This gallery marks a first for Blow The Scene, as we recently sent our Senior Staff Photographer, Dante Torrieri, on a Southern journey out of the frigid cold of Philadelphia, and into Atlanta, where he had the pleasure of catching the mighty Neurosis perform with U.S. Christmas, Primate, and Rwake, at the incredible Masquerade Theater. Neurosis’s impact on current metal mainstays was none more evident than by the musicians sprinkled throughout the audience, with members of Mastodon, Kylesa, Hull, Black Tusk, and Royal Thunder all made it out to celebrate the band’s 30 year history.
Once the DuPree Excelsior Mill building (built in circa 1890), Atlanta’s Masquerade Theater offers the perfect set for such a cataclysmic gathering of music titans, complete with menacing machinery hovering eerily above the crowd from the high ceilings.
U.S. Christmas was first up to the plate and quickly brought local heads into the game and begun the groovitational pull of bodies towards the stage. Now in their second decade as a band, the apocalyptic space-rock/doom ensemble originating from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, is currently supporting a 2012 re-issue Bad Heart Bull on limited vinyl. The 2004 release was originally issued only on CDR, but is now available through New Jersey-based indie imprint Play The Assassin. Neurosis’s own label imprint, Neurot Recordings, currently offers a nice selection of the band’s back catalog if you are just tuning in.
Primate took command of the stage next and proceeded to pummel the audience with their tasty blend of crusty metal. If you are just tuning into this supergroup feat members of Brutal Truth, Mastodon, Venomous Concept..You are in luck! In 2012 we premiered new Primate tracks and interviewed the band, and saw their Draw Back a Stump +3 on Relapse Records decorate our year-end lists multiple times.
Arkansas’ backwoods doomsayers, Rwake mesmerized the audience in what looked more like a spiritual gathering with heads nods flowing across the audience in waves. The band recently premiered their disturbingly controversial new video for “It Was Beautiful, But Now It’s Sour” via Vice’s Noisey. The 12-minute short film, directed by Danish horror aficionado Casper Haugegaard, features devastating slow motion close-ups of actual pig fetuses being absolutely annihilated by a variety of implements. Rwake released Rest, their first album in over four years, last year to immense critical acclaim. The harrowingly beautiful progressive/doom/sludge masterpiece is currently available for streaming at the band’s bandcamp. http://rwake.bandcamp.com/
Neurosis took over the stage next and simply melted faces off with a 90+ minute set that saw beers flying and masses of bodies desperately trying to crash the stage. The weight of Neurosis’s 27-year long contributions to the music world are never more apparent than during the band’s live outings. You’ll find generations of fans from almost every walk of life, all tuning in for one mammothly awesome shared experience. In our recent in-depth interview with Neurosis guitarist and vocalist, Steve Von Till, he described the experience of playing in the band, “It’s way bigger than us as individuals. It’s more of a tapping into something environmental than songwriting.” This is the perfect framing for a Neurosis live experience.
Being part of a Neurosis show is like being thrust into a landscape that taps into something deep and inexplicable, as the music offers movements of ambiance and carefully crafted swells of unrelenting intensity throughout the performance. Since the release of their 10th studio album, Honor Found in Decay in 2012, we’ve been following the band closely. Be sure to scope our in-depth interview with Steve Von Till and our continuing coverage as the band embarks on yet another musical chapter now 27 years deep in the game.
Special thanks to Royal Thunder and crew for housing our photo Jedi and sharing some rad jams sessions with us.
Enjoy a massive offering of photos by Blow The Scene, Senior Staff Photographer Dante Torrieri (Useless Rebel Imaging)