Material: Like a storm of marauding mastodons or a battalion of fighter jets dropping air sirens, Das Muerte brew an insane hell-broth of thunderous cacophony. Alternately frightening, delightful and soul-crushing, they’re aptly described as progressive metal but their experimental sound is better compared to an assault weapon gone haywire.
Musicianship: Das Muerte’s technical abilities assume a back seat to their Jackson Pollock-esque artistic approach. Guitarist Justin Garrette’s fingers flit effortlessly up and down his instrument’s neck, bassist Dusty Mulholland generates nasty fuzz and drummer Euz Azevedo sounds like a herd of stampeding elephants. As a performer, vocalist Vic Foresta takes the crown, writhing like John Belushi impersonating Joe Cocker after snorting several kilos of coke. While his manic appearance, complete with Sideshow Bob hairstyle and '70s-style getup, makes for a riveting visual, his lyrics at the show were entirely inaudible above the din.
Performance: Additionally, when Foresta’s voice was audible between songs he could barely be understood due to rapid delivery and a distorted mic filter; while he name checked the group twice, it barely registered. Utilizing drums branded with the name of the previous act compounded this stumble. Das Muerte’s outfits also failed to achieve cohesion; Garrette looked particularly out of place in his pink crop top. Foresta deserves special mention for his outrageous stage presence. He draws the eye like no other, especially once his shirt comes unbuttoned.
Summary: Since 2011, Das Muerte have been stomping fans with a frenetic megaton of scorched earth metal. Their unrestrained sense of chaos and extremist abandon can’t be matched. Like a gonzo version of jazz, they’re happy exploring their own individual rhythmic avenues and then reveling in the inevitable collision. Sometimes this works, other times not so much. Their best moments come during intros and outros or humble bridges that unite various aspects of their tangled, spaghetti-like vision. Whatever one thinks of this formula, their combustible energy and madman presentation do much to elevate their ultimate appeal.
Players: Euz Azevedo, drums; Justin Garrette, guitar; Dusty Mulholland, bass; Vic Foresta, vocals