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December 19, 2006

Music Xtra: Blade, False slice and dice at the Fox Den

Mike Oerther and Rodney Roads on bass at The Blade of the Ripper show at Fox’s Den.The South End “metal” scene — the real metal scene — is an almost imaginary place where there are no fashions, no trends and fans actually watch and “support” the music.It is unaffected by a fast-growing, hipster-metal trend, and if the Dec. 1 show featuring False, Blade of the Ripper and Assisting Sorrow is any indication, it is a way of life.Assisting Sorrow was already blazing through its set when I arrived. Tight and well rehearsed, its music embodied the dual-lead guitar spirit of Iron Maiden while at the same time sounding original.Assisting showed off its grunting vocals, which I’m not always fond of, but there is no other way to sing these tunes unless you want to sound like a woman or blatantly rip off Bruce Dickinson.They kept me entertained and banging my head, even if the sound of the Fox’s Den was muddy and equivalent to an oversized garage underground. This circumstance could not stop the Sorrow. These guys probably practice five days a week in a storage space off Dixie Highway.Blade of the Ripper is a highly evolved group that, although not from the South End, can hold its own against the suburbanites. Blade is raw power, a power so great it’s hard to distinguish it from a punk band.The difference is noticeable in the lead guitar. These guys should probably be charging $20 at the door. They bring a light show and a stage presence equivalent to a small version of KISS in the early 1970s, and Blade is just as talented.Like a fine blend of Maiden, Danzig and the Misfits, Blade flat-out rocks, with brutally fast songs that have a hint of Satan, enough long hair for 1,000 voodoo dolls and a kick drum featuring a goat-head pentagram. As usual, Blade tore me apart, and I banged my head into oblivion.False is a band I’ve heard much about but never seen, but they lived up to the hype.With its wall of unforgiving chugga-chugga guitar and growling vocals, False is just the kind of band that could scare Osama bin Laden out of hiding. All they need is an Afghan mountaintop. Dave Johnson is the singer and guitarist for The Glasspack. Contact him at leo@leoweekly.com