Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bell Witch, Malthusian, Blood Tsunami, and Bombers at Saint Vitus Bar

Ever have a night that starts out cool and then turns into one of the best of your life? That was last night at Saint Vitus bar. With a night that started with me thinking I was going to get to see some rad doom bands and culminated in seeing one of the most legendary cover bands in the world play their only (Ever?) US show I once again realized the eternal magic of the Saint Vitus Bar. A magic that is suddenly ripped apart when you bump into the occasional proto-douche in a hardcore snapback who insists on moshing. Vitus is special - and last night helped prove why.

The first band I got a chance to catch properly was the incredibly skilled and endlessly fascinating Bell Witch. Their sound is wholly unique and getting to watch them in a venue as intimate as Saint Vitus was a true treat. Despite the fact that they had flown three thousand miles just to play one song on their way home from Europe it was impossible to deny that Bell Witch kept the crowd in absolute rapture. There is an intense and overwhelming sense of magic about what this band is doing. When you watch them tear apart the stage you can't help but fall in love with a band who are tearing open what doom metal can be. When you get lost in Bell Witch's sound it is simply impossible to come back out.

Up next was the quasi-immortal Malthusian - these Irish doom freaks have managed to create a truly distinct and wonderfully epic sound. The way that the band seamlessly brings in death and black metal into their distinctly slowed down riffs is really interesting and the twin vocal approach, while strong on the record, is mindblowing live. These guys invoke an elder magick in their live approach - making the listener suffer and fall in love with a sound that God forgot. The twisted majesty behind Malthusian's approach is simply undeniable in scope and forces you to scrape your jaw off the floor. The most amazing part was - you got the sense this was par for the course - Malthusian are never to be fucked with.

Blood Tsunami where an interesting band for me to watch. Featuring Faust - the legendary drummer of Emperor these guys played some hard hitting traditional Northern European metal. Flaunting punk edges to what was a largely speed metal approach Blood Tsunami hit hard and mean - and they know it. Every moment of Blood Tsunami's set you felt as if you were on the edge of an explosion. The violence and raw magic of the band is strangely endearing, I found myself carried back to my days in France watching similar bands in tiny clubs. There is a very real potency to what Blood Tsunami do - and despite the hyper-European vibe it went down very well with the New York crowd.

Finally the time had come for Bombers. At the beginning of the night I wasn't even aware these guys were on the bill... by the end I was screaming my head off along to Abbath's every vocal utterance, because OF COURSE Abbath fronts a Motorhead cover band. This guy knows how to be Lemmy and clearly derives huge pleasure from ripping out these classics to a tiny club of some of his most dedicated fans. Hammering through a setlist that featured a nice range of classic-era Motorhead material Abbath left me utterly blown away. I've seen Motorhead twice this year - and despite my continued belief that Lemmy is in fact God this was a better performance than both of those times. It was the sort of experience I never expected to have - and an experience I will never, ever forget.

And so I wandered home - my heart full of joy at what I had just gotten to witness - the final, and perhaps most memorable day of Martyrdoom (And the only day I was fortunate enough to attend) left me completely and utterly amazed. Abbath proved that even if he isn't Lemmy he might just be the next best thing and all of the others bands lived up to their reputations. It was the kind of night that makes this all worth it, and as I get ready for the next great adventure I raise my horns to the air and remember nights like this one.

Find the bands on Facebook!

Bell Witch:


Blood Tsunami:


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