St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
SLOUGH FEG, BIBLE OF THE DEVIL, UNITED TEACHERS OF MUSIC, NIGHTOSAUR
Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN
Friday, July 11, 2014
(Note/protip: If you’re reading this and not simply trying to relive your enjoyment, I assume a natural disaster or some malfeasant genetic mutation kept you away that night. Start a survival plan or keep your head out of the microwave before the next arrival of these Heavy Metal Monks and you won’t regret it. You’re welcome.)
SLOUGH FEG for a sawbuck on a motherfucking Friday. Are you kidding? What loving god of graceful foresight concocted such an ideal arrangement?
The answer to that is nevermind who; better to worry more about the blessed outcomes and much less about any messy mechanics. In this case we were treated to premium, revved-up heavy metal from four gentleman who look like your dad’s dropout friends from vo-tech. And it was great. And with SLOUGH FEG it doesn’t feel like it should be any other way.
Approaching 1 AM on a Friday night/Saturday morning, the magic hooligans deftly executed a set with pure energy to a smallish but wholly receptive crowd of FEG-ian faithful. What were the anxious acolytes treated to? Only excellent sound (thanks much in part to T-Rock) dialed in to project every guitar harmony, walking bassline and warbly croon; a stage presence both candid and amusing, replete with tongue-in-cheek costume changes and cheeky banter by Mike Scalzi; and a set spanning rippers from the band’s prolific career.
I’ll spare you further details on the stage show itself as it’s something that really should be seen for it’s own sake by any fan of the purest metal. SLOUGH FEG very clearly crafted their setlist this time around with the greatest of live energies in mind. Perhaps this was in reaction to the more muted and varied tones of the most recent album, Digital Resistance, as they saw fit to only include two of the shorter rippers from that somewhat eclectic disc. Both tracks chosen (the title track and “Laser Enforcer”) stood up well against classic tracks from all over the catalog that included “Highlander,” “Death Machine,” “The Final Gambit,” “Eumaeus the Swineherd,” “The 95 Thesis” and a few others. A seemingly genuine encore (which I won’t spoil here, if you are nerd enough to read show reviews in advance) capped what was a completely worthwhile heavy metal display by these quasi-underground legends.
Direct support was from Chicago’s BIBLE OF THE DEVIL, a SLOUGH FEG-like entity in their long-running admiration for the soft spot between more working class IRON MAIDEN and late 70s hard rock and NWOBHM. Although they lack the folky and subtly cerebral edge SLOUGH FEG provides, BotD nonetheless proved a formidable live act with their stripped-down, steady and no-nonsense approach. Unfortunately, for my exacting tastes I ultimately found my mind wandering somewhat with the lack of songwriting variety, but it is easy to appreciate the band’s inclusion on the bill as a straightforward Midwestern heavy metal antidote to SLOUGH FEG’s coastal weirdness.
Local support was provided first by NIGHTOSAUR and then UNITED TEACHERS OF MUSIC, two bands who lean to a rollicking BLACK SABBATH-style experience. Each, particularly UToM, performed with admirable gusto and it will be interesting to watch their development as we hopefully see them open more quality heavy metal shows in these parts in the future. Just make sure you come out next time.
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