Thus far in 2024, I told you all about some great gigs when it comes to an overall figure-four package of sledgehammering heavy metal, whether it’s Machine Head’s Slaughter the Martour at Palladium Times SquareMunicipal Waste’s Brainsqueeze tour at the Brooklyn Monarch to Tyr’s Battle Ballads tour at the Gramercy Theatre so how star-crossed for the first weekend in April to be book-ended by an earthquake on a Friday and an eclipse on a Monday. Nature’s got a way, my friends, of scraping the bowl, and to further aid the movement of the earth’s crust in the heart of Williamsburg was another seismic wave lineup of four ear-drilling bands in Darkest Hour, I Am, Somnuri, and Filth is Eternal to quake the Meadows in Brooklyn. I already knew that only the best would turn up for this event. They sure did for the second to last gig of this US circuit for a night of good, violent-friendly fun in store for all.

Music is my major lust for life, and food is my other passion. I try to eat at a local restaurant with varied options for comfort food, especially if it’s four blocks or closer to the venue. I arrived at the Brooklyn Tree to enjoy a well-portioned meal before doors opened at 6:00. The Brooklyn Tree burger was good, the quinoa and kale salad paired nicely as a savory duo with the burger, and the Ginger Mint Tea was also tasty. 

The evening started with a thrilling set from the mighty hardcore punk four-piece in Seattle’s Filth is Eternal, all about the speed of the strike to split your skull in half with Lisa Mungo as the lyric-spitting electric rattlesnake of this dangerous unit on songs like Half Wrong, Pressure Me, and All Mother. Early attendees had plenty to gorge upon from their sonic feast. She personifies the danger of high-voltage next to Mother Feather’s Ann Courtney. Lisa’s unhinged vocal style demonstrates how much of an atomic wind this band is for all hell to rock the earth some more from I Am, Brooklyn’s Somnuri, and their Seattle brethren in Darkest Hour.

Weaving a tapestry with bridge cables, Brooklyn was in for a rude awakening for Somnuri’s hometown performance. Somnuri took the Meadows on a soundscaping journey for a little while. Their entire set was awe-inspiring as Somnuri quantum leaped between doom, hardcore, and thrash. Somnuri was the most unique band of the night. If you’re into doomy and trippy prog metal akin to Isis and Mastodon, check them out.

As if Filth is Eternal and Somnuri didn’t cause enough turbulence, here comes I Am to tremble the audience for the arrival of Darkest Hour. The Texas thrashing death metal machine is known for the debris they leave behind, and this is the set of the show when the moshing picked up, a little more so than the last time I saw I Am opening for Havok less than a year ago at the Brooklyn Monarch. Andrew Hileman’s rowdy stage persona is worth the price of admission alone, growling like Jungle Rot’s Dave Matrise and stomping around like Obituary’s John Tardy. Much like that previous time, they had great energy and skull-smacking intensity, with some overwhelming chaos from Tejas to prepare Brooklyn for the volcanic activity of Darkest Hour.

It was the final musical concussion we were all waiting for with the main event from Darkest Hour. The band was able to make due with their set time as they sounded great racing against the curfew of an event changeover, as one of Seattle’s best bands whammied the Meadows with an Americanized force majeure of the New World of Swedish Death Metal made famous by groups like At the Gates and In Flames delivering an injury-inducing performance. I was very excited to see finally seeing Darkest Hour live after knowing them since knowing about them through 2009’s The Eternal Return. What ensued for an hour and ten minutes was an after-shock hurricane of moshing from Darkest Hour that included Societal Bile, Knife in the Safe Room, and even Tranquil!

Their energy was intense. John Henry commanded the reign of terror like a boss, and I was highly entertained by how excited Mike Schleibaum was to be on stage. Gangsta rap may have ruined Mike’s life, but he was all smiles, giving out fist bumps and bouncing around like Eddie Van Halen while kicking some people in the teeth with those Anders Björler-inspired riffs. Darkest Hour is a seminal band in metal’s history and a massive influence, considering the three acts that laid them up, and I strongly recommend you see either group if they’re performing in your area. All four bands mixed technicality with a different sampling of metal. The whole show didn’t let up for a minute. Others rippled elsewhere into the night for the second party at the Meadows while I had a perfect neck-wrecking night of ultra-heavy music with four equally great bands.

Order Darkest Hour’s new album, Perpetual Terminal here.