Photos courtesy William Mendez & the author
This past week, as your boy Mr. Golden got himself ready for a Friday night situation like no other – a return visit with Boston’s reigning purveyors of full metal mayhem, Sorrowseed, for what would be their fifth anniversary performance – I knew already it would be another night of the “gorgeous, unholy symphony of carnage” I first experienced back in the month of April (and subsequently reviewed for these very pages). With 320 Entertainment in league with Promethean Productions and Black Sheep Entertainment overseeing the event’s promotion, I also knew this would also be an evening of handling business. Alongside Prometheus & Black Sheep, 320 had invested much time and effort in getting the word out for this historic show, so you know I had to be in the building not only to support the Sorrowseed squad on their biggest night to date, but also to see what the turnup would look like after weeks of promo blasts on social media and on the radio airwaves, through 320 Entertainment’s Monday Night GOLD. A night of high-decibel heavy metal, a battle royal of moshing, the intense roar of the greasepaint and the ferocious screams of Lilith Astaroth…all in the heart of the New England metal community – Providence, Rhode Island. Yessir, I was ready for the 401 to be lit like never before.
Then, a funny thing happened on the way to the show. Well, not funny, really, but definitely something I was not expecting. As I was about to hit the road alongside my longtime supporter Colin St. John, I got the news via social media about the passing of one of the most important figures in the history of professional wrestling, an enduring name in pop culture: the Man You Love to Hate, Professional Wrestling Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Remembering all the years of household rivalry my sister & I had – she was a huge mark for Piper, clashing with my lifelong support of fellow Hall of Famer, the immortal Hulk Hogan – and also recalling the years I was entertained and intrigued by Roddy’s game-changing approach to life, wrestling, and entertainment in general, so much raced through my mind on the long drive to Dusk, the heavy metal hotbed of Providence, which would be the setting for the anniversary celebration of Sorrowseed. From the first time I saw him at age seven as a manager for “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, to my last time seeing him – an appearance on a TV talk show, mocking critics of the Hulkster during his most recent public scandal – mane, that’s a lifetime of memories that would forever stay with me. So, after posting my thoughts on Roddy on social media, I told Colin that I had one mission for the night ahead: tonight, we are totally getting rowdy like Roddy. Appropriate considering we were about to enter one of the most awesomely rowdy nightlife settings on the East Coast. We were coming to chew bubblegum and kick ass. By the way: we were all of out bubblegum. Niiiiice.
This was my first time pulling up to 301 Harris Avenue in Providence, where Dusk stands. I will admit, I had a much different visualization of the inside of the building. I imagined something that more closely resembled the infamous Palladium in Worcester, known for being a home to massive metal bills and Psychopathic Records shows. What I did see was a venue with a unique, wicked feel and character all its own. The place screamed “METAL, DUDE! F***ING METAL!” This was a pretty rad thing; having become acquainted with the New England metal family, I have learned a lot about their devotion to the music and to each other. Facts only: Metal fans are some of the most fun and awesome people you will ever meet in our nightlife scene. They are passionate for the music. The lifestyle. The experience. The devotion shared here resembles that of the legendary KISS Army. That’s some legit love and passion right there.
Opening the night’s events were sets by a virtual roll call of the biggest & baddest in East Coast metal: Blacksoul Seraphim, Whisky Fyre, Deathwish, Western Massacre, and Gamohra. Each of whom delivered their own searing brand of hellacious metal fury, each bringing their own hardcore following, all of them providing the brain-bashing soundtrack to the mosh. The MOSH, tho: family, this crowd at Dusk was already going way up. Once the mosh pit formed, it was just above & beyond anything that defied description. Again, as I pointed out in the past, this was a thing of twisted beauty. You need to get familiar with the metal scene to truly understand & appreciate what this represents.
The mosh is a true sign of love & devotion to the bands onstage, to living in the moment, to taking the party to the limit. It’s an amazing sight to behold, one I watched unfold next to the darling Sophie Harris, a longtime aficionado of the heavy metal sound and the live experience. Sophie was one of many super dope ladies & fellas I met at Dusk on Friday, members of the Providence metal scene who have great respect & reverence for the artists and bands who turn their artistic visions of heavy metal domination into a reality. As much as they loved experiencing the sounds of Blacksoul Seraphim, the commanding presence of Samantha Cram as she fronted Whisky Fyre, the pulse pounding soundtrack of Deathwish, the raging fury of Western Massacre and the bombastic metal explosion named Gamohra, it was clear to all why they were there: it was to witness the main event. The fifth anniversary performance of the reigning kings & queens of New England metal, Sorrowseed.
Through my personal connection to Lilith Astaroth – a bond going back several years – I first became acquainted with Sorrowseed. As I first told her some time back, my knowledge of heavy metal was, in my opinion, pedestrian at best. I knew all the big names like Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Uriah Heep, Ronnie James Dio, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, etc. Yet, before Sorrowseed, I had never attended a live heavy metal show in my entire life (NO, I do not count KISS – whom I have seen onstage 14 times – as heavy metal; the throwback rock ‘n’ roll sound is far more their speed). Sorrowseed would be my first venture into these unchartered waters. After seeing the band a few times, I totally got who they were & what they brought to the table. I became a believer. I already was a supporter of Lilith’s many projects, from activism to modeling to theatrical efforts; I feel Sorrowseed represents the very heart of Lilith’s hard work and sweat equity; upon eventually meeting the rest of the band – Morte McAdaver (guitars, keyboards, live vocals), Brent Gruno (bass, live vocals), and Prometheus B. Subrick (drums & percussion) – the whole picture just clicked with me. These were heavy metal warriors who left every bit of themselves on that stage, every time out. This is a group who works hard to entertain and share their prophecies with their believers. It was my honor to be one of the promoters for their anniversary gala.
Sometime after 12:15 a.m., Sorrowseed converged upon the Dusk stage. Resplendent in the very same robe worn at her first show, Lilith stepped out onto the stage with Morte, Prometheus and Brent, a collective ominous presence ready to unleash hell. Tearing through a set representing their full body of work – from forgotten album cuts to the biggest fan favorites – Sorrowseed took fans on a tour de force of the first five years of their career. A career that has seen them destroy stage after stage on the East Coast and the world over; of turning recording studios upside down by bringing their one of a kind style of metal to fruition; setting the stage for a future which shall see them achieve global dominance.
It was a set that saw Sorrowseed bring that special brand of carnage (yupp, that word again!)…and push through physical hell to get to artistic heaven. During the set, amid the wild mosh before her, Lilith Astaroth found herself slammed backwards into the drum kit behind her, earning a hell of a body bruise in the process. In spite of this, like any true hardcore legend would, Lilith popped back up, smiled in the face of the pain, and screamed her defiance. From here, Sorrowseed took it home, delivering an incredible night’s set to the standing room only audience at Dusk. A venue so packed out, the bar was sold out of beer by the time the night was done. Once more, Sorrowseed cast their shadow upon the New England music & nightlife scene, and staked their claim as the overlords of Boston heavy metal. A night triumphant, a stage crushed, a milestone celebrated.
To the always-darling Lilith, to event coordinator Rick Lowell, the Black Sheep & Prometheus Productions teams, every band member I met on the road to this crazy poppin’ night, and to every new family member I met at the show, I have great gratitude. It means the world that you opened up your home to me, and allowed me the chance to not only promote this event via 32o Entertainment, but to experience the night with you. I feel blessed to have met so many of y’all, and have the chance to hear each band ply their trade, doing what they love to do more than anything in this world. Big thanks to y’all; I definitely was diggin’ the experience.
I truly see world domination in Sorrowseed’s future. Heavy metal fans span the entire world, especially in such countries as Sweden and Norway. As Lilith, Morte, Prometheus and Brent continue to add new chapters to their story, put in the work and break new ground in the metal scene, their fan base will continue to swell. Sorrowseed represent the heart of the metal sound and ideal; they deserve nothing but the biggest success. This is a success I visualize for the group. You know Mr. Golden will be among those who will be supporting the continued efforts.