by Black Bubblegum
Lightning Swords of Death
What better place to see the black metal attack of Liturgy (though some call them "white metal"), Lightning Swords of Death, Bastard Sapling, and Agrath than the dingy basement of Lit Lounge, where the bands squared off on August 17th as part of Precious Metal.
I arrived bright and early to catch Agrath, the only band of the four that I wasn't familiar with. The NYC band had some interesting discordant riffage and were tight/executed very well, but had little to no stage prescence- save for the moments in between songs when the vocalist croaked song titles in his best black metal screech. If Agrath can somehow channel the evil from their riffs into their live show, they could be something interesting.
Richmond's Bastard Sapling followed, whom I was previous familiar via their performance at the ABC No Rio in Feb with Tombs, Black Anvil, and Woe (helluva bill right?) back in February. Beyond intense performance from this thrashy black metal five piece which includes the ex-drummer from CR (who are reuniting in September). Killer band, and highly reccommended if you get the chance to catch them.
Lightning Swords of Death was the main attraction of the evening for me, and the Los Angeles band managed to be beyond amazing in what ranks as one of the greatest performances I have ever seen in the basement of Lit Lounge. LSOD played with a fog machine (set to maximum, I am guessing?) which, when coupled with the Lit Lounge house light rig, clouded the basement and recalled a Zoroaster live show. Each member contributes a vital piece to LSOD: Roskva's (who also does time in Endless Blizzard) thundering guitar tone recalls that of a doom band and not one more conducive to tremolo picking. Reverend Black snarls, crouches low and plays bass like an unhinged barbarian, complete with a freakout noise session that would have made Thurston Moore proud. Lead vocalist Autarch vocals are fantastically diabolical, and he is comfortable in the role of blasphemous ringmaster. And drummer Thrudvang... he is talented and all but I pretty much can't guarantee much more than that because the fog was so damn dense.
LSOD were unbelievable live and I cannot reccomend them enough. I find it somewhat shocking that a major like Metal Blade would sign a band of this style (although Century Media did sign Nachtmystium), but I am beyond excited to see it. Random question though... is this band's name a reference to the great Lone Wolf and Cub series of kung fu films? If so, my appreciation for that moniker jumps up considerably.
It was a tall order for Liturgy to top LSOD, and the four piece did their best. Drawing heavily from their to-be-lauded LP Renihilation, the band were tight, focused, and muscular. I have seen Liturgy many a time, and it seems that this relatively young band is experienced beyond their years and keep getting better. During their second to last song, guitarist/vocalist Hunter broke a string and instead of having the audience wait until he replaced that string, said "that's it, sorry guys". A few in the audience started to trickle out, but screams of "one more" eventually led the band to make a deal: if they could wait until the string was changed and the band would play on. The audience did, and Liturgy did. Sounds like a fair trade to me.
More pictures from the show below...
Lightning Swords of Death