Thursday night I went to my first ever METAL SHOW, at the Ravari Room in Columbus, OH. I've never felt so tall in my life. (A lot of short guys at the metal show.)
The headliner was Baroness, whose 2007 release The Red Album fits into the sub-sub-genre of doom metal that I can actually stand. I like a lot of the musical aspects of doom, but I just can't get beyond bands who insist on growling, guttural vocals. The guys in Baroness yell, but it's just yelling; they don't feel the need to sound like Tuvan throat singers. However, this being my FIRST EVER METAL SHOW, I didn't realize how much the excessive volume would destroy the songs, robbing them of whatever musical variation exists on the studio recordings. I definitely expected it to be obscenely loud, but once live music reaches a certain volume in a small enough venue (maybe even in larger ones), the sound all bleeds together and everything sounds basically the same. In the case of Baroness, it was all chugging chords and anthemic vocals, the choruses being the only way I could even tell one song from the next. For the first song, I was about 3 people back from the stage, and luckily it turned out to be "The Birthing" (video below), my favorite of theirs. "Luckily," because after that assault on my ear-holes I had to move to the back of the club. After hearing a few of their other standouts, including the single, Wanderlust, I left before they had even finished playing. I'm already a bit hard of hearing, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice even more of that sense for 20 more minutes of indistinguishable guitar sounds.
Baroness, "The Birthing" (Live from DC9 in Washington, DC 12/2/07.)