Harper’s Ferry, Boston MA
I have said repeatedly that this is one of the best times in the history of metal. Not only are there a plethora of great new bands charting new musical territories, but many of the older legacy type acts are not only still alive, but also remain creative forces. One such act like this is CYNIC who made their name in the early days of the 1990′s Death Metal scene in Florida. Now they are based in Los Angeles and are striking while the iron is hot with their 2008 comeback album Traced in Air and their recent EP Re-Traced (Season of Mist). Always possessing ninja level chops and favoring a lot of authentic progressive rock flavors, they have been an indispensable influence on many of today’s prog-metal flag-wavers. Even after their break-up and reformation a few years back CYNIC remains one of the most talented, original and professional bands in all of music.
I have seen DYSRTHYMIA several times over the years and they always shine. They play a combination of instrumental metal with a lot of jazz and prog-rock touches. Considering the crowd tonight was largely populated by a lot of Berklee College of Music types, this saw a band playing directly to their key demographic. Unlike your typical instrumentalists DYSRTHYMIA always show off their impressive chops with as little pretense as possible, which I think endears them to fans. If you dig this type of stuff I highly recommend you pickup their latest release Psychic Maps (Relapse Records) which I bought after their set.
INTRONAUT was up next. I liked their last record, Prehistoricisms (Century Media, 2009), but really fell in love with them when I caught their live performance opening up for MASTODON last year. There were definitely many fans in the house on this night who were there to see them as much as the headliner. The band wasted no time after taking the stage kicked things off with “Elegy” a new song from their next album coming out this fall. The track encapsulated everything this band does great: hypnotic beats, crushing guitars, cool vocals and outstanding bass chops. The song also sees the band charting some new ground as they balance their sludgey modern metal with the newer adventurous material they have been mining of late. Reminiscent of an early HELMET song, “Elegy” goes through several interesting shifts thematically. Next was “The Literal Black Cloud” which was equally heavy, trance- like and amazing. As always the middle section of the track features the beautiful chordal bass work by standout player Joe Lester. Next they played two more new songs which vocalist/guitarist Sacha Dunable told me after the show were called “Above” and “Sunderance”. These tracks are just as sprawling and heavy as the rest of the bands’ work. Closing with the epic “Any Port”, they topped off a fine set with the ending drum-jam between ferocious drummer Danny Walker and guitarist/singer/percussionist Dave Timnick. Sacha was gracious with his time chatting with me after the set which I appreciated and I am really looking forward to that new album.