The crowd moshing at The Peacock Room last Sunday night
Maybe it’s just me, but The Peacock room seems like an odd place to have a doom metal show. Most of the venues I’ve seen that type of music before have been dark, smelly, dirty, humid, and generally grimy. So it was an odd experiece to be listening to the grime-encrusted sounds of Sunday night’s 90 Proof Productions lienup while being comfortably accomadated by a full-functioning A/C unit.
Some Florida-based favorites gathered together that night in support of stoner/doom/sludge trio Elder from Boston, Massachusetts. Slow tempos, blasting riffs and a tinge of southern mentality seeped into the cracks that night.
Joshua Mazorra of Fire in the Cave at The Peacock Room
Fire in the Cave initiated the night with blunt force trauma. But, unless you follow the band’s online updates, they brought a little M. Night Shyamalan twist to the mix. Jared Oates wasn’t on vocals, but newcomer Joshua Mazorra was. The details of the switch seemed to be fairly simple, but regardless, Mazorra displayed his prowess and stamina as a leading man in full force. As the audience stood in line, upright and at attention, he bellowed at them with monsoon-like power, raging spit and a keen I’m-gonna-kill-you-if-you-don’t-fucking-move glint in his eyes. The energy was there; the connection was more of a battering ram. And when your band’s name is Fire in the Cave, a little rage goes a long way.
From Tallahassee, Hollow Leg joined the stage. Their slower-than-hell tempo was precise, systematic, and yet somehow wild. With a southern twang etching at the corner of nearly every song, Hollow Leg feel like a doom band hailing straight out of Nashville’s seedier underbelly. Hearalding power and a penchant for blues and rhythm, Hollow Leg released their songs, raw and fiercly with no headbanging to spare.
The headlining group, Elder, took me by surprise. This sludgy Massachusetts metal trio carry with them the visual of a true doom metal band. The aesthetic of their album art screams evil and ominous, yet between the vocals and guitar, they push forward with a strong psychedelic sensibility. Searing vocals soared above typical growling and barking, which seemed to call upon something far more mysterious than any purple cascading artwork ever could. And as the guitars varied between shimmering solos and headbanging riffage, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to just stand their and twirl my (admittedly) short hair about or dance my way to the front of the stage. Regardless of what I did, Elder put on a combative performance that was truly fun.
Newer local Orlando doom band, Demons, closed out the night. And as the evening’s drinks piled on top them, they stumbled on stage and thrashed together in the only way they knew how. This wasn’t the drunken slurs of embarrassed rock stars, but the intoxicated passion of a band that doesn’t give shits about appearance and class, but rather, lives for the fury of the moment and the sting that follows. The groups greatest moments came when they seemed truly lost in their own songs. It’s a rare thing for a band to seem excited to perform their own material, but you could certainly see it in Demons that night, especially on the popular “Help Me Spirits” track, which had the crowd moshing in the tiny Peacock space.
Nick Galimidi shredded on a 7-string guitar, Dave Gayler sang like a demon and Brandon Killian thrashed like he knew his drums could take a beating. Before Gayler announced a new song he saluted his beer to the crowd and said, “Beer first.” And that’s when it kind of hit me. Demons aren’t necessarily trying to be the greatest band you’ve ever heard; they’re just hanging on to every moment they can. In my opinion, that’s a lot more fun anyway.
Check out some more photos from the evening below:
Fire in the Cave:
Mazorra and Oates high-fiving? Guess it was an amicable trade.
Mon Jun 25