Aviv is I think at this point the new Acheron, it's got a similar set up only a whole lot scummier - I even think that a lot of the same people work there. With a cheap bar, a wonderful DIY aesthetic and a potent sense of rock and roll destruction, it's become a top place to see a show in Brooklyn. So when some bands roll into town who you will probably never see again and accompanied by some sick locals then you know that you need to take the time to roll out and do your very best to dig the accompanying vibes.
First up were my perennial favorites, Thera Roya - a band who always know how to deliver live. Their new material was top notch, having watched these guys grow as musicians over the last year or so has been a real pleasure - they are cultivating a very distinct brand of blackened sludge metal and I can't help but love it. As my buddy said to me after their set, "It's like a heavier sludge metal" which essentially it is. Thera Roya understand the magic of sludge and they bring it louder and more passionately than almost any of their peers. This is the sort of band who are going to go places and their live set all but proves it. Seeing them at St Vitus next week will be a pleasure
Up next was Pig Mountain, a sludgy black metal band who have found a rather distinct sound for themselves. I actually really found myself enjoying what they were doing. That's what I love about small local shows - you get to see a band who you've never heard of and who you will never hear again but you go because the experience is unique. Pig Mountain seem to understand that and their performance put a smile on my face. This is the sort of wonderfully tortured sludgy black metal that I can dig in to - and though stage presence was limited, they had won me, and the few other gathered fans over by the end of the set.
Umbra features a lot of the same members as Pig Mountain (Which makes sense seeing as the pair of bands are on tour together) which is always interesting to see. Still - they were fairly different musically. Umbra seem to cultivate a much more straight black metal sound with a predilection for space themed lyrics. They played almost frostbitten black metal reeking of pure passion and reminding us of why we all fell in love with this music in the first place. Umbra understand the simply beauties of black metal, and though they, like Pig Mountain had limited stage presence they were meditative to watch.
Closing out the night was the newbies in Somnuri - one of the most exciting sludge bands that I have seen all year. The dudes have killer stage presence, rocking across the stage, even though by the time they went on stage there were no more than ten people in the room. Somnuri burn with the fiery rock and roll passion that should light all of our souls. Even as they experienced some pretty technical difficulties in their set they burned on, playing passionately and viciously, their mucked up guitar tone becoming jangly and unholy. It led to a fiery and exciting performance that I will remember for a good long time.
I write this having to be awake in seven hours for a meeting. I write this while listening to Learning To Fly. I write this and I love it. It's the nights like these - nights where I find myself randomly talking to one of the dudes who lives at Aviv about Neil Young and theYardbirds after watching a black metal band that I remember why I do this. Sure all the festivals and chicks and parties are great, but what it boils down to is that old school punk spirit and the twisted burning wreckage that is Brooklyn's underground.
Find the bands on Facebook!
Thera Roya: https://www.facebook.com/TheraRoya/?fref=ts
Pig Mountain: https://www.facebook.com/PIGMTNx/?fref=ts