709 Metal Fest II
Misery Index with Entropy and Cyprian.
Bar Show @ Junctions / May 10th, 2005
Live Review by EvilG / Pictures by Rick
It?s not often that a metal band from away travels to the most eastern point in North America, St. John?s. The last metal bands that made the trek here were Helix, and thrash legends Infernal Majesty. This May at the ?709 Metal Fest? (709 is the telephone area code for the province) we were treated to a death metal assault all the way from Maryland, USA ? MISERY INDEX.
Prior to Misery Index?s arrival, I checked out a few of their songs, and to be honest I wasn?t that hyped about seeing them as they sounded like a grind/death mess. However, since there was nothing else to choose from, I figured I?d give them a chance and see them live. Before Misery Index took the stage, I got to see what is currently Newfoundland?s second best metal band (sHEAVY being #1 of course!) called CYPRIAN (http://www.cyprian-online.tk/). The band consists of 5 young dudes probably no older than 19 to 20 and the talent they possess is quite impressive ? especially the 2 lead guitarists of the band. Both guitarists play solos all over the songs, some songs even start with just pure shredding. There are sweeps and harmony guitars all over the place in a dizzying and dazzling display of speed and virtuosity. My only complaint is that they don?t know much about constraint since they are constantly ripping and shredding?there?s not a lot of dynamics. However, they are only young, and will no doubt learn to more tastefully apply their talents with a little time. In terms of a reference point, think of Racer X shred combined with a touch of maiden, and a bit of extreme speed/power metal. The singer of the band has improved greatly since the last time I saw the band. He?s since developed a cool screaming voice that he applies to some phrases. I look forward to seeing Cyprian again and await the release of their debut album/demo!
The other opening band I got to see came from Corner Brook (city on the west coast of the island). They are called Entropy (http://entropy.joesarmy.com) and they play some sort of grinding death metal that is very grating to these ears. To be honest, this band was not my cup of tea at all. None of the riffs are memorable, the vocals drove me crazy, and the song structures while complex, come off sounding disjointed. The best thing about the band is their drummer who plays some crazy shit and was the most entertaining thing about the band.
Finally it was time for the headliners, Misery Index. Their muscle bound drummer to his kit and did a bit or warming up as the settings were perfected on his drum triggers. His kick drums sounded great. The band had played an all ages show the night before and they commented on how they were surprised that so many people turned up on the second night to see them. I didn?t go to the all ages show since I feel like some dirty old man when hanging around with a load of 15 year olds. Those shows should not be called ?all ages? but more like ?teens only? since anyone over 19 stands out. Anyway, back to the bar show. As mentioned earlier, I was not expecting a whole lot from the band, and it turns out that was a good thing because as soon as they started playing I looked at Rick with a grin and we both realized we were in for a treat. In the live situation the band didn?t sound like noise, or like grind-core. They played brutal death metal, and they played it tight. The bands riffing chops are killer. The vocals are not nerve grating screams but more of the lower rumbling growl that I prefer when listening to death metal. The other thing which I liked about the band was that the songs had dynamics and were not all blast beats from beginning to end. The riffs were discernable and not an incoherent mess. One major disadvantage the band has is that they have NO GUITAR SOLOS! For me, the ultimate death metal band is probably Morbid Angel. As such, when I listen to other death metal I tend to compare them to the masters, and when I hear no solos I am not too happy. That does not mean that Misery Index are not worth seeing, it?s just that if you have similar musical tastes and like metal with good solos (like almost all good metal has) you?ll notice the absence of lead guitar sticking out. It?s not like the music of Misery Index is designed in such a way that solos would not fit in, and it?s not like they probably can?t play solos based on how they manage to play such complex riffs?baffling.
Since I was not familiar with their songs, I can?t tell you what they played at all. I can tell you that the band is worth seeing live and that if you like any form of death metal, you?ll enjoy seeing the band live. Seeing them live didn?t make me want to run out and buiy their album but if they ever play here again I?ll be there since a s alive band they are very good. The band had to cut their set a little short since they faced a full night of driving to make the ferry the next morning. Too bad they didn?t get to play longer, but at least they braved the distance and came here to play unlike so many who don?t.
Thanks to Jesse for organizing and putting off another ?709 Metal Fest?. Hopefully we?ll see more bands coming here soon!!!