Local metal in Tucson at Club XS
Sans event flyer (and any amount of effective advertising for that matter) it was an event I (Cult) had to pay close attention to in order to catch the name of the artists present, although I knew for a fact at least two of the acts present. Apostles of Ale are home town favorites, whereas I’d yet to hear of Pyrotechnica which left me more than a little intrigued I’ll admit.
Cult: Pyrotechnica were a delight to watch. A professional young foursome with a lively female lead. It was a relaxed set that at one point came to a halt in order to restart a track, you don’t see that very often. In between tracks the vocalist made a point to offer various internet destinations where one might be able to find the act’s audio output in a clear voice which is a nice change from acts that spout out un-comprehensible information in the same tone they choose to sing/growl in. Pyrotechnica have only just recently released a three track EP, and based on what I witnessed (even given low vocals in the live mix) it will be worth giving a few listens. Recommended for fans of melodic metal on the lighter side, Lacuna Coil and a style found in older releases of The Gathering.
Cult: Elyzian are a four-piece resurfacing after various lineup changes. The band’s front man, in lieu of a vocalist, (if you are interested contact the band) is a gent by the name of Maverick. Playing the entire set donning a vest and tie I was reminded of Akercocke antics back in the day with a smidgen of David Vincent (Morbid Angel) thrown in for good measure. The music however, is different than any of the aforementioned acts as is the style. Powerful riffs and driven melodies topped off with a gracious stage persona make this is an act who I believe can do just as well without a vocal accompaniment. Alternately an amazing act with a vocalist who can keep up and add to with the brilliance of the music on offer. Only the future will bring forth the answer. But for now I’m more than happy with the material on offer, think thrash with more than pleasing grooves, melodic rock and at times melodic death (again sans a vocalist who may tighten a genre categorization?) a package I was very appreciative to have witnessed from an act I will keep definite tabs on in the future.
Cult: A whole lot easier to appreciate given the confines of the club, in contrast to the smaller dimensions of The Rock, Apostles of Ale put on a hell of a show even trundling out a few tracks I’ve not heard. Theirs is a style closer to blackened thrash than mere melodic death (IMO). Groove laden and highly melodious running the gamut of mid to faster paced with a track that even includes an impromptu reggae breakdown. Given their moniker it’s no wonder that many of their tracks are named after beers and or ales with an accompanying fantastical element (Goblins, Ogres and Viking mythology and the like) but what is surprising is the fact that they bring with them a live show to be remembered not merely a bunch of friends banging out a plethora of tunage, this is a show with theatrics and a front man who is much more than merely that! I’ve always likened Apostles of Ale’s vocal style to that of Ben Falgoust (Soilent Green/Goatwhore) meets Nevermore meets Hell (an English act rising from the ashes of late 80’s thrashers extraordinaire Sabbat). Excellent stuff will someone please sign these guys up already!
Apostles of Ale:
Cult: Again to be honest this is an act I’ve not heard of until now. Having seen a few individuals traipsing through the venue donned in what I can only describe as Mad Max-esque (or Turbo Kid if you prefer) gear I was a little curious as to whom they may be I only assumed that they were all aligned in some way, shape or form. And I was correct! Hitting the stage, Sorrows Ruin brought with them a presence that put me in mind of Gwar (sans the liquid spraying shenanigans) and a musical style somewhat akin to Motograter with a vocal style that seemed a mixture of Decimator (an act on Neat Records way back in 89’ Carnage City State Mosh Patrol anyone?) and Mudvayne. An apocalyptic heavy metal style sound with something else I’m still unable to specifically pin down. In essence a wholly unique act with a vocalist who certainly grabs your attention be it with his style, humor or undeniable stage presence gracefully one the venue was able to help provide on account of its more than adequate stage set up. If your preferences run to the slightly unusual and different within the metal arena these guys may be exactly what ‘hits the spot’.
*Feind had a great time as well but not really being a fan of The Black Dahlia Murder I’m instead excited about the co-headliner Fallujah who I think are fucking awesome!
Many more shows between now and then to enjoy though, so please make the effort to support your local scene and the oodles of talent on display.