• Crow Black Sky 'Pantheion' Album Launch

    17 jan. 2011, 19h46m

    The day began like any other during the vegetative festive season, at 4:00 in the afternoon of course.

    Stirring from our traditionally lethargic langer, Adrian and I set forth at 4:30ish for the eagerly anticipated launch of Crow Black Sky’s debut full-length, ‘Pantheion’.

    A very well advertised show, it had decent attendance and was almost as extensive as Whiplash barring a few bells and whistles. The initial youth was equal to the older crowd in numbers but not for long as they had to leave by 8:00, otherwise, a lot of awesome people and friends all round. The sound was the usual for ROAR, that being excessively loud, however, still distinct to allow for individual instruments to be audible.

    Much to our dismay (not really), we missed the first three outfits. However, the not-anywhere-near-deafening shrills of Red Carpet Murder’s vocalist managed to deter us from entering ROAR, however, that might be a little harsh as the uninspiring riffs that were clearly ‘meticulously crafted’ were also partly to blame.

    The Impalement Theory has indeed caused a stir in the community mostly due to preconceived notions of the band’s image and proposed genre of ‘Brutal Grindcore’, as seen on their Facebook page. I must admit, I was near wholly persuaded that this band would indeed bring something new and fresh to the stagnating scene, however my mood descended into a sordid and repugnant one after swiftly realising that they were neither “brutal” nor “Grindcore”. In fact, I’m of the belief that such a pretentious statement was devised with the intention of luring oblivious fans of Grindcore, not that I’ve met many, and Brutal Death Metal to a show that was nothing but mendacious in essence. Although, considering their image and scene-based wear we should’ve known that they would not live up to their promise of being brutal and delivered what was expected: Deathcore in its most generic form. Even though there were two vocalists, neither of them seemed to complement the music. Speaking of vocalists, one of them managed to cause quite a flurry of questions from many highly inquisitive minds. Whilst every aspect of the band was terrifyingly clear, there was but one element that remained cryptic and succeeded in keeping us on our toes, that being the gender of the heavy-set vocalist. It’s amazing how “scene-wear” and the emo look has caused such wide-spread gender-bending that one sometimes cannot differentiate between man or woman.

    After that monumental disappointment, we headed downstairs for a break and a drink. We were after all, still at an all-ages show and drinking upstairs was unfortunately prohibited. We shortly went back up to ROAR to see the next group, Imperium of Man.

    We were truthfully excited for the next band and who wouldn’t be, Imperium of Man are renowned to be extremely technically proficient in their trade. Touted as Technical Death Metal, this five piece marvel didn’t disappoint in their technicality but I personally found their songs to be a little disjointed and convoluted. Their vocalist, however, put on a stunning performance which I found to be lively and even reminiscent of Derek “Demon Carcass” Rydquist of The Faceless. Very guttural growls and soaring screeches were indeed the order of the day, pretty damn impressive. Justin proved himself to be a highly-fitting addition to the band and demonstrated immense control, precision and a vast scope of technical, yet apt, drumming arrangements. With any luck, this band will continue to progress and reach a musical zenith that is certainly becoming of them as inordinate amounts of technical wankery cannot be substituted for a lack of depth and variation.

    After a 45 minute lapse and a speedy removal of the ‘kiddies’, the 18+ show began with the reputable thrasher’s, Infanteria taking to the stage.

    Infanteria are a seasoned 5-piece Thrash outfit and failed to disappoint, releasing their own concoction of Old School Thrash wonderment upon the baying crowd. Indeed, they’re always a welcome crowd-pleaser, efficient in providing the audience with a frenetic and energetic display which caused the turning of many heads before they too joined in in the wild spasm of collective and ferocious head-banging.

    Having witnessed Reverse The Sands at gigs prior to this, we decided to once more retire to the downstairs area for a gulp of fresh air and a swig of beer. We would like to mention that by this point ROAR had become a proverbial sauna and continued to cook the occupants, almost causing collective hypoxia among the crowd. Unfortunately when this venue is full (especially during warmer nights) it becomes unbearably hot, humid and overloaded with carbon dioxide. Perhaps a new set of air-conditioners or extractor fans are in order but that’s for another discussion.

    Next up; the main attraction and very motive for our attendance, Crow Black Sky, who instantly bellowed forth with their own seamless blend of Black, Death and Progressive Metal thundering. Now, irrespective of their influences their core direction is very much Black Metal with an experimental twist. It doesn’t take a genius to be able to comprehend that the chief composer, Gideon Lamprecht, knows precisely what he’s doing as every song was distinctly well-crafted and meticulously rehearsed as the last. Even whilst effortlessly releasing truly complex and bemusing riffage, every band member was consistent in sustaining their powerful and truly epic stage presence.

    Despite having fallen sick earlier in the week, in which this particular gig was to take place, the vocalist, Ryan Higgo, was not fettered by what still ailed him and delivered a monolithic performance consisting of colossal screams and bellows which seemed to envelop the already bewitched crowd in a shroud of further entrancement. The vocal performance was by no means monotonous however, as the dark and tense atmosphere spawned by Ryan led to sensitive and melodious musicianship and relented before giving way to the delicate and foreboding vocals of Gideon Lamprecht, completing the spell they’d collectively spun. All three guitarists performed exceptionally well and complemented each other’s playing with tact and skill and the foundation of the band is equally notable in their efficiency and relentless stamina, manned by Stephen Spinas and Lawrence Jaeger respectively. An utterly awe-inspiring spectacle, even more so considering that the band has had a relatively short run thus far which certainly inspires one to attend their gigs religiously in the future and monitor their relentless progression.

    All in all, it was a relatively entertaining show, with the highlight of course being Crow Black Sky’s performance, which was surprisingly stellar considering we were unsure as to whether their live performance would live up to the snippets of material they released prior to the show, however, we still enjoyed the variation on display and the veritable crucible of genres the gig had to offer; it was interesting, to say the least.


    By Scott Miller, written in part by Adrian Pettit.