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May 18th 2011 Saint Paul – Station 4
Sepultura – Belphegor – Hate – Keep Of Kalessin – Neuraxis
|review and fotos by Matthew Haumschild|
Sepultura stood out completely which wasn’t too surprising.
I should begin by saying that the bill also included Bonded by Blood, but I didn’t arrive to the venue in time to see them. Matter of fact, I arrived only in time to see Neuraxis play three songs but I’ll get to that later. It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that Sepultura is my favourite band and that in 2006 I flew out to Italy to see them. So, my opinion is a bit biased. I’m 30 years old. I’ve been to so many concerts, seen many bands, and over the years my palate for metal has changed. I arrived at the venue a little later because I feel that six bands on one ‘club’ bill, was a little much.
Neuraxis was from Montreal and judging by what they were playing, they brought their own drum kit, please see photos. I know that doesn’t mean a whole lot to the average listener, but it means that if I or anyone else were to buy their cd, their drums would sound something like what they were playing at the club. The few songs I was able to hear were actually pretty good. I liked them! I wanted to hear more! They kind of reminded me of “Old Man’s Child” without keyboards. The guitar player was using BC Rich which was a little unusual. I haven’t seen a BC Rich used in a long time. For non-guitar players, BC Rich guitars tend to favour some metal guitar players due to their ability to give out a heavy guitar tone strictly for metal and they have a specific sound all their own. Neuuraxis also had the best drumming of the night outside Jean Dollabella. He was very technical, very fast, and played with all originality. Bravo Neuraxis! Check that band out, they’ve been around for a while, and I know for a fact they’re on itunes available for download or order them from your local CD shop.
Keep Of Kalessin in all honesty was boring. Were they heavy? Yes. Were they melodic? At times, but I feel that they didn’t do enough to separate themselves from other metal bands. I wasn’t excited or anything when I saw them, matter of fact, I couldn’t wait until they were done. The only nice thing I could say about the band, was their guitar sound. It definitely had an edge to it, more so than the guitar player for Neuraxis. As their set progressed, they got slightly better, but overall, the drumming was unimaginative and the songs weren’t inspiring.
Hate was probably worse, the jury is still out on that. For me, this would be the second band I’ve ever seen with make-up. Usually I laugh at this because what is make-up suppose to do exactly? Provide more entertainment to boring music? The people standing next to me called them freaks but as I like to explain, “I wouldn’t call them freaks, I call them clowns, because it’s ridiculous.” I’m not against wearing make-up but I believe there should be context to it. Kiss wore make-up because it went along perfectly with their stage show, Marilyn Manson wore make-up because it went along with his stage show, King Diamond, Rob Zombie, ect. I should point out, that the artists I just mentioned, all had something in common, they all wore different styles. Hate wore the same make-up, which is typical for a black-metal band. Hate was from Poland and we don’t get to see too many bands from Poland. The best I could descibe their sound, was, black metal guitars and drumming with death metal vocals. They had even a better guitar sound than the other two bands as well. The first song they played didn’t sound too bad at first then the singing came in and ruined everything. The singer stood there like a stone throughout the whole set. I suppose the only other highlight of this bands set, was the outbreak of the first pit. Other than that, most of everyone was waiting for them to get off the stage, including myself.
At this point of the show, my early thoughts were correct, that there are simply too many bands on this bill. Keep Of Kalessin and Hate weren’t exciting at all and I really could have done without them.
Belphegor came on and they too wore make-up but it was different, which was good. They weren’t wearing the same black and white stuff that Hate was wearing, they blended red as if they were in a car accident or something. Belphegor was a death-metal band. I wasn’t sure where they were from though. The singer had a very unique voice to him, I couldn’t tell where he was from and his English…was unique where it was so heavily accented that it was almost funny to hear. Funny as in, it sounds exaggerated. To be honest, they didn’t sound bad at all. I could hear the bass clearer than the two guitars, which was a miracle all it’s own, and there were more guitar solos than the other bands too and they sounded perfect with the songs. The stage was much darker too, it was hard to get a photo in. I think it added to their stage presence which was this dark, mysterious band from an unknown land playing the heaviest and most evil music ever. Although, I wouldn’t give them that title, but I liked what they were doing, they were creating presence! Which is unique because most bands grab their instruments, jump on stage, play their songs, and leave. Belphegor, was creating atmosphere to go along with their music, which goes a long way for me, because I thought they sounded okay. Just okay, not great, not awesome, but okay, but I’d rather see them than see the last two bands. They put forth effort. I say, go see them when they come to your town. If you like death metal, you’ll like this band a lot. I’m not a big death metal person, but I didn’t think they were bad at all. Their song compositions were easily, aside from Sepultura, were the best of the night.
Sepultura stood out completely which wasn’t too surprising. I could spend the next four paragraphs praising them I won’t. Instead let me state the best parts. Sepultura performed two tracks off their upcoming album, “Kairos” and they were slamming! Fast, melodic, and heavy. Does anyone need to know anything else? What was kind of cool about the show was that a good ten to twenty people left after Belphegor which might not seem much to some people but it was noticeable in a tiny club like Station 4. Sepultura, however more pits and more people that knew all the lyrics than the other bands. Jean Dollabella’s drumming was fantastic. I am a firm believer more than ever now that he has breathed new life into Sepultura. He’s better than Igor. There, I said it! Dollabella was playing the old stuff adding his own take to them and it sounded better than Igor. His fire showed the most when he was playing the stuff he originally played on like, “Moloko Mesto” and “What I do.” Sepultura also played a lot of songs from “Arise.” Matter of fact, they opened up the show with, “Arise” which was surprising to me and that is part of the praise I have for this band, in the many times I’ve seen them, they tend to change up there show on every tour. It’s not the same opening tracks every time they play and it’s always a different set. I was mostly surprised when they played, “Meaningless Movements.” I’ve never heard them ever playing that track. Sepultura also played the full version of “Escape to The Void,” instead of playing half of it.
For me, it’s obvious to state that Sepultura was the band of the night. That’s without question regardless of who opened up for them. The show would have been better if it were just Neuraxis, Belphegor, and Sepultura playing and lowered the cost from $25 a person to $15 or $20. I’m sure most people in the audience would have agreed.
is a staff writer/editor for
gryphonmetal.ch since 2002
He is based out of
Minneapolis Minnesota USA he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
and on facebook.com
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