From Iceland — To Ride, Shoot Straight...

To Ride, Shoot Straight…

Published September 3, 2009

To Ride, Shoot Straight…

Entombed are holed up in their dressing room, busy rehearsing a stand-in bassist, as mainstay Nico Elgstrand had a baby just the previous Monday. Not needing the practice, singer Petrov, by his own admission drunk since the AM, is sat on a bench outside Iðnó amusing himself with drink and a cell phone recording of himself playing the piano (rather virtuously I might add).
Inside, stoner rockers Brain Police are serving a slab of stoner rock in the key of stoner rock. That being the case, it all sounds like an endless stoner rock medley, stoner rock being too damn lazy ever to have evolved to the level of song-writing. The thought strikes that they´re perhaps too perpetually stoned to realise they´re over. The audience though—by dint of not showing up—must have.  Next, please.
Dr. Spock, proud purveyors of novelty and nonsense, are first and foremost a raging live act, and as such truly a sight to behold. Two singers strong and armed with gimmicks galore, the band rip the near deserted venue several new ones. Moustachioed string bean vocalist Óttar Proppé looks like he´s leading a Bavarian hoe-down while his squealing counterpart, recovering fat fuck Finni, looks like the live performance cardiovascular workout burns more obesity per hour of vocal outburst than any fiery furnace in hell.
Their drummer, armed with more chops than the entire Icelandic lamb farming industry, regularly paces the stage as if never having been taught his proper place. The band often lapse into what might be called a more mainstream version of early D.E.P mixed with any random Patton project, and only stray from their  path of aural transgression when launching into bluesy Beach Boys laden fare and the odd, bizarre, passage of left field reggae renderings.
Sororicide, legacy and legend wrapped in a neat brutal bundle, are performing tonight with something resembling the original line-up for the first time since… since pretty much the first couple weeks of the Icelandic death metal scene. Their shit being ancient, I fear the material could be merely a heap of over-hyped lore. Seldom have I been so wrong. Uncommonly tight and old school as a all hell, they pull out a show so fluid and utterly groovy that the sheer technicality and hairpin turns of modern death metal seem by comparison oh so boring. Leaving Entombed with a fuckload of work cut out for them, Sororicide turn back time to the blastbeat’s heyday, all the while bewildering the audience by featuring a guitarist dressed and coiffured such that egregious Britpop ought to issue offensively from his strings.
Entombed, plagued by awful sound and minimal atmosphere, disappointed horribly. As this Friday show’s slow fizzling burn gave rise to harsh criticism, and the sold out Saturday performance exploded like a series of clusterbomb blasts, we’ll pretend Friday night never happened and launch right into a review of their incendiary Saturday night onslaught.
Stand-in bassist Victor Brandt of Satyricon and Totalt Jävla Helvetes Förbannat Svart Skit Mörker För Fan, now three gigs deep and hitting his stride, contributes his fair share of damage to the all consuming obliteration perpetrated by the band, and the stellar sound production lent added force to the gravity of frightening doses of death n’ roll riffage cast in lead. The sold out venue teems with aural orgasm and a pit erupts like equal parts violence, chaos and mayhem reaching a boiling point. Life and limbs flail every which way and from the depths of a rapturous melee of ecstatic flesh and bone, spread with a layer of hell-bent crowd surfing, bodies are randomly and unexpectedly catapulted at chairs, tables and fellow citizens. Keeping drinks safely confined to glasses becomes akin to a herculean feat, as liquid spurts everywhere like high velocity splatter born from collision atop jarring collision.
Entombed, sitting on a huge discography, run the gamut of releases, pulling off a masterful balance act of a set that combines old with new with raw with crushing. Opener “Chief Rebel Angel” kindles more audience passion than most numbers, but tracks off of DCXLXVI: To Ride… fall like a rain of bricks and satisfy at least your humble narrator. Interspersed with early Left Hand Path era material the barrage culminates with “When in Sodom,” a track all the more potent tonight when being wielded at a club bearing the name Sódóma.  

  • Who: Entombed, Dr. Spock, Brian Police
  • Where: Iðnó and Sódóma
  • When: 21.08.2009 – 22.08.2009
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