On Wednesday August 24, bands from near and far congregated to San Diego’s Brick By Brick for some midweek metal jams. Kicking off the night were progressive death metallers Lurid Memory. The quartet immediately boomed onto the stage with technical precision and intricately arranged brutality. Axemen Oscar Padilla and Glen Davis played phenomenally well together while bassist Floyd Winters demonstrated impressive control on fretless bass. Percussionist Aaron Ashby hit his drums incredibly hard for how fast and complex his rhythms and fills were. For the final song, Lurid Memory invited former bassist Chris Boodho to the stage while Winters took a turn on the mic. Boodho seemed rusty at first but soon found his stride meanwhile Winters moved and played much more comfortably with a microphone than his bass guitar. The local ensemble put on a solid performance that certainly set the standard for the rest of the bill.
Newcomers Poison Headache went on after Lurid Memory and proceeded to make their live debut as bold as their recently released self-titled album. Opening with the blistering “Sin Eater,” Poison Headache wasted no time pairing the ripping music with a lively stage presence. Blending elements of volatile hardcore and old-school Swedish death metal on top of their already high-energy arrangements, Poison Headache made their premiere performance a distinguished highlight of the night. Trading vocal duty between Andrew Kukta and Brick By Brick co-owner Phil Sgrosso amplified the songs’ raucous nature while drummer Kyle Rosa provided dynamic volume and tempo changes. The trio opted out of a bass guitar for the show, however the low end didn’t seem to suffer too much in the mix. With a band jumping out of the starting gate as aggressively as Poison Headache, make sure to keep them on your radar.
The brutal death metallers in Condemned played third. The band had no issues immediately getting the crowd moving to their heavy guitar chugging, double-bass drumming, and guttural growling. Fortunately, Condemned are adept at consistency and command a strong stage presence despite the intense musical technicality that must require an unholy amount of concentration. The San Diego quartet has a new album due out October 2016 and if their past few shows have been any indication of how the future release will sound, then there’s still much in store for brutal death metal yet.
Los Angeles’ Destroyed In Seconds provided direct support for the headliner, and rightfully so. Formed in 2008, DIS plays a unique blend of crossover metal that incorporates elements of thrash, grind, and punk, culminating into one punishing metal machine. Now featuring Witchaven founder Henry Montoya on guitar, the band is a full-fledged assault of noise and chaos. DIS was as cohesive as they were heavy and somehow elevated the crowd’s already high level of energy.
Finland grindcore ensemble Rotten Sound closed out the night. Fresh off the release of their latest effort, “Abuse to Suffer,” the Euro-grinders never let up their pummeling onslaught of drum crashes and furious vocal projections. Though the night’s initial crowd had dwindled sizably by the time of Rotten Sound’s performance, it didn’t stop the four-piece from putting on a fervent set that engaged those who stuck around. With more than enough material to choose from their 20+ year discography, Rotten Sound’s set was jam-packed with tunes that throttled those who came out for extreme metal on a Wednesday night.