Tuesday, October 22, 2013

…Live Report : UZALA & MIKE SCHEIDT, October 17th, Denver - 3 Kings Tavern -

Following the massive, downtrodden aural assault of Denver Doom Fest III there are few acts that could manage to fill the abysmal void left in my soul after that two-day event. But it just so happens that Uzala are one of those acts. The band has enlisted psych-doom guitar wizard Mike Scheidt to perform an acoustic set of solo material for this particular tour along with a variety of supporting acts dependent on location. For this stop of the tour local acts Munimula and Space In Time were brought into the fold, thus solidifying a well-rounded night of tunes - (by Steve Miller)

Getting things started off to a hobbled, bloated crawl was the Denver three-piece Munimula. I hadn’t caught these guys before, but they were the perfect way to kick-off the night. The band launched into their set like a high diver plunging into a vat of viscous sludge—smashing headfirst into a suffocatingly heavy stasis. Deep, heavy grooves eventually deteriorated into the sonic equivalent of a corpse decomposing. Feedback and swirling noise encapsulated by heavy riffs along with a measure of harsh vocals seem to be the band’s calling card.

Having been a fan of Yob for several years I was pretty psyched to catch Mike playing a low-key acoustic set. Not only does the man flat-out destroy with an electric guitar, but he is equally adept playing softer, acoustic material. His set consisted of both original material and a couple of covers, including a Townes Van Zandt cover. Sorry, I must have been living under a rock because I didn’t know the other cover. I was pretty blown away by both his set and his voice—he can definitely belt out a tune. I felt pretty fortunate to have witnessed Yob a couple of times in the past and now to have caught a more intimate performance from the front man. Damn, catching him live has me really anticipating the release of his new project with Tad Doyle and Aaron Edge, Lumbar.

Another new local act for me was Denver’s own Space In Time. The band blasted through an impressive 70’s inspired set that covered proto-metal, hard rock, and doom in equal measures. The band was extremely tight and boasted some great, powerful vocals. To top things off the band dug deep into some nuggets and played a cover of Sir Lord Baltimore’s “Helium Head (I Got A Love)” and they killed it. Space In Time’s high energy set broke up the night nicely. Looking forward to catching this four-piece again.

There are few bands that could drag me out of the house and leave me with only three-and-a-half hours of sleep before a string of twelve hour work days. I caught Uzala last year—also at 3 Kings—with The Flight of Sleipnir and both bands were nothing short of amazing. This time around I’ll admit I was a bit wary as Uzala would now be performing as a three-piece since the departure of bassist Nick Phit. As the band launched into “Death Masque” my worries were put at ease. Despite the lack of bass the tunes still sounded full and heavy and, as the band played material from the new album, it also made me realize what a fantastic job Tad did with capturing the band’s live sound on ‘Tales of Blood & Fire’. In addition to “Death Masque” the band played the entirety of the new album with the unfortunate exception of “Tenement of the Lost” which had to be sacrificed due to time constraints. Not only has Uzala, again, released one of the best albums of the year, but they’ve managed to recreate that sound in a live performance.  

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