GIG REVIEW: COGNITIVE, HOUNDS OF INNSMOUTH & GENOCIDE SKIN Live At Caravan Lounge, CA
The long awaited day had arrived. It was the evening of Thursday, June 23 and I was off to experience the mighty Technical death metallers Cognitive along with a bunch of other bay area underground talent. The event was scheduled to begin at 7PM as per the Facebook page, however on arriving the security guy told me that the Cognitive gig would start only around 10 PM, but there was another gig featuring other local bands from the area. So I was in for a treat –one evening, two gigs.
First up were San Jose’s own Satan’s Blade. They play a blend of old school Heavy / Thrash metal. They definitely got the evening started and the crowd head banging. Their set was rather short, but a stellar one. Definitely a band to look out for! Next up was death metal band Guillatine all the way from Long Beach, CA. Their music is more in the veins of early death metal bands with prominent influences of black metal. They played a belter of a set and were much appreciated by the crowd. Definitely one of my favorite bands from the event. It was also awesome of the vocalist to personally distribute CDs of their 4 track EP.
The beers were flowing, the atmosphere was set, and now on stage was straight up crushing death metal from Los Angeles – Pestilent Death. What an intense set of brutal death metal they played! The nasty riffs, the guttural vocals and the sheer brutality seemed too much for a small venue to handle. But then that’s what makes an underground gig an experience in itself. It was an insane doze of head banging for the crowd, which came out on a Thursday evening to support underground metal.
And now it was time for the headliner of the first event to take stage –Hallucinator. The band hails from Oakland, CA and consists of members of Dead Man, Caffa/DHC, Limbs/Bathtub Barracuda. Just one look of them all clad up in denim jackets and bullet belts and it will scream out that their music is highly influenced by the 80’s black and thrash metal scene. They played a powerful set of a fast style of black thrash with incorporated elements of death metal. It was absolute old school worship and the ‘hallucinatory’ frontmanship of vocalist Kyle May makes them a must listen and watch live for all the old school metalheads out there.
10 PM, and it was time for the second event of the evening to begin. Next up were Industrial death metal from Oakland, CA – Genocide Skin. It was the second time I was watching the band perform live and it was a shocker to see them reduced to a 2-member band from the original 3-member lineup. Industrial death metal is not a very well received genre, however this band will definitely surprise you. There is a high usage of programming and vocal processors, which blends well with the simply amazing drumming and guitar work. One could definitely notice that the band is now incorporating a lot of technical and mathcore elements. Overall they played a crushing set and won much appreciation from other bands and the crowds.
Next up were Hounds of Innsmouth from San Francisco, CA. They played a set of metal which had influences ranging from death metal, grindcore, black metal. Thrash metal, metalcore and what not.
It was past 11:30 PM and because of it being a Thursday night, the crowd had thinned. However there were some 20 odd metalheads who were still there to witness the mighty Cognitive. The band is currently out on tour across central US and the west coast. Musically, the band needs no introductions. They are from New Jersey and play some mind numbing Technical death metal. Speaking about the performance, they absolutely decimated. The technical drumming, the riffage, the slams and the gutturals was good enough to alter brain waves and send the meagre crowd to a head banging trance. Their set was a mix of songs from their ‘Horrid Swarm’ EP and their self-titled album. They also played few songs of their upcoming album, which is due sometime later this year. They even invited us to head bang with them on stage!
Overall, it was an insane experience of a true underground gig. To experience bands play up close has an amazing feeling in itself. My neck still hurts!