Nile with Immolation, Krisiun and Dreaming Dead at the Beaumont Club

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a metal show, and just about as long since I’ve blogged. I can’t think of a better reason for a new post than a show review.

I spent last weekend up in Omaha visiting family and working on a new (non-metal related) video project with my brother. I had been out late Friday and Saturday, and I had just driven three hours back down to Kansas City on Sunday. It was Sunday night, and it took everything I had to get my ass to this show. But I love Nile, and I wasn’t going to miss them.

I wasn’t really interested in any of the opening acts, so I arrived an hour late and still only missed the fourth band that had been tacked on to the bill. I wish I had missed Dreaming Dead, too. They were okay, but they suffered at the hands of the sound guy (more on that later). I grabbed a beer and waited for Krisiun.

While I was waiting, I contemplated the phenomenon that I had noticed since my first death metal show (Napalm Death and At The Gates in 1996): does the singer talk to the crowd in his “death metal growl” or his normal voice? Or, does he talk in his normal voice, but introduce songs in the “death metal growl”? From my experience, there is no standard. So noted which bands did what during this show:

Dreaming Dead – I wasn’t paying attention, so I don’t know, but I think normal.
Krisiun – Death metal growl the whole time
Immolation – Normal voice the whole time
Nile – Normal voice during crowd banter, then death metal growl when introducing songs

There were quite a few Krisiun t-shirt clad fans in the club, and I soon found myself among them near the front of the stage during their set. Krisiun burst out of the gate, endearing themselves to the crowd with incredibly solid and thrashy death metal. The drummer, Max Kolesne, was especially impressive, pounding out blast beats and double bass drum kicks harder that I’ve ever seen. Lone guitarist Moyses Kolesne was earning his money with a furious, non-stop assault of speed riffs and solos. Most death metal bands feature two guitarists, so it was startling to see one guy shoulder the load. Maybe more bands should try it, it was clearly working for Krisiun. By the end of their short set, I was a fan. I would chalk this up as one of the best metal performances I’ve ever seen, period.

Immolation had the unfortunate luck of following this performance, and they fell flat. Again, the sound was terrible, which prompted me to check out the sound guy in the back of the room. How could Krisiun’s set sound so powerful and clean, and Immolation sound so muddy and flat? I decided to ask the guy working the merch table if each band has their own sound guy, and he confirmed that this was true. I now have a new respect for sound guys.

Nile had no such problem with their sound, and they truly destroyed. They played pretty much every song I wanted to hear, including my favorite – Lashed to the Slave Stick. During slower songs, the riffs rose and fell like chain saws. The drumming was impeccable. My only beef with Nile was Dallas Toler-Wade’s bland interaction with the audience. My feeling is that if you have nothing interesting to say, just play your songs. One thing I will say, though, all the bands were constantly thanking the fans throughout their sets, and one got the impression they were very sincere.

When I’m at these shows, I always marvel at the sheer technical skill that these musicians possess. The combination of speed, plus technicality, plus aggression is truly unique in music. It’s such a cliché, but if people understood what it takes to play good metal music, they would have more respect for it as a musical genre.

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~ by mikehill25 on January 27, 2010.

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