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Between the Buried and Me/ Deafheaven in Milwaukee

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Stomach Cheese View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 24 2014 at 13:36
This is kind of dated I understand.  But it's more well written then anything current I have.  It was published in one of my local magazines but that magazine is just loaded with top-40s BS so I don't imagine many proggers would see it anyway. Here it is.


BTBAM, Deafheaven, Intronaut, and The Kindred at the Rave



As the landscape of modern metal music is shifting lower in frequencies and higher in number of strings per guitar, the genre has taken on an entirely new connotation particularly since the conception of “djent.” What began as a forum post by progressive metal guitarist Misha Mansoor of Periphery describing the distorted guitar tone he used ultimately lead to a new generation of metal heads hammering out polyrhythms on the lowest string of their extended range guitars. With this, metal has degenerated. Messy shredding guitar riffs, thrashing drums, and bizarre song structures of the early 00s have been abandoned for more easily digestible cadence-like chugging with hardly any variety whatsoever, which is all digitally edited to have perfect rhythmic accuracy. However, the progressive nature and innovative approach to songwriting that spawned djent has not been lost.  More new metal artists are embracing the rapid advancements in technology to create something new and special, and Milwaukee was reminded of this on March 6th in the Eagle’s Club.

An impressive line-up of top tier acts pounded out a four-hour show of genre-twisting, head-throbbing, and shred-tastic songs that diverged so much from the recycle-core gimmicks we’ve heard so many times. The Kindred, Intronaut, Deafheaven, and Between The Buried And Me delivered a truly compelling live performance.

The Kindred started the show at full throttle with lead vocalist Dave Journeaux belting out soprano melodies that weaved in and out of each song. Intelligent guitar play reminiscent of 70’s prog rock was consistently exchanged back and forth. As one guitar played an arpeggiated chord progression the other would tap a lead until they both met at that perfect moment and exchanged roles. All this while the drums and bass filled in the gaps with equally sophisticated patterns and pinpoint syncopation.  The music was extremely technical though it did not rely on that. Rather it thrived on Journeaux’s passionate and well-trained vocal delivery and the obscure but extremely catchy hooks littered throughout each song, which enticed everyone to chant along by their closing track.

Next up was Intronaut, who weren’t nearly as interesting as the other acts. The trio of bass, drums, and guitar slowly churned out repetitive polyrhythms for songs that droned on and on. The audience faded quite a bit during their performance, which was understandable as there was hardly a point that the band would stick to an even time signature or pick up their molasses melodies. 

After the dull set, the San Francisco black metal outlet Deafheaven kicked up the energy again. As the lights came up the guitars blared away at the opening track of Sunbather, “Dream House.” Vicious blast-beats and wailing guitars filled the room so loudly that it all blended together into a single noise from which harmonious chords would morph the entire sound each time they changed. Vocalist George Clarke shrieked through this wall of sound while conducting a series of rigid gestures creating an extremely theatric environment. 

Last up was Between The Buried And Me—a progressive-metal band from North Carolina. Each song was an odyssey that blended seamlessly into the next creating musical sequences lasting from twenty to thirty minutes at a time. During these odysseys the group rapidly switched between styles almost every other bar. One moment guitars would be harmonizing solos and half a second later be finger-picking a jazz break only to be interrupted by an arrhythmic breakdown. Their execution was flawless and the lighting effects were exceptional as well.  However, BTBAM has an apparent preference towards flash rather than flavor. Technically, the music is genius, but the songs often fall flat emotionally. The supernatural and metaphysical themes of the music tend to lose their substance, as they are delivered in such a robotic manner.  The performance was exciting nonetheless, and watching their fingers noodle into oblivion was a spectacle on its own.

The entire concert was truly impressive. It was a refreshing break from the monotonous mainstream metal artists that frequently come through The Loft and The Majestic Theatre, and it gave me a little more hope for the future of the genre and a new perspective on the commitment of the fans. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prog-jester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2014 at 22:15
Kindred are really cool, and of course Deafheaven gotta be hip as sht now
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