Music Seen: Book Of The Dead, Apocryphonic, Surreal Vision

At Geno’s | September 24
By DAN CLARK  |  September 30, 2009

With as many talented musicians as there are in Portland, the occasional "super-group" is inevitable. This night saw a lineup of three at Geno's. First were Surreal Vision, a long-in-the-works project featuring members of Damien Zygote and Cryptic Overcast. Despite their psychedelic name, they sound more like a pissed-off, post-apocalyptic Devo. Clad in half-man, half-robot costumes, bathed in an unearthly red glow, and looking like they crawled out of Richard Stanley's bleak 1990 sci-fi shocker Hardware, they put on one of the most impressive debut shows in recent memory.

Apocryphonic, another newcomer on the Portland scene (though featuring former members of Claymore Minds), is a beast of a different color. Epic instrumental rock is the best label available. Swirling guitar lines play around fleet-fingered bass lines and fluid, dynamic drumming, creating vast, ever-shifting vistas of sound. Their emphasis on texture, heavy jazz, and Eastern influences set them apart from maximum-volume instrumental bands like Pelican, proving that "heavy" and "loud" are not necessarily synonyms.

Finally, we have Book Of The Dead. "Fast" is not a sufficient word to describe their escape-velocity music. Made up of Adam Cogswell (Confusatron, Man-Witch), Doug Porter (Confusatron, Covered In Bees), and the man they call Candy (Ocean), they play at speeds that boggle the mind. If a butterfly can flap its wings and cause a thunderstorm on the other side of the planet, BOTD cause stars in distant galaxies to go supernova. If you're a fan of neck-snapping grindcore like Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Book Of The Dead are definitely for you.

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