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Miscellaneous Metal: Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, The Devin Townsend Project @ Slim's, 1/18/10

January 19, 2010

I was ‘on call’ for this show.

I have read so many love letters from my fellow bloggers about these three bands that I knew I needed to check them out. I’d seen Cynic before and disliked them, but that was a year ago, so I thought maybe things had changed. I tried to get in via press, but never received confirmation. And the show sold out. But Alan let me know at Behemoth that he might have an extra. So I got a text at 7:45 letting me know that I was all set. I get by with a little help from my friends!

Slim’s was filled to the brim as I walked in halfway through The Devin Townsend Project set. I’m squirming my way through the crowd to get at least a decent spot when I run into Dan from Bay Area Metal Scene, who’s in full fanboy mode. I actually did enjoy what I could see….that dude is hilarious. He’s a fantastic entertainer- making funny faces and working the crowd, but never losing focus of the fact that he’s a star guitar player. The music, however, I find to be like some weird combo of heavy metal, j-pop, and an ’80’s film starting Corey Haim. There are parts that get me ‘there’, and parts that make me scratch my head. This would be an ongoing theme for the evening.

Video from Bay Area Metal Scene:

I’m sooooooo going to get mean comments for this review, but Cynic is a weird fucking metal band. It took them a while to set up- I think there were some technical difficulties- so I kept staring at their speaker that had ‘GO VEG peta2’ on it. I’m totally fine with vegetarians, vegans, etc.- I’m practically one myself- and I know the Dillinger Escape Plan guys (one of my faves) are on the same ‘plan’…..but it still just seems weird to me. So Cynic contains great musicians, they play those weird little guitars, they have pretty vocals mixed with the occasional growl…but it’s just so unsatisfying to me. It feels like one giant interlude. This is compounded by the fact that the lead vocalist is uber-spiritual. “Do you guys know Yoga Tree?” This was followed by having the crowd do a half moon pose. Yep….it was metal yoga in there. Which is funny, because I always complain about my yoga class’ music…Sarah McLachlan, etc. So by the end of the set, I was actually considering suggesting this to my instructor. But I’m still unsure if I could deal. It just comes down to a matter of preference- I get that people geek out on Cynic and that not everyone is a depressed anger-ridden Satanist like myself. But I will remain cynical about Cynic.

Video from Bay Area Metal Scene:

I could tell shit was going to go down when Between the Buried and Me hit the stage. A whole new crop of people came to the front- they weren’t metalheads like I’m used to, but more like young kids that are just dangerously stupid in the pit. I moved back out of harm’s way. BTBAM are a technical progressive metal band similar to Dillinger Escape Plan but without the X factor. There are some songs I am down with, and others that made me want to run from the room (a country breakdown…really?). Either way- the kids were going ballistic, and Slim’s security were having a great time trying to keep up. I’m standing on the periphery by the stairs, when all of sudden I see something out of the corner of my eye and turn and am inadvertently backhanded by some dude being dragged out by security. I immediately clasped my cheekbone and shouted, “SERIOUSLY?!?” I’ve been really lucky with the amount of shows I go to, the kind I go to, and the places I generally stand in- that I haven’t been hurt too badly. I get kicked in the head by crowdsurfers on occasion, but I can protect myself pretty well. But a punch in the face? That only happened once before, at a Korn and Disturbed show in 2000, and you should have seen the other girl đŸ™‚ So I’m worrying that I might have a black eye, but figured that I’ll just tell people it’s from Behemoth. It ended up just being a little swollen.

Video from Bay Area Metal Scene:

I was a little distracted for the rest of the set, but I think I ‘got it’ by the end….BTBAM is- in my mind- a more mainstream and less interesting Dillinger Escape Plan. Towards the end of the set, one of the security guys walked over and whispered, “doesn’t really compare to last night“. That’s what she said.


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