Archive for March 2011
I am a happy boy right now.
Odin is doing a rare show on August 27th, 2011 at the famed Whisky A Go-Go in Hollywood. I’ve been a fan since 1986 and wanted to catch their last reunion show but missed it. My concert ticket is bought and now I just need to book my flight and I’m set. This has been a long time coming.
Damn, I’m a happy boy right now.
I like a lot of instrumental bands but I’ve always found it difficult to find quality instrumental rock bands that didn’t write their stuff to sound like they were writing around having a singer. Philadelphia’s Serpent Throne satisfies my instrumental craving perfectly.
I met the two guitarists, Demian Fenton and Don Argott, at the premier for the movie Last Days Here during the SxSW 2011 Film and Music Festival. You can read my review of their movie here. They are the guys behind the production/direction of the movie and in talking with Demian after the flick, he mentioned that he was in a band and I had forgotten about it until a few days after seeing the movie as I was wrapped up in a lot of SxSW activities.
Since then I have been spinning their stuff practically non-stop. Metal has a lot of sub-genres and these guys would typically be classified in the stoner rock and doom categories. To call them Black Sabbath worship is too easy. Pretty much all metal bands worship Sabbath whether they know it or not. Serpent Throne take it to a bit of a different level in my opinion. They use lots great dual guitar harmonies that are reminiscent of Thin Lizzy in places. I hear hints of Trouble (S/T LP era) in there as well, intended or not. There are some cool hints of 70s Scorpions as well as Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash. Maybe some Cactus too. It’s a nice blend of great rock and metal without sounding like they are just ripping off all of the classic bands.
I think it’s pretty tough for an instrumental band of this genre to continue to write stuff and keep it interesting and Serpent Throne has done that
with all 3 of their albums: Ride Satan Ride (2007), The Battle of Old Crow (2009) and White Summer*Black Winter (2010). I highly recommend picking up all of their stuff. Battle of Old Crow and White Summer*Black Winter are available for download from Amazon and iTunes. I had to buy the CD for Ride Satan Ride and convert it to MP3 myself as it’s not available for legal download.
Hopefully I’ll catch these guys live sometime, even if it means heading to Philly for it. Would be cool to have them hit Austin for a show sometime. I think they’d do well here, especially if they were in on a SxSW gig. So, nice work, guys! Hope all good things come out of Last Days Here as well.
Written by The Metal Files
March 28, 2011 at 9:04 am
Posted in 2011, 9.14 pictures, album reviews, black sabbath, cd reviews, demian fenton, don argott, doom, heavy metal, instrumental music, last days here, philadelphia, serpent throne, stoner rock, sxsw
I first caught Naam last year when they were on the bill with Voi Vod at SxSW 2010 and instantly became a fan. Their breed of space rock, stoner rock, metal, psyche rock or whatever other monikers you want to give it really set well with me.
A month or 2 ago they stated that there would be no showing at SxSW 2011 because of management issues or something but ultimately they got it done and ended up doing a few shows around town. I was able to catch the one at Headhunters on Friday. They were on the back patio which is tiny and I was one of the last folks in the door…and that put my fat ass right in front of the band. A little too close from a band’s perspective in my opinion but having everyone in their faces didn’t seem to matter at all. They pushed through their set with intensity and the crowd really liked them a lot. They were loud, heavy, solid.
Naam does it right. They are tight and I really like the way they do their vocals by enhancing them with a lot of chorus, delay and reverb. It fits with their music perfectly. I’m especially impressed with John Bundy’s bass playing. That guy works his Fender Precision bass like a $9 hooker.
Can’t wait to see them again!
You can buy their stuff on iTunes or via All That is Heavy.
It’s not very often that I hear/see a band that makes my jaw hit the floor and makes me want to run around and tell every person that I know to check them out. That’s what Portland’s Danava did for me this year at the SxSW music festival. I had never heard of this band until a few days before the festival when viewing the showcase at Valhalla that also featured Christian Mistress and Zoroaster, 2 other bands that I like a lot. I didn’t get a chance to listen to them before the show so I went into this cold.
Dang! These guys kicked into a 70s style jam fest that hit me right in the nuts. When i say “jam” I don’t mean like some hippie jam band improv type of thing, this music was well-thought out riff-oriented hard rock. I heard elements of a lot of my favorite bands like Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, Hawkwind, Allman Brothers, White Witch, Thin Lizzy and even more modern 70s worship style ala Witchcraft.
One of their defining attributes is their riffing style. Lots of movement all over the fretboard with the 2 guitarists playing some great melodies. Add in the bassist playing the same riffs behind them and it’s pretty badass to watch and hear. He’s really a damn fine bassist in general. It’s great to see a band that obviously rehearses a lot. They’ve been on the road quite a bit over the last few years as well and that has a tendency to tighten a band up as well. Mix in the clean vocals (very early Ozzy-era Sabbath/Bobby Liebling) and you’ve got a great mix.
After their set I was looking for some merch to buy but they didn’t have it handy. Fortunately their music is on iTunes and I downloaded their entire catalog a few hours after seeing them (3AM!). I was happy to catch them again a few nights later for free for a quick set. Just great. Period.
I caught Christian Mistress at Red 7 in October 2010 (review here) and enjoyed their set. I had noted that their set in October didn’t seem that tight and I think I will go ahead and chalk that up to a bad night for them. This year during the SxSW festival I was happy that they were playing a showcase show as I have been wanting to see them again as I listen to their EP regularly.
I really thought they were great this time. Tight. Solid. Damn fine metal showing. Christine’s voice sounded great. I’ll certainly catch them if/when they come back. They may have played another show around town, but I didn’t know about it. I would have gone again for sure.
Give us a new album already! ;)