Hammers Of Misfortune - Sweet Cobra -
Bible Of The Devil - Lair Of The Minotaur

The Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL 7/18/04

by Joe Who?

Summertime, a great time of year. For most people it's all about; going to the beach, BBQ'S, baseball, etc... For me it means a butt-load of concerts to choose from!

I found out about this show by pure luck. I was web-surfing one day when I discovered that the mighty Hammers were packing their bags, and heading out on a summer tour. One of the stops listed was Chicago, needless to say I jumped at the chance to see them live.

Now if you follow this "Network" we call the metal underground you'll sometimes find from different sources, (internet, zines, word of mouth, etc...) that there's always a band that causes a "buzz" on the scene, that everyone's talking about.

Last year this little ol' band from San Francisco seemed to be creating quite the "buzz", with a release called "The August Engine".

After reading some good reviews on this band, I decided to find out what all the fuss was about. After hearing the cd all the way through, I was hooked! In fact "The August Engine" was one of my favorite cd's last year.

Fast forward to the night of the show. I arrived to the venue early. If you have never been to Chicago, it's a good idea to leave a little bit early for shows. Traffic in Chicago is always brutal, and parking can be a challenge sometimes. The name of the venue this show was held at is called The Bottom Lounge. It's a small club that books alot of different styles of music - something for everyone's taste!

So like I was saying I made it to the show early, before they opened the doors. One thing I noticed was the lack of people going in. There was about six people (myself included) waiting in line. Once inside there was about an hour wait before the first band went on.

The first band of the night was Lair Of The Minotaur.

Lair Of The Minotaur hail from Chicago. This band has been one of my favorites of late. Their style is doom metal, but I'd describe it as a more hybrid style, like a mix of; Soilent Green, Crowbar, Acid Bath, Celtic Frost, etc... Great live band. This was my second time seeing them live, and they continue to impress me. Definately a band to check out. Also note that they have recently signed to Southern Lord Records, and will have a new release out in Sept.

Durning Lair's set more people started to make their way into the show.

Bible Of The Devil was up next. I never saw this band before, and didn't know what to expect. They are a local band from Chicago, that plays Power Rock / Metal complete with dual guitar solos! I would say they are more rock then metal, but could easily switch gears and play metal. (Maiden and Priest come to mind.) To add to my point they ended their set with a cover of Trouble's - "The Wolf" that was so "metal", and sounded great! They got a great reaction from the crowd also.

Sweet Cobra was up next, another Chicago band. Their sound I would describe
as, Neurosis meets Isis. They had the experimental noise thing going! I really liked this band, but they got a mixed reaction from the crowd. I'd say if this style of music is your cup of tea, this band is worth checking out.

Hammers Of Misfortune ended the night as the headliners. Finally after weeks of anticipation, the wait was over. Would they be able to deliver in the live seting? After seeing them play, I can honestly say the answer is YES - Big time.

I really dig how they take seventies style rock like - Thin Lizzy for example, and use that as a foundation to build upon and add their own unique, original, and creative sound to.

Watching them play these songs live was quite the experience. It was like an all star cast of characters. You had your classic riffs, dual guitar solos, great melodies, and vocal harmonies. I was in heaven!

Their set consisted of a few songs from "The August Engine", and some new songs. (that sounded great.) The majority of their set was from The Bastard" album. I would say this was the best live performance I've seen this year - hands down. My only complaint was that their was some sound problems at the start of the set, but the sound guy eventually found the problem, and all was forgiven!

I really enjoyed the show, some great local talent , and in conclusion - Hammers came to Chicago, I saw, and they kicked ass!

Hammers Of Misfortune - Setlist:

1. "The August Engine" - PT 1
2. "An Oath Sworn In Hell"
3. "The Dragon Is Summoned"
4. "The Bastard Sapling"
5. "On Wings Of Vengeance"
6. "The Hunting Tyrant"
7. "You Should Have Slain Me"
8. "Trot Out The Dead" (new)
9. "Locust Years" (new)
10. "Widows" (new)
11. "Tyrant Dies"
12. "Doomed Parade"