An Ethereal Guitarist's Path

Friday, March 12, 2010

Salome, Wolves in the Throne Room, Shrinebuilder, March 11, 2010, Show Review!

Wolves in the Dorm Room

What a show. Let me start off with saying thank you to the genius lady who put this show together. The three bands couldn't be more perfect, and I almost never say that. Second, the venue. What the hell, WOlves is playing at NYU??? a college??? YES! and it was a perfect idea. The auditorium they played in was large and had amazing acoustics. The sound echoed and reverberated everywhere.

Salome, the trio all the way from Virginia. I had never heard of this band, but they were amazing, loud, and fucking TIGHT. They didn't have a bassist which was interesting, but they didn't need one. One guitarist, drummer, and singer. The singer was very amazing. She could reach the very low guttural inhuman sounding range as well as this higher scream which sounds so torturous yet you need to keep on listening. It was not disturbing to the ears, it was the opposite. As for the drums and guitar, well they communicated very well. At times they would be purely crushing and sludgey, and other times they would get into these broken drum beats and guitar riffs which are so exciting and extreme. There were also other times when the music got so meditative it put me in a trance, as did the other two bands that played. This band reminds me of Om and Disembowelment, AKA something you need to check out. This band seriously has one of the best vocalists I've ever heard!!!

Wolves in the Throne Room. Easily the best band of the night and the only black metal band at the show. Black metal? No, they are not black metal. They are one of the bands that are genre-transcending. Fuck black metal and fuck all the labels you wish to put on Wolves, they do not deserve such limiting categories. They are an essence, not a replication of some over-populated genre. Anyway, not that that's out of the way. They had three banners up each of a wolf, owl, and moon which were entangled in tree branches. I really dug their artwork and find it very fitting for them. Also, the dim blue lights are a perfect enhancement to the Wolves experience. I hate to say things like this one night changed my life, but here is one of those nights. Wolves was astounding. Their sound perfect, huge, encompassing, entrancing, loud, perfect, the same sounds you hear on their albums. THey also played the two songs that I wanted to hear them play last time. They opened with Queen of the Borrowed Light. Holy shit!!! This was so huge. I couldn't contain myself from head banging, I literally felt like I was going insane. Think of this. Think of the complexity and intensity of Diadem of 12 stars, add that to the simplicity of the stage and the simplicity of their artwork, and you have created a heaven-like environment for people. Ok, they then moved on to Dea Artio and Vastness and Sorrow, which I am convinced is one song and they just separated it on the album. Every time I listen to Dea Artio I am stumped. I am confused at what I am listening to. This is where WOlves sounds like walls and layers of sound. There are many things going on at once. Hearing this live, I was able to understand the guitars much better and hear the chords and progressions. I was captured during this section...then, on came the blasts. They drove right through Vastness and Sorrow. It was so intense, again, I could not contain myself from head banging. Having listened to this song plenty of times, and on the way to NYC, I was prepared and synched up with it perfectly. Then came that riff in the middle of the song, the single tremolo picked riff that Nathan does, I fucking lost it. That is arguably one of the best riffs in music. I could write a fucking paper on that riff alone. It also repeats at the end, which is the best way to end the song. After that, the euphoria poured over me immensely. The last song they played, (I am pretty certain) was Crystal Ammunition. This was the most meditative song of the night. This is where I lost myself. I closed my eyes, casually head banged, and felt like my "self' was going somewhere. This is how a live performance should be. Wolves literally grabbed me and I couldn't resist. To add to this extreme pleasure, the middle of the song where the guitars go to a cleaner sound amplified what I was feeling. The best moment of the song by far. I was impressed by how powerful it was. Finally, they ended. I was lost and dazed, but only for a short time, for Shrinebuilder was up next.

Shrinebuilder...the "super group," containing members of The Melvins, Sleep/Om, St. Vitus, and Neurosis. This band was a trip as well. I was not familiar with them in the least. This band truly felt I was high off some really good chronic. Hence where they get stoner metal from, I suppose. I had the least energy for this band, but that was no set back. I chilled to their long meditative, repetitive, buildups and assaults, and it was perfect. I am at a loss of words for what to say about this band. They combined some really interesting lead sounds in their music which also gave it a whole new dimension. I feel like I saw such a great act that I can't quite comprehend it at this point. They know how to fucking play some music though, I will say that much.

So where does this leave me? Well I have new insight on music and am learning more of what I want to incorporate into my music. This is one of the best shows I have ever been to and I think Wolves in the Throne Room is probably the best band I have ever seen live. That's about it!