Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, December 23, 2016

Cowardice, Eternal Black, Mantismass and Thera Roya at Saint Vitus Bar

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Ah Saint Vitus Bar, that home away from home that I seem to constantly return to a veritable Brooklyn lodestone for freaks like me. This is the sort of spot tat I go to and drink too much at night after night because it is my bar and has become a part of my soul. So when a solid friend puts on a sick show there it's hard not to be tempted to make the half hour trek from my apartment to the bars vaunted halls. Last night was yet another fun and special gig at the bar – this time for free, an experiment the dudes who own the spot have been conducting lately with much success.

First up were the newbies on the Brooklyn doom scene – Cowardice. While I certainly am a little bit surprised that Noisey hasn't given these Thou-worshippers a write up yet I will say this – Cowardice fucking rule. In fact they may be one of my favorite new doom bands and are almost certainly within my top five unsigned Brooklyn acts. Their twisted sound came out perfectly in their gut wrenching set with the musicians easing their way through a show that many of their peers would be jealous to match even after years in a band. There is something mesmerizing and transcendent about their work that has me wanting to come back.

Up next were the stoned freaks in Eternal Black. This pot smoking three piece traffic in powerful riffs, punishing grooves and a sense of rock and roll chaos that hints they could fall apart at any given moment. While their sound and performance certainly felt defined by the size of their lineup they pushed through a set of tracks that had the sort of crunch that define many of the band on labels like Ripple Music and Heavy Psych Sounds. The gruff, almost grunted vocals added a layer of beautiful grit to the performance an hinted at a sort of longevity that I think will aid Eternal Black for a long time to come.

Mantismass were truly impressive, their sludgy approach to the genre is punishing. They have an almost static live show which only makes their unique brand of doom metal all the more punishing. There is a sort of sense of forward motion that makes their live show exciting and inspires the listener to dig in a bit deeper to the nihilistic poetry of this band and show. While they certainly fit in the Brooklyn doom polemic it's fun to watch bands like this because their buzzing and almost droning assault will keep you in a trance and perpetually in love with the musics slow and devastating burn as it winds its way into your soul.

Finally the tie had come for Thera Roya- the local homies who haven't played a show since July because their drummer was away .The bands post metal sound is delicious, Neurosis worshiping and endlessly exciting Thera Roya have constantly pushed themselves to bold new levels. They remain one of the most fun and interesting bands to watch play live in this scene – they are incredibly talented but unafraid to push boundaries. They dive easily into free form jams and then break into riffs that were honed over many hours of hard work. They have a shot to do far more than just the local band circuit time and time again.

And so the soiree came to an end. We had seen the doom and post metal destruction that we all know and love and I was guided home by an equally drunk roommate. We had shared in these sonic ablutions and realized that this above all things we hold dear and could use together to create a better tomorrow. As dark as it might seem today, tomorrow or any other day of the year we can always count on demented heavy music to remind us of the harsh realities and that no matter how ad we think we might have it, it always gets worse.  

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