Monday, November 7, 2011

Ancient VVisdom and Eagle Claw

One of the after shows for Fun Fun Fun Fest was held at Red 7 on Saturday night. Doors were at 9:00 and the venue quickly reached capacity as people flocked downtown to see the myriad bands who were preparing to perform. Local bands Ancient VVisdom and Eagle Claw were two of the many bands that played that night. I've seen both of them play several times and I have yet to be disappointed.

Ancient VVisdom played first on the outside stage. I have to say that I have yet to see a band quite like AVV. Their music, stage set-up and instrumentation is extremely unique and I have no doubt that they will be successful with their musical endeavors. Call it acoustic death rock or rock and roll metal or whatever you want, they have something very different and totally awesome going on. Vocalist/percussionist Nathan Opposition set up front and center with his unusual choice of instruments. In addition to two floor toms and two cymbals, a large knife acted as another percussive instrument and he used a thick chain in place of drumsticks for several songs. His vocals, smooth but often filled with rage, speak of Satanic themes and the inherent evil in the world. His brother Michael played electric guitar  which was well accented by Ribs' acoustic guitar. Trans Am, on bass, rounded out the mix. To add to the ambiance, they set up an altar at the very front of the stage with candles and a sign that says "Abandon All Hope."

Eagle Claw played later on the inside stage. I first saw them not too long after I moved here, in February or March, and have seen them play several times since then. Their heavy instrumental music sets them apart from many other generic metal bands in Austin. They love what they do and they do it well. The often drawn out, but quite nimble riffs by guitarists Matt Rade and Mike Gonz never fail to impress me. Their sound is really unlike many other bands out there; they manage to sound heavy without needing to race through their songs. Their music really stands well on it's own and has no need for vocals. Their songs are quite lengthy but they hold it together the whole way through without wavering or falling short. The precise drumming of Bart Butler and strong bass playing of Luther Smalls contribute just as much to the overall sound. Sometimes the bass and drums serve to merely back up the guitars but that is not the case with Eagle Claw. They're obviously going in a different direction from many other local bands, and they seem to have been successful so far.


Ancient VVisdom: Nathan Opposition (lead vocals, percussion), Michael (electric guitar, vocals), Ribs (acoustic guitar, vocals), Trans Am (bass)


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Eagle Claw: Matt Rade (guitar), Mike Gonz (guitar), Luther Smalls (bass), Bart Butler (drums)

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