review by John Cole
Sometimes you have to take a step back into time to reflect where you are at. This show was exactly that, a reminiscent escape into not that long ago. This was exactly the type of show I would have reviewed back in the TIOS Tacoma days, when many of these bands were quite familiar to me. A couple of these bands were reviewed in TIOS, while others were merely by chance missed by my radar in those days. The whole thing was a little surreal to be quite honest, being as it was almost a duplicate of many nights not more than a year ago in my life. Yet times do change, as does the location, and this was one show that was yet another life altering experience (just for you Jeremiah).
Actually, no, this was yet another dull Tacoma show, yet this time in Seattle, and damn did it ever make me thankful to be in the Emerald City. Things started off with a band I know must have played a thousand shows back in the day that my body was in attendance of. Unfortunately, my mind would usually be elsewhere, so my recollection of this band was obsolete. American Wrecking Company has gone through numerous line-up changes though, and now has the very recognizable vocalist who is or was also in Cast dowN. Seems this guy is in a million bands, and while this he is easily marketable, his style of vocals and bands he plays in does little for me. His hand gestures were quite amusing, making it impossible to not think of that annoying guy from System of a Down, except with longer hair. The guitarist would have had some good solos, if it was not for all that annoying screeching. Pitch harmonics are to be used rarely, yet some seem to not understand this. They did do a cover of Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine, which they actually pulled off fairly well and with style. Overall this is a good bar band and probably one of the better bands of this style in the area. Still, you have heard the same thing before.
So this was supposed to be A Lesson In Chaos. Now take notes boys, I have studied both Chaos Magick and the Chaos of Science. You are neither, so your little moniker shall only bring the laughs. The only chaotic thing about this band was the vocalist screaming as fast as he possibly can, which was an impressive feat but failed to intertwine with the band. His energy levels compensated for the lackadaisical behavior of his band mates. He was going crazy all over the place, often falling to the ground screaming like a mad man. Some strong riffs were produced along with well-put solos, yet sadly it all got lost in the mess. Maybe this was the chaos, to ruin potentially good songs with things that just do not fit. This is one class I would not suggest attending until they can realize what parts belong in a song and what does not. While some positive aspects do exist here, a little self-criticism would be greatly beneficial. Work on the strong points and know where your faults are, this is advice for all bands reading this.
Seeing UnHailoed was more than a little strange. This was a band that for some reason immediately grabbed my interest a little over a year ago. Now if you know this band and know my tastes, you would realize how odd this is. They are exactly what usually bothers me in a band, but for some reason this band is just too damn good to ignore. Back in the day, they had this high pitched and multi-pierced screamer who could also carry a tune. Well they have since then found a new front man and lost a bassist. This juvenile band has a sound that is mesmerizing in the power it contains. The riffs are structured to suck you in regardless if you are willing or not. The new vocalist, who is also in Black Sovereignty, does not seem to fit as well. That is understandable though, as the old guy has been playing with the other members for a number of years now. He also cupped the mic, which is the most annoying thing a vocalist can do. He did an adequate job though and the overall sound was maintained. The head banging almost seems choreographed, yet it simply happens naturally for playing together for such a long time. Go check this band out. You may find yourself hating yourself for liking them, just as I do. They know they can make it to the mainstream level, so do not be shocked when you see this band going national.
Final Wish could not be any further from UnHailoed in many ways. These are not a bunch of young strapping lads. Yes, feel free to laugh, I sure am. These are the guys you would sneak a bowl with before class, talking about the girls you wish you could get. This is, after all, music for the failures of society, who only know how to pick up a guitar and get up on stage. The vocalist who sometimes played guitar looked like Carrot Topís little brother, while another guitarist had this mohawk that was not quite grown out yet. Add a bassist with this huge head of half-red hair and you have a band that by appearance is quite comical. Yet that is what works for them, for these are not your little pretty boy rock stars, These are the same guys that were picked on in High School, so instead of going to parties they played a lot of guitar and smoked pot. My type of people. Yet Metal they were, with vocals deep enough to make your balls curl within and enough solos to rival Maiden on a slow day. While the performance may have seemed a little awkward, that is what works for them. A good mixture of speed with tempo oriented aspects led to a sound that was very reminiscent of the good olí days of Death Metal.
Now and again, a new band comes around that completely catches me off guard. Helles came on stage and unexpectedly made the night for me. Their mammoth vocalist had this Rebel flag bandana and a sound that matched his size, a southern style of Northwest metal, which actually fit quite well. Then these beer gulping rednecks attacked the crowd with a sound that was both unique and familiar. The riffs engulfed the room with a vulgar display of power, while the solid rhythm section blasted away without quite blasting, methodically drilling into your skull. While those with deeper underground sensibilities may not be able to appreciate this, Helles is one of the strongest bands going right now and are sure to dominate the local scene shortly. This band is fucking Metal, and I dare you to tell the vocalist anything else.
Okay, I admit it; he threatened to kick my ass if I said otherwise.