Chief Ryan's Brutal
Beer and Metal
Written by Will Ryan on 11/16/11
So it was day 2 of the over ambitious Holy City Hell-Fest and this was the lineup that I was really looking forward to. Oddly the crowd wasn't as large on this night but oh well, their loss.
First up to the stage (by volunteering to go first) was Homicyde down from Branchville, SC. If you have read any of my reviews of these guys it is clear that I am a big fan but man oh man, this was by far the best set I have ever heard them play. They recently added Marty Logwood on rhythm guitar and it frees Jacob Parrott up to be completely dedicated to vocals and it really makes a difference. This now five piece Thrash Metal act knows how to melt your face off! I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that not many people had arrived yet but they did not let that bother them in the least. They absolutely killed it and the crowd that was there were head banging their asses off and the band was completely feeding off of it. This was without a doubt the best show that they have played yet.
Second to the stage was Larval Stage all the way down from Westminster, SC. I have been chasing these guys all over the state because of how awesome they are. I probably sound like a skipping record because I just keep repeating myself in every review of this three piece death metal act but…… Jim McMillan brings the best low end death metal vocals I have ever heard, Kevin Nealey is a machine behind the kit (remember that scene from Metalocalypse where pickles goes off to rehab and they bring in the drumming machine that becomes self aware and goes homicidal, yup that is Kevin), and Alex plays groovy thrash styled guitar parts that I can totally get behind. Initially the bass volume wasn’t loud enough but a helpful person in the crowd, who also might have been a bass player, who also might have been the next bass player going up on stage just happened to say something about it to remedy the deficiency. I would go on about how much I like this certain songs but since I don’t know their names, I will just say that I really like “the one about the Native Americans who went out and collected sting rays and would cut themselves with the barbs to have hallucinations and stuff” as well as “the other one about H.P. Lovecraft inspired themes” ha-ha.
Third to the stage was the Charleston Doom Metal masters Hooded Eagle. I have been following these guys for quite a while and love me some dooooooom. I normally love their sets but tonight they were going with a much more funeral doom approach where they slowed everything waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy doooowwwwwwwwnnnnn and maybe I was just in a speedier metal state of mind but I found myself not really being able to get into this set. Do not take this as a slam on the band at all but for me, funeral doom is perfect for when I am sitting in a dark pub carrying on a conversation with some friends over very dark ales while funeral doom plays in the background. From a live music experience they were soo successful in slowing their tracks down soo much that it actually lost me and my head stopped moving. I already know I am going to catch crap for this review but anybody who has read my reviews knows that I love this band, just wasn’t feeling this set.
Fourth to the stage was Adimiron Sphere down from Greenville, SC. This is the second time that I have seen this blackened death-metal act and I was very impressed with this set. Damien Curr brings some very solid vocals and the guitar duo is quite good. I am pretty picky with blackened metal and it is not my usual genre of music but these guys are quite good at what they do.
Fifth to the stage was Atrocious Abnormality all the way down from Kings Mountain, NC. This very well established Death Metal act does it right. I was starting to get a bit of a headache for some strange reason haha dehydration perhaps so I spent a lot of this set outside getting some fresh air and socializing but they sounded great and I can see why they have been so successful.
Sixth to the stage was the local veteran Death-Grind Metal act Coffin Syrup. This is the second time we have seen these guys and they are brutal. I made it back up to the side of the stage for a few more songs but at this point my head was pounding and I was feeling like absolute garbage from the flu shot I was forced into getting a couple days prior so finally I just said fuck it and headed home. I apologize to Battle Scarred Saints and Conception Of Being and if anyone wants to send me a review of these guys I will just cut and paste it in here as your review but well it is what it is.