THE DEMO CORNER
December 2, 2009
Report and all photos by Kesh
Brass Mug Inc.
1441 E Fletcher Ave
Tampa, FL 33612 USA
Wednesday - November 25, 2009
Promise Me Hell
Marduk's U.S. Plague Tour 2009
What can you say about a band that you have been waiting a long time to see? It's not something that comes very easily. Almost ten years after I first tried to go see Marduk in concert, I finally did. The saying goes “three's a charm”, but in my case, it was the fifth - and the show was worth the wait.
Despite those four missed concerts over the past eight and a half years, five-mile-per-hour holiday traffic, and monsoon-like rain, I arrived only fifteen minutes late at a surprisingly unpacked Brass Mug in Tampa, Florida. While I had expected to be packed in with the other patrons like sardines, I was surprised to be able to breathe and move freely in the venue. It was 7:30 and the opening band Promise Me Hell was just warming up. The show was scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.
Finally, the first band, unsigned Tampa Bay locals, Promise Me Hell started to play. Very often, the unsigned openers of a show like this either totally fall flat on their faces or will only somewhat get the crowd going. Promise Me Hell was able to get the crowd going, getting the show started with a dark thrashing that would make the Devil himself proud. These Tampa boys’ effort shows, with a crisp performance lead by their vocalist, whose deep guttural growls and black metal vocals came at a fevered pitch matched only by the lead guitarist’s expertise. The support from the rest of the band completed the set, giving weight to these up and coming heavyweights in the scene.
Promise Me Hell finished, and the second band, Promethean Horde, began to set up. Very rarely am I eager to check out an unsigned band, but these guys had caught my attention on MySpace before I even knew they would be opening for a concert I wanted to go to. Promethean Horde did not disappoint. The entire band’s stage presence was electrifying, with lead vocalist Nickulus leading the charge through their set list like the general of an army. With a set up reminiscent of more symphonic black metal ala Dimmu Borgir, Promethean Horde has the energy and presence of Cradle of Filth before they got so massively big and stopped playing black metal. Watch for these guys; I have a feeling you will be hearing about them within the next year or two.
All content © 2013 Metal Psalter Webzine | Bands, labels, artists and photographers retain their respective © to their logos, artwork and photos | Design and Layout © 2013 Dynamico Designs
Promise Me Hell
Next up was Omneity, another unsigned Florida band I was unfamiliar with. Another good local band, these guys are throwing it back to the hey-day of the Tampa death metal scene, reminiscent of Death with a little bit of Deicide thrown in for good measure. Now, if you go to a live show and someone comes on stage with a seven string bass, you’re thinking: “They better know how to play that!” Fortunately, vocalist/bassist Pat did, and that, along with guitarists Belial and Brian shredding the hell out of their guitars and Ben barraging the audience with his drums, made these Clearwater boys the third unsigned jewel in the Tampa Metal scene’s musical crown on display that night.
The touring part of the show started with French black metalers, Merrimack, who, following the three unsigned bands that were truly impressive, destroyed the stage. These guys killed, making a positive mark on the American audience. The closest thing I can compare Merrimack’s performance to is Dimmu Borgir, but with out the synthesizers and way more blasphemous overtones than their peers from Norway. The band and the crowd seemed to truly become a functioning entity during "In the Halls of White Death.”
Like Promise Me Hell at the beginning of the show, Mantic Ritual was more than they seemed. But to be more accurate, Mantic Ritual should really consider renaming themselves Frantic Ritual. The entire front line of the band - Dave, Jeff and Ben - tore up the stage with both their energy and their musicianship. Bassist Ben Mottsman was all over the stage, making it hard to focus on the band and listen to the music. He was just that into the music, which is always a great thing to see with a performer. When they performed the song “Panic,” they brought someone up on stage with them that sang with the band on the chorus. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch their guest’s name, but it was cool to see. While I was unfamiliar with Mantic Ritual before the show, I can now say I am a fan after the show. These guys are an excellent old-school style thrash band that is entertaining to watch.