Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
Earlier this year, we made the four hour trip to Cleveland to see The Obsessed play. And it was worth the drive, without a doubt. So when they announced a show in Rochester it was a no-brainer that we make this trip as well. The weather wasn’t quite as nice as it was last time, but snow and freezing rain weren’t going to kill our two-hour drive to the show.
The Highest Leviathan
Starting the night off was Rochester band The Highest Leviathan. This was our first time catching these guys live, but we’ve heard plenty about them before this. A three-piece of sorts, which I mean it’s just guitar and drums, while the third piece is vocals only. Staz (guitar), Rick (drums) and Swamp (vocals) ripped out a short set that proved why we had heard about them in the past. People take notice of bands that put on live shows they way they tore up the stage. They have a great sound for just guitar and drums. With just a self-titled EP out, look for more to come from this upcoming band in the future.
King Buffalo is another Rochester band, we had just seen them up north in Toronto, Canada opening for All Them Witches. Toronto was the first time we saw them live, and we couldn’t wait for the next opportunity to catch them again. They have one full-length album out called ‘Orion’, and it’s killer. But live, these guys take it up a notch. They are amazing and we recommend going out to see them if you have a chance. They are spot on when capturing the spirit of the album. And they have this nice mix of psychedelic spacey sounds which turns to heavy moments that get the crowd going. The band is a trio made up of Sean McVay (Guitar & Lead Vocals), Scott Donaldson (Drums & Vocals) and Dan Reynolds (Bass & Lights). They have a new album coming soon, the pre-order will be available on 1/1/2018, don’t wait to grab a copy, we will for sure. These guys have been making a name for themselves in the stoner/doom community lately. Be sure to check these guys out if you get a chance.
Saints and Winos
This is the third time we’ve seen Saints and Winos, and they’ve been great every time. This band knows how to rock, and they play some great kick-ass doomy/thrashy tunes. This three-piece also hails from Rochester and consists of Joe Dellaquilla (Guitar and Vocals), Amanda Rampe (Bass and Vocals) and J.B. Rodgers (Drums and Vocals). They have an album that was released on September 13, 2017, titled ‘We Rise’ get yourself a copy you won’t be disappointed. This is another band we highly recommend you go to see if you have a chance. They have a great live energy. You can see they eat and breathe this music. The band has great songs and are dedicated to keeping doom alive and well. We couldn’t think of a better band to open for The Obsessed.
Now it was time for The Obsessed to take the stage. Wino started the show off by dedicating it to their friend Reverend Jim Forrester, who was currently in the bands FOGHOUND and SERPENTS OF SECRECY, and a founding member of SIXTY WATT SHAMAN. Jim was tragically shot and killed during a random violent crime earlier in the week down in Baltimore, MD. It was a touching tribute to a great guy, that will be greatly missed.
We’ve seen The Obsessed a few times over the last year and a half, and we knew what a great live band they are. Having reformed back in the summer of 2016, the time they’ve spent on the road supporting the new album ‘Sacred’ has made this a well-oiled doom machine. Brian Costantino (SPIRIT CARAVAN) on the drums, is high energy and beats the life out of those skins on a nightly basis. Reid Raley (RWAKE, NACHTMYSTIUM), is kicking ass on the bass every night, he brings down the low end like few others can do. And what can you say about one of the most legendary doom pioneers that already hasn’t been said? He has both a unique singing voice and a unique guitars sound as well. The architect of The Obsessed, Scott “Wino” Weinrich (SAINT VITUS, SPIRIT CARAVAN, THE HIDDEN HAND, SHRINEBUILDER, PROBOT, HEAVY KINGDOM, PREMONITION 13).
The Obsessed has been Wino’s baby since 1976 formerly known as WARHORSE. He’s been doing this for quite some time now, and his stage presence is fierce and powerful. He has what we call the Wino snarl, and his eyes almost look as if he’s channeling some kind of mythical spirit animal while he performs. Something that has to be witnessed in person to get the full effect. They ripped through a 14 song set, that still didn’t seem long enough. Who would want them to ever leave the stage. It’s hard to pick one highlight or song they performed as being better than the others, but I guess if we had to pick, it would be hearing the new songs live ‘Be The Night’ and ‘Sacred’. They sounded great live, and of course, they ended the night with two of our Favorite classic songs ‘Hiding Mask’ and ‘Sodden Jackal’. Couldn’t help but get goosebumps when they played ‘Hiding Mask’. It’s one of their slower songs, but just as powerful as any of The Obsessed songs in their catalog.
The band is on the top right now, riding high on the album ‘Sacred’ and deservedly so. The new album kicks ass, and they got great exposure touring with Clutch this year. We can’t wait to see them again, and that could be next year at the Maryland Doom Fest, they are already set to play there in 2018. If they come near your town, be sure to get out and see them, you won’t regret it at all!
On a personal note, we would also like to extend our condolences to the family, friends, and bandmates of Rev Jim Forrester. We met on a few occasions and he was always nice to us and seemed like a great guy. I know the music community, especially the Doom community, lost one of its greats. Please visit the Gofundme page that has been set up to help his family.
RIP REV JIM FORRESTER 1974-2017
Brother Blue Steel
Be The Night
To Protect And Serve
The Way She Fly