When I said to keep the concerts coming, I didn’t expect to see another one so soon.
After taking the chance to see The Ocean and Leprous last month, I headed back to the El Rey Theatre to see a favorite band of mine, Amorphis. Other bands on the bill included Hoaxed, a band from Portland who released an EP last year; Sylvaine, who were on their first North American tour promoting Nova; and Uada, a band who I have listened to before but never got into. Given the range of metal genres across all the bands, I expected more people to continue to show up throughout the latter half of the bill. Thus, as soon as I entered, I headed straight towards the front, parked myself there, and held that spot throughout the night.
The pandemic had robbed us of the joys of going to a concert, but with some regulations in force — such as masking and providing proof of vaccination — tours have finally resumed. When I heard that The Ocean was coming into town as support for Leprous on their North American tour, I decided to go, everything else be damned. Given that these bands had both placed high in my EOY lists over the last few years, I was excited (if not a little anxious) to go and see them. I had high expectations for a great show, and — spoiler alert! — they delivered.
It sure does feel good to be here again! For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on what caused my extended departure from the concert world, but having just eclipsed the two year mark since my last show, the time finally came. Truthfully, it would be hard to pick a better situation for such a return. After PhanerozoicI and Phanerozoic II both topped my lists in their respective release years, it is just too perfect that the first live performance I’ve caught in what feels like an eon was, in fact, The Ocean. And yes, that geologic time scale reference was intentional. Better still, this date at the Brighton Music Hall was headlined by Leprous, who finally got their hooks in me after an absolutely mesmerizing performance. Let’s dive into the festivities.
Nasum. For grindcore fans worldwide, this is a name that will live in infamy and a name that will be whispered for evermore. Between their four full lengths, Inhale/Exhale, Human 2.0, Helvete, and Shift, these Swedes became a household name for those of us looking for that extra bit of extreme that the far corners of metal offered if one was willing to seek out. However, with the 2004 tragic Indian Ocean tsunami incident that took the life of frontman Mieszko Talarczyk, the band went silent and rightfully so. They had lost a major piece of the puzzle in a tragic way and struggled with this loss. But, in 2012, what would’ve been the band’s 20th anniversary, they decided to hit 60 cities in a last blast sort of way with Rotten Sound’s Keijo Niinimaa on vocals and Director Michael Panduro capturing their final performance in October of the same year. The results are nothing short of exemplary but no surprises there as Nasum were always exemplary. This is a Christmas gift like no other and I’m giving you all the links below so do yourself a solid and BUY IT. Thank me later.