This Little Underground
Bao Le-Huu takes on Kasabian, Hacienda, Youth Lagoon, Alcest and more
Published: March 29, 2012
Actually, speaking of soft bellies,there was considerable hype leading up to the show by French metal expansionists Alcest (March 22, Will's Pub) – both public and my own internal kind – based on the moving material heard online. Unfortunately, they're a fraction of the mass, gaze and transcendentalism their music suggests. Live, their proportions are slight and soft in a way that emphasizes their least flattering impulses to the verge of cheese – Velveeta, not Roquefort. Are they the Winger of black metal? Perhaps, at least in concert. Lesson: Maybe you should be realistic about what you'll get from a bunch of French hair farmers.
Totally stealing (and saving) the show was San Francisco opener Deafheaven, whose sound scales the wuthering heights of gale-force post-metal and screamo. They definitely drop a big slab of pure intensity but have the agility, touch and range of post-rockers. Violently forlorn in a way that's sublime, their sonically heavy but unquestionably beautiful music is like a soundtrack for the most epic and severe extremes of the Earth. Live, they come with a force-of-nature velocity that feels like a tornado touching down on the roof above you. And for a guy who looks kinda like a stylishly brooding member of Interpol,singer George Clarke sure can shred a throat properly.
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