Undeterred by the holiday weekend, Haverhill DIY venue Anchors Up hosted a cesspool of heathens and hardcore in celebrating the release of the ABOMINATION and VILLAIN split 7-inch Masters of the Hunt.
Anyone walking into the multi-level former record store was immediately enveloped in thick air musky with the sweat of moshers. It quickly became clear that this show wasn't going to be just any pansy party; the scene was unlike that of any passive Allston basement show, and anyone standing near the pit was viable to be drawn in through a flying fist or even foot.
The biggest difference remained in the make-up of the show: I was one of only a few females there and the majority were young boys or tough guys. Nevertheless, I didn't feel any sort of discrimination, rather a collective rage uniting any and everyone there with even the slightest inkling to express themselves through violence.
Merrimack Valley hardcore came through in the biggest way: Streetsweeper, Darkwoods, Twitching Tongues, and Think Again bolstered enough energy to prepare for the impending doom brought on by the headliners. Someone ghosting behind the stage pierced the darkness with a single green bulb, highlighting the stag of Satan himself that embellished both the banner and the 7-inch. The Mirkwoodian atmosphere was nixed as soon as the green light was, but the opening riffs of Abomination's “Ramirez” brought everybody to the right state of mind for their six song set.
Seemingly fueled by Jägermeister and cess, Abomination brought the energy of hardcore to their type of metal. With doom metal lyricism, two sludgy, distorted guitars, and kvlt blast beats interjecting sporadically, the necessity to categorize them under a particular genre disappeared. For the crowd, the only necessity became physically unleashing their inner tormented spirits.
Photo by Paul Adams
“Coffin Walls” crept in with slow, repeated riffs, while the room filled with the temporary malevolence promised by singer Mike Vickers as he growled that “six feet under you can't hear their screams.” Combating the sense of emotional hopelessness shrouding the song, people began stage-diving onto the perimeter and hate-moshing through the crowd just to feel alive.
Abomination's second cut off of the split, “Guillotine,” brought the highest energy of the night. Opening with driving blast beats accompanied by alternating grunts and screams. “Kneel down in the guillotine” was screamed with such conviction that I saw a 300-pound man kamikaze-flip onto a small child, get pulled up from the floor and propel himself across the hall all the while crowd-punching the perimeter. It was awesome.
Villain/Abomination Split by Toxicbreed
The Abomination/Villain split is now available via Shoe City Records.
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