Racebannon, SUMA, Unearthly Trance, Coffinworm
October 10, 2010
The Melody Inn
What was a relatively calm and quiet Sunday quickly erupted into delightfully chaotic madness after the sun went down and a thick blanket of darkness fell over Indianapolis, Indiana. The historic Melody Inn was once again the host of a sizeable crowd, in the house for an equally monstrous show. The performances of all four bands were nothing short of mind-blowing.
First up, Bloomington, Indiana’s punk-minded, experimental noise fanatics, Racebannon. Named after Dr. Quest’s bodyguard in the cartoon, Johnny Quest, the band is known for their unusual approach involved in their music. Their art has the potential to simultaneously strike directly into the listener’s psyche, get the horns raised and pit churning. The set Racebannon ripped through this evening was no exception to that rule, as it was virtually overflowing with the band’s trademark quirkiness, breakneck time changes and humorous between-song commentary courtesy of vocalist Michael Anderson. “The Plea” and “Wrap the Body” were most definitely highlights of Racebannon’s performance. Anyone that has, for whatever reason, not managed to witness the band in all of their live glory should do all in their absolute power to reverse their deprivation of experiencing this immensely powerful band.
A long way from home for the evening’s festivities were SUMA, bringing their own brand of relentless and surreal doom-fueled thunder to the Midwest from their home in Malmo, Sweden. The band’s unique stage arrangement (drums up front, vocalist in the back) added an effective element to their relentlessly thunderous and droning performance, featuring numbers from their Ashes and Let The Churches Burn releases. In this setting, it seemed that much of the attention was focused on the guitar work and percussion, as the performance of vocalist, Jovan, was somewhat “behind” everything just as he was, in the physical sense. However, it should be understood that this bore no hindrance whatsoever on SUMA’s overall success in getting the job done with jaw-dropping efficiency.
Then, as the ashen smoke of their tour mates cleared, Brooklyn, New York’s Unearthly Trance took the stage once again gracing Indianapolis fans and friends with yet another pulverizing performance. The trio did all they could in an attempt to open an abyss in the center of the Melody Inn, unleashing a mammoth spectrum of their works to draw the crowd into the hypnotic fray. From earlier material like “Black Heart/Black Lung” to brand new doom excursions such as “Physical Universe Distorts” as well as the crowd-requested set-closer, “God is a Beast”, Unearthly Trance struck a positively amazing nerve with the crowd and exceeded everything this reviewer was hoping for, with the first time seeing the band live.
Drawing the evening’s blissfully deafening festivities to a close, were none other than Indy’s own beloved poster children of the end times, Coffinworm. Immediately unleashing heartwarming ditties such as “High on the Reek of Your Burning Remains”, “The Sadistic Rites of Count Tabernacula” and “Blood Borne Doom” like so many hell-spawned demons, raw-throated vocalist Dave Britts and cohorts brought the house down with sludge-soaked, blasphemous malice not for the faint of heart or false metal-friendly. The performance was also a showcase of the band’s new incarnation, with Josh Schrontz taking up his new duties behind the drums with lethal, bludgeoning success. Long story (somewhat) short, Coffinworm’s performance was the perfect, final nail in the casket of the evening. And if you weren’t in attendance to witness all four bands, you owe it to your self to make some sort of justification. Or, as the band suggests, you could always take the easy way out…and start saving for your funeral. Good luck!