(Live Review) PSYCHOFEST 2022, DAY 3 - Las Vegas, August 20/22

Review by: Mark McQueen


Day three of Psychofest begins with biscuits and gravy and a loaded Bloody Mary before heading to the Rose Ballroom for the black metal stylings of:

MIZMOR

Dark growls, and funeral doom, (vocals from the crypt), kind of stuff. Mizmor is like a Zombie clawing its way out of the earth to a horror movie soundtrack. Then suddenly exploding into a Wolves in the Throne Room-type aggression.


Yep, this is a good way to start a Saturday.


I also love the all-red lighting and dark ambience. This is “Beard” music. I am going 94/100 right out of the gate. These guys are really good.


INDIAN

These guys play some good doom-style music mixed with sludge, but the vocals are definitely abrasive sounding. They also beat a riff into the ground before they transition out of it. I really like pieces of their stuff, but some (vocals) I do not.


Going to call the overall effect

80/100


MOTHER IRON HORSE

This is a stoner doom sound from Salem, but with pretty clear vocals. The singer does NOT look like he fits with these three stoner looking guys in the band. It’s like Elvis Costello singing for Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Still, I do have to say surprisingly good sound. Throwing up an

84/100

The Beard is feeling generous today.


FROZEN SOUL

Death metal. They are intense, and Johnny practically vaulted the barriers to get in the pit.


Where does he find the energy? And how does he never lose that hat?


Okay, clearly death metal is not my choice, but this is catchy and well done. With bands like this, I read the crowd. Big pit, big response, big grade.

87/100 for death metal?

The Beard is apparently VERY generous today.


BELZEBONG

Drugged-out stoner doom. Cut from the Electric Wizard cloth, Belzebong is slow heavy doomy riffs under green light and smoky haze. Songs are long and vocal overdubs between songs are largely about weed, and smoking weed.


A floaty heavy 45 minutes of hazy meandering.


I am giving 88/100 (and a bag of Fritos).



I have also lost Johnny again as he remained in the other venue for 200 Stab Wounds, and I know right now he is beating a path to see his sweetheart on the Foods stage as the chicks from Black Sabbitch play a set over there. Oh well, he will resurface eventually.


THE MUNSENS

Strong stoner music. Pretty traditional, heavy, low guitar and doom/stoner riffs.


The Beard is digging it. The later part of the set has moved into some death/doom. Still surprisingly good, but that did drop it a few points for me.

Still giving an 84/100


Now, due to the cancellation of Ulver, I am seeing an act for the third time in the last three Psychofest visits. Band seven is probably the heaviest death doom band going:


PRIMITIVE MAN

Primitive Man is a wall of unabated heavy noise. If death doom were a force of nature, Primitive Man would be a tsunami. Just relentless heaviness. Maybe Conan is of similar heaviness, but there’s not many bands that can match the wall of noise coming from the Primitive Man amps.


I do not understand a word they are saying in any songs, but goddamn whatever it is, they mean it. Still, after three times, what they do is what they do, and I can only go 76/100 this year.


Band eight is looking more up Johnny’s aisle. Black metalers:


LITURGY

Wow, the set started with what can only be described as spaceships calling out to whales. That noise will get your attention. Then they went into some traditional black metal sounding stuff, with some interesting sonic stuff underneath.


Vocals were black metal screams that sounded to me like a woman seeing puppies killed ... or perhaps just realizing you are trapped on a nude beach for retirees.

This one has “audible” written on it as listening to black metal screams for an hour is not going to work. I will give it another 10 minutes.


The music’s not bad black metal and some crowd is staying, but I cannot get into this one. Going to call it 75/100 and say “audible”.

Johnny is likely at the pool stage anyway.


BOMBERS

Motörhead tribute band. Abbath (former Immortal guitarist) sounds just like Lemmy not only in tone, but in the texture and cadence of the way he spoke during live performances.


This seemed to confuse Little Johnny who came up to me and said, “I thought that dude died.”

“No Lemmy from Motorhead died. That guy is from Immortal."

“Oh…cool…so…Lemmy’s Immortal then?"

“No..Lemmys dead. Abbath is Immortal. He is just playing Lemmy."

“So, that guy on the stage can’t ever die?"


At this point we have an Abbott and Costello routine going, so I just give up and Johnny heads to the pool still muttering “That’s so cool that Lemmy is Immortal.”


It is nice to see/hear a tribute band that actually pulls off the covers properly. Going 86/100 because it IS a cover band, but at least this one is worthy.


GATECREEPER

More Death Metal. Should be quite the pit party in the pool. I ascend to the second level and a nice safe viewing area.


Johnny is ready. Several people from last night are also here again. Somehow, they are naming themselves “Little Johnny’s Aquatic Army.”


Now granted Johnny and AA may be something to consider but I suspect this could get crazy.


Not bad death metal. Energetic, without being offensive on the Cookie Monster vocal scale. Good mix of paces throughout the songs makes the fast parts mean more. Crowd seems happy, and Johnny’s Army is splashing around like someone screamed “Shark” .

83/100


Band eleven is another “audible”.

Tobacco was electronica.

I have seen Suicidal Tendencies.

I have seen Church of the Cosmic Skull.

I have seen Mondo Drag.


So, based on Johnny’s recommendations, I am here at:


SHOW ME THE BODY

Hardcore punk, with hip hop. Well, it is stupid loud. I mean this is “wear earplugs loud even for me.”

Crowd is light because the headliners are also on at the Event Center stage.


I cannot say I am into this, but I am determined to keep reviewing new stuff, not just stuff I have seen a bunch before. Plus, time and scheduling is what it is, so I will check this out for a half hour or so.

Probably getting the Beards disinterested 72/100.


BORIS

Now Boris can be ... punk, doom, drone, noise, or something combined. Curious to see what they bring tonight.


Boris brought the metal set tonight. Pretty much straight metal, fast paced. A little drone here and there but mostly fast.


Oops soon as I say that they go into a doomy number. These guys are chameleons. They do so many styles.


Crowd surfing was a massive thing in this set. Johnny just went by screaming. “Domo arigoto misuta Robotto”. “Wrong Band Little Dude.”

For a full set of everything, the Beard awards Boris

92/100


YAKUZA

These guys seem to fuse thrash metal-sounding tunes with occasional saxophone in an almost jazzy amalgamation. The saxophone does create a different layer to the songs, but otherwise its stuff we have all heard before. Worth about...

75/100


Well, once again the Beard is running low on energy. Johnny is headed for Intronaut, but I am just not going to make another hour. Ahh to be young and still have endless energy. I will return and get a few hours’ sleep, so as to be prepared for tomorrow’s final big day.