Baltimore Coverage: THE ATLAS MOTH, ALTAR OF PLAGUES & ASTHMA CASTLE
September 8th, 2012
I finally made my first trip to The Ottobar since moving to the Baltimore area. The venue has become one of the best spots for underground metal and punk shows in the area, especially since The Sonar closed down. There were two shows playing at The Ottobar on Saturday – the upstairs show (the one I attended) and the downstairs show, which featured a bunch of local metal bands as part of Metal Quest. Needless to say, the place had a bunch going on. The good news is I still had no issues finding a decent parking spot. I found The Ottobar easy enough and headed upstairs, which housed a smaller band area and a good-sized bar to accommodate the crowd of about 60 or so that attended. I grabbed a Stella and a stool, waiting for the night’s killer lineup of THE ATLAS MOTH, ALTAR OF PLAGUES and ASTHMA CASTLE.
Locals ASTHMA CASTLE opened the show around 8pm. The Baltimore natives play straight up, saturated Stoner Metal in the vein of ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY. The riffs where heavy and down-tuned, with some great vocals delivered by Yuk. Solos where added in nicely to complement the crunching rhythm, and the set as a whole was great. I am glad I got a chance to catch ASTHMA CASTLE, who definitely don’t redefine Stoner in any way, but definitely do the style justice. You can check out ASTHMA CASTLE on their Facebook page HERE, and even download their ‘Jesus, Mary, and Broseph’ EP for free HERE.
Coming by way of Ireland, ALTAR OF PLAGUES hit the stage around 8:45pm. From the get up, there were technical issues with both the guitar and the bass, and so began the hunt for instruments. Fortunately, Stavros Giannopoulos, who plays guitar for ALTAR OF PLAGUES live, gave his guitar to vocalist/guitarist James Kelly. Stavros then borrowed a guitar from the girlfriend of ASTHMA CASTLE‘s guitarist…classic! After tuning the new instruments, ALTAR OF PLAGUES was ready to go. Straight from the jump, ALTAR OF PLAGUES enveloped the upstairs of The Ottobar with their post-Black Metal style. It was definitely cool to watch Stavros play with ALTAR OF PLAGUES, especially knowing he would take the stage immediately after for THE ATLAS MOTH‘s set. Watching James Kelly perform reminded me of watching George Clarke of DEAFHEAVEN. Both explode with emotional aggression in their delivery. ALTAR OF PLAGUES played a great set, and had those in attendance huddled close to the stage. Check out more ALTAR OF PLAGUES at their Facebook page HERE.
And to the closers, THE ATLAS MOTH, who took the stage around 10pm. Talking with Stavros, the tour has been great, but this night would mark the last stop where he would take on double-duty as ALTAR OF PLAGUES‘ guitarist. With his two-foot Santa figure to his front, Stavros and THE ATLAS MOTH took over the upstairs of The Ottobar with atmospheric Sludge and Post-Metal that clearly makes them one of the best. The band is obviously seasoned, and their live set is incredible. Highlights from the set included the tremendous “Perpetual Generations” and the closing tune, “An Ache for the Distance,” where Stavros sung to Santa as he embraced the figure, and James Kelly provided assistance to Anthony Maniero on drums. The shear ability of THE ATLAS MOTH to create an entire mood for their audience is exceptional. The show will definitely be among the top of my list for those I have attended this year. Check out THE ATLAS MOTH on Facebook HERE and on Bandcamp HERE.
(Local Support from Baltimore, MD)
ALTAR OF PLAGUES
(Touring Act from Ireland)
THE ATLAS MOTH
(Touring Act from Chicago, IL)
AXES TO GRIND
For All That’s Heavy!!!