The Battle Of The Bands
The Albuqurque Battle Of The Bands was promoted by Gorilla Music, hosted by the infamous Launchpad, and featured many promising musicians with the potential to go far in the industry. Gorilla, although a sleazy behemoth of a company, gives something back to the artists of whom it takes advantage. The contest featured no cash award, but instead boasted the “
Opportunity” to do further collaborations with Gorilla. Despite this disappointing, self-proclaimed prize, the Battle Of The Bands brought quality local music to a wide audience. Some audience members, such as myself, have the ability to give such bands better (and paid!) opportunities to perform. I would have never met these artists if a corporate scam didn’t organize the . I owe them some begrudging, yet well-deserved, gratitude. Thanks, guys! Battle
Glad that’s over. The artists who performed at the Battle Of The Bands are as follows:
Skarva Av Glas opened up the night with some gnarly Black Metal from hell. The sexy female guitarist was the crown jewel in this otherwise mediocre band. This is a Black Metal group easily forgotten among the rest that try to offend rather than entertain. They have potential, but their performance was overall underwhelming.
Embelisk was a band bouncing with energy. Funky beats juxtaposed over a hard-rock backdrop created a cool atmosphere of chill, crowd pleasing music. Their stage presence was playful, the intent was mischievous. Embelisk was a measured, healthy dose of radio-friendly Rock.
The Elected Officials take righteous indignation, set it to the melody of playground ditties, and amplify it to high heaven. They embody hardcore, Punk-as-fuck, “Oi Oi Oi” music with a message. They hit the stage like a Molotov cocktail hits a skyscraper, conquering the venue with their wicked charisma. Rebels with a cause have never sounded so good.
Terror Race combines elements of modern music with inspiration from rock classics. The result is Metal that appeals even to people who don’t like the genre. On the other hand, true Metalheads may end up feeling slighted. They are certainly gifted with profound musical ability, yet they are trapped in a Local scene with a surplus of high-school Metal bands. With some practice, they will never again get lost in the mix.
Gnarly Slur is comprised of two musicians (A bassist and a guitarist/singer), and a synthesizer. The style oscillates from clean vocals to death growls, always tastefully and usually seamlessly. However, as stage presence is an integral aspect of live music, the synthetic drum-beats are distracting and somewhat clumsy. Other than the lack of a proper musician on drums, Gnarly slur was an enjoyable taste of modern Metal in one of its many incarnations.
Night of Revenge is a band of high-schoolers writing about video-game zombies, hot girls, and mosh pits. They do so tactfully, with surprisingly phenomenal results. The instruments are distorted, heavy, and catchy. The vocals are usually screams or growls, with occasional clean singing. It’s great head-banging Metal in the vein of Bullet for my Valentine. The clean vocals could use some practice, but otherwise the band is extremely talented.
Parachute Picnic was fodder to please the unwashed masses. A large crowd of aforementioned unwashed masses gathered to flail to their Pop-Punk serenades, music far too sissy to warrant a proper, dignified pit. It was catchy and danceable, yet little more than formula music for mall-rats who admire cuteness instead of talent.
Severkill is a bunch of middle-aged men playing slow, bluesy, Heavy Metal their own way. The instruments sound very old school , Black Sabbath-esque, yet the vocals are modernized with growls and screams. Spooky stage presence and cool lyrics are the mercury icing on the Metal cake. It’s pretty cool to see guys their age rocking out with the best of them.
Cathartic Dissent was Hardcore Punk hailing from
, bringing high-octane mosh music to the stage. This being their first show, they performed magnificently. They were raw enough to be Punk-as-fuck, refined enough to draw a significant audience. Cathartic Dissent is a refreshing bite of plain ol’ Punk Rock in a local scene that prides itself on gimmicks. Santa Fe
True Joint Featuring Relik One emulates the kind of Rap/Hip-Hop that dominates modern airwaves. They are enjoyable enough, despite the predictable “Fuck bitches/Smoke weed” type lyrics that were peppered throughout their set list. Many teenage girls expressed their high-pitched approval toward these artists, further obscuring what aesthetic value there was to be enjoyed. Not bad, they were worth seeing in live concert.
Such was the experience of the
of the Bands. However, in the selfsame concert, two acts were featured who were not competing in the battle. They were “Headlining” (if it is proper to call it that, in the context of a Battle ) because they have already been established as worthy artists. These bands have risen to prominence because they have proved their great talent and dedication to Metal, music, and artistic worth in general. Battle
Defleshment is dirty, thrashy Death Metal to rival the best in the industry. Their music instigates only the rowdiest of mosh pits. Even those who don’t jump in the slam-dance have to headbang, and everyone raises their Devil-horns high. The music is contagious, and determined to bang its way into the heads of the audience. This is essentially old school rocker Metal tempered for modern taste. No-one escapes a Defleshment performance unscathed.
Rose Beneath is a streamlined, contemporary gem of Melodic Metal. Screams and growls mesh with the operatic clean vocals, echoing the likes of Killswitch Engage. The lyrics are intriguing, the breakdowns are pristine. Rose Beneath dominates the stage with style and charisma. They know how to be theatrical without being melodramatic. An immaculate conclusion to a concert such as this.