Corrosion of Conformity With Holly Hunt, Consular, and Shroud Eater at Grand Central Miami, March 19

Corrosion of Conformity

With Holly Hunt, Consular, and Shroud Eater

Grand Central

Monday, March 19, 2012

Louder Than: Volcanoes, stampedes, and a skirmish in the valleys of Afghanistan.

Can someone please explain how Corrosion of Conformity ended up playing an only-show-in-Florida date at Grand Central on a Monday? We can't find anything about a thrash/'80s crossover cruise leaving from the Port of Miami. Maybe they have a timeshare.

Of course, Crossfade appreciates any and all musical artists based outside of the Sunshine State who decide to take a shot at touring South Florida. And we're especially excited for all of the upcoming Speedfreak Production flyouts, including Eyehategod later this month and 305 Fest in July. But both of those shows are on the weekend.

Quite appropriately, Grand Central hyped the fact that last night was C.O.C.'s only Florida date. And under normal circumstances, metalheads from all around this great and miserable peninsula would mosh down to Miami in droves. However, the show being on a weeknight -- straight up, it was fucking Monday -- obliterated any possibility of the MIA being overrun by out-of-town shred junkies.

Despite the thin audience, all of the local openers -- Holly Hunt, Consular, and Shroud Eater -- were in top form. And Grand Central's acoustics went a tremendously long way for three bands who are sometimes too loud to hear, often at the hands of an overwhelmed and frightened sound guy. Last night, the GC mixing board was clearly operated by an individual who had no fear.

What kind of metal do Shroud Eater play? Is the correct answer all metal? We heard: stoner sludge, '80s-style thrash, and even some supermelodic, D&D power-metal flourishes. And hey, does guitarist and vocalist Jean Saiz kinda have a King Buzzo thing going on? While we've enjoyed Shroud Eater's pastiche in the past, last night was the first time we could hear every element in full glory.

Meanwhile, Consular perform a metalcore/sludge fusion that we are less immediately enthusiastic about. But the audience didn't stop headbanging. Vocalist Matt Cleer spent half of the set getting histrionic all up in the crowd's grill. Video forthcoming.

Holly Hunt holds the distinction of being the only metal band from last night's genre crash course to be heavy but not hard. Which is not to say that guitarist Gavin Perry didn't sometimes sound like the MGM lion's roar run through a Big Muff. Or that drummer Beatriz Monteavaro wasn't killing her kit with equal intensity. But the ridiculous, amplifer-worshipping, pants-crapping power of Holly Hunt does not lie in rage or evilness. With only two members (and maybe a half, if you count Perry's gear), this band may be the most emotionally dynamic weed metal experiment since Dylan Carlson put down his (different kind of) gear and turned Earth into a Spaghetti Western (in a good way).

Photo by Winslow Pewbert
Photo by Winslow Pewbert

To end it all, Corrosion of Conformity was technically precise, physically present, and enthusiastic, all despite the meager crowd. In fact, they were primed to play for what felt like three days. We understand C.O.C.'s relevance in the history of those first awkward dalliances between punk and metal. But when it comes to punk-metal synthesis, we're more into Slayer and Void than Anthrax or D.R.I., which is not to say we couldn't appreciate Corrosion for their technical prowess. We could.

No doubt, metal fixings with prog composition means you've got some chops. But goddamn, it all kind of sounds the same.

Personal Bias: Holly Hunt/Weed 2012.

The Crowd: Practically nonexistent.

Overheard In The Crowd: "How was I supposed to know you can't stick your balls in it?"

Random Detail: Corrosion of Conformity guitar guy Woody Weatherman looks like (1) a man named Woody Weatherman; (2) Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski; and (3) the perfect Ben and Jerry's buddy.

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Matt Preira