Concert Reviews

Nile - Immolation - Krisiun - Dreaming Dead
Jan 30th 2010

Slim's, San Francisco, CA, USA

This brutal bill started out with the band Dreaming Dead, whom I had never heard of before. The band was mostly a thrash act with some blast beats and black metalish vocals. The first thing of note was the band had two women in it, one of which was the lead guitar and vocalist. They did a decent job, but their guitar sound had way too much echo, and so it was tough to really hear any of the music. Maybe their CD is better, but live I felt they were just so-so.

Next came Krisiun, and their sound was far better. Of course, it helps when you only have a single guitar, clarity is much easier to achieve. They proceeded to play some great songs from various albums, like 'Vicious Wrath' and 'Hatred Inherit'. The band was tight. Alex's banter between songs was decent, he probably had the best stage presence of the evening. My only knit was that Max's bassdrum sound was too quiet, and so it blended in with everything else. For a band where the bassdrum is so central to their sound, it needed to be louder.

Next was Immolation. Immolation is one of those classically underrated bands, they never seem to get much of the limelight, and yet they are such a great band. They performed pretty much 1 song from all their albums, especially noteworthy was 'Father, You're Not a Father' (but that may just be because it's off my favorite album of theirs). They also played 'I Feel Nothing', 'World Agony', 'Passion Kill', and the new single, 'The Purge', off their forthcoming album. Their sound was excellent, tight even with the two guitars. I just love the oddness to their music, the guitar riffs are very dissonant, and the drumming manages to keep a beat while not really playing a beat, somehow the constant fills merge together into a consistent backbone for the rest of the music. No one sounds like this band, and they had an amazing set. Also, it's so much fun watching lead guitarist Robert Vigna move around on stage, that guy is a total spazz, thrashing the neck of his guitar around, doing these huge upstrokes, I swear, the man doesn't move in a human manor, and it's really fun to watch. Maybe he's channeling some sort of demon as he plays :)

And then Nile hit the stage. Even with such strong sets from Krisiun and Immolation, Nile definitely ruled the night. Their sound was by far the best, with insanely machine gun like drumming from George, and a really good mix that allowed each instrument to be heard clearly but still hit with a lot of power (It almost sounds as good as their studio mix). Sadly I spent a lot of time in the balcony, which didn't have as strong a sound as being on the floor, but the times I was on the floor, you could really feel the drums in your chest. The moment the band started, I was surprised, Dallas (guitar / vocals) has shaved his head? At first I didn't think it was him, maybe they had a fillin guitar player, but quickly I realized he had just made the decision, he was going bald and decided to accept his fate. A few songs for the evening: 'Ithyphallic', 'Black Seeds Of Vengeance', 'Serpent Headed Mask', 'Cast Down The Heretic', 'Lashed To The Slave Stick', 'Execration Text', and the ever popular 'Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Is In the Water'. They opened the set with new song 'Kafir!', and also played 'Hittite Dung Incantation' and '4th Arra Of Dagon' off their latest album. A few small knits, first, Dallas needs to work on his banter. Almost all of his banter was saying "Now we're gonna play a song off of album X, Do you want to hear a song off of album X?" Then the next one is "Now we're gonna play a song off of album Y, Do you want to hear a song off of album Y?" He definitely needed more variety. Next, no encore, which was a letdown, I'd have loved to hear a couple more songs. And finally, they didn't play my favorite song off the new album ('Utterances Of The Crawling Dead') and they didn't play my favorite song off their last album ('What May Be Safely Written'), but that's just a personal knit, since I'm sure those aren't everyone's favorite songs.

Really great concert, Nile is just devastating live, Immolation played a surprisingly strong set, and Krisiun did their usual strong set.

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