When the Smoke Cleared: BOG at SBC (w/ Seven Nines & Tens, Regrets, and Destroy the Destroyer) 5 Nov 2016
Up to this point, the key feature of any BOG show was a smoke machine bellowing so much fog that the band was all but hidden from view; however, recently the local purveyors of bludgeoning, sludgy doom emerged from the murk long enough to play one last show with vocalist Johnny Matter, who will be shuffling off his boggy coil to focus on other projects. (Guitarist Chris Raffin avers that the band will nevertheless continue, so fans can look forward to the outfit’s next performance at Diecemberfest.)
Whether the layout and acoustics of SBC’s half-pipe concert space somehow augmented speaker volume, from start to finish this was one hell of a loud show. Though it wasn’t the first time that one has seen Destroy the Destroyer, their set on this night was a raucous series of concussion blasts which levelled all previous estimations of the band’s heaviness (for convenience we’ll coin the term Iommeter right now and give the entire show a quaking 8.5.)
Regrets followed with a similarly bombastic collection of tunes, equal parts pummel and quirky angularity (evidently the quirky extended to vocalist Heath Fenton’s onstage shearing of his mutton chop sideburns.) In case you missed it, the track “Afterman” was released early in 2016 and provides a solid demonstration of the band’s artistry:
Given how busy the summer was here on the factory floor, it should come as no surprise that we’ve yet to post our Tacofest writeup (we’re working on it!) but suffice to say that Seven, Nines & Tens was a definite highlight (along with several other local bands which collectively made the event our favourite summer festejo); so, again, perhaps the unique SBC acoustics filled out the low end more than Tacofest’s open-air resonance, but the band’s ephemeral dynamics were much more apparent this time around and their pristine brand of postrock heaviness clearly rivals that of genre icons such as Isis or Pelican (and congrats to the band on their recently announced support slot for the Alcest show at the Rickshaw, coming up in February.)
Finally, BOG‘s set of sludgy heaven was a bittersweet swan song to witness, knowing that it would be Mr. Matter’s last time behind the microphone for this doom unit. As there have been too many losses in music this year to even begin to process them all, we’ll let the photos close out this review and thank Johnny Matter and all of Bog’s members past and present for their contributions to Vancouver’s heavy music scene.