Went over to the Empty Bottle tuesday night to meet up with my good old friend Greg and to see his band Batillus play.
I knew what to expect going in, having seen the band once before at a northside dive called Memories. Their set was truly amazing. I’m an outsider in regard to the metal scene, but it was easy to hear what sets Batillus apart. I stayed for 4 of the 5 bands that played that night, and none of them demonstrated the type of dynamic energy, nuance, surprise, and raw power that Batillus did. Sure the other bands were loud and heavy and powerful, but none of them took me on a journey. Perhaps the other bands assaulted me, but it’s easy to lose interest when being incessantly pounded with riffs and screams and double-bass drum sixteenth notes that go on for minutes at a time. What Batillus does is take the listener captive, using both the carrot and the stick to get you where you need to go, punishing sometime, and coaxing at other times.
Another refreshing differentiator for me was NOT having two guitars, allowing me to hear the nuance and space between the notes. Batillus is metal/doom for sure, but it’s artful and smart, refusing to stop at the boundaries and expectations of its genre.
As for the photos, Batillus was lit only with a few completely blue LED spotlights. I’ve turned them black and white to regain some detail, but they’re still pretty grainy (ISO 6400) because of my aversion to flash and my lack of a professional flash in the first place. It’s really the first time I’ve shot at a rock show. It was fun and i’m pretty happy with some of the results. See the full set on flickr.
More about BATILLUS at batillusdoom.com. Get mp3s of their latest LP, “Furnace” for whatever price you wish.
Blütt is having a spring cleaning sale, offering up the paintings below for $70 each (shipping included - $60 if you can pick it up directly). Here’s your chance to own a piece of Chicago’s street/urban art scene at a small price. (#11 is no longer available because it’s coming to live in my house.) Follow this link for instructions to buy.