Oigs Fest V returns with an amazing line-up of heavy bands hell-bent on giving fans a night to remember at The Avenue Cafe in Lansing.
Oigs Fest V
It has literally been years since the last time I made it to Oigs Fest. I missed Oigs Fest IV as I was down in Charleston looking for Bill Murray. When I saw the posting for Oigs Fest V at the Avenue Cafe by the master of ceremonies Brad from the astounding Cavalcade, I blocked my calendar. By the way, when you say “Oigs Fest Five,” do you think of “Fox Force Five” and Pulp Fiction? Yeah, me too.
Before we dig into the performances by the bands at Oigs Fest V, I must thank and congratulate Brad. He is a wonderful human and a champion of the local music scene. Brad pulls the rabbit out of the hat for each Oigs Fest bringing together a diverse and entertaining set of musical acts.
What struck me as I listened to each performance at Oigs Fest V was the sheer love of music being amplified on the stage. I swear that each band starting with Bloody Butterflies and ending with Nagazi, upped the ante. They seemed to experience the band’s energy level preceding them and then take it up a notch. The hairs on my arms stood on end all night, and as I write, my body relives the experience. Enough of the metaphysical bullshit; let’s get into the show.
Opening up Oigs Fest V is Bloody Butterflies. I was happy to learn they were on the bill as I’d missed their set at the Corktown Music Festival. There is a certain aura of mystique around two-piece bands. When done right, these bands fill a room with sound that seems larger than what two people should be able to produce.
When I heard Bloody Butterflies’s doomy stoner mantras, it felt like a gigantic creature holding me firmly. It isn’t crushing you, yet you could feel the power and firm determination to keep you close. A sensation of being entranced and enveloped. What a way to start the show.
One of the bands I was anxious to see was Lucius Fox. I had the pleasure of listening to their most recent albums, Red Giant and Quaternary Panorama. I wondered how these symphonic duets of prog-tastic mastery would translate when performed live.
With the fingerprints of the Bloody Butterflies only recently fading, the clench of music from Lucius Fox combined with the adrenaline rush threatened to knock me senseless. As I stood grinning like a fool, my mind reeled. I thought, “What sorcery compels this beautiful madness?” The music and performance by Lucius Fox was enthralling. Like a sudden summer storm, it is over before I can comprehend what I just witnessed.
If Conan had been asked during Oigs Fest V what is best in life, I imagine him answering, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the pummeling doom of Iron Mountain.” Like barbarians at the gates, Iron Mountain came to Oigs Fest to bring down the walls.
Iron Mountain hammered out new tunes from their recent release Of Flesh and Bone. Snarling with primal ferocity, their bludgeoning riffs were seismic and intense. Iron Mountain has solved the riddle of steel.
Drink Their Blood
Drink Their Blood perfectly fit the definition of avant garde: “new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts.” They are a river of avant garde extreme music. Opening with a somber saxophone that calls to mind a meandering stream, their river of metal becomes a torrent. Vocals, guitars, drum, and bass coalesce into raging rapids hurtling us toward a destination unknown.
Through a landscape of reflection and rage, Drink Their Blood performance at Oigs Fest V is captivating. They masterfully convey the calm and chaos within each song.
Playing what I think of as blue-collar traditional heavy metal is Locust Point. With this band, it is all thrills and no fill. Locust point slammed down the accelerator and never let up. I had the distinct feeling of listening to Motorhead and Saxon. Locust Point is like a ’68 Chevelle in a perpetual tire burn blasting down the highway.
I first encountered Hokori back in 2015. They made a lasting impression. Their brand of death metal is brutal and witty. I say witty because of song names such as “Meat Curtains” and “Mistaken Mastication.” While the titles of the songs suggest B-rated horror flicks, the musicians in Hokori are top-notch.
Kenn Frank was in fine form as he thrashed about the stage while the rest of Hokori tore into each song like a pack of hyenas. It was like witnessing a body thrown into a wood chipper at a family picnic, a moment of shocked horror followed by admiration for a job well done.
After seeing Hokori, I wasn’t sure how the next few bands could be more intense. I was dead wrong. Centenary were merciless. Their Swedish-inspired death metal ripped into the crowd like Jason Voorhees on the first night of summer camp.
Serving up a heaping platter of terrorizing guitars, shattering rhythms, and hideous growls combined with banshee wails, Centenary’s assault was massive and satisfying. The sounds of the “Ghastly Graves” never sounded so good.
I came completely unprepared for Burial Party. Seeing the artwork of Skelator on the kick drum head, I thought, “Well, this should be fun.” As soon as Burial Party exploded on the stage, I knew this band is not only fun, they are fantastic.
The energy level on the stage grew as Burial Party delivered one slashing hardcore song after another. Their pacing was frenzied, which added the right level of shocking intensity to their performance. It was like watching a mongoose killing a cobra as each song struck fast and drew blood. I hope Burial Party will make the trip up from Fort Wayne again soon.
At this point in the show, I’m thinking, how can Oigs Fest V get any more intense? Recorruptor steps up as if to say, “Hold my beer,” and ignites a firestorm. Seth’s head spins with Linda Blair ferocity as the band tears into “Tormented Egress.” Always ferocious, Clint looks dapper in his red-brown leather jacket and white hat while spewing vocals channeled from Hell.
With deft precision and surreal ease, Josh delivers hypersonic kick drums with a torrent of snare and toms. Like a berserker Viking laying waste to his foes, Alex brings the weight of his bass to bear upon us. Meanwhile, in a state of calm within this metal storm, Caleb is a zen warrior masterfully flashing lightning licks.
It has been way too long since I’ve had the chance to experience Nagazi live. Given they recently released the heavy-hitting March of the Serpents, I anticipated a great show. Feeding off the incredible levels of energy in the room, Nagazi blitzed the stage with a devastating barrage of crushing music.
You couldn’t help but rage along with Joe’s growling vocals on “Triumphant” or “Push.” Jeff and Nakkim locked in and bashed out dominating rhythms compelling you to move. The razor-sharp riffs of Matt and Andy combined with some stellar solos by Matt cut deep.
Nagazi capped off a superb night of heavy music at Oigs Fest V at the Avenue Cafe. Many thanks to the staff working sound, making food, and slinging beverages; you guys were fantastic. Finally, huge thanks to the crowd for making this show a ton of fun.
We’ve got a lot more photos of all the bands from Oigs Fest V in our gallery. Take a peek and be sure to let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Better yet, share this post with family and friends.
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