August 2, 2011 Leave a comment
San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill might be small, but at least it’s not super pretentious. The venue has played host to some of the most idiosyncratic bands around, including Battles and – on July 20, 2011 – the current Black Metallers du jour, Liturgy. Those Brooklynites’ brand of BM has nothing to do with corpse paint, leather, or highly questionable politics: the genre tropes they favor are devilish speed + high-pitched shrieks + occult imagery, the latter strangely more reminiscent of witch house and hipster Goth fashion than Satanism. And since I am no purist (thank God), that’s perfectly fine.
First: the opening acts. When my faithful concert sidekick (aka husband) and I entered the space, San Francisco’s own Common Eider, King Eider were playing. They churned out sloth-paced Metal, with ritualistic chants, post-rockish instrumental explosions, and absolutely monstrous drums (by the way, on drums was George Chen, of the highly commendable Chen Santa Maria). The general atmosphere was of unease and foreboding. I felt those sound constructions ominously sucking the life out of me – which may or may not have been the musicians’ intention.