Review: Christian Mistress, Acid King, Thrones @ Hemlock Tavern 10/29/10

Photo by: Raymond Ahner The metal ghouls were out in force October 29th, and Hemlock Tavern's living-room-sized concert space was packed to the rafters. Beyond the plastic divider, expectant but ultimately frustrated supplicants waited fruitlessly, relegated to straining their ears towards whatever bled through the wall. The carnage that ensued justified the big turnout completely. Olympia, Washington's Christian Mistress's incendiary performance confirmed their status as one of the underground's most promising products; the music refracted the proto-thrash of NWOBHM pioneers Diamond Head through a modern, sweat-soaked, DIY lens. Rapid-fire dual harmonies and driving D-beats were the order of the day, [...]

Halloween weekend heaviness with Thrones, Acid King, Christian Mistress @ Hemlock Tavern 10/29/10

Halloween comes but once a year, so it's appropriate, on this spooky special occasion, that doom wizards Acid King grace us with a rare San Francisco appearance -- just two days before the most metal of holidays! Founded in 1993 by guitarist/singer Lori S. and drummer Joey Osbourne, Acid King has endured a host of line-up changes and label switches, but the core of the band's sound hasn't changed much, subsisting on steady diet of tectonic, down-tuned riffsmithing, thrumming leads, and Lori's otherwordly vocals. Can't say I'm sure which drummer or which bassist will show up at the Hemlock, but [...]

Show Review: Sleep, Saviours @ Regency Ballroom 9/13

Photos by: Charlie Homo The second show of a two-night run has a strange vibe. The excitement from the debut performance is gone, and you can see it on the faces of the merch girls and the security guards -- they know what to expect. So too do the repeat attenders, and there were plenty there Monday night at the Regency Ballroom, arching their eyebrows and delivering guarded prognostications of stoner metal destruction. The weeknight bill was slightly superior. Former Bay denizens Black Cobra kicked things off with sludgy fury, taking advantage of the venue's potent P.A., which never met [...]

Shredification: Sleep at the Regency Ballroom 9/12, 9/13

I always thought Sleep was one of those bands that I would just never get to see, like Zeppelin, or the real Guns 'n' Roses. The members disbanded in 1995, fed up with the intractability of their label, London Records, which refused to release Dopesmoker, the band's hour-long stoner metal odyssey of an album -- the sort of artistic endeavor that the phrase "magnum opus" was invented to describe. The members moved on to other projects -- guitarist Matt Pike to High on Fire; bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Haikus to Om. For fans of the doom genre, even [...]

Shredification: Floating Goat Double Up

Local outfit Floating Goat is bobbing up and down in the metal ocean, somewhere in the vicinity of its tenth anniversary. Usually a fixture of San Francisco's sweat-stained stages, their raucous jams and distinctive, steer-horned drumset have been absent lately, but with good reason - time not spent onstage has been spent in dark lairs around the Bay, crafting Spawn of Poseidon/Suburban Anxiety, an ambitious new double LP. The ten-year milestone can be a dubious distinction, especially when a long shelf-life leads to frustration or musical calcification. For Floating Goat, the opposite is true: the songs on the new album [...]

Shredification: Saviours Two-song EP in the Bag?

Local lushes The Saviours have been gone all summer, conquering Europe like some sort of tatted-up, four-headed George Patton. The band are a remarkable feel-good story for these Ke$haful times, surmounting each successive challenge with enviable ease. Hard to believe it's been 5 years since Warship (Level Plane Records) first slid out of the drydock. After a full slate of massive outdoor festivals in the Old World and a late-summer junket on Ozzfest, the hesher quartet will return to the Bay, ten steps closer to being a headbanger household name. An Ozzfest off-date at Slim's August 10th clashes tragicomically with [...]

Shredification: Washington State of Affairs

Music writers are suckers for geography. Tying up groups of bands in neat little localized bows makes for easy copy, with the added benefit that once you pigeonhole a bunch of quasi-related groups -- the "Seattle Sound," say -- you have that touchstone to deploy next time you feel like phoning in some cheap comparisons. Seattle bands are the order of the day today, though the comparisons will hopefully be hewn from finer stuff. Specifically, two Seattle bands that have recently released new records: The Melvins, and Black Breath. Black Breath - "Children of the Horn" The traditional route here [...]

Shredification: The Sword returns with Warp Riders

The Sword takes a lot of stick in certain quarters of the metal community, mostly for having committed that cardinal indie sin of getting too big, too fast. The Austin, TX band was an overnight sensation thanks to debut LP Age of Winters, which blazed onto the scene full of fuzzy Orange amps, epic, martial lyrics, and titanic, bong-water-rippling riffs. A plum deal with hipper-than-thou NYC label Kemado was the first detail that rankled the ranks of forum-trolling purists, and press photos depicting four fresh-faced youths fresh from Texas' hippest municipality were ripe for the metal grist mill, which preferred [...]

Shredification: Orchid revs up hot riff time machine

I have been derelict in my duty. The Bay Bridged is a site dedicated to local Bay Area music, and this column, since its inception, has played host to a profusion of national acts, mere visitors upon our salty shores and vertiginous hills. Today l begin to redress that balance, and I couldn't be more pleased to start by showcasing local doom metallers in Orchid. The doom metal genre has undergone precious few changes since drop-tuning was pioneered by Tony Iommi's missing fingertips, and though unsuccessful stems and seeds have occasionally percolated to the bottom, the ripe buds of the [...]

By |April 11, 2010|Tags: |

Shredification: Spring Metal Preview

Spring is wending its way towards San Francisco, and the improved weather will be accompanied by an array of exciting metal albums and the tours that follow in their wake. Bands both local and national will have new wares on display -- here are a few of the choicest to anticipate. Jucifer - Throned in Blood (April 6th, 2010, Nomadic Fortress Records) No matter how many times I enumerate Jucifer's essential details, they're still completely captivating. To wit, Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood are the world's heaviest husband-and-wife team. As if that weren't quirky-cool enough, they're also officially nomadic, having [...]

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