Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Show Saga Part II: Wolves in the Throne Room, Thou, and Krallice @ The Bell House

The day after I lost a third of my weight in sweat from the Despise You show I made my way over to The Bell House primarily to catch Thou. For starters, the Bell House was a lot larger than I thought it'd be. Complete with a full size barroom and a whole seperate concernt venue with lodge-like roofing and a full stage, the venue seemed a bit out of place for the night's show. Needless to say this wasn't my ideal venue, but I was still excited to see one of my favorite bands.

Krallice kicked things off with an older song ("Dimensional Bleedthrough" I think) which was surprisingly good. I've seen the band 3 (or 4? I can't recall) times now and they've done an excellent job in sounding tighter and more energetic since I caught them two years ago with A Storm of Light and Wolves in the Throne Room. Unfortunately, the rest of the set suffered as their newer songs showcase more attention to vocals (deeper, less interesting ones), heavier and more technical riffs and structures that really detract from the hypnotic melodies that were so absorbing from their s/t. They got a good response from the crowd and I heard mixed things while waiting at the bar.

Thou, as I expected, dominated the show, putting Krallice in their place as openers, and distracting me from the headliner as they couldn't be lived up to. Beyond the cohesion between the band, their spot on execution and excellent sound, their set-list was worth it alone. Starting with my favorite song "They Stretch out Their hands,"  and eventually "Burning Black Coals And Dark Memories," "Here I Stand Head In Hand" (possibly my third favorite of theirs) and ending with a very honest and energetic cover of Black Sabbath's "Into the Void." While the stage was too big for them (they're the kind of band that thrives in small settings) they lived up to my expectations and easily stole the show.

Thou - Burning Black Coals And Dark Memories from (((unartig))) on Vimeo.

Wolves in the Throne Room are a far cry from the band I obsessed over with their first release. Whether it's the relative stardom they've accomplished, or maybe my own shifts in taste, the band bored me this time around. I fondly recall them playing Brooklyn nearly 4 years ago (right around the release of Two Hunters) and thought they were one of the best acts I had ever seen. That show was such a clash compared to this one as they practically played in the crowd and let their music speak for itself that time. However, in recent years, the band's employed incense, smoke, banners, candles, and other gimmicks that feed into this "natural aesthetic" that just seems a bit silly in such a big venue like The Bell House. Rumored to be a possible fairwell tour, I'm happy I was able to catch them, but I'm happier to think of a time when they were a small outfit with only two releases and no gimmicks.

Wolves in the Throne Room | NYC @ The Bell House | 12 Sep 2011 from (((unartig))) on Vimeo.

Thou and WITTR continued on two days later to Death By Audio (this time with support by the excellent Mutilation Rites). Unfortunately I missed the show, but I assume Thou really shined in the small death trap that is Death By Audio.


atanamar said...

Nice work on this one. I'm so pissed I missed this show, but I was flying back into NY from Atlanta that night, and I couldn't make it to Death By Audio either. Like you, I was mostly interested in Thou. They're a band I slept on way too long, and I think this was my punishment. I also pretty much feel exactly the same way you do about WITTR. Their new album excited me a bit initially, but I seem to have lost interest in the shtick. As for Krallice, we'll just have to agree to disagree. Also, how have we not run into each other at any of these shows?

Perpetual Strife said...

Yeah, pissed about the Death by Audio show; but whatever. They're hitting NYC October 8th at ABC so i'll catch that for sure.

We've probably seen eachother numerous times without knowing; how strange is the internet as a meeting place?

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