This week we attended Metal Mergence V at Reggies Rock Club, a
well known spot in the south loop which hosted this night of
“Network Napalm” as they like to call it. Numerous metal promoters,
artists, graphic designers and labels not only attend this event
yearly to promote their services but also to have a drink,
network with others and of course to listen to some awesome metal
music. We arrived a little later after the first set just in time
to catch First Jason, a two piece band dubbed “monster metal”
with tales and lyrics about the hockey masked serial killer Jason
Voorhees. Ari Lehman, who is the band’s front-man opened with
the most awe-inspiring sound check showing off his shredding skills
on his 3 octave midi controller playing licks reminiscent of 80’s
speed metal. Did we mention his customized midi controller?
Click his name to see some cool photos.

Ari Lehman was this years Metal Mergence show host and he
also portrayed Jason Voorhees as a child on the first Friday the
13th movie and has recently toured Europe with his act First Jason.

While the next band was setting up, we grabbed a few beers, passed
out some flyers and awaited the next act, Impale, a metal band
that hails from the south side of Chicago.

While I do not recall what song Impale opened with, I do recall
being amazed not only by their on-stage theatrics, jumping around
and head banging, but performing said theatrics while playing some
of the most cleverly crafted metal riffs that I have ever heard. While
the guitars engaged each other in a fight of “call and response” a mosh pit immediately broke out in the front row. As a spectator in the middle center of the crowd, I could hear every detail of both guitars, the bass and the mic’ed drums. Truly an inspiring work from both the band for their unique blend of guitar tones and bass tones, and the engineer behind the mixing board who ensures that the crowd gets a pleasing experience of the sounds going on said stage.

We had to leave a little bit early since we had prior arrangements that night, however, another band we got to see perform was the progressive/metal four piece Beneath the Stares. While experiencing their set, I recall thinking to myself: “These guys really know their music theory.”  Whether the band went took music composition in college or not, one thing was for sure; they stood apart from the rest of the bands as being one of the most dexterous and versatile band of the night. Fronted by female vocalist Lisa LoGrasso, this band blends many genres in one neat package while having catchy hooks and melodies.

Be sure not to miss the next Metal Mergence!
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