Friday, June 15, 2012

Nasum/Landmine Marathon/Nausea@ The Black Castle, Los Angeles. 5/30/12.

...long live the king
Nasum was an awesome Swedish grindcore band. Tragically, the band's singer/guitarist Mieszko was killed in the horrific Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. When Mieszko died, Nasum perished along with him. That is, until now.

2012 would have marked the band's 20th anniversary. Nasum founder/drummer Anders Jakobson decided to reform the band for one final tour to mark the occasion. Due to Mieszko's tragic and untimely passing, Nasum never got to say goodbye to it's legions of fans. Now, after 7 years on ice, Nasum was back (with Rotten Sound singer and friend on vocals) for one last hurray.

I was beyond stoked for this show. Remember, the band had been dead for the past 7 years. I never thought I'd be standing inline for a Nasum show, yet here I was. I didn't even mind that the venue was a dump (well, not a first). We missed the first act Early Graves which is funny because, I ALWAYS miss Early Graves every time they share a bill with headliners I want to see. We walked inside as LA grindcore legends Nausea were playing. I respect all that they did for the genre back in the 80's but the band was pretty boring. In fact I'd say about 1/2 the band members themselves looked bored out of their minds (including the frontman). The best part of their set was when they did sloppy versions of Terrorizer songs.

Landmine Marathon were next. Their schtick is that they're a death/grind band that has a girl singer. The band's music is kind of "eh" (competent riffs but nothing special...pretty bland/inconsistent drumming) but their live show is pretty awesome. Again this is all due to their female frontwoman:
She's pretty fucking crazy onstage. She's tall, thin and fair as snow but don't let her looks fool you, she's Linda Blair/Exorcist insane when her band starts playing. This was my 2nd time seeing Landmine Marathon and again I was not disappointed. I don't really follow their musical career, so I don't know much about their history or names of songs but so long as they keep Grace on vocals, I'm always down to see them when they role through town.

Remember when I said that I didn't mind that the venue was a dump? Well, now I did. Big Time. The Black Castle is basically a former auto body repair shop that's been hollowed out, painted black and had a stage thrown up in the back. There is no air conditioning or ventilation system at all inside. As the night progressed and more people arrived, the temperature inside skyrocketed. The "bar" was a U-Haul type trailer outside that sold drinks from the back of the truck bed. So as the bands played on and the smell of sauna-fied gym shorts filled the air, the outside U-Haul bar/holding pen became the only means of salvation/fresh air (and if by fresh you mean cigarette filled).

Anyways. Aside from me melting like the witch from Wizard of Oz, Nasum played a killer set. They came out and just slayed the place. They rarely addressed the audience and didn't make any official statements about this being their final tour or acknowledging Mieszko. No, they let their music do the talking for them. They played a lengthy set, with songs represented from most of their catalog. Keep in mind these are grindcore songs, where anything over the 2 min mark is considered "lengthy" so the fact that they played for an hour means they played a shit load of material!

I stood down in the front near the stage for the first 6 or 7 songs before my sweat glads had enough. I rushed outside for some (somewhat) fresh air and water, but alas, they sold out of my precious H20 and I had to settle for room temperature Coke instead. After returning inside I watched the remainder of their set from the sidelines. Despite the heat, the band and their rabid fans near the stage keep the energy level up all night. I looked around the room and say the awestruck grin on most everyone's faces toward the end. The "holy shit! They're playing "The Black Swarm!" I must be dreaming!" look. Truly an awesome and memorable night. That being said, there was slight specter of dread hang over their set. It was amazing to finally see Nasum live but this amazing show was less a reunion than a blazing farewell and I had to remember that. Bummer...Mieszko's still gone and the band is going back on ice after this. Still, hell of a way to go out if I must say so myself.

For mote high def photos from Nasum's Black Castle gig, check out:


  1. It was pretty cool of them to get back together like that. This isn't necessarily the end. Though I guess if they were planning on sticking around longer then they would have mentioned it. They wouldn't be the first band to swap a dead member and keep going though. If a show is good enough then really any venue will do.

  2. Least they went out with a 100 bangs or so haha

  3. Never heard of this lot, looks like I missed the boat. Do you keep missing Early Graves because you are late? (See what I did there)

  4. You know.. I'm not that jealous of this one. It sounds like a great time and all, but I can live without this experience pretty happily.

  5. Didn't even know there such a thing as grindcore :)

  6. Dude! How lucky are you? That sounds like an incredible experience. I know a couple of people who would have traded a testicle just to be in the room during that show. So cool.

  7. Seeing bands that you thought would never tour again is always special - I envy you!

  8. ah-huh, I feel so sorry about myself to be totally outdated about this stuff :(

  9. Looks like on hell of a show!

  10. haha that audio sounds bad. it like the time i tried video taping the dayglo show, it was all just distortion.