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Raising Kubrick, Hirudinea, Bane of Existence, Conifer and Kevorkian`s Angels

Box of Knives, Olneyville, RI
Jan 10, 2004
By Josh

Olneyville, Rhode Island. Not to offend the kind citizens of the beloved state of Rhode Island, but Olneyville is quite possibly the most run down, corrupt, and unique town I've ever been too. Known as a theater district, in the past few years some impressive local shows occurred in several underground clubs, art spaces and squat houses. The Box of Knives is the ideal place for one to attend a Metal show. Run by two dudes, Tom and Mike, they hold shows on the first floor of an old factory, which has since been converted into a few apartments, rehearsal rooms and general art studio space. The bands really love this club, generally for its party like atmosphere and abundant crowds, as well was the warm hospitality and double stuffed pizza. A few musicians, including myself, refer to this place as the "the Players Club", but you'd have to be there to understand what we mean.

It turns out that the day before the show, the Providence Housing Commission paid a little visit to the Box and declared that it was "unsafe for human habitation", and promptly declared that all residents be evicted and the building condemned. We learned of the news early in the morning, for a minute we thought the show was a no go, but Tom and Mike insisted that we had to have a good time, so we trekked down for the last show ever at the Box of Knives.

Raising Kubrick opened things up ripping into their blend of grinding insanity. They started off with "Fargo" a blistering tune accompanied a sound clip from A Clockwork Orange. The lead singer is a young lady by the name of Sarah, and she unleashes some of the most amazing screams I've ever heard in my life, screams that would make Seth Putnam of A.C. grab his armpit in awe. Bassist Chris and Guitarist Blue are always fired up to play, constantly displaying tons of energy, enough to fool kids into thinking they're hardcore, but these dudes have the edge on them with a more grinding attack emphasized on the their technical verses. Their drummer Pete, also bashes the skins for Spider Gates (with Blue, who also plays rhythm guitar) this dude always has great technique when I watch him play, he plays with a lot of ease too which adds as a compliment to this spastic assault!

Hirudinea was on next. This was my first time seeing them in just about under a year and this was a huge improvement. They shut off all the lights and opened with "This I Command". They are one of the more haunting bands in the area, playing a tortured blend of abrasive black noise. Composed of 3 brothers from Lexington, MA, few bands in the area have the ability to pull off such an effectively savage sound that not only drones the listener but prompts violent chaos. I don't care what anyone says, these guys are at the forefront of an emerging Black Metal scene in New England, and they deserve it. They're also really knowledgeable about several obscure Black Metal acts and it's little things like that, that make them all the more original, especially when it appeared that Gothenburg was ready to rule the world 2 years ago.

Bane of Existence singer, Doug Rinaldi was home sick and unable to attend this grand occasion. None other than Joe McNamara, the promoter, booker and owner of Not Common Records, took the reigns on vocal duties and massacred the crowd. BOE started off with "From Soiled Heart to Infected Tongue" and took that into "Denounced". Joe was generous enough to pass the mic off to a few folks, it appeared that his throat wasn't conditioned enough to belt out an entire set, but he did an outstanding job on such short notice. They also played my favorite tune by them, "Art of Fisting". I always like listening to BOE, something about their riffs, always chugging along with a certain infectious groove that is irresistible for my head to bang to. Their full length should be crushing!

Hailing from Portland, Maine, Conifer is currently one of New England's best kept secrets. There is no other band in New England that can compare to the style of Conifer. These wild boys played two untitled instrumentals for an amazing half-hour set. Conifer has grown a lot since the last time I saw them, they appear to be more focused, determined and unified. Their sound is somewhat deranged but lucid. There's always evolution when they play, a constant progression of riffage that builds and builds to some astonishing climaxes. They have a great rhythmic pulse to their music; it never yields to any breakdown, just keeps going, like an old car traveling on the Kangamangus Highway. They finished up their first song and for a moment it appeared that they were finished until the crowd pleaded for one more. Give these dudes a listen!

Kevorkianís Angels is one of the most diverse and captivating bands currently playing around New England. These dudes are always tight every time I see them. They have a brilliant blend of grind/surf/punk/thrash/black metal, I still don't understand why they aren't having violent pits, they deserve them! Some of the highlights were "Eat Shit", "Lacerate" and "My Inner Demons". I think my favorite part of the band is the bass lines; Nick Kevorkian is wicked sick and shreds his frets with a certain elegance, unmatched by all in the metal scene. Nick was even crazy enough to tape a flattened rat he found as road kill, onto his bass for the entire set. (See the photos). The best part was that they played a few songs before everyone realized it. I highly recommend their cd "The Modern Sound of Hate" from Not Common Records.

I'm not an expert with the current political scene in Providence. But I do know that the Mayor has cracked down on about a half dozen clubs like the Box of Knives. The biggest contributing factor, without a doubt was the fatal fire at The Station in Warwick, RI, which claimed the lives of 100 people. As far as I know, these current actions taken by the State are being uncontested. It appears that Wal-Mart is interested in building on the space where The Box of Knives is. This place will be missed dearly, it gave a lot of people some awesome memories, things like these are too good to be true. Providence is cool.

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