With Priapus, God Harvest, Implosive Disgorgence, and Maruta
Churchill's Pub, Miami
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Better Than: Thurston Moore doing anything in Miami.
Churchill's Pub had itself a busy weekend. Right on the heels of Friday night's Torche/Holly Hunt album release party, the legendary Pig Destroyer laid siege to old Winston's innards. The great thing about grindcore shows is that they run really quickly: Miami time is a fantasy in the world of grind.
The songs are usually so intense that they can't be sustained for much more than a minute. (Anything over 1:30 is considered a ballad.) And the sonic seizures these bands deal in call for only minimal periods of rest as everyone in the crowd is either dead, dying, or entirely under the control of their adrenal glands.
Kicking things off was Priapus, a trio from North Carolina. The band's set began on a somber note as it was dedicated to the memory of vocalist Jordan Noe's brother, Ryan, who had planned on being at the show. There was a palpable sadness in Noe's voice as he made the dedication, however, the emotion fueled a set that would have, without a doubt, made the young man's brother proud. The highlight of Priapus's set was definitely a cover of Assück's "Salt Mine," during which the band was joined by members of Maruta and the entire front row of the show in absolute grind-core catharsis.
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God Harvest, hailing from the Florida's west coast, gave one of the most unapologetically aggressive performances of the night. This quartet painted a sonic horrorscape at a volume level that rivaled doom-metal acts, complete with raw guitars and bleeding vocals. The songs stomped like early Napalm Death tracks, and audience members appeared to be scattering to avoid the kamikaze assault rather than moshing. All of the violence was over in under 15 minutes.
Rising from the ashes to play Miami for the first time in three years, Broward County based outfit, Implosive Disgorgence's set was a highly anticipated part of the night. According to show promoter and friend to South Florida aggressive music, Roger "Speedfreek" Forbes, the emails and messages he received after announcing the group's participation came from all over the world. The band played a style of grindcore loaded with spastic churn and coupled with death-metal textures, making for an insanely effective maelstrom of noise. When vocalist Matt Hurst unleashed ungodly guttural low growls over the unstoppable noise storm of guitarist Jeff Stevenson, bassist Corey Sarafan, and drum-beast Erick Feinberg, the entire room shook as if it was on a ride straight to hell. The band's set featured some new material that proved they might still write another grind classic to match the tracks of cult favorite Chapters . That said, the band ended the set with "Chapter 1" and the room ate itself alive.
Another group dragged back from retirement: Miami's Maruta. Every few months, Forbes books a show that is simply too good for the men of Maruta to pass up playing, and apparently this has happened enough times now for the band to announce on Saturday that they have returned to writing new material and being a semi-functional group.
Led by Mitchell Luna's tortured howls, the band's set saw the walls virtually crawling with people as they chugged and blasted through old favorites and (finally) the first fresh material they've had in years. It all ended with a chant for "one more song," which was graciously obliged. As always, Maruta was irrationally heavy and the casualties were high, but it is good to have them back where they belong: sullying stages everywhere with their crusty blasts of filth.
The night came to a head when Pig Destroyer took the stage in Miami for the first time ever. The show was a fly-in date, and served as essentially the album release party for the critically lauded LP, Bookburner, the band's first in over five years.
The time spent away was well worth the songs unleashed upon that room packed with people and noise. Drummer Adam "Fucking" Jarvis (as he is listed on the band's Facebook) was just in Miami while playing for Misery Index, and though he was great on skins for them, Pig Destroyer's set proved that the band is the burly drummer's true element.
And Pig Destroyer might be the perfect heavy band for Miami, when you consider the city's love of both extreme-metal styles and its large noise-music community. Appropriately, Miami noise legend Rat Bastard was running sound for the night.
So, as swirling, conceptualized noise, provided by a table of effects under the control of Blake Harrison, coalesced with Pig Destroyer's pinch-harmonic-punctuated reports of grind, frontman Jr Hayes flung unhinged bursts of pained vocals at the crowd. People were diving from the stage, the bar, literally from the shoulders of other human beings. The band ripped through tracks from Bookburner, as well as a healthy dose of offerings from other releases.
The room surged for the band's cover of Void's "Who Are You," which was intended to be the final song played. However, another chant for "one more song" brought the innovative grinders back to the stage to terrorize the crowd with fan favorite "Alexandria" and its four-on-the-floor final stomp.
The night ended with more well-deserved gratitude for what Speedfreek does, providing Miami with one-off shows by top billing extreme-metal acts, frequently spending quite a bit of money out of pocket to keep Churchill's full of loud.
Overheard in the Crowd: "That was the best show I've been to all year." - Implosive Disgorgence drummer Erick Feinberg
Random Detail: Playing a table of effects, à la Blake Harrison, is a great idea. The dude didn't have to put his beer down the entire time.
Pig Destroyer's Setlist:
-"Pretty in Casts"
-"Sheet Metal Girl"
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-"Who Are You"