Wednesday night at The TLA in Philadelphia wasn’t packed with fans at first, but it was totally packed with sounds of doom. As in doom metal bands Venomous Maximus, Lucifer, Pallbearer and High on Fire. Venomous Maximus started the show to a small crowed. The TLA is always prompt, the show started at exactly 7:30 so most of the fans had not arrived yet. Venomous Maximus has an old school metal sound with doom undertones. They look like late 70s or early 80s stoners, they aren’t pretty, but they are a pretty good band.
As Lucifer took the stage, more fans had arrived. There has been several band’s named Lucifer over the years, this one is the newest. Formed late last year after singer Johanna Sadonis left The Oath. She started the band with British drummer Andy Prestridge (who had worked with The Oath), soon after they added British guitarist Gaz Jennings and German Bass player Dino Gollnick. They already have one album under their belts and are really making a name for themselves. The band sounds reminiscent of Black Sabbath, if Ozzy was a beautiful blond woman. Johanna hypnotizes the crowed with her vocals and and the way she dances around the stage. The band is extremely talented as well. Lucifer is definitely a band to keep an eye on for the future.
The next band was Pallbearer from Little Rock, Arkansas. This award winning band started in 2008 and in the past seven years has become a benchmark for the doom metal sound. Pallbearer’s sound is like a melodic dirge, their performance is unique in that there are no growl vocals, everything is clean sounding and three of the four band members sing. Lead singer and guitarist Brett Campbell does the majority of the singing while Joseph D. Rowland and Devin Holt harmonize and sing backup, occasionally having their own vocal solos. There were lots of fans there specifically to see Pallbearer, there were lots of Pallbearer t-shirts and they got the loudest response from the crowd.
The headliner High on Fire took the stage in darkness and after a few moments the lights came up and the band began to rock! The band played a lot of songs off of their newest release Luminiferous, which came out in June. High on Fire has been together since 1998, this is their seventh studio album. Their performance was as energetic as always, they just rock through song after song, barely stopping for lead singer Matt Pike to tell you the name of a song here and there. Each one of these bands was great, if you missed this show, you missed out.