Hey guys, sorry for the delay on this post, but here's my review of last night's Roosevelt Hotel metal night! How was it? I'll tell you today, and I have more news to share tomorrow, including the results from the current March Mayhem matchups, and the unveiling of the final opening round matches in the tournament! Now, to the review!
Opening last night's show was the new local metal quartet Skull After Betrayal, in their live concert debut! Going into last night, the most we'd heard of them audio-wise was some very poor quality MySpace demos, so I wasn't sure what to expect for their first show. Musically, at least last night, they played death metal, adding to a rapidly growing list of local death metal bands! As it turns out, guitarist Mike Vincent (also of The Bear Hunters) sang for them, and I will say this much: He's a much better vocalist now than from when he sang with Devastation of the Heavens. He's developed a decent growl that does need some refinement, but is overall not too bad! The band, as a whole, needs a lot of work though, but in all fairness, this was their first ever show. They have a good setlist of originals going for them, with songs like "Death" and "One In The Chamber", but I found their timing was iffy on many songs, including some of their covers. Guitarist Justin Polutanovich was tuned way too low, and you could barely hear his playing or solos, and Mike's singing didn't match many of their covers. I also sensed a rushed feel to their songs, particularly on covers, like when Mike forgot words to Drowning Pool's "Tear Away". Skull After Betrayal have promise, but they need some time to fine-tune their sound, and by April 9th, they should sound better!
Following them were grimecore trio Shit Liver, and I have to be honest, they sounded better last night than they did the last time I saw them! I think part of that has to with the new guitar and bass rocked by Josh Penno and Mike Kyle, which sound cleaner and better than the instruments they were previously using. It was especially noticeable with Mike's bass, his playing was more audible and not just added noise! With that said, you could hear their originals and covers a lot better, but aside from that, if you've seen them before, you knew what you were getting into. As you've likely come to expect, the band unleashed a set full of short but furious originals like "Friendly Old (Uncle Joe)" and "Shit Liver" along with covers from bands ranging from Dystopia and Macabre to their old local band O.B.C.D.! They even had a few new songs last night, and if you love their other songs, you'll no doubt like the new stuff too! Even with newer instruments, their grimy and crusty death metal sounds were nice to hear again, and though the fan totals decreased up front for their set, the fans there enjoyed them!
Headlining were fast-rising hardcore quintet As It Stands, and they delivered another fun set, if slightly shorter than I expected. Their energy and enthusiasm were in top form, although frontman Justin Pregent was battling a cold, which caused his performance to be a bit compromised. Honestly though, before he told us, I just thought his mic was tuned too low, which says a lot given how colds can take a lot out of a singer. He still sounded good, and that's still better than he tended to be in the mid-2000s! For one song, he didn't sing at all, but it was a brand new song that sounded great, and we ate it up! The band were otherwise as good as ever last night, with an intense energy and lots of movement from the band, especially guitarist Garrett Masters and bassist Angelo Huckson. With originals like "One Last Chance", "Conception", and "One Less Than Wayne Gretzky", the pits were going fast and furious, and I should know, cause a mosher fell and slammed into my right thigh, which hurt like a bitch for a few minutes! My biggest problem with their set was it felt short. I don't know if it actually was shorter, but I was kinda left hanging for more metalcore goodness. We'll get more of it April 9th, but still, last night ended with a bang from this rapidly improving quintet!
Overall, while not without it's hitches, this was a fun and heavy night of metal, in this first official concert from Rich Moreland's Dismembertainment booking agency! Make sure to see the next one tomorrow night at Foggy Notions too! I got lots of photos, so click here to check them out or visit the SMS' Facebook page! And yes, I have videos, so here's Skull After Betrayal playing "One In The Chamber", Shit Liver playing the song "Unabomber", and As It Stands' original "Big Bucks, No Whammy"!
That's all for today, but tomorrow shall have two posts, including the latest SMS March Mayhem updates, and more! Stay tuned!