Downspell At San Diego's Soma On September 15th
San Diego, California's BROKEN FOUNDATION was the first act I caught upon my arrival. A clearcut hardcore metal band with some death metal element . The crowd immediately went ballistic for these guys and to be perfectly honest, I didn't see it. Not that they weren't full of energy, engaging the crowd and pretty much doing their thing well. It's just that they sounded like everyone else in this genre. Nothing new, nothing gained here. And to be perfectly honest with you all, I'm tired of it.
Next up was the very reason I made the trek from Los Angeles to San Diego in the first place. I have heard and seen pretty much all the hot underground metal acts this year and clearly there is a legend in our midst with hometown giants, DOWNSPELL. The vibe around these guys was like you were about to witness 'Fight Club' on stage. Tons of goatee and tattooed down locals were wearing the band's T-shirt and looking like they wanted to start a ten minute brawl. It only added to the great anticipation building in my stomach for when the mighty Downspell took the stage. And once they did appear with their instruments, like a crack rock explodes to flame, Downspell wasted no time triggering as a lynch to the neck into an absolutely 'let it fly and who cares who gets hurt' brutal death/thrash breakdown called 'Regurgitate'. I have seen the meanest and fiercest acts over the years, and when you get that rare opportunity to see something this pure going off in front of you, I'll be totally candid, you pinch yourself to make sure that you're really there. The crowd literally went insane with applause after the opener and the band wasted no time digging into the 'hate chest' even deeper for the next cut 'Pogrom' off their new self-released LP "Afterbirth". The band interestingly enough is made up of two main vocalists, Wayne Price and Tyson Montrucchio. Price more than effectively holds down the deep, bass-like roaring, while Montrucchio's intermittant high-pitched yells easily brought to mind a man locked in an insane asylum, screaming for someone to come put a bullet through his head. It is readily apparent that he is the star of the band. And I do not take away one thing from the others, Mike Mosier and Jake Phillips on guitar, Eric Raiche on drums and Kenny Moshier on bass. It's just that Montrucchio himself seems to actually be the one dude in the band who is actually living the crazy way of life he sings about. Himself tatt'd down on both arms and even sporting a jailhouse looking 'Downspell' tattoo across his neck! His performance on stage was so hardcore and pissed off that it almost lulls you into a chaotic-like trance where you can't take your eyes off him. The band next steam rolled through other life horrified songs like 'Insulin', 'Malevolence', '50 Calibar Facelift', 'Submission' and closed it out with the 'wreck yer gut' wrencher to end them all, 'Solidify'. This is a band that runs the gamut in the different metal genres it draws its influence from. They sound death at times, yet totally thrashy, with elements of sludge and grind. At the end of it all, I was more than pleased to finally have taken in a show from real metal soldiers charging their way out of the underground heavy music scene to what will hopefully soon lead them all to absolute glory in the music business.
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