It's been a while since I've been to a true basement show. One of those shows that sees you navigate down a rickety set of stars and go through the unholy ritual that is underground music. I didn't even know Trans Pecos had a basement, but alas here we were, drinking cheap beer and partying down in the lush backyard and then dipping into a cavern of doom metal madness. That being said, given the content of the music, I'm rather glad that this was a basement show, it added to the visceral appeal of the music.
First up was Blizaro, a band who have been around crafting some of the most amaazing horror doom for years now. I've been obsessed with them for a good long while, and I didn't even know they played live. Watching them though was a trip. This is the sort of band who seem to be made up of wizards. They come on stage, understated and evil, a trio trying to create music meant for a five piece (Or more) and somehow succeeding. It's rare that you get to see a band as undergroun and legendary as this one and rarely do they deliver as Blizaro did. Even though the surroundings were dismal it was a triumphant experience.
Castle is another band that I've wanted to see for years now. They really know how to deliver live, moving from poetic and transcendent doom into something that, while still usually slow and sludgy is quite a bit more transcendent. The bands frontpeople are the ultimate heavy metal power couple - cracking forward with a sort of antediluvian majesty. Castle took the room and made it feel huge, channeling all of rock musics demented glory into just a few gnashing songs that reached out and shook the world. The bands live energy and sheer passion was impressive and had me wondering when I would get to see these titans again.
I'd seen Pilgrim once before, three years ago actually and in a similar situation. They remain an excellent live act and though they were limited by the sound quality of the venue you could tell that this is a band onto something special. Jon's voice rises over the music, almost Ozzy-like at it's finest. Pilgrim are the true American doom metal band, they are slowed down, chilled out and transcendent. They worship the void and give you a chance to chill out and find wholeness within the sublime and fucked up darkness of this band. There music is powerful with stunning hooks and massive riffs and it is transcendent.
So the night came to an end. We all went down to our favorite rock and roll bar and partied down listening to Deep Purple the whole night through. This was one of the best doom lineups that I have seen in years, reflecting on the negative and showing us once more that this is the sort of music that only the true freaks can dive into. Blizaro, Castle and Pilgrim are all titans of their respective genres and the sort of demented bands who will take on the world and give you a shot at world breaking triumph.
Find them on Facebook!