From Iceland — Shorts, Beer-guts & Blastbeats

Shorts, Beer-guts & Blastbeats

Published February 13, 2009

Shorts, Beer-guts & Blastbeats
Owing to the fact that by some freak accident of nature the promoter managed to stick to the posted schedule, I rob myself of the always enjoyable Celestine, whose Cult of Neurosis style post-metal (for lack of a better definition) was probably as devastating in its heaviness and despair as usual. But better that than sit through all six bands – a practice in concert promotion I find a bit over the top, if not outright obnoxious.
Last on stage, before the imminent destruction that is The Black Dahlia Murder, are local veterans Severed Crotch. I never tire of likening Severed Crotch to Gorguts and I find myself doing so once again here. As the Crotch – sans one guitarist who is home sick –send the audience spiralling into the depths of unfathomable technicality, I am left with the sad feeling that this band – which reportedly rehearses drunk in order to better emulate the live setting – will probably keep toiling forever in the relative obscurity that is the Icelandic metal scene. This seems to me a bitter fate, as the band could hands down take on any band out there, even the awestounding (to coin a word) Psycroptic, whose latest Aussiesome (i.e. something that is simultaneously Australian and awesome) record I’m imbibing at the time of writing.
Men handling guitars
After Severed Crotch sign off with the declaration that the audience is a bunch of mother bastards, Trevor Strnad – donning only shorts and a beer gut – and his cohorts in the ever revolving line-up of members that is The Black Dahlia Murder take the stage. The newest member comes to them by way of Arsis (which is a good sign) and he manhandles the lead guitar tonight in his debut appearance.
BDM are an exercise in extremes on plastic but not so much on stage. Sure they don’t hew to the Death Metal maxim of standing forever still and headbanging, but as Strnad impressively shreds his vocal cords both in a high pitched screech and a rumbling growl, I’m am left wishing that the axemen would join him in pacing the stage and showing some emotion.
As the music rushes forth like At the Gates in the third power, pits start forming like eddies in a river and towards the end of the set Trevor orchestrates a wall of death, which proves suitably violent – and that inspires flourishes of stage dives to crowd surfs. As the drummer – whose blastbeats reign nearly uninterrupted – seems at the end of his tether and in a pool of sweat, the band, who have gone through material from all albums, gear down for the final song, but not after thanking the crowd and asking us to score them some weed; the better to usher the band into sweet sleep.

  • Who: Black Dhalia Murder, Severed Crotch
  • Where: Dillon Sportbar, Hafnafjörður
  • When: Thursday, January 15
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