September 18th, 2011
Last night we made the voyage across the state all the way up to Spartanburg to catch a kickass metal show at Ground Zero.
So if someone were to ask you what the perfect metal venue is, what would come to mind?
This was our first visit to the Ground Zero and I must say that this is the epitome of what comes to my mind when I think metal venue. It is located in a seedy, industrial setting most definitely on the wrong side of the railroad tracks on a long poorly lit road which just screams, "I could be stabbed out here and it would probably take a week before a vagrant would find my body behind the building and report it to a cop."
The complex is huge but the main part of it, I believe, is reserved for the larger bands but they have a very cozy side bar/club area that is perfect for the smaller bands.
This place just oozes heavy fucking metal from the dusty and broken bottle littered parking lot, cold concrete walls, steel beams holding the ceiling up, cheap drinks, colorful graphitti sprawled across the walls, custom steel signs and neon lights, to the fliers posted randomly everywhere throughout from bands such as Slayer, Megadeth, and even Ted Nugent who have graced the stage of this true hole-in-the-wall club. A kick-ass place, if you ask me.
First up to the stage was Homicyde. I have to admit that I was a little dissapointed that they had to be the first band because the place was kind of dead still, and several people were bringing in their equipment, and a lot of the people that were there were just kind of hanging back instead of hitting the stage.
The boys definitely didn't let this keep them from playing a brutal set that sounded amazing, though. Jacob's vocals were a little low at first but the sound guy caught on and fixed it after a couple songs in. They had the volume up a little higher on Justin's leadwork which was great because he was spot on and it was nice hearing it stand out a little more. Carl was thunderously pounding away at his kit and I think he may have even broke one of his pedals but it didn't hurt the show one bit. As usual they delivered a heavy dose of in-your-face thrash metal that I will never get sick of hearing.
Next up to the stage was Beyond The Gallows up from Columbia, SC. They played some very nice hybrid death metal. with a heavy groove punch that I could definitely dig. Their guitarist, Ej Quinones, had some really nifty guitar work going on and vocalist, Michael Rucker, is like a hyperactive puppy jetting all over the stage clearly enjoying himself and completely feeding off the energy of the crowd, flailing himself down into the people against the stage. Even at one point, the boys of Homicyde were dragging him off the stage and then paraded him around the pit before hoisting him back up onto the stage while he continued belting out the vocals the entire time.
After the show I picked up a shirt from their drummer, Chris Moore, and got the scoop on their upcoming schedule. On Tuesday the 20th, they will be playing at The Ultimate Basement up in Mill Spring, NC along with Homicyde (just added to the bill) and on Thursday the 22nd, they will be playing at the New Brookland Tavern down in Columbia, SC. These guys have a really cool groove and I am looking forward to seeing them again on Thursday.
Third to the stage was Larval Stage. This three piece death metal act from Westminster, SC played a straight-up assault of blastbeats with a dirty, no-frills approach. Although I am not normally into the machinegun style drumming of blackened death metal I must say that these guys are quite good at what they do and Halina very much enjoyed them. So I am definitely giving these guys props for bringing it.
Last up was Adimiron Sphere hailing from Greenville, SC. These guys are straight-up black metal complete with stage makeup and macabre mood. The intros and outros of the songs had a very heavy doom feeling that I thoroughly enjoyed and I was really impressed with both of the guitarists. I kind of have to be brutally honest that I did not care for the vocalist at all. As far as the music goes though, I thought they sounded great.
The three and a half drive home took forever but it was totally worth it and we had a fucking blast.