Midnight @ Reggies, Chicago (US)

MIDNIGHT / THE GATES OF SLUMBER / SCYTHE / STONE MAGNUM / TERMINATE

Date: 27th April, 2012
Venue: Reggies Rock Club
Ticket: $12 (€9)
Promoter: R.I.P. Records


DimK: MIDNIGHT have managed to draw my attention with “Satanic Royalty” and the Black/Thrash with a touch of Punk sound. Of course, this description would be more precise if I’d use VENOM as the main source of influence and I think this makes it a no-brainer for getting at Reggies that cold Friday night. And it felt really great watching the number of metalheads inside the venue, even though MIDNIGHT is not a hot-selling band especially in the US.

MariaV: Entering the almost packed Reggies Rock club, doomsters STONE MAGNUM were already onstage and I have to admit that their dominating presence got my attention from the very beginning; Nick Hernandez, holding a cross-designed mic base, spitted some BLACK SABBATH-esque words (like they were taken from the “Headless Cross”era), while Dean Tavernier gave the command for a non-stopping headbanging to the crowd who had already taken position as near the stage as possible. You see, having a young but so talented Metal band from the neighbour Michigan City in such an underground related billing was a hell of opportunity to watch some serious Doom Metal stuff ala the traditional way. And these guys delivered their music just perfectly.

“Savior In Blackwas the starter for me (since I lost their stage entrance) and I was quite curious for the rest of the STONE MAGNUM performance. Of course the sound touched perfection, bringing out the details of the two guitar axemen, while the bass had a dominant role in this Epic Doom-laden play. Nickseemed a bit nervous in the beginning but that was something that he overcame a couple songs later. “Rolling Storm” was like I found Apocalypse since the result was way better than the album (!), while the intro of BEHERIT’s “The Gate Of Inanna”-esque “Locksmith Of Misery”dropped the curtain for these guys that seem to walk on the right path. It would be really cool to see STONE MAGNUM in next year’s ‘Keep It True’ festival. Hey Oli, give them a shot!

STONE MAGNUM setlist:

01. “Pictures Of Your Life”
02. “Fallen Priest”
03. “Savior In Black”
04. “Grave Of Cryptic Sorrows”
05. “By An Omen I Went”
06. “Rolling Storm”
07. “In Tongues They Whisper”
08. “Locksmith Of Misery”

STONE MAGNUM

Stone Magnum @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Stone Magnum @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Stone Magnum @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Stone Magnum @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Stone Magnum @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

(click to enlarge)


DimK: After the very good and most atmospheric Doom-like performance by STONE MAGNUM it was time to speed things up with Chicago’s SCYTHE. If you do a short research you will discover the band’s musical id as Black/Thrash and this pretty much describes what we got from SCYTHE’s setlist. The moment they entered the stage everything felt fast and full of energy and it wouldn’t be too much to add the Speed Metal label on the above description. Also, everything was old-school based starting from the three piece lineup and spikes and leather to go with. Rick Scythe was the leading force moving all around the stage when he was not singing (ok, there were times his headbanging was not following the music) and it became pretty obvious that connecting with the audience was a walk in the park for him. Of course, the CELTIC FROST meets VENOM music mix was a great treat for me and during the first three tracks I was hooked by the onstage happenings. The US metalheads knew the band and followed the energy stream causing mayhem inside the venue especially during the fast guitar based breaks and the trademark Tom Warrior grunt (ough, in other words...). Tim Pearson did a good job filling in for the missing rhythm guitar (yeah the sound would be more solid, I think) with his bass work, while Dan Geist was awesome holding the tempo with the intense drumming. But after first impression I found myself losing interest and it would be too much to characterize the setlist as flat. On the other hand, everyone was having some violent fun and in the end of the day (or the night in this case) this is what it matters the most in a Metal gig. If I’d choose the climax moments of the setlist I’d go with “Beware The Scythe” and “The Iron Witch” and the groovy headbanging breaks.

SCYTHE

Scythe @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Scythe @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Scythe @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Scythe @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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MariaV: After the almost boring appearance of SCYTHE, it was time for some real kicking-ass Doom tunes and that’s why Indiana’s THE GATES OF SLUMBER conquered Reggies stage, even though their thing had nothing to do with what came before by SCYTHE’s CELTIC FROST-esque attitude or with what would follow by MIDNIGHT’s Punk barbaric VENOM-esque Death Rock ‘n’ Roll (I still don’t get why they weren’t the night’s headliners). Since this act is among my top 5 Doom Metal bands, always is a pleasure for me to catch them while they hit the road and experience a top quality live performance.

Without wasting time, Karl, Jason and Cool Clyde stepped onstage, armed and ready for treating us with a crushing Doom Metal setlist, even though I doubt that the majority of the crowd had anything to do with their music. Well, watching a bunch of drunken dudes and dudettes dancing (!) during THE GATES OF SLUMBER set was a big turn off for me (I’m guessing for the band too) and an enough reason to justify my saying, while I was trying to ignore the existence of such an incompatible audience that was there just to drink a couple of light beers (yup, this is not a bad joke, actually exist this kind of beer) and get drunk. Nevertheless, it’s always a pleasure to listen to songs like “The Scovrge Of Drvnkenness”, “Coven Of Cain” (I really love Karl’s guitar solo in this one) and the compelling tunes of “Bastards Born” live that these guys nailed as always, while “The Jury” was a complete blasting surprise to me. Of course, every time I watch Clyde behind the drum kit, I’m even more convinced that the bonding of the Doom trio becomes tighter and tighter, while his solid drumming style fits like a glove to the band’s sound/appearance.

Cheers till the next one, guys!

THE GATES OF SLUMBER setlist:

01. “Death Dealer”
02. “The Scovrge Of Drvnkenness”
03. “Day Of Farewell”
04. “Coven Of Cain”
05. “Bastards Born”
06. “The Jury”
07. “Ice Worm”

THE GATES OF SLUMBER

The Gates Of Slumber @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) The Gates Of Slumber @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) The Gates Of Slumber @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) The Gates Of Slumber @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) The Gates Of Slumber @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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DimK: Watching two youngsters (sorry but the drummer looked older) preparing their gear revealed nothing of what was about to follow with MIDNIGHT’s set. I mean, their calm faces had nothing to do with the high-octane show they put us through with a tight as hell setlist. Once more I have to comment on the young US metalheads and their sweet tooth for such bands with evil attitude that at some times looks funny and others kind of annoying; moshing is not pushing your buddy to the crowd...

Nevertheless, the hoods were on and MIDNIGHT entered/stormed the stage without fancy intros or without wasting more time with “Screams Of Blasphemy”. As I said wearing a mask (or a full face hood in this case) breaks the warm-up boundary where a musician has to overcome in every gig start. Those two youngsters I watched setting up their gear had left their personalities backstage and got as old school as possible. It’s worth saying that the show felt like watching a Black Metal band in the early stages (yeah, you can mention HELLHAMMER or VENOM) when puberty was mixed with energy and rejection feelings to produced that old-school fine blend that gave birth to the raw with no boundaries Black Metal (yeah, the one that is so missing nowadays). Of course, I am not saying that MIDNIGHT can step on the shoes of those two bands / Metal behemoths but still the attitude and the music quality is there. It’s more appropriate to say that MIDNIGHT have implemented those old recipes to the best degree and on top of that they put a good show to go with.

So, Athenar took over Reggies with his spikes and leather with his bass guitar and his almost screaming vocals. The Punk underlining song structure (power chords and furious MOTÖRHEAD bass lines) and the blasphemous lyrics are bound not to fail and MIDNIGHT met my expectations to the fullest. It was fun to watch Athenar provoking and pushing the guys and gals in the front rows when he was not singing on top of his lungs. “Violence On Violence” with the guitar solo in the intro literally brought violence inside Reggies and it took no time to be accompanied by some scattered stage-diving (yeah, the security guys had to battle against this one). Standing in front of the bass amp gave me the opportunity to enjoy this Punk Black Metal Rock ‘n’ Roll (what a great label that is) mix in songs like “Holocaustic Deafening”, “Lust Filth And Sleaze” (yeah, deadly VENOM references here especially in the vocals) or in “Satanic Royalty” from the band’s awesome latest album. It’s kind of strange that there is not much to comment about this show; I mean, there was energy, the sound was loud and clear, the band was pumped up with liters of adrenaline and the crowd was eager to follow the energy surge without asking questions. And why should they? This was a tight show focused on the music, leaving aside all the BS that I had having in a Metal concert (long speeches or whatever solos), plus there is a limit for an average metalhead to withstand this type of music and band performance.

If you want some old-school violent fun then MIDNIGHT are the perfect deal for you. I am just wondering how the hell does Athenar chose the session musicians to tour with him? I am very curious to read the advertisement and the requirements to join MIDNIGHT onstage... anyway, that was a great show!

P.S.: Don’t you just love when VENOM is mentioned so many times in a review / live report?

MIDNIGHT setlist: (I think so...)

01. “Screams Of Blasphemy”
02. “Black Rock'n'Roll”
03. “Violence On Violence”
04. “I Am Violator”
05. “Holocaustic Deafening”
06. “All Hail Hell”
07. “Lust Filth And Sleaze”
08. “You Can't Stop Steel”
09. “Endless Slut”
10. “Unholy And Rotten”
11. “Satanic Royalty”
12. “..On The Wings Of Satan”

MIDNIGHT

Midnight @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Midnight @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Midnight @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Midnight @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Midnight @ Reggies Rock Club (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

(click to enlarge)

DimK: MIDNIGHT have managed to draw my attention with “Satanic Royalty” and the Black/Thrash with a touch of Punk sound. Of course, this description would be more precise if I’d use VENOM as the main source of influence and I think this makes it a no-brainer for getting at Reggies that cold Friday night. And it felt really great watching the number of metalheads inside the venue even though MIDNIGHT is not a hot-selling band especially in the US.

MariaV: Entering the almost packed Reggies Rock club, doomsters STONE MAGNUM were already onstage and I have to admit that their dominating presence got my attention from the very beginning; Nick Hernandez, holding a cross-designed mic base, spitted some BLACK SABBATH-esque words (like they were taken from the “Headless Cross” era), while Dean Tavernier gave the command for a non-stopping headbanging to the crowd who had already taken position as near the stage as possible. You see, having a young but so talented Metal band from the neighbour Michigan City in such an underground related billing was a hell of opportunity to watch some serious Doom Metal stuff ala the traditional way. And these guys delivered their music just perfectly.

“Savior In Black” was the starter for me (since I lost their stage entrance) and I was quite curious for the rest of the STONE MAGNUM performance. Of course the sound touched perfection, bringing out the details of the two guitar axemen, while the bass had a dominant role in this Epic Doom-laden play. Nick seemed a bit nervous on the first place (well it’s not that easy to be in front of 150 faces, while you lack some of onstage experience, trying hard to gain the best of impressions), but that was something that he overpassed a couple of songs later. “Rolling Storm” was like I found Apocalypse since the result was way better than the album (!), while the intro of BEHERIT’s “The Gate Of Inanna”-esque “Locksmith Of Misery” dropped the curtain for these guys that seem to walk on the right path. It would be really cool to see STONE MAGNUM in next year’s ‘Keep It True’ festival. Hey Oli, give them a shot!

STONE MAGNUM setlist:

01. “Pictures Of Your Life”

02. “Fallen Priest”

03. “Savior In Black”

04. “Grave Of Cryptic Sorrows”

05. “By An Omen I Went”

06. “Rolling Storm”

07. “In Tongues They Whisper”

08. “Locksmith Of Misery”