Trap Them, Black Anvil & All Pigs Must Die played Union Pool (pics & special Klaus Kinski commentary)
photos by Meghan McInnis
Trap Them draws some blood
On Friday January 14, 2011, BrooklynVegan hosted a pair of shows at two separate Brooklyn venues. One show was at Acheron and featured Castevet, Lake of Blood, Seidr, and Falls of Rauros. The other was at Union Pool (a BV/1000 Knives production) and featured All Pigs Must Die, Black Anvil, and Trap Them. Reviewing metal shows is not really my forte, and I didn't attend the show with any intention of reviewing it. But since BBG attended the Acheron show and the Union Pool show kicked so much ass, I can't help but want to pontificate about the proceedings.
Union Pool, the bar, is one of the saddest, most crowded, annoying, infuriating, meat market hook-up joints in all the land on any given Friday or Saturday evening. The gauntlet of amateur-hour drunks and annoying clucks one must pass through to get to the bathroom or the area leading to the live room and backyard area is like a cruel challenge of patience preceding the grand reward; the best small room in the world to see metal in. Once you pass through the doors to the live room, you are instantly greeted by a PA system cranking metal of all eras and genres as well as a roomful of your like-minded metal compatriots; you are immediately ready to rock and the trauma of the journey dissolves (until you have to go to the bathroom).
I arrived at Union Pool right at the start of All Pigs Must Die. I am glad I got there when I did because they played an absolutely pulverizing set and I would have killed myself had I missed any of it. Vocalist Kevin Baker, (yes, I mean Kevin Baker) noted during the show that this Union Pool gig was their first gig ever which I couldn't believe. I still can't. I even drunkenly asked Kevin after the show if he was serious about that being their first show and he said it most definitely was. First gig or not, the pedigree of these players combined (members of The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, Give Up The Ghost, Bloodhorse, etc) made for a supremely tight, aggressive, and flawless set. The drummer was superior and drove the music at a relentless breakneck pace. Add to that their super heavy bass, guitars, and vocals, and it was a sonic experience that made you want to punch someone. They played much longer than I thought they would, and that's a good thing. They're from Massachusetts and I hope they come back to NYC soon, and often. This band is an absolute can't miss. Also, they've got one of the best t-shirt graphics since this, and it's gracing my body as I type this.
After an intermission that saw half of the room evacuate for smokes and tinkle-time, Black Anvil menacingly took the stage. Black Metal, as far as metal goes, is borderline for me. Sometimes it can seem almost like parody. But Black Anvil are absolute pros. Paul Delaney is not only a ruthless vocalist, but he damn near beats the living shit out of his bass. The sludge of distorted bass bleeds from his massive amp and rumbles your guts and soul right out of your body. Guitarist Gary Bennett looms over his gear like a brooding spectre, occasionally interjecting his own heavy vocals into the mix. It's the sonic equivalent of being pummeled in the face but suddenly and without notice being kicked in the yams. I do wish the drums were mic'd/eq'd/whatever a little better because I felt like the blast beats were sort of lost in the rest of the chaos. Other than that, those mofos CRUSHED.
Last up was Trap Them. I really don't know what else to say about this band except that they were absolutely phenomenal. Straight away, the combined sonic boom created by both guitarists (Brian Izzi and Andy from Every Time I Die who added a second guitar for the weekend) and the bass player immediately made me think of Entombed's record Left Hand Path. Then, about three songs in, I noticed an Entombed sticker on one of the guitars. Whether it was a coincidence or a deliberate attempt to capture Entombed's guitar sound doesn't really matter I guess because whatever they were doing they did it right. The guitars were so freaking clear, yet completely lethal and crushing. And the drummer was sort of the highlight of the whole evening for me. This guy is GOOD. His blast beats were just as devastating as the slowed down, thrashy parts. I'm a dork about stuff like that, and consistency is everything, so to see this guy pummel his kit without losing any consistency or dynamics was a thrill. And I liked the singer right away too. When he took the stage, he took his mic and whacked some dude standing up front right on top of his head; it created such a satisfying popping sound over the PA. I totally LOLed, yo. I have to admit straight up that Trap Them got me about as close as I'll ever get to starting a bone breaking mosh pit. I am 33, a little paunchy, and completely uncoordinated, but the intensity of this band was almost enough to unleash a weird, psychotic spell of The Mosh outta me. But the reality is that I am 33, a little paunchy, and completely uncoordinated and the best I could do was stand there pumping my fist and banging my bald, rather large head, back and forth.
That night, the live room at Union Pool wasn't just a place where an incredible metal show took place; it was also the location of a true miracle. For on January 14th, 2010, your pal Klaus Kinski was the recipient of one of New York's rarest honors; a buyback. Huzzah!
More pictures from the show below...
All Pigs Must Die