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Reviews » [Review] Gates of Slumber, Hammers of Misfortune, Flood the Desert, This Station of Life
Gates of Slumber, Hammers of Misfortune, Flood the Desert, This Station of Life – Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI USA 7/19/2012

It was the coldest night of the summer. In the span of twenty four hours, the temperature here had gone from over 100F to 65. I had won tickets to this show on a radio contest so accompanying me was my co-blogger, Bloodmace. We walked through the frigid night, making our way past the Thursday bar crowds, all desperate faces and preppy bravado. Yep, there’s a good reason I stay home most nights. I was pretty excited about this show because we don’t usually get good national touring metal bands here, but lately, the Pyramid Scheme (our local midsize venue) has been stepping up its game. Inside the main room, there were about a hundred fans. The stage lights were low and This Station of Life was playing. Their sound was raw and blackened and there was a bright halogen light in front of the kick drum, blinding anyone looking at the stage.

The lights came up and the house music rumbled quietly as Flood the Desert picked their gear out of the backline. We were drinking Jameson and Black Label, the go to combo here. Our friend Hellmaster and his girlfriend, Lady Deathcrush, have just arrived and Hellmaster informs us that the next band is kick ass. Now, I never expected that much from the openers. I have never seen a local metal band I can really get into since I moved here more than ten years ago, but I really dug these guys sound. Shit, from the moment they walked on the stage they were on. Flood the Desert may have been the local opener but they defiantly worked the home field advantage. Their music was an appealing mix of shred and speed metal, with bass player Zach Flora handling most of the vocal duties. Great band, defiantly gonna go see them at their next bar gig.

Again, the lights came up and roadies hoisted the drum riser for Gates of Slumber. The room was noticeably more crowded as latecomers had been trickling in throughout the last set. This was the band I was most familiar with at this gig, being one of Bloodmace’s favorite doom bands. They did not disappoint. They were of course, very heavy. Crushing riffs bludgeoned us mercilessly and time seemed to melt away under the sustained notes filling the auditorium. There was no stage banter or flashy moves, just awesome fantasy metal grinding through the night like a locomotive.

By the time Hammers hit the stage, it was around midnight and the air was electric with anticipation. I was familiar with another band guitarist John Cobbett was in, Slough Feg, who are a great traditional metal band. The Hammers of Misfortune crew were maniacs, setting up the stage at a blazing clip, then it was time to rock. The band were absolutely rippin’, they tore up the stage with authority. Vocalist Joe Hutton was a high point, his voice being raspy enough to add an edge to the flawlessly played prog metal while still retaining control enough to hit the high notes and harmonize with guitarist Sigrid Sheie and Organist Leila Abdul-Rauf. Speaking of the organ, I couldn’t hear it except during quiet passages. From the looks of what she was doing the instrument was mostly filling out the rhythm parts, but it would have been nice to hear it a little during the loud parts. This is a minor complaint though, as this was a really great show with a lot of variety in the selection of acts. Hammers played for more than an hour. Gates played for at least an hour as well. Both bands were exceptionally convivial (if understandably tired) after the show at the merch table where I bought a Gates of Slumber Tee and Hellmaster picked up the latest Hammers of Misfortune CD. All in all I would have to say this was a fantastic night. If this show comes through your town, fans of doom or progressive should go without hesitation, you will get your money’s worth.

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Nice review! one of the greatest shows I've ever seen!
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great job thanks
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Cool review!!
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