Aug 242013

(DGR reviews the August 21, 2013 show in Sacramento, California, put on by Animals As Leaders, Navene-K, Journal, Legion’s Requiem, and Bispora.)

It’s so odd being outside of the home city right now, especially considering that just three days ago I was out in front of a venue there waiting for a show. This jet-setting lifestyle creates some cognitive dissonance with the brain for sure. On Wednesday Animals As Leaders made the incredibly cool gesture of coming to Sacramento after their time on the Summer Slaughter tour had already wrapped up. The guys chose to soldier on and play a few more shows, and one of them took place in my stomping ground.

So it came to pass that I found myself standing out front in what began as a very small line outside of Ace Of Spades, which would grow to a pretty good-sized crowd over the span of the night. It was somewhat of a local social event as well since the whole support came from local groups, with the exception of Navene-K, who would eventually go on to surprise me as one of my favorite things that I saw that night.

I tried to find videos of every band from that evening and managed to do so for three of the five. We have a new group out here called RealityCheck Sacramento who are proving to be very cool, so look them up, and SickDrummer uploaded some drum-cam footage of Navene doing the song “Microcosm”. I haven’t found anything from Animals As Leaders yet. but the previous two uploaders are amazing people and I love them. Continue reading »

Jul 162013

(DGR reviews the new release by Sacramento-based Bispora.)

Back in 2011, local Sacramento group Bispora released an EP called The Cycle. For a group that pretty much came out of nowhere, The Cycle was a fantastic twenty minutes of music. It combined a love of prog metal, some djent elements, and a serious bit of Between The Buried and Me influence into something that you couldn’t really find elsewhere. It was a very guitar-centric disc too, with a pretty amazing melody that was intertwined throughout the first and last songs.

With a first release like that, Bispora became a band to watch. While they occasionally played with the same genre tropes as a lot of other bands, they managed to morph them into something all their own, so that they didn’t sound like just generic musician exercises. That’s why they gained the following that they did and why so many folks have been watching and waiting to see how they would follow it with the now-titled The Pineal Chronicles Phase One: Furtherance. (For the sake of my own fingers I’ll probably alternate between Phase One and Furtherance.)

Phase One was released the evening of July 4th and was free for an hour, before the band decided to start selling it for the pittance of $5. So is the first half of a promised two-part release worth the time of day? Have the band managed to pull away from the tractor beam that is the ‘difficult second release’? Continue reading »

May 112013

(DGR brings us this little round-up for your Saturday.)

This right here is probably going to be the most throwback to my old writing assignments post that I have written here at NCS because just about every single band in this post will be one that I used to champion about two years back. You might already recognize it from the headline, but yes, I will in fact be resurrecting the spectres of Bispora and Dagoba, groups whom I haven’t really been presented much of an opportunity to chat about here simply because there hasn’t been much to show in terms of activity (outside of the occasional concert review in the case of Bispora).

However, within about three days of each other each group released new material – stuff they had been hinting at for a long time but finally got out there for people to hear. Both have huge plans for 2013, too, with Bispora changing up their live setlist quite a bit and hoping to put out a full release some time this year and Dagoba nearing the release date for their new disc Post Mortem Nihil Est – which translates to something from Latin….I think, although to be fair it sounds like Post Mortem Nihilest and that is something completely….ooooooooooh, I get it.

Continue reading »

Jun 222012

(DemiGodRaven reviews another recent show at The Boardwalk in Sacramento, and again uses the write-up to introduce music from a group of up-and-coming bands who might hook you.)

You know, sometimes the internet has a habit of inflating your sense of how popular you think a band really is. I say this mainly because lately it seems like we’ve become something of a heavy metal echo chamber in which one person says, “Hey! You should check this band out!” and then two more pick up on it, and so on. Surely, that means somebody must’ve picked up on it because everyone is talking about it.

Then you actually go to the show and it occurs to you that, yes, this is still a small local band show. It’s a group of guys busting their asses and slumming it out to try and get someone to pay attention to them, even if the big name on the bill couldn’t make it due to a family emergency (that’s 2 for 2, Fallujah, Sacramento remembers the dates that stand it up) and one of the other death metal bands couldn’t make it, so a smaller group had to step in. It’s a show that maybe fifty to sixty people made it out to, including the other bands.

There was a weird sort of hopeful energy, where no one knew who I was (well, except for the one guy who was playing that night who I played with in a band for about two months…) and they were just excited to have someone interested in what they were doing. It’s probably the most hipster and, ‘Oh you’ve probably never heard of them’ that I’ll ever get to be.

The internet is also amazing because it really does widen a band’s reach. Can you believe we had someone from Australia complaining in the comments for the Soma Ras demo review that they couldn’t go to this specific show? How strange is that? You have bands who have anywhere from 800 to 2000 likes on Facebook playing what should be a hometown show to a small crowd, yet you have people 3,000 miles away mad because they couldn’t see it. Continue reading »