Let me state, right up front, that am not really somebody who can really critique their music as I am not really all that familiar with their work nor their history. I guess that could also put me in the perfect position to view their show, coming from the outside. I first heard of them way back in 1995, the song was Juke Joint Jezebel and it was on the Mortal Kombat movie soundtrack. It was a great soundtrack that first introduced me to some excellent industrial and metal acts including KMFDM, Gravity Kills, Geezer, and Fear Factory. Shortly thereafter I picked up their current album, Nihil, thought it was a good album but never really followed them that closely. Jump ahead nine years, they are touring in the year of their twentieth anniversary and are making a stop locally. I'm always up for a good show, so off I went.
There was a good size line forming by the time I got there, which was a little past 8:00. I entered the club, found a decent spot to stand and waited for the show to begin. It was just before 9:00 when the first act went on. There was no announcement that he was coming on, just all of a sudden he was onstage performing. At no point did he announce what his name was, just keep right on going. After returning home, I looked up the clubs website (TheChanceTheater.com) and found out that the first act was called Martyr Art.
The performance was a bit strange, it only featured one solo performer, playing guitar and singing. The backup band consisted of an electronic soundtrack, each song being triggered with the flip of a switch. The crowd wasn't quite sure how to react at first, and neither was I. I really didn't know what to think of it, it was definitely a different way to approach industrial metal. As his half our set continued, I grew to really enjoy what he was doing, one member ensures complete control over his vision. His guitar playing was good, giving us heavy riffs and a few leads, incorporating standard metal with an industrial edge. His voice sounded OK, but the mix was not ideal and often it got buried. I discovered on his website that this was his first official live show. That would explain his stage presence, in short he did not have much, he did not really give any visual reason to pay attention to the stage. Outside of that, the music was unique and it will be interesting to see how he develops.