Concert Review: Sylphs At Skylab
Out of this whole line up, Santa Fe’s own Sylphs was the only band who had the integrity to, you know, actually perform. I thought that’s what bands do: Play music for an audience. Apparently all the touring bands thought otherwise, but it was their loss. Sylphs single-handedly brought down the house, sans posers and pussies.
Supposedly, one of the bassists had to go to the ER for drinking antifreeze. If that story is true, I hope he is alright, although it’s usually toddlers who don’t know any better who drink whatever they find under the kitchen sink. It also doesn’t explain why ALL THREE BANDS bailed. Maybe they thought the venue wasn’t “metal” enough, or assumed they wouldn’t have a great turn out. First of all, a venue is a venue. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in an abandoned warehouse or Versailles, if you can shred, you can shred anywhere. Second, a concert is a two way street that requires both audience and performers. We as fans held up our end of the deal, and they as artists failed to deliver.
Regardless of their reasons, Slut Vomit, Ascended Dead, and Crurifragium just screwed themselves out of a tight-knit, thriving metal community. If they had played tonight, we would have treated them like all of our other metal brethren: bought them drinks, headbanged for their songs, bought their merch, and given them a place to stay so they don’t have to cuddle in their dingy tour band like usual. Hell, if they were cute enough, maybe they would have gotten laid. But enough of my ranting and raving. I’d like to end this on a good note, so here’s what Sylphs did to salvage the night:
For a three-piece ensemble, Sylphs sound fuckin’ gigantic. Their music is atmospheric on a grand scale, with heavily distorted guitars, long, drawn out whole notes, and perfectly timed, lethargic drumming. These slowly pounding elements would abruptly plummet into faster, more violent shredding. In a town that is seething with thrash, grind, and death metal, Sylphs stand out as sounding more black metal, especially with the vocals. Their second song, Rule Of Thirds, was deliciously sludgy with a tempo so slow it was almost suffocating. Other tracks, like Nemo and Ghost Resonance, had faster beats and aggressive rhythms.
When I listen to Sylphs, I feel like I joined a cult. Their ambient mystery and powerful dissonance are like dark mantras, causing the audience to headbang in unison like priests bowing before an altar. Their music is oppressive, charismatic, and mesmerizing.
This show didn’t turn out quite like I had expected, but Sylphs are so fucking badass that they more than compensated for any shortcomings of the night. Four stars out of five!