Vivicide CD Release LIVE REVIEW
It was a highly anticipated night that had been waited for by friends, fans, and hopefuls that had triumphed behind Vivicide since their inception. The CD Release show had fallen upon the Havana Cabana and all who were there came with an eagerness to support Vivicide’s five-track EP, Sanctuary.
Opening the show for the night was Anamika. This band was different from what I am typically used to listening to. With a vibe and mix that was very reminiscent of Limp Bizkit, a la circa 1999, Anamika was nonetheless a great opener to begin the show. My enthusiasm for the band waned as a mishap on stage led the band to stop abruptly during their second song and ask for a towel. I still do not know what happened but after only two songs in, Anamika never truly regained the gusto that they opened their set with.
Following Anamika, there’s a technicality involved in this band’s music that makes for an interesting live show. The keyboard techniques involved in the band don’t quite match the deep vocals possessed by frontman Jack Fliegler, but for their crowd of followers, it works. I still wanted more metal from the bands. I knew (or at least I thought I knew) what was to be expected from Vivicide and the desire to have that heaviness in my ears, still lingered inside me.
My musical appetite was more than satisfied when took the stage. Anyone that has never seen or heard Cave Dweller live is sorely missing out. These four guys, burly and commanding, have a sound possessing their guitars that is so desperately needed in music. Cave Dweller has a rough and raucous rock and roll style that matches what Corrosion of Conformity embodied in their Pepper Keenan days. This is the music I enjoy. With notes that literally sing out of their guitars, it’s heavy, classic, and good old-fashioned music. These guys get on stage, deliver, and leave you wanting more.
Bellicose and He Who Binds Himself were the next to take up the stage at the Havana Cabana. Both bands couldn’t be farther apart on the musical spectrum. is great hard-driven music that embodies a vocal styling that is enigmatic with a rough, raspy-ness that is sexy and free. It is the type of music the will make you get up and move without making you feel bogged down or forced into a frenzied mosh pit. There is a unity on set that works for this band. delves into the darker sounds and probably the darkest of the night. With deep vocals that penetrate, the band seemed an odd coupling for this bill but anyone who enjoys the heavier, guttural sounds would dig He Who Binds Himself.
What do you get when you put four extremely talented young musicians on stage and give them Mortal Kombat masks? You get a sick-ass sound that is only perpetuated by the deviousness of their disguise. I present to you Dylan Troxel on drums decked out as Smoke, Noah Shepard on bass as Sub Zero, Dru Rome on lead as Scorpion, and the mighty vocalist and guitarist, Kevin Coulter as Quan-Chi. I, in all my years of going to shows, have never seen a band transform their sound into an unforgettable set just by wearing masks. (AND YES, I HAVE SEEN SLIPKNOT LIVE!) This was not just another band wearing masks; this was an embodiment of an image. This approach was a profound take on sound and sight that was meant to fuck your senses. It was amazing and unbelievable to experience such an undertaking. The whole scheme could have failed miserable but the heaviness in Vivicide’s sound was doubled when they were in these Mortal Kombat character modes. The band warped the audience into this mode of fantasy meets reality. The reality was that Vivicide, our friendly loveable guys in the suit vests and ties, were there on stage delivering their unforgettable sounds that somehow were magically magnified and amplified with the use of this gimmick. It’s not to say that I want Vivicide to always perform with masks, but the band was able to embody a different being. It was as though they transformed themselves into these characters to give a performance of a lifetime.
The previous Vivicide shows pale in comparison to the directness of this set Saturday night. They owned the stage, they commanded presence. Dylan forcefully pounded away at his kit with a definite smile that was seen behind the mask. Noah, an insanely talented bassist, used the stage as his playground jumping on the monitors and using his eyes to tell the story of their songs. Dru was unbelievably menacing in his Scorpion mask; deviant and working well with Noah’s energy on stage. Frightening was the presence of vocalist and guitarist Kevin Coulter as his already large eyes, doubled in size beneath the white face-paint that was Quan-Chi. The crowd was enthralled and fed off the energy that exuded from the stage. The set was short, fast, and heavy. There was a need and desire for more. Vivicide left the crowd exhausted with the intensity they displayed on stage. The coupling of these devices with the true Vivicide sound was perfection at its finest.
Who came up with this idea of debauchery on stage I do not know, but it worked like a beautifully played musical bathed in blood.
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