THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
More than just being really good concerts, a couple recent bills – both presented by surging Orlando-based but statewide promoter (and recent Undie
award winner for “Best new heavy booking”
) Endoxa Booking
– underscore how creative and evolutionary
of an age it is right now for metal and heavy music. The first was Miami’s Torche
(Jan. 22, Will’s Pub) and the latest Savannah’s Black Tusk
(Feb. 3, Will’s Pub), two bands that have forged front-line names by opening the horizons of metal with their daring and dynamism.
But beyond even these headlining names, their supporting casts
further drive the point by showing bright, unconventional glimpses into the depths with openers that push beyond the metal frontier. With Torche, it was cyber noisemaker Jeff Carey
(who will be returning Apr. 1 to Will’s Pub
as part of the intriguing extreme Japanese music showcase the MultipleTap Tour
). With Black Tusk, it was a lineup that, instead of serving up degrees of the same sound like too many metal shows, delivered diverse excellence.
Of the many good openers, North Carolina’s Bask
was the most adventurous and interesting. A thoughtful blend of post-metal
and abstract Southern rock,
their journeying, panoramic music – kin to bands like Across Tundras
– is a rich tableau of atmosphere, melody and tonnage. It’s beautifully irreverent of genre bounds and is the kind of thinking that expands the scope and reach of heavy music.
Atlanta’s Royal Thunder
also impressed with a heavy slug of classic doom and dark drama. Live, the brooding Relapse
band had much more bite and force than their recordings suggest, and most of that had to do with the major voice and presence of Mlny Parsonz.
Though the punk and metal blend of Destructonomicon
was probably the most in sonic step with headliner Black Tusk, this Orlando opener had an unusual edge of their own. Although it does exist in both metal and punk, nerdism
isn’t necessarily the foremost thing that comes to mind when thinking about those genres – unless we’re talking power metal,
which is straight-up dork shit. But these local guys throw it all together with pride like a supercollider. Just look at that name: too many syllables (metal!
), “destruct” (metal! punk! probably both!
), “destructo” (nerdy twist!
), “con” (maximum nerditry!
Despite all their nerdy references, however, they deliver a not-at-all-goofy punch with their thrashy onslaught.
If you hadn’t seen any of their humorous social media and didn’t zone in on some of their lyrics, you probably wouldn’t even know about this streak. And that’s probably the greatest testament to their sonic power.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
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