The Artifice turned into a mosh pit of frustration alleviated by the hard rock and experimental heavy metal bands that played its stage on Friday, November 8th.
Wax Pig Melting opened the night and despite the fact that they were playing as a three-piece, having lost guitarist Woz Supposedly who quit the band before they played the show, they seemed even louder than they had before. This was most likely due to the smaller size of the venue.
Brian Gibson, the group’s lead singer, guitarist, and song writer creates a well-balanced mix of harder and softer arrangements in his songs. An ominous layer of darkness lays over the lyrics. In “Beaks,” his guitar work is distinctly fuzzed and distorted. Shortened strokes of his playing hand gives a nice beginning and end to the riff. His voice was reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan from Tool.
The softer sides of “Jaded X1,193” and “Nods” shows the diversity within the band. They weren’t able to complete the set they had planned due to drummer Daniel Williams having the flu. Throughout their set they were able to keep the crowd engaged, wanting more, and ready for the next band.
When Habit took the stage they displayed unique guitars and a melding of blues and heavy metal. The people watching seemed to become more involved in the show. The song “Caluevari” had a very subtle reggae vibe that later turned to hard rock. The highlight of the bands set was when the drummer for Stolas, Carlo Marquez, jumped on the stage during “Headdress” and started singing, interacting with the band and wrapping himself in the microphone wire. The performance itself was very engaging and interactive.
When the moshing began you had to make sure you were not in harm’s way. They even played a snippet of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” as a joke, which is one of my favorite hip hop songs. A roar from the crowd washed over them when they began to play a cover of the song “She’s So Heavy” by the Beatles. I’m usually hesitant when any band plays a cover of such an important artist. However, I enjoyed listening to their rendition.
When I first heard the music of Eidola I imagined a mash-up of a hard Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction and Black Sabbath. The slower, softer singing voice of Andrew Wells captured my attention. His best vocal was on a song called “Humble Ledger.” Overall I enjoyed his movement as a performer more than I did his vocals which at times seemed a little pitchy and whiny.
Andrew’s performance improved as the show went on. His voice seems best suited for when he doesn’t have to yell or hold out long notes. The highlight of the band’s performance for me was the guitar work and darker vocals by Brandon Bascom on “Alchemist and the Architect” and “The comfort we find in our vices.”
I’ve seen the experimental heavy metal band Stolas play before so I knew the type of performance to expect. The music was even louder than the bands before them. Even though they are incredibly loud and hard pounding, they have a unique more musical side that can draw you to them.
The slow ominous guitar in “Our Last Night On Earth” transitions nicely into fast thrashing guitars and back again. Tight musicianship within the band is evident in “Medusa.” The only aspect of the live show I didn’t enjoy was not being able to hear Jason Weiche’s vocals. I enjoy the use of melodies within their brand of heavy metal music. Melodies show diversity within a genre. If the vocals are being screamed it can lessen the interest of the listeners and drown out the importance of the music.