Full of Hell and the body “Collaborative Tour”
Gas Chamber Trenchgrinder
Earlier this year, modern powerviolence heroes Full of Hell released a collaborative piece with incredibly underrated drone metal act The Body, One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache. The LP runs about 31 minutes (not counting the two bonus tracks), and in those 31 minutes, both bands push out the heaviest and darkest material I’ve heard from either project to date. Both bands are known for their abrasive releases, so One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache is as angry and heavy as you would expect. It instantly became one of my favorite releases of the year and something I hoped I would be able to catch the bands perform live, together. As fate would have it, the band announced a collaborative tour, with support from Limbs Bin, Trenchgrinder, and Gas Chamber that came to New York City on September 9th, 2016.
The show opened up with noise artist Limbs Bin. The last time I “saw” this man, he opened up for New Jersey grindcore act Organ Dealer, and I missed the entire twenty-one song set because I was in the bathroom. Limbs Bin played that short of a set: twenty-one songs in five minutes. So when I walked into the show today, I made sure I didn’t have to go until the end of his set so I would actually get to see him perform. He started at about 8:57 p.m. and ended 9:03 p.m., so he played a minute longer than he did the last time I saw him. Despite his ridiculously short set, he was certainly one of the more interesting noise acts I have seen live. Living in New York and going to many shows like this, noise artists usually find their ways onto the bills and most of them are really not that interesting at all. However, I think the fact that this guy plays for such a brief period time, yelling his heart out over incredibly intense, harsh noise, makes him all the more enjoyable.
There was a long break after Limbs Bin, and when Trenchgrinder took the stage… it was quite disappointing. I don’t know if I was just more excited to see everyone else, but their set felt rather long, and they were certainly the least interesting out of the openers. These guys were a really average death metal band who really didn’t do anything remotely interesting the over thirty minutes they played. They weren’t offensively bad or anything, but it would have made no difference if they’d dropped off the show. Towards the end of their set, I was just waiting for them to get off stage so the show could continue. Not the worst band by any means, but just one that did absolutely nothing for me.
After Trenchgrinder was Gas Chamber. I have seen this band previously described as “progressive powerviolence,” which really intrigued me. Listening to them and seeing them live, I could not think of a better description. They play relentless, balls-to-the-wall powerviolence comparable to bands such as Dropdead or Man is the Bastard, but cut into these progressive rock breaks that recall bands like Rush or King Crimson. The thought of combining those two styles does not sound like it would work so well, but holy shit do these guys know how to combine them perfectly. They have two vocalists, one providing straight-up screaming vocals and the other a more hardcore-flavored style. The former also provides harsh noise for the band, which at moments gets really intense. Hell, when his microphone stopped working for a bit, I could still hear him screaming. Their guitarist also had a massive pedal board that was certainly not just for show, as he just went absolutely insane with it during their set. Their performance was nothing short of intense, and within the first minute of seeing these guys, you can see why The Body and Full of Hell brought these guys on tour. I made sure to snatch a shirt.
In between Gas Chamber and the headliners, I had to find some way to mentally prepare myself. The problem was, I really didn’t know how. One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache is loud enough as it is, but how was it going to be live? I seriously wondered whether my ears were going to blow out.
Then… it began.
I get really excited at shows. I’m the type of person who likes to yell lyrics into the microphone when it comes my way. I saw post-hardcore act Touche Amore the night before, but my mood at both shows were completely contradictory. I was constantly punching the PA speaker to let out some heat, but nothing could have prepared me for what was coming. Despite how brief the set was, in typical fashion for both Full of Hell and The Body, I was defeated by it. I felt like I was going through what those concert-goers in 1913 did when Igor Stravinsky performed “The Rite of Spring” because I felt so different from my typical self.
As soon as the title-track kicked off, I went absolutely insane. I felt like a completely different human being. I don’t think there has ever been a time I’ve felt so much anger and hatred just from hearing something so abrasive and chaotic. I’ve seen Full of Hell three times before, and The Body twice. Both acts live have always being nothing short of great, but together…it was something inhuman. The room was engulfed in the loudest wall of noise I’ve heard since I saw shoegaze act A Place to Bury Strangers in October 2014. On top of how loud it was, it was fucking heavy. The sludgiest parts of the LP shook the room. Seeing Full of Hell before, I know how intense of a performer vocalist Dylan Walker can be, and even on a completely packed stage, he was a fucking animal. There was one point in the set where they were doing some improv (at least that’s what it sounded like), and bassist Sam DiGristine decided to play some sax, and Full of Hell’s merch guy was just yelling.
As I finish up writing this, it’s been two hours since the show ended. My ears are still ringing. Do I have any regrets?
Hell. Fucking. No.
Prisms is where Brian, Alex, and Dakota give their unique, unfiltered perspectives on shows they attend together.