With the cost of tickets being ridiculously expensive and most of your major metal shows usually being a hassle to get to since they are in the city, sometimes those local metal shows are just hard to pass up.
The Sonoma County metal community was fortunate enough to have a solid four band show in Forestville, CA this past Saturday night. Not too far from Sonoma State where I am currently attending, Forestville is a small town that one might miss if driving through because it is so damn small. The venue was your typical dive bar with a decent stage area. Compared to some dive bar music clubs I have been to, this place had a decent floor space for the crowd and that would come in handy at this metal show.
The first band of the night was Lord Mountain. This Santa Rosa, CA doom metal band really cranked up the volume. Their guitar section sounded massive with the two guitar attack. Also, they incorporated some killer harmonies into the dark heavily distorted doom jams. The only problem during their set, which was really not the band’s fault, was that the vocals were just not miked loud enough in my opinion. Compared to the guitar volume and drums, the vocals were getting drowned out. The singer’s voice sounded good too and complimented Lord Mountain’s classic Sabbath like doom sound. They were a strong opener and definitely got the metal crowd going crazy. I think the liquor was helping getting the crowd going crazy too and eventually some people were really having fun.
After Lord Mountain was Oden Sun. By the name one could tell this band had a metal gimmick and during their set the singer would even take out a sword and start swinging it around. Before they even started, one of the guitar players was complaining about the lights. This guy thought he was Cher or something the way he kept complaining into the mic. Their singer lucky knew how to address the crowd and his stage presence was really good. Oden Sun’s rhythm section was solid and I felt the drummer and bass player helped to establish a heavy grooving sound. On the guitar side, it was really hit or miss. The diva guitar player who had complained about the lights seemed to get lost a couple times during his solos. The other guy seemed to know when and where to stop, but his style of soloing was nothing that you can’t hear when walking into a guitar center. Overall though, Oden Sun put on an entertaining set and the sword waving part was hilarious.
The third act of the night was a band called, Condemned?. I think the question mark at the end of their name represented how this band can’t decide to be a punk band, a metal band, or a band capable of blending the two styles of music together. Their singer, who looked like Batista from the WWE, had vocals that seemed to be almost power metal like, but this style of their music had a metal/ punk tone to it. The guitarist was a madman and his solos were extremely chaotic. I will give him credit for showing great stage presence and really rocking out, however, his solos were just too overwhelming. The band’s songs also tended to drag out, so when I thought a song would be over the guys would start adding on some more verse riffs that sounded really unnecessary. About half way through their set I started looking around the venue at all the interesting concert attendees because I was so bored. Some fans were really digging Condemned?’s set and some of those fans looked stoned out of their minds. This one guy looked like Captain Caveman, or like he just crawled out of a cave!
Finally, Santa Rosa’s Trial by Combat took to the stage. Even after rocking out to three bands, the crowd still had enough energy to go crazy during Trial by Combat’s set. If anything the crowd exerted the most energy during their set. The band opened up with a can of metal whoop ass and the aggressive death/thrash sound got the place raging. Compared to the other acts, during Trial by Combat’s set their was a little moshing going on and tons of front stage head banging. They really sounded tight and lead singer Dashiel Mckenzie had a powerful voice. Also, Birthday boy Jesse Palmer was constantly rocking out and with the aid of his wireless guitar, he was running all over the stage and even into the crowd. The riffs were constantly crushing and that double bass drum rhythm is still ringing in my ears. Without question Trial by Combat stole the show!
For the cost and opportunity to support local metal music, this show was definitely worth attending. The small town of Forestville, CA was overrun with numerous head banging lunatics and guys that looked like Captain Caveman. If you ever have the chance to support local metal acts you should seriously do so, because you never know how enjoyable of a night you might have and who you might see...like Captain Caveman.