Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Between The Buried & Me, Enslaved, Intronaut and Native Construct at Irving Plaza

There's something magical about those neon Manhattan nights. We go into the city, we see our friends, slam a few brews and then watch loud bands make profane noises on a stage to a couple hundred gathered metal freaks - what more could a guy want? After all - it's the night like these that make it worth it, when you roll up to find all of your buddies and realize that you are going to see some insane feats of rock and roll mastery and be given a chance to find absolution in pure unadulterated volume.

First up was Native Construct who played a distinctly fun brand of prog metal that had an almost carnival-esque atmosphere at times. The band is turned on to their own reality and play some super technical music - I felt though that the sound system didn't do the band justice and their eight string chugs often felt muddy and only the lead lines really broke through. That being said - damn can these guys play, and their penchant for four part harmonies was impressive. Though I may not be totally on board with the band stylistically the sheer musicianship presented was stunning and represented something magical.

Intronaut were also a touch disappointing, again, largely because the mix hurt them. That being said - these guys clearly have insane chops and it was a lot of fun to watch them execute each song flawlessly. These guys are one of the most lauded metal bands in the world right now for a reason, their distinctive riffing style and chaotic approach. I don't think I realized how God damn talented this band was before seeing them live - but now that I have witnessed the magic I can't help but worship at the altar that the band has so easily built up around them. Simply put - Intronaut understand the power of prog.

I think that my most hotly anticipated band of the evening was Enslaved, and with good reason, these guys fucking slay. Coming out with their distinct brand of black metal meets prog by way of Euro-metal Enslaved are far too much fun to watch live, from the "Hey, hey, hey's" to the monster guitar solos and epic choruses this is a band who can do it all. Few acts these days are as purely talented as Enslaved is, and almost no other bands have such a potent vision. It's easy to fall in love with the magic of this band simply because they have conjured up a power all to their own that is easy to fall in love with and impossible to ever forget.

I've been curious to see Between The Buried And Me for years now - after all - they are one of the most legendary progressive metal bands out there for a reason. Their technical chops were utterly stunning and every aspect of the performance drew me in and carried me off to a weird and distant land. There is something inherently charming about this band, few other prog metal acts can really claim to have the same sort of charisma that Between The Buried And Me so easily flaunt. Coming back on stage to deliver an epic encore after a powerful, resonating chorus from the crowd of "B-T-Bam" it was hard not to swoon over the incredible power that this group represents.

And then the night was over just as easily as it started. We hung out in the streets and talked, reflecting on the eternal power of what we had just seen and revelling in the murk of our daily lives. New York City is a strange place of hopes and dreams and omeless people but progressive metal shows us that we can build towards something greater and in a way epic. There is something overwhelming about the power of the genre and even for people who have distanced themselves from the genre it's not a stretch to find yourself with your fist in the air with the best of them.

Find the bands on Facebook!

Native Construct:



Between The Buried And Me:

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