Karyn Crisis’ Gospel of the Witches – March 28, 2015 – Trickshots, Clifton Park NYMonday, 30th March 2015
It’s not often that you can say that you got to see the first performance of a top tier act. That being said, when the opportunity presented itself to see Karyn Crisis’ first show with Gospel of the Witches, it was met with much enthusiasm. So a trip back up north to Clifton Park was made; being my first time checking out a show at Trickshots (who seem to be generating a killer number of the shows for the next six months or so), it made for a great night of some eclectic metal.
As Gospel of the Witches is no easily classifiable act (nor was Crisis for that matter), it was interesting that the local acts opening the show would share that melting pot of influences. Up first was Black Iron Prison, who were playing their first show in 5 years. Playing what seemed to be a little bit of everything, they frequently shifted from metal to hardcore to sludge to stoner to even some psychedelia. Utilizing a two man vocal approach on some of the tracks, it made for an intriguing performance. Doesn’t seem to be much material out there from the band, but it would certainly be worth catching them again.
Next up was The Final Sleep. Having checked out a track before the concert, they seemed to have some promise and massively delivered on it. Merging together elements of melodic death, traditional, thrash, and more, there’s a feeling when the band was playing that they are definitely on to something and could really make a name for themselves in the future. There’s a familiar element to it, but it feels quite fresh and the band seem quite confident in their ability on stage. This is a definite band to watch.
The last of the local acts to hit the stage was Purifier. Keeping the night’s mantra of avoiding the easily classifiable, Purifier took some elements of hard rock, stoner, and post-metal to create a immediately hooky and memorable. Though they may not have had the stage energy that The Final Sleep had, there was something about those riffs that made it quite easy to enjoy. The vocals were definitely a strong suit for the band as well.
Finally, it was time for Gospel of the Witches. Playing the better portion of Salem’s Wounds, the audience was treated to an excellent performance. Embarrassingly missing out on seeing Crisis before they called it a day, witnessing Karyn Crisis’ performance in the live setting was nothing short of hypnotizing. In an interview earlier this year, I had talked with her about being more of a vessel for her music, and it seemed quite clear that she was channeling the music through her. Her chameleon-like vocal acrobatics were equally impressive, as was the vocal chemistry that she shared with bassist Ross Dolan (one of the definite highlights of Salem’s Wounds). Another piece of the Immolation connection, watching Bob Vigna doing some definite rocking out with his guitar during several songs was a real treat.
More of an atmospheric mood-setter than a mosh-pit enducer, the energy coming from all five members of the band was more than sufficient to enrapture much of the audience, despite the fact that the album was only released last week in the States. Some of the highlights included “Mother,” “Pillars,” “Salem’s Wounds,” and “The Alchemist.” From start to finish, an intimate performance that one can only hope becomes more of a touring force, especially considering this was their first live performance (not that anyone in the band was lacking in any previous live experience but the chemistry needs to be right). But even if that doesn’t happen, it’s doubtful that the Trickshots crowd will soon forget the magic of the band’s performance that evening.