Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Holy Sons and Earth at The Underground Arts in Philadelphia

As I always like to start these things... another night, another show. This time in Philadelphia, that weird, battered hellscape that gets far too few good metal bands coming through. The fact of the matter remains though - Philadelphia is the kind of cleansing environment that makes crushing drone metal all the more poignant and fits into the vibe that is need when going to see a band of Earth's legend and caliber. Toss in a stellar opener featuring a member of Om and it seems hard to deny the potency of such a soiree.

Holy Sons was a truly unique live experience. These guys in their washed out Pink Floydy magic manage to create a potent sonic collage that gather s the listener up under storms of sound and powerful songs that speak to the heart. Holy Sons never got the credit they truly deserved, and yet Emil Amos's genius was on full display last night in Philadelphia. Here's a guy who understands the heart and soul of what music is meant to be so god damn well that few of his peers can even dream of matching up to it. With over a thousands songs written Emil Amos is the real fucking deal and watching him unleash like this live is a true honor. 

When Earth came on there was a sense of ritual. There is a strange sort of ritual surrounding the band and what they do. After all, Dylan Carlson is something of a mythic figure. I mean, he did used to room with Kurt Cobain and he was  the guy who lent Kurt his shotgun which Kurt would go on to use to kill himself. This is experimental rock, and it has its gods, as strange as they might seem. And so with all this in mind, the band strode on and commenced what would be a nearly two hour long set. One with triumphant climaxes and jarring denoument's, filled with glorious sustain and crushing chords, Earth, despite all the years, still know what's up.

See - watching Earth live is a wholly inhuman experience, or perhaps, as a result of their very weirdness it is a wholly human one. The thing is... Earth have a way of taking you in holding you close and giving you a chance to unleash all of the pain and suffering that can define your day to day. Earth are turned on to the profound realities that make life hard, after all, they've lived through the worst of them. So now they stand proud, waving guitars and creating Messianic poses and providing salvation for those who seek it. An experience I feel every human should be exposed to at some point, Earth are drone metal to soothe the savage beast.

And so the night comes to a close, every roaring note is put into check and those of us who came to submit ourselves to the powers that be leave satisfied with the sacred rites performed before us. These two bands are the kind of groups that give us a chance to leap forth and see that there are solutions to the struggles of our own daily existences and this gives us a reason to look beyond. Heavy music is more than just something that can piss off your parents, for those of us without meaning, it provides a destiny.

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