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Saturday night (June 15th), Brooklyn’s own stronghold of metal, Saint Vitus, hosted Intronaut with Scale the Summit, Mouth of the Architect and Sannhet. The show was part of the larger Northside Festival in Brooklyn, which also hosted the InvisibleOranges event with Torche at 285 Kent.

Sannhet kicked the night off with a few selections from their album Known Flood. I’d heard their album previously, but I’ve never gotten to see them live even though they play around Brooklyn a LOT. Their recorded material is really compelling stuff – it’s a blend of black metal, sludge, and post-rock that sounds expansive and cinematic but doesn’t tediously drag on for 10 or more minutes per song. I generally have a hard time getting into live instrumental music, but Sannhet held my attention the whole time. And, based on the post-set shouts of “Oh my god! Who are you guys?!” and “Where can I get your album?!”, I wasn’t the only one impressed.

Mouth of the Architect came on next. I was looking forward to seeing them in particular because the band and I both hail from Dayton, Ohio, not known for much other than the birth of powered flight and Guided By Voices (you’re welcome). I’ve had a chance to see MOTA various times over the years and their shows have always been compelling; tonight was no exception. Rather than revisiting older material, the band rolled out songs from their new album, Dawning. MOTA have always exhibited progressive tendencies in their music, but this new material is much more proggy than anything they’ve done before. The new stuff is still heavy, slow, and sludgy (I definitely felt my bowels rumbling a few times during their set), but it’s also more uplifting and even dramatic.

The third band up was Scale the Summit, a Texas instrumental prog rock band that’s getting a lot of good press for their new album The Migration. I’m not a fan of prog, but these guys at least had serious chops; I’ve never been to a show where people are pushing to the front to get video of a guitarist’s playing technique instead of moshing. I didn’t find the performance all that compelling, but the rest of the room did and, based on the density of the crowd during this set, it’s safe to say Scale the Summit’s performance is largely the reason this show sold out.

Around 11:30, the mighty Intronaut took the stage to close the night out. Much of the crowd had dispersed after Scale the Summit performed, which was nice because I wasn’t crushed up against a smelly guy who kept whipping his long, greasy hair in my face. The band played for roughly an hour and mixed their set with songs from their new album, Habitual Levitations, and some of their older, harder offerings. I’ve never seen Intronaut live before, but they are as heavy up close and personal as they are on record. The band has always been good at writing songs that are technically proficient, groovy, and aggressive at the same time, and that came through in their live performance as well. It was hard not to become transfixed by the jammy parts of their music and I found myself inadvertently banging my head more than a few times, too. A handful of the more inebriated crowd members where even whipped into a frenzy of moshing toward the end of the show.

All things considered, this was a solid line-up of bands. There was something for everyone to enjoy, from skinny music theory nerds to overly aggressive drunk dads and everyone in-between. Yeah, there were some annoying people and I got elbowed in the ribs by a short, reverse-baseball-capped bro who started a one man mosh pit next to me, but the music was good and Heineken was there giving out free beer. Really, what more can you ask for?

Shayne Mathis

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