Averse Conditions Inhibit the Endless Usurp of Filth
Cradle of Filth, Usurper, Endless and Averse Sefira
at the Reverb in Toronto, Canada on August 4th 1999

by: Adam Wasylyk
Honestly, I could care less about Cradle of Filth. I missed them in Milwaukee for Sinister and Gorguts, and I would do it again in a heart beat. I was skeptical on getting the opportunity to see them close to home, but with CoC legend Steve Hoeltzel visiting the cold tundra that is Canada, how could I refuse?

We arrived just in time to check out Rochester, NY's Averse Sefira. Playing a pretty cool set of Gorgoroth-influenced black metal, these guys know how to write a catchy melody and repeat it with another and another. Decked out in evil corpse paint, my image of the band was hurt by the jock-like drummer with, gasp, no corpse paint. Blasphemy! But he can drum up a storm, so I can forgive him partially. A great way to start off the set.

Toronto's Endless followed, but unfortunately proved to live up to their name. Recently signed to Pavement Records, the Entombed-ish death metal trio riled up few and frustrated many. Not much else to say, other than it'll take a great performance next time to win me over.

Chicago's Usurper stormed the stage in full metal gear, ready to kick serious ass. The only problem was they didn't do so. The vocalist just doesn't do enough for me to keep things interesting. Granted the music is good, but why not shriek and scream here and there? I'm just not into the Tom G. Warrior-like vocals. Bearable, but just.

Cradle of Filth were actually not that bad. Tracks like "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh" and "Malice Through the Looking Glass" lent themselves nicely to a live set, the band were reasonably tight and the sound was good most of the time. A lot of their material went over my head, but standout tracks made their set worth checking out. What can I say, call me "untrue" if you must.

If there was ever a show worth missing, it was this one. Cradle are past their heyday, Usurper are sub par, and Toronto didn't have much of a say musically on this night. Who would have thought that hanging around Steve would have saved the day? Hail to the True one!

(article submitted 12/8/1999)


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