June 14, 2010
A crowd of riled-up God-haters converged on Daniel Street in Milford last week to worship the goat and indulge their doomy black metal and thrash fix. Headliners EYEHATEGOD glared and waded their way through their brand of New Orleans swamp sludge, but not before Iron Hand, Ipsissimus, Howl and an intense and focused Nachtmystium ripped through their opening sets.
Plagued briefly by mic troubles, Iron Hand eventually settled into a galloping thrash in front of a generously attentive crowd. Their set was short, which was probably a good thing because the drummer was this close to collapsing under the weight of his own beats.
Ipsissimus took the stage clearly stoked to announce their next album is due out this fall through legendary Metal Blade Records. Singer and bassist Tichondrius shrieked his vocals through extreme reverb while His Emissary hugged his guitar and drummer Haimatokharmes flicked his way through impossibly fast and rippled frills. Adore the goat boys, adore the goat.
If you can't wait to pick up their Metal Blade release, grab their cassette tape GoatCultRites released by Wallingford's own Redscroll Records. "If you don't own a 94 Corolla, you're not true," declared Tichondrius before they tore into tracks from their Three Secrets of Fatima EP.
Providence-based doomsters Howl were up next. "We're here to play some heavy metal, thank you very much," announced vocalist Vincent Hausman. The band displayed a tightened brand of dual-guitar doom, punctuated by clean breaks, stepped up chugs and, yes, howls. Extended feedback builds gave way to pounding sessions that charged with sustained intensity and momentum.
Nachtmystium took the stage and if the crowd was looking forward to any outspoken controversy from Blake Judd—who, by the way, was wearing some Howl merch—they left disappointed. These guys came to play, and the set crackled with a dirty foreboding. The band has already moved past the "psychedelic black metal" of Assassins to a more, as Judd himself has put it, a poppier orientation. But hell, I couldn't hear any of that. Instead, the band sprinted through its tightened up, orchestral blackness.
"You guys heard of us before?" asked EYEHATEGOD's Mike Williams to a surging crowd that was clearly ready to be dragged through the band's sludgefest. But not without danger: Williams, the Mark E. Smith of sludge metal, declared that "I'm gonna vomit a few times" and "Monday's a good day to commit suicide" before staggering and howling his way through the set. While he did neither, at least on stage, the dude still looked as if he'd collapse and die at any moment, but still managed the strength to wander around screaming as the band heaped the sludge on top of Jimmy Bower's wicked riffs.
[Photos by Jon Contois]