Haven't been spending too much time on the information superhighway lately, which isn't really a bad thing I guess. It just means I'm kind of out of the loop when it comes to internet news and trivia and also, well, I haven't been updating this blog as much as I would have liked to. I'm working on an interview with the incredible Harm's Way though, so that should pop up here soon(ish). In the meantime head to their myspace page to listen to a brandnew song called "Fantasy". Early 90's Earache/death metal vibes if you ask me. This song sounds so fucking heavy and it's real epic... I like epic.
The last couple of months were filled with some touring (Rise And Fall/Trapped Under Ice and Floorpunch/True Colors) and a lot of time off. I'm going to be working again soon so I'm kinda trying to cherish the freedom I have right now to read a bunch of books, see a bunch of movies and hang. Both tours were great, on various levels. Well attended shows and a lot of quality people to talk to and spend time with.
The last show of the Floorpunch/True Colors trip was in Antwerp, Belgium. This day was also marked in calendars as the last Rhythm To The Madness show ever. An understandable goodbye from a band that I feel never really reached their full potential. I love both records but I feel like this band could've have actually gone places instead of fizzling out. Wasn't meant to be I guess. True Colors are breaking up fairly soon too, their last show is on May 22nd so don't miss out. They will be heading to the States for a last US tour next week as well.
In between both tours I also got to see the re-united doom legends we all know as Saint Vitus and that show was off the hook. They opened up with "Living Backwards"/"I Bleed Black"/"Window Pane" (if memory serves me right) and were on a roll for pretty much the rest of their set. Only lost a little momentum when they gave their new drummer some time to shine and well, maybe Dave Chandler could've cut down on the inbetween song feedbacking a little but hey, I'm not really complaining. Wino without a guitar is quite the sight too. He's a giant. In every sense of the word. Great night. I don't think I'll see a lot of better shows this year.
About a week ago I hit the road with fellow bloggers J. Dog and Big Phil (ahum) to see Madball & Terror in Germany and then MF Doom in Brussels the day after. Terror was spot on live, as usual, killing it in front of what must've been a little over 700 people. Solid setlist with choice cuts from every record, starting off with "Out Of My Way" which happens to be a favorite of mine. It definitely did the trick in Germany. I remember first hearing this (then unreleased) song in Arnhem, Holland at the legendary Goudvishal in 2002... It felt like getting hit with a brick. Anyway, Terror are definitely still one of my favorite live bands these days. No new songs though tonight, but I'm more than curious to hear their upcoming "Keepers Of The Faith" album. On to Madball then, who I can't remember to have ever disappointed me live, and what I said about Terror definitely applies to Madball as well. Weird how some people had already left but ya know... If you can't appreciate a dose of Madball I guess I can't help you either. Freddy controlled the stage, controlled the crowd and delivered as always. Newer songs blend in easily with older classics and I enjoyed all of it. Madball seem to have a new album coming this year as well. Sweet.
MF Doom was a slightly different experience. I've been to my share of hip hop shows so I know how those usually turn out kinda disappointing... However in Doom's case, the actual show was definitely solid. Visuals, a real DJ, a lot of onstage activity and energy, with Doom wearing that crazy golden mask, rappin' relentlessly. So far, so good. However, the lack of real bangers/anthems did prevent me from really loving it. Now I know that all of this - his own flow and storytelling skills - set Viktor Vaughn apart from most, plus the lack of singles or catchy choruses and what not, but still. What bothered me the most though was waiting for one hour and a half for the man to hit the stage, in a room that was sold out, packed with idiots and filled with cigarette smoke. The wait really did half ruin the show. I'll forgive the guy. Method Man next sunday better be real good though.
One of the most thrilling shows in recent memory though must've been the first ever Blind To Faith show on March 6th. This show took place at the legendary Pits in Kortrijk, Belgium. A venue the size of your average living room, that has hosted a crazy range of shows, from New Bomd Turks to Gorilla Biscuits to Dead Stop. Rumour has it that when the Crowbar/Eyehategod tour in '92 stopped by, the NOLA dudes thought it was a dressingroom rather than a venue. Anyway - Blind To Faith were an impressive sight. Seasoned scene veterans raging through a set of hateful, ragged and violent punkmetal with a good dose of nihilistic sludge thrown in. The crowd went wild, that buzz of anticipation was definitely in the air and the band delivered. Their next show is in April 11th, in Ghent with... Eyehategod. Yes.
Last of all, Double Cross Blog has been running an incredibly interesting and in depth interview with Matt Henderson, spread out over 5 parts so if you haven't... Check that shit out. See you all soon.