Me and my friend arrived at the DNA Lounge, we found we were in the upstairs part of the venue, that was basically a bar. But something that was really cool was that the wall behind the stage wasnít wall buy window, so we could the night sky as the bands were playing and it really added to the ambiance for some bands. It was pretty empty are first, but it filled in as time passed. We chatted with the bass player from Dispirit, Todd, for a bit. When we inquired about a full length, he said it was definitely in the works, which is cool. After a while the first of two local openers come one.
Oaklandís Larvae opened the show with a set of really gruesome blackened doom. Through the show each band would have all of the amps and drums on the stage while the guitar and bass players were on the floor, right with the audience. It set a really intimate mood that would only grow stronger as the show progressed. Larvae sounded really tight. Their tone was excellent and their doom parts were heavy and slow and the black metal parts were really 2nd wave. Something I love about these kind of shows is the audience is mostly mature people, who can hear a band using a blast beat, and they arenít driven to mosh. Such a nice feeling when I know I can just stand there and take in the music with no interruption. Also, the venue mainly used blue lights for each set, which kind of simulated moonlight, which also really fit the mood. Larvae put on a really good opening set, setting the bar for what would continue to be an awesome night.
Next up were the band that I really came to see, Dispirit. If you donít know, Dispirit are a blackened/doom band fronted by John Gossard, previously of Weakling and Asunder. This was my first time seeing them with their new guitarist, and he did a fine job. This time they played a song of their new demo tape, 111112, and a song that has yet to be recorded. Something that was a little unfortunate was that they couldnít kill all the lights, and the fog machine was directly engulfing them in the unholy smog, but the audience, mainly me and my friend since we stood right in front of it. But the set was awesome and the ambiance was still fitting for a Dispirit set. The big red lights were still there, and the place was still foggy as could be. The first song was real funeral doom piece with some really clean opening chords almost a Ďla Light Bearer, but they were still evil and twisted, as all Dispirit should be. The second one was more rooted in the doom and black metal, with some really intense black metal passages that were just absolutely epic. Once again, Dispirit killed it.
Next was the best surprise Iíve had in a while, Aldebaran. These guys are straight up fucking funeral doom metal. They played for about 45-50 minutes and only performed two songs, so you know these guys mean business. Their set was pretty life changing for me. I had no idea what to expect and I was hit with the heaviest funeral doom ever manifested that was just so monolithic. It was absolutely crushing, and the riffs and melodies hit really close to home for some reason. The blue light on the band only amplified the emotion going in, and icing was that it was raining outside, and you could see it through the window. All the combined just created the perfect atmosphere for this hell of a performance. The band sounded absolutely top notch, with really heavy and evil tones, crushing drums and some of the most wicked sounding gutturals Iíve ever heard. Plus, considering how long and slow these songs were, it was obvious it took a ton of work to really cement these songs, so I can only give props for that. There isnít much else I can really convey with words. These guys were flat out amazing. Top 3 heaviest sets Iíve ever witnessed, only behind Yob and Sleep.
Last but certainly not least were sludge/doom bands Graves at Sea. These guys, while still being serious, were more fun and energetic band and nice way to end the show really. The riffs these guys wrote were really cool and catchy as fuck, and the band was obviously having a ton of fun while playing. They were loud as fuck, the guitar player was playing out of two different rigs, each with a pre-amp and two cabinets! The crowd was definitely the most energetic for these guys and there was a little bit of mosh action going on which I wasnít expecting was but was fun. Overall, these guys were fun. All my photos were really blury, so yeah.
After the set, I bought some merch from Aldebaran and Dispirit and talked to each for a little bit. This was one of the best shows Iíve gone to this year by far! Absolutely amazing.
Graves at Sea: 8/10