of all, I must confess to making it to the show a bit late, so
I only caught the last song from Fort Wayne heavyweights ::
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH :: I am however, somewhat familiar with
the band's recorded work. On CD, the band's major influences appear
to be Machine Head, Fear Factory, Pantera, older Sepultura etc.
to give you an idea of the school of metal the band comes from.
From what I saw though, they appeared to have done a great job
in getting the audience worked up as a mosh pit was already visible!
It was during the band's last song that I said to myself, "Damn...
something tells me this going to be a HELL of a show!" Boy was
I right. Even though the place wasn't exactly packed to the rafters,
I could really feel the audience's energy building. I enjoyed
what I saw and heard from INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH and will
definitely see them live again if I get the chance. They thanked
the audience for coming and for showing their support and then
stepped off stage to give the next act time to set up.
headed upstairs to the bar for a drink. You see, this was an all
ages show therefore no alcohol could be consumed in the venue.
Stupid American laws. Anyway, the show was in a place called "The
Basement". Directly above the basement in the same building is
a bar called "Sneaky Pete's". And Sneaky Pete's just happened
to have NewCastle Brown Ale on tap this evening! :-) But, not
to bore you with the details here, I had a beer or three and headed
back downstairs for the next band.
that band was :: PSYCHOTOGEN
:: And boy, did PSYCHOTOGEN ever kick all our
asses!!! Never having heard them, or even hearing OF them... I
wasn't really sure what to expect. What I got was a technical,
brutal, death/grind act that again, really kicked me in the fucking
head!!!! The band hails from Baltimore, Maryland in the U.S. and
contains a former member of death metal act Pessimist. According
to the band's bio " imagine putting Atheist, Cynic and Nevermore
in a blender with Dillinger Escape Plan, Morbid Angel, Nile, and
Death; then add some Haldol and pure grain alcohol. Inject that
black, sludgy mix directly into your veins... THAT is some idea
of what is waiting for you!" Which I must say is probably a fairly
accurate description, although the band definitely has a sound
all it's own. The guys all commanded an awesome stage presence
as well... no member stayed in one place for too long and the
singer was a complete madman as he climbed amps and thrashed about.
I watched and banged from the front row for a few songs, however
had to move back a bit after my foot got stepped on by a bloodcrazed
mosher! The band never ceased to impress not just me, but the
entire audience! I thought it was pretty cool to look around and
see some "normal" looking teenage kids, along with the kids in
their Korn and Slipknot gear really getting into the band's performance.
And who could blame them!? The drummer was tight, the bass playing
fluid and very fitting to the band's music and the guitar riffs
sliced through my ears like razor blades! And again, singer Rob
was amazing as his vocal styles alternated between the really
low death bellow/growl and a higher pitched snarl. His vocals
at times sort of reminded me of Lord Worm (former singer for technical
death metal faves Cryptopsy). At one point during the band's set,
Rob commented on how impressed he was with the audience in Fort
Wayne and how we'd given the band a better response than they
are used to getting doing gigs in their area! They put on an extremely
impressive performance, my only complaint being that they couldn't
have played for longer than 45 minutes at the most and I for one,
would have loved to have heard more. Death-heads and fans of heavy
music in general, this is definitely a band to keep an eye on.
My favorite tunes of their set were probably Death Of The Old
Ways and Follow Me (Into Hell). They have information,
CD's, and lots of other cool stuff at their website www.psychotogen.com
Please do yourselves a favor and check it out.
PSYCHOTOGEN's set, I stumbled back up to the bar to catch
my breath, check out some girls and quench my thirst! I found
it kind of funny as I was up there... they had a sperate band
playing in the bar where the obviously non-metal patrons were
this evening. While they had some pool players and barflys on
the scene tonight, there was a total of about 3 people watching
this band. 2 hefty ladies and some jabroni in a Metallica shirt.
Go figure. And this band sucked first class, let me just say.
Bunch of hippies doing Dave Matthews and Phish covers. All I can
hope is that this band heard the sounds of hell the REAL bands
downstairs were emenating! They probably all went home and cried
about the metalheads downstairs outplayed, outclassed, and most
of all outdrew them! But hey, they got heckled by a big kid in
a Slayer shirt so at least they got some attention.
after a bit more o' the Newcastle, I headed back downstairs for
:: !!! The band was still tuning up when I got down
there, but it didn't take long before the smoke machine started,
the lights dimmed to an eerie shade and Fog began it's black metal
onslaught! And let me tell you folks, this band SLAYED tonight.
I curse shame upon myself for having never seen them live before...
due to the fact that they play black metal and hail from my hometown
of Fort Wayne! They've done several shows here over the last year,
however shit life circumstances (everything from car trouble to
tornadoes) had prevented me from ever seeing them live before.
And I was impressed. Totally. And I usually don't impress easy!!
As a matter of fact, I would like to say just for the record that
FOG is to my ears, the best American black metal band right
now. I've heard them called "Emperor without the keyboards", but
that doesn't do them any justice. The band definitely has a style
all their own. And it is most definitely 100% METAL!!! These dudes
don't wear corpse make-up. They don't bow to any pre-coceived
black metal trends. And they don't fuck around. The smoke and
the eerie lights helped their stage presence alot, almost giving
it kind of a mysterious almost occult type of atmosphere. The
band played for about an hour and again, DEFINITELY could have
played longer. The band played material from their album Through
The Eyes Of Night. I was able to stay pretty close to
the stage for FOG and only had to move out of mosher's
way a couple times. Hey, before you laugh the reason for that
is I was wearing Birkenstock sandles as opposed to steel toed
Doc Martins. I know... not very metal of me is it!? Anyway, back
to the band's performance... it was absolutely crushing. FOG
just destroyed!!! The band's material came over EXTREMELY well
live (which doesn't always happen with alot of black metal bands)
and it was faith affirming to observe the misguided Korn kids
really getting into the black metal screaming at them from the
stage above! FOG is a band I definitely look forward to
seeing live again, PSYCHOTOGEN as well. However, this evening
was truly FOG's night. The band showed us all why they
were the headliners, the main event if you will. Their music spoke
for it's self and I can't wait to hear their forthcoming new release
due sometime this year. Until then, I would suggest that anyone
who wants to hear some real American black metal from the best
band doing it right now (I know the term "real American black
metal" probably sounds weird, but bear with me) to pick up FOG's
debut CD Through The Eyes Of Night. You won't regret
it. Guitarist Atziluth Voluspa was especially cool as he hung
out a bit after the show to talk to fans.
in all a great night for metal here in the Fort! Let's hope shows
like this are not so few and far between in the future. Hails
to FOG, PSYCHOTOGEN and INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH for
an excellent show!