Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Iris Divine / MindMaze/ Division / Vitality @ Cafe 611 12/6/2014

I went to see Iris Divine with other bands up in Frederick at Cafe 611 ($10). I was pretty excited because both MindMaze and Iris Divine have new albums that were recently released. This was going to be an uptick to a pretty dark and dreary rainy night. I did see a few people I knew there- Tom, Bobbie and Nick, The Teets, and Chris J.

I wasn't sure what the draw would be (Iris Divine had a show the previous night in Fairfax that I missed), but it really wasn't a lot. There were about 50-60 people there (including bands) at the high point, but dwindled to about half of that at the end of the night.

Merchandisewise, MindMaze had their "Mask of Lies" ($12), their latest "Back From the Edge" ($15), and shirts. Iris Divine had a small table with their latest "Karma Sown" ($12) and some shirts. Vitality was giving out CDs and had shirts for $10. A pretty small set up but adequate. I grabbed the new MindMaze disc, as I was waiting for my Kickstarter package from Iris Divine.

Vitality was the first band I would see this evening- I had last seen them at another small local show. They strolled out to the Top Gun theme (which was pretty ridiculous and maybe a little self indulgent). I actually think they sounded better at that show than this evening- the sound issues plagued this evening. Again, the vocals were energetic but incomprehensible and the twin guitars were a treat for the very Black Dahlia Murder esque Vitality. A pretty good start for the evening of local metal, IMO. My buddy also noticed that the one guitarist could be my older (more muscular) brother!

Division (whom I hadn't seen in years!) was up next. They have been around a while and are def a band with more releases (4) than Vitality (a newer band), and I think they said they'd been around for about 20 years! I remember their "Eleventh Hour" song, but that's about all I knew of theirs. Division has a classic/power metal vibe, with twin guitars that seemed to be tighter (more experience?) than Vitality. Something was up with the sound, because the one Division guitarist kept on demanding more in the monitors and/or other such items on almost every song. During one song he ran with his guitar to the sound table to have a short chat with the sound guy! Apart from that fussiness, a pretty solid set from them. They are working on a new album and played a couple 'new' songs, but really most songs were new to me besides the one I recognized. During the last song I think, I noticed a paper airplane fly towards me and land at my foot. I picked it up and it was the Division setlist.

At this point I huffed it to 7-11 to get some cash to get some merch. It wasn't too far away but it was miserable out. I made it back a few minutes before MindMaze started up. Things were running a bit late this evening, but the set changeover times seemed standard.

MindMaze from Pennsylvania was up next, I was eagerly awaiting getting to see them live again. This brother and sister team formed the backbone of the classic/power metal band they call "MindMaze." Their performance was similar to last time (at Primal Fear), it started off a little rough but when they got into it, it was pretty riveting. The difference was this time, there were surprise surprise, sound issues- the guitar was perhaps overpowering the vocals, and the wireless mics taht Singer Sarah brought seemed to fail at the most inopportune times. The powerful female vocals were marred by this and lessened my enjoyment of their set. Jeff Teet's guitar work, front and center this evening, was remarkably full for 1 guitar (a newly bought Les Paul according to social media), and I was confounded how good it sounded for being a single guitar. I still would like to hear some twin leads on MindMaze's songs, but only time will tell.


MindMaze was well received (what do you expect with 2 Teets on the stage?), and there was a 2 or 3 drunk person tiny pit on like the 2nd song. During another song, one guy jumped on another's shoulders (a la Doomsday Device ) and went for a run in the pit area. Surprisingly no one was injured and the guy was short enough to not hit his head on one of the ceiling beams. The same guy also tumbled on the floor during one song as well. Their setlist was mostly songs I recognized (not a bad thing), and I was familiar with nearly all the songs. The guitarists and singer had a sweet triple twist rock move on the last song as well which blew my mind. The last song was a Riot cover (apparently, as the vocals were not very distinguishable thank you sound system), and as I was trying to figure out what song it was to me it sounded a lot like a track from A Sound of Thunder! If only the sound was cooperating, this would have been better. Performance wise, none of the band were slouches I must note.

Iris Divine finally came on and played for about an hour. They played mostly new songs (even some new songs that were not even on the newly released new album!). I would have liked to hear "Broken," but everything they played sounded very good. The vocals were also drowned out a bit by the drums and bass, but the instruments all sounded pretty amazing. They sounded even better than last time at the Ottobar I think. The crowd had thinned out a bit around the time they took the stage, which was unfortunately, but those who remained dug it. These guys were pretty flawless on each of their instruments, I loved it. I got updates that there were 3 songs at the end (after Icon) that I only had 1 noted. But it was from the band themselves, so I gotta believe that!

Overall it was a pretty solid night of local metal, with some hiccups unfortunately. It was a bit of a trip out and not too many people attended, but I certainly had a good time. Let's hope each of these bands gets some traction - this evening was full of talent!

Next Show:  Crowbar w/ Black Crown Initiate?

Vitality (8:24- 8:57) 

  • Tears of Sorrow
  • ?
  • Back to Blood
  • ?
  • Cry of the Nord
  • ?
  • ?

Division (9:22- 9:52ish)

  • Hunt
  • Children of the Stone
  • Alpha (new song)
  • Eleventh hour
  • Angerman
  • Icon (new)
  • United we Fall
  • World Decay
  • Short Attention Span Society

  • Back from the Edge 
  • Consequence of Choice 
  • Through the Open Door 
  • This Holy War 
  • Destiny Calls 
  • End of Eternity 
  • Dreamwalker 
  • Never Look Back 
  • Warrior  (Riot cover)

Iris Divine (11:23-12:24)

  • In Spirals
  • Fire of the Unknown
  • A Suicide Aware
  • Gnosis (new song)
  • Mother's Prayer
  • Fall (never played live before)
  • Catalyst (new)
  • In the Wake of Martyrs
  • The Everlasting Sea