Concert Review: Dragged Into Sunlight, Primitive Man and MAKE (July 22, 2016)

The Earl Concert Bill

Let me start by saying I’ve never seen Dragged Into Sunlight, Primitive Man or MAKE live. Yes I know, shame on me. But I’ve spent so much time with all three bands’ recorded output that once this show was announced there was no way I was going to miss it, also no excuse to miss it either as it was on a Friday night. So it goes, another outstanding show at the always stellar The Earl in Atlanta, Georgia. It would end up being a marathon in how much aural — and visual — torment one could endure. But man, was it ever a great show.

Be patient, I’ll get there. But first I have to mention The Earl itself. In case you don’t know, it has a bar/restaurant in the front of the venue and they serve really good food, have cheap prices — 16oz High Life and a shot for $6 — and some of the most friendly and accommodating staff in the Atlanta area as far as venues go. Plus they play really good music on the day of shows so you can get your grub on and your drink on whilst listening to some good metal and harder edge classic rock. Perfect for pounding a whiskey or six. Their beer selection is always top shelf, featuring all the local breweries plus all the brands everyone clamors for. At any rate I love The Earl because of their impeccable service and because it’s one of the smaller, more intimate venues anywhere in the area.

MAKE
MAKE

Alright so NC’s MAKE was up first and they set an outstanding tone for the night. Talk about passion and energy, these guys are the epitome of both. Touring on the heels of their recently released and highly charged third full length Pilgrimage Of Loathing, this trio unequivocally delivered an outstanding performance. If we’re talking energy, Scott Endres was the dynamite stick of the night. Jesus this guy got into it, particularly the “YOU WERE WRONG” shouts towards the end of “The Somnambulist”. And Luke Herbst on drums has put an extra fire in this band and furthermore in this performance. Herbst was an absolute beast in the percussion department. As for comparisons to The Golden Veil material that featured Matt Stevenson (“The Architect”), this version is superior. I realize Stevenson was with them for awhile but there literally is no comparison to Herbst who brings a higher level of aggression and feeling to the drum kit and subsequently the band’s overall sound. And then Spencer Lee with the black metal vocals and taut bass lines is a behemoth in every sense of the word. This trio very effectively conveyed their message of being sick and damn tired of the current state of this world and delivered this message with a level of passion and fire that was something to behold. Time wise the performance flew by but was so good I didn’t want it to end.

Primitive Man
Primitive Man

Next up was Primitive Man and this set was a lesson in perseverance and just how much barbarism the ear can take. As much as you think you know about this band means nothing. Literally. Their recorded content is one thing and it certainly is massive. But nothing, and I mean nothing, will prepare you for the extended heft of one chord salutes and high pitched tremolo abuse you will encounter. I mean, honestly how anyone can take one long chord, drag it out over a few minutes and still make it floor splitting and interesting at the same time is beyond me but Primitive Man did just that, and not just once but several times. Doesn’t sound appealing? Stand in front of the monitors and tell me you aren’t moved and crushed physically. And Elm’s vocals are in a word, devastating. Neanderthal drumming and wickedly massive riffs destroyed the audience. There’s no acrobatics in anything the band does just utter annihilation and it wrecked me for the first time ever in a live setting. I was literally spent with the closing notes of this band’s set and wondering how I was going to endure what I had been reading of Dragged Into Sunlight’s set.

Dragged Into Sunlight
Dragged Into Sunlight

And then there was one, Dragged Into Sunlight. I have read several reviews of their performances including our own Corey Butterworth’s take and I strongly agree with his review. Beyond being absolutely nuclear in their delivery, the visuals will have you seeing spots for days. So the setup was different, the band wanted an iron candelabra complete with candles and a skull setup on top of the monitors and since this is a very small venue they had to opt for an onstage setup rather than on the monitors. Oh, the tribulations of skulls and stuff. But really this setup was a harbinger of what was to come. I’ve never seen anything quite like this, between the horrific intros that reminded me of the opening
dialogue in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the strobe lights it was a disorienting affair that held my attention from start to finish. With their backs to the audience — which strangely enough was intense rather than annoying  — the band didn’t change much from headbanging and being absolutely brutal for their entire set. When the strobe lights weren’t going the band was in complete darkness, belting out viscerating songs by the truckload. And when the strobes illuminated the stage J’s drumming was so fast it seemed like one fluid motion. The band traversed a lot of material and made the tempo shifts from black metal pacing to mind numbing doom to hard hitting death metal seem effortless. The crowd was hypnotized by the stunning display of lights and massive volume. It was a long set, obviously since they were the headliners but they really dug in and gave a fantastic set that won’t be forgotten by anyone in attendance for a very long time.

All in all this was a show for the record books in my opinion. From the high energy set of MAKE to the endurance test of Primitive Man to the all senses invaded attack of Dragged Into Sunlight I can’t say enough about how great this bill was to witness first hand. By the time you read this the tour will be over and for those of you who didn’t get to see it, I pity you in a very large kind of way. I had been looking forward to this show since it was announced and it truly was one that did not disappoint. I come away from this Friday night with a larger respect and adoration of what these three bands are capable of and implore you to catch any and all of these bands if you ever have the opportunity to do so. You will not regret it.

Scroll down for a few more pictures for your visual enjoyment…

MAKE
MAKE Scott Endres, Luke Herbst

MAKE
MAKE Spencer Lee

MAKE
MAKE

Primitive Man
Primitive Man ELM

Primitive Man
Primitive Man ELM, IS

Primitive Man
Primitive Man JC

Dragged Into Sunlight
Dragged Into Sunlight evil candelabra

Dragged Into Sunlight
Dragged Into Sunlight

Dragged Into Sunlight
Dragged Into Sunlight J on drums

Dragged Into Sunlight
Dragged Into Sunlight in the dark…

-Josh

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