New York City has had it easy in the time that had passed since Deicide last darkened our concert scene door but now we would have to be at our guarded best because Glen Benton and his bringers of the blasphemous Death Metal were returning. The show would be at the Gramercy Theatre where we caught them last year and this time around they would bring Jungle Rot as direct support along with Abigail Williams and Lecherous Nocturne as the lead off bands. There was no local level support for this show and that was fine by me because four bands are enough to focus ones attention on. I was also pretty beat down from last night’s Y&T show at B.B. King’s so I was happy with this being only four. Here is how the night went down for any of the fans that might have missed it.
Lecherous Nocturne: These guys were new to me and already on the stage when I was walking into the venue. They didn’t sound bad at all and brought a conventional Death Metal sound to the table. They looked to be on the young side and later research found me discovering that their first demos had come out in 2001. These days they are signed to Unique Leader Records and have a self-titled release available on that medium. From my vantage point it seemed like the guys had a couple of hecklers or ardent supporters based on the interactions I was watching. I state it like that as I was not sure if they were being obnoxious to some of the front row folks on purpose or to be kidding around. For all I know these could have been friends who traveled. If they were hecklers, then that is a shame because it always takes guts to be onstage and if you don’t like what you see I suggest hitting the bar or the merchandise booth if you cannot stand in place and shut up. Their set was solid enough for me to see them again. Perhaps sometime in the future I will be afforded the opportunity or review this latest release. Abigail Williams was up next.
Abigail Williams: I last caught Abigail Williams back in November when they were one of the many openers for the Mayhem show. Their new CD was coming out soon on Candlelight Records and since that time it seems as though once again that the band has had some lineup shifts and is now delivering their sound as a three piece unit. I’ve seen the band quite a few times over the years and I think at one time they had six members unless my memory has failed me. It’s always managed to remain interesting which is a good thing but it was strange to see no more keyboards and second guitar. While I had initially admired the bands overall fullness based on these other instruments I had to say that I was really enjoying this Ethereal Black Metal direction that they are running with and felt that with three members and proper effects that it worked out just fine. I would snare a copy of their latest CD “Becoming” this evening and cannot wait to sink my teeth into it. I give the bands founder Ken Sorceron a lot of credit for putting something out that that remains interesting and vital for the US based Black Metal scene. One does not often find this kind of quality outside of the Scandinavian regions but then again with music being as universal as it is, it was only a matter of time before equally powerful stuff came from our shores. Their set was sadly a short one but still good. I would like to see Abigail Williams move up to the direct support slot a little bit more if possible. They do entertain and deliver so are deserving of this. Now for some Jungle Rot.
Jungle Rot: I caught Jungle Rot last Fall as well when the band was on tour with the mighty Immolation from Yonkers, NY and had to say that while not being all that “up” on them, that I really liked the set. They were a tight unit and seemed to work well with the Immolation tour. Let’s see how they would do tonight as direct support for Deicide. The band has been signed to Victory Records now for about a year if my mathematics are correct and when I caught their singer Dave Matrise down at the merchandise booth he said that the band was very happy with where they were and felt that this label would work better with them than their last had. Their new CD is “Kill On Command” and their previous “What Horrors Await” came care of Napalm Records. Personally I felt that Napalm Records was not the best place for them and I love that labels output for the Viking and Gothic Metal that I always enjoy from them. Tonight the band would come out crushing and the fans were behind them in strong numbers. Three songs came from the latest release while only one came from the previous effort. The remainder of their ten song set touched upon their other six albums and I will admit being clueless about them. Overall their set was a solid and a heavy one that delivered on all counts. It was great to see their guitarist Geoff Bub sporting an Immolation shirt from the last tour in a show of unity. Fans that were smart enough to hit the merchandise booth after their set would even get to see Ross Dolan from Immolation hanging out and get to meet the band who remained at their table selling the shirts and music while also signing and posing for photos. Suddenly the mood of the room became more sinister and just a little bit colder as the realization that Deicide was ready to take the stage was upon us.
Deicide: Since I am doing these show reports I get to offer up photographs of the bands from their first few songs and that often means that I get a sneak peek at the set list that the fans will be enjoying as the night progresses. It makes you feel like the wise seer but there was nothing that could have prepared me for what happened next. Just before the band began, founder Glen Benton took to the microphone and explained how he had injured himself the other day and as result singing was going to come with great difficulty but he was not going to pussy out and cancel this evening’s show. There was some rumbling amidst the now crowded venue but it was quickly overcome by the crushing chords that is a Deicide set. Glen stuck to the back of the stage as they began and second guitarist Kevin Quirion would occasionally offer up some screams but these were not full tunes. It was strange to be witnessing what was amounting to be a largely instrumental Deicide set. After doing some photos I ran into some fans who said “they were not feeling it” or “wanted refunds” and were unsure as to why this event was not rescheduled. I guess they don’t realize just how much drama is involved with such things and whether they liked it or not, I don’t think many of them left when it came down to it.
Benton tried to sing a few verses around song four or five (it was not easy to keep track of this stuff as instrumentals) but he must have really felt it because it was stopped almost as fast as he had tried. Quirion continued to help and when Benton next spoke he mused how now all the fans could go on YouTube and sing along to this show. Kevin continued on citing how Glen had sung to them for 25 years and now it was their turn. Through it all guitarist Jack Owens was shredding up a storm while drummer Steve Asheim continued to impress with his technical prowess. I tell you when you watch him do his thing on the drums it’s like watching a controlled elemental force. The interesting thing was that the band played through its entire set time and didn’t appear to cut anything from it. This was a good almost two hours of solid delivery with no real stops or delayed breaks. They assaulted the senses as best as possible under the circumstances and left fans stunned with this unique presentation. Examining this a little further after the night had finished, perhaps it would have been a good idea to employ the three other singers who were here this evening and let each of them tackle a few different Deicide tunes along with Quirion. It might have made more musical sense at the end of the day because the Deicide stuff is not as over the top technical like some other Death Metal bands and really seemed to lose a little something by being done instrumentally. Perhaps there was no real time to execute such an idea but the instrumental show was better than a cancellation in my humble opinion.
All in all this was a very interesting evening and tomorrow I would be hitting the Possessed show back at B.B. King’s. Three Metal events in a row. Talk about March Metal Madness. See you then.
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Official Web Site: www.myspace.com/junglerot
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