3. Concert review – Dethklok
(26.10.09, EYE WEEKLY)
It was a dark and stormy night. No, really, it was, and even though that ought to be ideal for a metal gig, in reality getting all the way to the distant Sound Academy for Dethklok, Mastodon, Converge and High On Fire in the middle of a windy umbrella-wrecking onslaught was hellish-in-a-bad-way. Luckily, by the time the entire sold-out crowd made it in the door (most of them missing High On Fire, myself included), the notoriously cavernous venue was packed tight enough that we warmed up relatively quickly. Not quickly enough for Converge, however.
As a neophyte metal fan, I naively expected fans of Dethklok and Mastodon — loud, abrasive bands with frenetic grooves and growling, grunting frontmen — to welcome a band like Converge’s loud, abrasive music, their frenetic grooves and their hollering, growling frontman with open arms. Instead a handful of diehards threw up their fists at the front of the room, while the rest stood in stony silence while Jacob Bannon stalked the stage and the rest of the band pounded out tracks from their seven-album catalogue (including a thundering “Jane Doe”) with an emphasis on their latest, the relentless Axe To Fall. Count the soundmen among the band’s detractors, since for the majority of their set, guitarist Kurt Ballou’s cannonball riffs were lost in the mix’s boomy, indistinct mess. Things improved by the end, particularly “Worms Will Feed,” but by then, most of the crowd were eagerly following Bannon’s countdown from “we have four songs left” to the end…