We're not sure if this particular Metal Monday at Flask was a happy accident or the start of a new (sorta-) weekly event, but the little ring-shaped bar makes a fine host for the loud and bleak, and free shows like these gather a particular type of steam.

We unfortunately missed local death-metal champs Shabti, which was a shame because everything we hear about their new rhythm section is unequivocally brutal. Mercifully, we can assume they intend to slay long into the winter.

And we don't know when the last True Black Metal band played Portland, but Mythology would have destroyed them anyway. The Plattsburgh unit, clad in corpse paint and gauntlets, played a fearsome set, highlighted by the committed shrieks of frontman Gallows. Summoning the uncompromising krieg of Darkthrone, Mythology's 45-minute set maintained a ferocious, unwavering gallop.

Beyond a certain tempo, an accurate human physical response isn't possible. Headbanging can only be achieved in half-speed. This is the comfort zone of the Boston grind five-piece Scalpel. Employing relentless double bass drumming and incomprehensibly guttural vocals, Scalpel's act hearkens back to a pre-Heartwork-era Carcass. Regardless, "Goremet Guts" was preceded by an earnest request to "move a little, if you can." Some obliged. Before the fourth song, the bassist took off his shirt. After a new one, the vocalist surveyed the audience about whether it should remain in the arsenal. A man with facial hair shouted "fuck yeah." Thin billows of a nimble smoke emitted periodically from somewhere behind the drummer.

As if unable to break through a wall of technical wizardry, total darkness, and time constraints, local metal band AoK Suicide Forest were unable to play a set. There will be other Mondays.

Related: Review: AC + PanzerBastard + AoK Suicide Forest, Cloven Dozer + Kaveldt + AoK Suicide Forest, Krallice, Ocean, Ludicra, AoK Suicide Forest, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Music, Death metal,  More more >
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