Friday, August 9, 2013

Concert Review - Midnight Eye, Exar Kun, Thrain - 8/8/13 at The Pinch, Washington, DC

Although I'd already been to two concerts in the past seven days (and I was only supposed to go to two per month), I wanted to get out to support Midnight Eye, so I waited till my kid was in bed and headed out. By that time, I thought I'd be lucky to get to The Pinch before Midnight Eye started - certainly not in time to have some of the restaurant's insane duck bacon BBQ cheese loaded waffle fries. Well, the intent was to go for the music anyway, right?

After the quest for parking (we passed several good spots, but got greedy and went on thinking we could get closer to the venue, but no such luck, we had to turn around and go back up 14th Street almost to where we were before) we got to the venue right around 10pm. It turned out that only the first band, experimental/black metal band Thrain, had played so far. I was thrilled, cause that meant we could get the awesome fries; I didn't really think about the implications for timing. I do want to see Thrain sometime - their demo is quite heavy and technically proficient for a local band, and combines some plodding doomy segments, cleaner vocals and melancholy melodic moments with the base black metal sound.

A few minutes after we got to the venue Exar Kun started up in the basement, so we headed down. They are, as a friend put it, two bassists and a computer. They provided some heavy background music, but did not really catch my interest. The two high points were when they did start to play something almost riffy; and when they sampled Lordi's "Would You Love a Monsterman."

After they finished, I went to look at Midnight Eye's merch and acquired a turquoise shirt (first ever turquoise metal shirt?), and then our amazing fries arrived.
 Yes, we ate all that between the two of us. Someone was hungry.

It was after 11pm when Midnight Eye finally came on, and they were immediately plagued by sound problems, for at least the first two songs of their set. They played (not necessarily in this order) the three songs from their new EP, Nightmonger (which you can still stream here); a cover of something I didn't recognize, but which they said was by a DC band; "Virtuous" and maybe one other song from their first album, Sign; and a new song with the working title "Weed Helmet." Their guitars were excellent as I expected. The thrashy and black metal parts sounded best on the spartan sound system, but the heavy metal riffs and solos sounded good, too. The vocals were very rough, though; scratchy and little off compared to the albums. I tried to start a pit for the frenzied thrash part near the end of the first song, "Alarm," but no one seemed interested in moshing except for Grimy Grant. The black metal segments of "Outsider" were amazing, so thick and heavy, although the melody was a little lost in the low noise. The new song also sounded very promising, starting off with energetic heavy metal riffs, just thrashy enough to mosh to - I pushed Grant and this time three or four other people joined in, yes! - with another thick, atmospheric black metal segment in the middle of the song, followed by some very heavy noodling that slowed down into a droning segment at the end. It was cool, but would have been more impressive on a better sound system where the low distorted notes would have made the building and everyone in it tremble. Needless to say, hoping to see these guys again soon and looking forward to more releases from them.

Next show: Not sure. There a couple local metal shows in Baltimore on Saturday, but I don't think I will be able to go so far from home. So the next thing might be Face Melting Friday at the end of August. In the meantime, there will be some book reviews!


  1. I somehow forgot to mention your all moshing. I think half the people around you looked at you guys as if you had 2 heads.

    I think you enjoyed the show better than me!

    1. That was the impression I got too. I guess there were no thrashers there :( The crowd did seem..different from Jaxxpire or other bigger venues. The underground crowd?

      Yeah, I had a good time. It helped that I had listened to their songs a zillion times the week before :P