I've written about the Acheron in depth here before. For the uninitiated, the venue is one of the best in Brooklyn, capitalizing on a crusty atmosphere inside the venue proper as well as benefiting from being right next to a great Mexican restaurant. In other words - if you are getting ready for an evening of sludge metal then there is no better place to want to be. Yesterday evening's show captured all that I have historically loved about the genre, and served as a fitting reminder to the might of our local metal scene.
First up were Pants Exploder, easily the best named band on the bill. Of course it didn't stop there, the band feature song titles like, It's Okay, I'm Wiccan and Um, I Curated An Art Show In College, So... Despite the rather silly nomenclature behind the band Pants Exploder play some incredibly solid sludge metal. Their distinctive throb and the beautiful pulse behind their music is going to keep you coming back time and time again. This is a band who know how to deliver live, and despite being stuck playing first they put on an entrancing set that kept the gathered congregation utterly rapt throughout.
I've seen Thera Roya a few times and they have rapidly established themselves as one of my favorite Brooklyn based bands. This particular set was perhaps the best time I have ever seen them though. This is a band who get utterly lost in the sound, allowing themselves to create immense sounscapes that feel wonderfully organic. Ryan Smith's distinctive vocals give the band a very unique feel and remind us that Thera Roya are more than just a post metal band - they have the dedication to pure volume that has defined so many of the greatest bands throughout the years. These guys have tapped into something transcendent, I'm just not sure if they are aware of it yet.
Up next were Blackest. Here's a great example of a band who have stellar riffs, some incredible vocals, strong songs and a solid drummer. Unfortunately, the muddiness of the guitar tone leaves you wanting more. Blackest are clearly extremely talented dudes, they put on a solid show, their songs are easy to get into and yet multiple times throughout their set the sheer muddiness left me frustrated. The band has so much goddamn potential, and I'm curious to see where they bring it next. Blackest have a very solid understanding of what makes extreme music great, watching them capitalize is going to be a pleasure.
Slaves BC came to close out the night, and I was more or less blown away. The bands distinctly American blackened sludge/doom sound captured my heart. This is a band who understand the sheer pain of existence and allow even the most depressed metal fan the knowledge that someone else out there is suffering as much as they are. Slaves BC get at the sheer simple nihilism of the human condition with a live set that seems to be just as much about suffering as it is about music. This is a band who use their music to speak to so much more, to drive nails into the listener and remind them that it never gets better.
So the night came to a close. I wandered home to watch Kesha music videos and prepare for tour. The perpetual stress that is existence within the music industry had been relieved for a while though. When you go to a show and see bands that feel your internal pain as deeply as you do you rapidly realize that there is something more to this existence. Maybe most people aren't ever going to care about this sort of thing, but for a select few of us we know we can always find absolution in a bar nestled among the warehouses of Brooklyn.
Find the bands on Facebook!
Pants Exploder: https://www.facebook.com/PantsExploder/?fref=ts
Thera Roya: https://www.facebook.com/TheraRoya/?fref=ts
Slaves BC: https://www.facebook.com/SlavesBC/?fref=ts