Predatory Light, Urzeit, Rohit, & Hungers- 4/19/2014

Predatory Light & Urzeit flier

Last night I made my way out for my third show in an eight day period. Considering that I didn’t attend a single show in 2013 due to Tampa’s relatively bland offerings, I almost felt reckless going out again, but I had to. With two Psychic Violence bands on a bill at a venue so close to my home, I’d have been stupid to stay in. I showed up to the venue early so that I could scope out merchandise, as I had a feeling that many of these items could go quickly. I enjoyed a Ninkasi Spring Reign while chatting with an old friend before the show began, as I try not to imbibe while watching bands I plan on reviewing. The merchandise table was full of temptation, with Urzeit carrying releases from many of their other projects (including the monumental Hell/Mizmor split and Cerebrate’s Soul’s Abyss cassette) and Predatory Light bringing along the Psychic Violence distro bin, which was full of gems. While Rohit only appeared to have stickers, Hungers had shirts, pins, and cassette tapes as well, making it easy for any in attendance to support all the bands beyond simply paying the door fee.

Before I get into the bands’ performances, I need to mention a certain member of the audience. I’m not sure if he was friends with any bands, or if he was just an enthusiastic attendee, but there was one guy who was present for the first three bands who rocked out hard enough to compensate for everybody else in the room. Please know that I’m not insulting this guy. I’m celebrating him. During Hungers he had no issue shaking his beer around because he was having more fun moving in his own little space. During Rohit and Urzeit’s sets, the guy was simultaneously conducting and being overwhelmed by the music. Despite his chaotic movements, however, (and this is what made him a true pleasure to witness), he was respectful of the crowd around him. He was having his fun and we were having ours. Dude rocked out to a state of enlightenment, and while he would occasionally give a gentle bump to a neighbor, he was always mindful of the space around him. I didn’t see him during Predatory Light, but I’d like to imagine he spent their set at a table in the back recovering from his own awesomeness.

Now, on to Hungers. I recently received their stellar cassette from rising label Belief Mower and I was prepared to have a good time. These guys were billed as blackened sludge, but that description would be far too simple for the wholly enjoyable and complex music they played.  With more than a slight element of heavy stoner rock playing into their chaotic set, the music was heavy enough that I imagine even purists didn’t mind and the groove was solid enough to keep heads nodding from start to finish. At its simplest, the music was perfect to simply keep pace with, and at its most massive, the guitar tone and crushing nature of the music was able to force the listener into a state of quiet awe. Normally bands without a bass player might feel a bit lacking, but the set was absolutely meaty enough to hold its own and was the perfect introduction to a wild night.

 

Up next was Rohit, the only band whose music I hadn’t previously heard. Luckily, this filthy trio needed no real introduction to get their point across. From the throaty vocals to the repetitive yet perfect pacing of the songs, the band’s mid-paced brand of black punk was a welcome experience. The set was as raw as one would hope and the feedback-heavy nature of the music was enough to practically deafen me for the rest of the night. Still, Rohit tore it up in a particularly gruesome way and I was beyond delighted to witness their feral presence. I later approached their singer/guitarist to make sure they didn’t have any merchandise and he acknowledged that they had a single copy of their cassette on hand. I was thrilled to grab it after such a great set and I really hope I’ll see these guys get nasty again soon.

 

Following Rohit was the night’s most violent set, the debut performance from black/death trio Urzeit. Yes, they’re a trio now. While both their demos were recorded as a duo, the addition of a bassist to their live set was welcome and rounded things out nicely. Dual vocals from drummer ALN and guitarist RF created a hideous dynamic and the driving pace of the music kept me (and the crowd around me, it seemed) alert and tense from start to finish. They also definitely earned points for stage presence, if for no reason other than the awesome vomit faces made by both vocalists while delivering their lines. Also worth mentioning is that in the live setting Urzeit’s music became even clearer than on the demo cassettes, allowing them to display a depth and intricacy that I hadn’t yet been able to pull from the recordings. Urzeit doesn’t seem to have any gigs planned for a while, but I really hope that their next show will have a larger crowd. They deserve it.

 

Closing the night out was New Mexico’s Predatory Light. While they seemed to appear out of nowhere in the past few months, this was by far the most professional and put together set of the night. It makes sense that an act of this stature would spend time preparing a thoroughly compelling set before embarking on their first tour, but I was surprised nonetheless. The band’s balance between churning doom and meandering psychedelic black metal was captivating and awe-inspiring for me. It was refreshing to see a band display subtlety and intricacy while creating a crushing and primitive energy instead of a simple rehash of the enjoyable yet slightly overdone cavernous walls of sound that many bands are adopting these days. The band’s four song set easily felt like it could have lasted another twenty minutes without disappointing, but it just gives us all a bit more to anticipate for next time. I also need to make note that Predatory Light had copies of a brand new demo that isn’t available online yet, so keep an eye on their web store if you’re not in a city they’re visiting on the rest of their current tour.

 

After the set I briefly met with a new friend who I met through running this site. While I had to leave pretty quickly after the show was over, I was lucky enough to be introduced to a friend of his who made a zine focusing on the exciting local underground community. I grabbed a copy of the Sempervirens Zine and will likely be sharing my thoughts on this publication and the cassette contained within it soon enough. Last night’s show was a truly incredible experience and the kindness of the people I met was really inspiring. My only wish is that I could’ve heard people speaking between bands a bit better, as my partial deafness diminished my ability to converse well. I’m excited to witness more excellent local concerts soon and will continue to share them with my readers.