Gig Review

Napalm RaidMetalianMasakariNekrofilthRohmer
Now That’s Class, Cleveland, OH
30 June 2012

I feel as if I should offer the following as a public service to hardcore bands coming through this town. If you get booked with Masakari, you had really better bring you’re “A” game. If you do not, you will simply get embarrassed. They played a titanic show with All Pigs Must Die a couple of months ago and showed themselves to be on par with the very best acts in North America.

Rohmer opened the gig, which happened in the bar area at Now That’s Class (hence my somewhat subpar photographs). They got off to a bit of a rocky start, sounding muddy and with their vocalist totally buried by the wall of sound that the produced. By their second song they had matters sorted. Their bread and butter is the sort of low frequency thrash with melodic tinges that is all the rage these days. In truth, they sounded a bit like Masakari, but without quite reaching the latter’s surging intensity. They were really starting to grow on me after a few songs, but one of their guitarists broke a string, and since it was close to the end of their time they decided to pack it in. It was, nonetheless, an impressive showing.

Next came Nekrofilth, who were impressive as well, although for rather different reasons. As they kicked into their raw and aggressive black thrash attack, it quickly became clear that their singer/guitarist was completely rat ass drunk. The only reason he was three sheets to the wind is because he was too hammered to find his fourth sheet. In point of fact, this did not detract in any serious way from their performance. They managed to keep raging, even during those occasions when their main guy was falling over sideways. They have a split out now with Nunslaughter, and I give them props because they were selling copies of it on cassette.

Things got real when Masakari hit the stage. This is their next to last gig before they head off to Europe for a month, and the last time that people in Cleveland would get to see them before that kicks off. True to form, they did not disappoint. After a brief interlude where they played a different fragment from one of the sound clips on The Prophet Feeds, the lads treated the crowd to and onslaught of absolutely blistering thrash. Masakari do not beat around the bush. They beat the bush into submission and then set fire to the remains.

Undaunted by this, Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Napalm Raid came on and played like their hair was, collectively, on fire. Their deep throated, aggressive crust brought forth frantic slamming from a crowd that had spent most of the previous set in head-bobbing awe. Remarkably, I noticed that the guy from Nekrofilth was in the middle of the action. This was particularly impressive given that an hour previously he had been almost too drunk to stand. Unfortunately, the quarters were close, and his flailing fist caught me upside the head three or four times. Oh well. I guess that not (well not nearly) the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in the pit.

Sadly for Metalian, things were getting on toward 1:00 AM, and I had to get back to the Thousand Trivs bunker before the auto security systems kicked in.

Napalm Raid are almost done with a long tour. They’ll be in Toronto tonight and then Montreal on Monday on their way back home. Masakari’s European tour, with the also awesome Alpinist, starts in Hamburg next weekend. The full schedule is here.


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