeg
  • Spill Your Guts
  • Graveyard Mosh
  • Gut Bucket Blues
  • Rise, Kreegbot, Rise!!!
  • Destructor
  • Victim in Pain (Agnostic Front cover) (setlist says midnight ride of the cannibals tho)
  • As your Casket closes
  • Metallicus Ex Mortis
Skeletonwitch (10:40-11:48) (setlist )
  • More Cruel than weak
  • I Am of Death (Hell Has Arrived)
  • From a Cloudless Sky
  • Burned From Bone
  • Upon Wings of Black
  • Choke Upon Betrayal (played later)
  • Infernal Resurrection
  • Fire From the Sky
  • Stand, Fight, and Die
  • Beneath Dead Leaves
  • Serpents Unleashed
  • This Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill)
  • Crushed Beyond Dust
  • Unending Everliving
  • Cleaver of Souls
  • Beyond the Pemafrost
  • Baptized in Flames
  • Limb from Limb
  • Repulsive Salvation
  • Of Ash and Torment
  • Within my blood
Skeletonwitch set from my notes:
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • Upon Wings of Black
  • Infernal Resurrection
  • ?satan
  • Stand, Fight, and Die
  • Beneath Dead Leaves
  • Serpents Unleashed
  • ?
  • Crushed Beyond Dust
  • Unending Everliving
  • Cleaver of Souls
  • Baptized in Flames
  • ?
  • Beyond the Permafrost
  • Repulsive Salvation
  • Of Ash and Torment
  • Within my Blood