GIG REVIEW: Gorguts, Intronaut & Brain Tentacles Live at DNA Lounge, San Francisco
Speaking of bands of the technical death metal genre, there is a swarm of them. But amongst those only a few stand out who make a definite impact to the listener’s ears by the sheer brilliance of their musicianship and technicality. One such band that sits high on the throne is Gorguts. With a career spanning twenty-seven years, the Canadian legends have some of the most diverse death metal under their belt. Having released the critically acclaimed EP ‘Pleiades’ dust’ recently, they are currently touring North America with support from the amazing Los Angeles based progressive metal band Intronaut and the weirdly insane Brain Tentacles.
I was just in time for the show. The local support Ontogeny was already on stage. They got the evening rolling with their brand of progressive/technical metal. Having played a solid set and well appreciated by the crowd, they are definitely a band to look out for in the budding California tech-death scene. Of all things weird, have you ever imagined a three-piece metal band without a guitar? Of course there are drums, there is a bass guitar, but then, there is a Saxophone. That’s Brain Tentacles for you. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical looking at the band, especially when they were just about to begin their set. But all that was crushed by the sheer awesomeness of the music that these guys played. Make no mistake; they are not a jazz band. They are a pure technical metal band with jazz influences. Blast beats, groovy fast bass and riffs, solos, tremolo pickings being played on saxophone was a complete win. The crowd was overjoyed witnessing every moment of this. Their set was immensely entertaining. You have got to appreciate when a band tries something extremely unconventional as this. They have recently released a self–titled album. Check it out.
Next up were the amazing progressive metal band Intronaut on stage. They performed a stellar set with a backdrop of psychedelic visuals. It was the second time I had the opportunity to experience this band live. An impeccable sound characterized by mind blowing drumming and guitar work, backed by Dave Timnic’s vocals hit everyone who seemed to be headbanging in a state of transcendence. All of this, backed by the visuals made it a grand psychedelic experience.The crowd was high on music. The evening saw its first mosh pit during their set. One draw back I felt was the live sound mixing. It was sometimes too loud to the level of undesirability. I had to literally walk to the back to be able to enjoy the set.
It was almost time for the Headliner, none other than mighty Gorguts to take stage. “Hello, San Francisco” roared Luc. They began the set with the favorite “Le Toit Du Monde”. There are a very few bands who would demonstrate such high musical brilliance. The performance was insanely ‘tight’. The complex tones sounded perfect unto the last note. If you are aware of the band’s recent works, there is a high emphasis on the atmospheric element of music. Experiencing the same on a live setting was a whole new level. The most apt way to describe, it was a brain-wave altering set. They even played the thirty-two minute song/EP ‘Pleiades’ dust’ in its entirety. Towards the end, they played their old raw death metal stuff. The pits went crazier. They finished off the set with the brutal “Orphans of sickness”. I even got to talk to Luc who was handling the merchandise after the set. Such an amazing and humble guy.
It was a night of diversity in metal. While Brain Tentacles brought the weirdly insane jazz metal, Intronaut took us through the dreamy landscapes of progressive metal. And then, crushing everything in their path, the brilliant musicians of Gorguts brought their signature technicality and atmospheres to make it a night of mind-bending heaviness.