Ashes Within - Good hard NYC metal here. The street toughness is evident at all times from this twin-guitar quintet. At times it almost got a bit too 1-2-3-thud in the drumming department, but then the band's guitarists twisted their sounds into washed out psychedelic waves which were startling amidst the controlled noise. When they pushed the tempo they closed in on the metal/hardcore merging that NYC was famous for. The vocalist did well with a highly iffy PA and got through enough of his growling to push things songward. I hope they experiment a little more and keep things moving in interesting directions. They may be on to something, but if not, there are plenty of metalheads out there that will dig this exactly as it is.
Cousin Sleaze - Next up are the opening band's touring buddies, also from Brooklyn. Just one guitar this time around, although the sound is similar to Ashes Within. The main difference is the faster tempo evident and they really rip it up, almost sounding like a Finnish hardcore band (I still find it odd that Terveet Kadet is playing in the US this year, but I digress). The vocals are struggling to get through the PA, although not for lack of vocal power. The Pinch is suffering from being a new club tonight and it is really hard to tell if anyone is here beyond band members. Credit to these guys for laying it out there, as I feel I am monitoring a band practice.
Area 52 - The sound is an utter mess by now as this area metal trio tries to make a go of it. I am not really getting into their set, but it's impossible to make a fair judgment. There probably is some talent here. But how can un-mic'ed drums drown out guitar and bass? Vocals were barely audible, although it didn't sound like we were missing much (and it is barely a 'we' beyond the other band members). Was the guitarist just playing with his teeth? I had to cut this set short.
Murder Troy - I didn't stay for this set, but it may have actually gone well as they play instrumental psyche-metal and wouldn't be bothered as much by a bad PA. They have a new full-time bass player and are still getting experience on their way to becoming a very nice act around here. I recommend seeing them at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel in early July when they play with the always excellent Caustic Casanova. Stay tuned.