Another rainy Friday night, another completely brutal show at Geno’s. The buzz among heavy enthusiasts anticipating the first Portland appearance of Brooklyn melodic black-metal unit Krallice and their cult-crowned guitarist Mick Barr had reached a low murmur by Friday night, as the city’s darkest-clad fans dutifully piled into the former theater.
We covered AoK in this space using nautical references recently, but their set this night was particularly pummeling. Resembling a beefier Keelhaul, they’re becoming one of the best all-purpose heavy bands in town.
Anyone who’s heard Krallice’s recent Dimensional Bleedthrough or their particularly unstoppable eponymous debut might have wondered whether the Steve Reich-meets-Burzum latticework of Barr and (Behold . . . The Arctopus guitarist) Colin Marston’s guitar lines would slice through in a live setting. With a band this busy, articulate, and loud, it was a tremendous credit to Geno’s sound capacities that Krallice came through at full strength.
And for as maximal a task as that, obeying the minimal, druid-like crawl of Ocean is no easy feat, either. These critically acclaimed doom darlings played a predictably brutal and seasick set, restoring blood to the midsections of those who’d been headbanging the past hour. We could have sworn their pace was a little less glacial, but following 45 minutes of blastbeats will tend to do that to you.
Finally, crust veterans Ludicra played their harsh, snarly set. Maybe we still felt too strained by the polarity of sound that preceded, or maybe we just don’t miss Buzzov•en enough, but something about Ludicra felt a little tame. Still, an embarrassment of riches like this is a good problem for fans of heavy to have.
: New England Music News
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