Landmine Marathon @ Club Diablo, Buffalo NY, July 11, 2010

By Madeleine Rundle

Dear Buffalo, NY. What the hell happened?

Who or what is to blame for the depressing turnout at Club Diablo this past Sunday when Phoenix-based death metal/grind monsters Landmine Marathon were in town? Was it the weather? Was it the day of the week? Was it because Buffalo rudely held their Taste of Buffalo Festival the same weekend Landmine was in town?

I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the Taste of Buffalo Festival that gathers “Buffalo-ians” in downtown Buffalo to enjoy “fun by the forkful.” To be honest, I’d rather stick a fork in my eye with a catch phrase like that, but apparently it is the largest two-day food festival in the United States. Regardless, this festival had streets closed down and seemed to monopolize all the Buffalo metal heads. That is, if they even exist. Are you out there Buffalo metal heads? Two older guys- die hards actually, were Buffalo’s sole representation that assured me metal died in Buffalo back in the 80’s. I would say these guys are living under a rock because just months prior Portal, Krallice, and Bloody Panda pulled quite the audience at a hole down the street. The hole being Mohawk Place where I met up with Grace, Dylan and Mike of Landmine for $3 mini pitchers of PBR just before their show. It was going to be that sort of night.

Landmine Marathon is currently on a US cross country tour in support of their most recent album release, Sovereign Descent; the band’s third album and Prosthetic Records debut. The tour kicked off June 28th in Tucson, AZ so with Buffalo marking their half way point, it came as no surprise the band was a bit out of sorts. I learned within minutes of meeting guitarist Dylan, that he hates keyboard solos and thinks it’s “stupid when anyone shreds on the keyboard.” Pretty sure once these suckers started talking about keyboard shredding and Gummo, a film Grace assured us was in fact a real documentary (it’s not), that it is was safe to say the band had hit a point of delirium from long, hot hours spent in confined spaces while trekking across the country sharing their ferocious talents.

Live, this band kills. Although Buffalo didn’t offer the shot of adrenaline Landmine may have been looking for at this point in their tour, the band rallied and took it upon themselves to personally inject audience members with a shot of straight up, blood curdling horror; extreme music at its best. The set was short and intense; under a half hour to which the band played almost exclusively from their most recent album, Sovereign Descent. Drummer Mike Pohlmeier beat his kit into submission while guitarists Ryan Butler and Dylan Thomas fell into some corrosive riffs, and bassist Matt Martinez seemingly possesses some sort of super hero power over his four strings that took on a thunderous existence. That gaze of his is serious. Vocalist Grace Perry instantly became possessed upon the sound that is Landmine Marathon. She has a beastly growl, marionette-like agility and a demonic presence that claws you and doesn’t let you go until she says the band is through. You have been warned.

It’s a shame the band wasn’t able to share their performance with a larger audience- maybe the venue was too clean for the likes of Landmine fans? Or, like Grace so kindly pointed out in between songs, maybe there was simply too much devil paraphernalia for a single venue? At least too much for one to count, anyways. Whatever the case may be I’m sure their next two stops in New York will more than make up for it as Landmine teams up with the much talked about doom metal band, Salome.

Until next time Buffalo.

Catch Landmine Marathon on the last leg of their 2010 US Summer Tour: http://www.myspace.com/landminemarathon

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.