By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Senior Correspondent
Venue: The Brass Mug, Tampa, Florida–May 5th, 2022
Bands (in reverse order of appearance) & Links:
I was getting pissed at Tampa. After all, we’re often called the “metal capital of the world” or somesuch, and indeed many fine bands have arisen from the bowels of Tampa. So I’m asking myself, “Where the **** is everyone?” After all, this was Mörk Gryning (Swedish for “dark dawn”), who arose during the year 1993! They are literally legends of black metal! From 1993-2005 they released 5 full-length albums. The band was dissolved, but resurrected in 2016 with mostly longtime and original members. C-G: Drums (?-2005, 2019-present), Goth Gorgon: Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals (backing) (1993-2005, 2016-present), Draakh Kimera: Drums, Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals (1993-2003, 2016-present), Avatar: Guitars, Vocals (1999-2001, 2016-present), and Aeon: Keyboards, Guitars, Vocals (backing) (2002-2005), Keyboards (2019-present). They re-released their first album, “Tusen år har gått” (A Thousand Years Have Passed), which garnered accolades like “An amazing underappreciated masterpiece – 98% THE METAL ARCHIVES.”
So where was everyone? Oh, I get it, “Cinco de Mayo,” that faux-Mexican holiday that the Mexicans don’t care about but that gives gringoes an excuse to down Jose Cuervo by the gallon!
Tampa, most of you missed a great show with outstanding bands you might not get another chance to see without traveling!
And that was just one band! There were eight, all Worthy of the Crown – and they were there too! Working down the line from latest-playing to the beginning, we were entertained by Promethean Horde, from right here in Tampa, who have been shredding it since 1999!
They were introduced by Arsantiqva, black metal mavens from Brooklyn, NY, who have been rocking since 2009. Interestingly, though I could find no translation for Arsantiqva, it is the name of an Italian well-established dealer in artisanal antique coins! Artisanal metal? Yeah, that works!
Preceding them was The Noctambulant, out of Jacksonville, FL. Their self-description is pretty apt: “Being steeped in the traditions of Blues, Rockabilly, Goth rock and American Country, The Noctambulant has found their niche in the Southern Gothic motif that they were raised around while keeping their signature Black Metal sound. Reflective of the environment, their snow-covered peaks are pine forests and their dark wintry woods are the hot, oppressive swamps that The Noctambulant grew up in and around.
The Svinfylking – Heathens Fighting Hate
Before them, Svinfyking took the stage. The Svinfylking or Swine Array was a wedge formation used in battle by early Germanic and Viking warriors. I’m not sure about any relationship to the band, but there’s a group called “The Svinfylking – Heathens Fighting Hate” on Facebook, describing themselves as “Heathens and Viking/Early Medieval reenactors sick of people using our rich history and religion as an excuse for their puny racism, nazism, anti-Semitism, islamophobia, ethnocentrism, metagenetics, misogyny, gay-bashing or other types of cowardly discrimination.” I don’t have much evidence of any relationship, but looking at the band’s make-up, it’s possible!
The band released its first demo on November 4th, 2021, though they seem much more seasoned than that would make you think. If I were to guess, I’d guess they are based right here in Tampa. That’s not a wild guess though, because I ran into their bass player at a concert in Tampa’s Ybor district Saturday night!
Building on the audience’s anticipation before them came Finit Hic Deo, arguably translated as “God ends here,” which came from a movie. There are many saying the movie Latin is incorrect, it should be “Deo Finit Hic,” but does it really matter? Florida-based, the band consists of Vocals: Decay, Guitars: Teo, Bass: Balam, and Drums: Lord Valak.
The next earlier band was Worthy of the Crown. A Djent//Progressive//Metalcore band from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, they hit the stage ready to prove they deserved the name! Often using 7 and 8 string guitars, they dish out beautiful harmonies, bone-chilling breakdowns, and technical, sometimes brutal deathcore-style riffs.
First, but not least, there was Transient, a hard rock/metal band out of New Orleans, LA. Members are Trey J. Mollo, vocals, Jody Linnell, guitar, Emmett Shumate, guitar, and Phil Krohn, drums. Note that though Jody is a bass guitarist, they are both playing 7-string guitars at this show.
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