You thought I stopped doing live shows, didn’t you? Honestly, I just needed a break and, with the way things slow down up here in Minneapolis in the dead of winter, I took advantage and took a month off. It felt great but nothing felt better than getting back out to a show on Friday night. It was bittersweet. The sweet was an amazing local metal show to kick my 2023 off with, the bitter was saying goodbye to an absolutely stellar local band. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s dig into what happened at The 7th Street Entry on Friday night!
Kicking the night off was Worn Mantle– the only band on the three-act bill that I had never heard anything about prior to entering the venue. Right off the bat, the band treated the completely packed Entry with their sludgy atmospheric black metal sounds. Although atmospheric black metal isn’t my typical thing, I liked the way these guys pulled it off. Every note and drum strike was perfectly executed to create a true, well, atmosphere. Although I dislike this style due to the lack of groove and the very loose composition, I loved how Worn Mantle had me in an almost trance-like state. Their music was so easy to just got lost in and I was clearly not the only one feeling that. The audience didn’t move much throughout their quick opening set but there was a clear appreciation that flowed from the audience to the stage and vice versa.
Following Worn Mantle was Grand Demise of Civilization. This is one of those bands that has been around for years and I have seen their name many times but have never had the chance to catch them live. Thankfully, I caught them on Friday night and I promise to not pass up a chance to see them again. Much like the other two bands that performed, these guys had a stunning amount of power behind their sound, but the vocals set them apart. Three of the members pitched in when it came to the vocals throughout the set creating three very distinct sounds which kept every song feeling fresh and different from the previous one. Beyond that, just the overall composition of their tracks had me sold. There was movement throughout every song and although each song was heavy and intense when you started to really listen, you heard so much more than just heaviness. Like Worn Mantle, Grand Demise of Civilization showed a sense of care with every note they played which was just the icing on the cake to a flawless performance from them.
And now begins my ode to the headliner, Coffin Rites. I have seen these guys a couple of times and have reviewed them for a few of those but regardless of it, I was reviewing them or not, this local band has always left me in complete disbelief. Their talent is obvious the second they jump into their set regardless of what venue or what night they are playing and that hasn’t changed. As soon as they hopped into their set on Friday night, I found myself falling in love with them all over again. Everything about their music is perfect and the energy that they had on the stage was flawless. Yes, this is me gushing over Coffin Rites without much detail because, well, I was absolutely enamored by them throughout their set so I’m sorry but I’m not really sorry.
Coffin Rites is not new to performing and you could easily see and feel that on Friday. Although the men in the band were clearly having fun with what they were doing, they came off as seasoned professionals with how they interacted with the crowd but still made sure to play everything flawlessly. It was hard to know what to watch and I wanted to watch it all but it was vocalist Drew Blood that had my eyes throughout their set. This isn’t a surprise. The thing that I have always loved about this band is Drew’s vocals. The way he goes from the deepest of growls to the highest of screeches in the blink of an eye has always left me shook and Friday was no different.
Unfortunately, Friday night was the last night I will experience those vocals in Coffin Rites and the last time I will experience Coffin Rites in general. The announcement was made on December 13th and it left me a bit surprised but also optimistic for the future. Don’t get me wrong, I am so bummed that Friday marked the end of Coffin Rites but, as it was mentioned in their announcement, every member of this band is involved in a million other things and are just shifting focus. From Witchden to Plague of Stars all the way to Silva– the men of Coffin Rites and their distinct and talented sounds are not leaving the scene, just taking new forms which I suppose helps me sleep a little better at night.
Friday was bittersweet but, thankfully, more sweet than bitter. Yes, I had to say goodbye to Coffin Rites but I was surrounded by a packed house of fellow metal lovers who truly appreciate the sheer talent we have in the local scene here. Beyond that, this show was my first show of the year and we all know that the first show of the year sets the tone so cheers to an amazing 2023!