On a cool, lightly rainy evening this past Friday, an excellent performance unfolded at one of Hated One’s favorite local metal venues, Chicago’s one and only Cobra Lounge.
Located on the near western side of The Windy City, Cobra Lounge has been hosting local, national, and international metal touring acts since opening in 2006; and after renovating and expanding to include an in-house microbrewery named All Rise a couple years back, “The Snake Pit” (as nicknamed by the local heads) has become one of the cleanest and nicest spots to see a show in all of Chicago, metal or not.
Smaller and cozier than Reggie’s but significantly larger than Live Wire or a host of other shoebox-sized venues scattered around the city, Cobra also offers a full kitchen featuring high-class bar food and always has plenty of fresh, craft beers on tap from All Rise’s in-house kegs to enhance your show-going experience – and Hated One highly suggests showing up early to partake in all of it if you have the time!
Consequently, after enjoying a fancified Chicken Club Wrap and fries with a couple of delicious Blackstars to wash it down (All Rise’s version of an Oktoberfest Marzen), it was just about time for the show…and this night, Friday, September 24th, 2021, the lineup at Cobra Lounge was a Lake Michigan banger of epic proportions!
Kicking off the evening just after 9pm were Chicago’s own atmospheric black metal up-and-comers Dismalimerence, whose performance marked their first live gig in over two years thanks to the pandemic. Playing many of the greatest tracks from their 2020 debut release, Tome: 1, along with a couple cuts slated for the as-yet unrecorded Tome: 2, Dismalimerence showed the healthy crowd who had already assembled just why Hated One was so excited for the many weeks leading up to this show.
Dismalimerence opening up the night at Cobra Lounge in Chicago
You see, Dismalimerence were already well known to Hated One, as Tome: 1 was featured in a July 2020 edition of the now defunct “6 Bands” series, so seeing killer songs such as “Crimson Glow”, “Sequestered Hearts”, “Negligence of the Forgotten”, and “Destined for Solitude” performed live for the first time in over two years was an extra-special treat.
Dismalimerence played with an adrenaline-fueled (albeit admittedly also noticeably anxious) energy that got the crowd promptly warmed up and cheering for every well-executed song they put on, and they laid the groundwork nicely for the rest of the evening to come.
Next up to the Cobra stage after a short changeover were Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s death metal veterans, Morta Skuld. Originally formed way back in 1990, Morta Skuld’s initial run sadly only lasted until 1998, but founding guitarist/vocalist David Gregor reformed the group with a newfound vim and vigor again in 2012, and since then, Morta Skuld have done nothing more than reestablish themselves as one of the sickest purveyors of classic death metal in the Midwestern region, bar none.
Morta Skuld's David Gregor belted out some Milwaukee death for the Chicago heads (Photo Credit: Rob Connolly)
Putting on a show that had the growing crowd banging their heads, raising their drinks in salute, and whooping, whistling, and cheering their heads off before, during, and after every incredibly tight song, Morta Skuld’s little trek across the border to play for the Chicago metal faithful was well worth the effort, and had their buddies in Withering Soul – the men of the hour, as it were – beaming with appreciation and respect.
Once Morta Skuld was done ripping up the room, it was finally time for the main celebratory event of the night. Indeed, it was time for the long-tenured melodic blackened death veterans of Chicago’s Withering Soul to close out the evening in wicked, wicked style by playing a bevy of brand-new tunes from their newest LP, Last Contact, released that very same day via Mortal Music.
No longer a five-man venture (with founding vocalist Mykil having moved out of state some time back to chase a lifelong passion for natural conservation), only remaining founding member Krystofer has now stepped up to fill in the vocal duties…and considering that Friday’s show was his first live performance as a front man, he did one hell of a great job!
Withering Soul caused heads to bang and bodies to move!
With the new compositions taking on a much more death metal edge through Krystofer’s harsher screams and growls, the nearly full Cobra Lounge room was treated to a stellar performance of the fresh tunes by the new, improved, and stripped-down version of Withering Soul – and judging by the hearty applause, cheers, screams, and praise offered up by the gathered heads that followed every single elegy, the material upon Last Contact is as solid as Hated One already knew it was!
Withering Soul's Krystofer did an excellent job for his first gig as guitarist and front man (Photo Credit: Rob Connolly)
All in all, the night was a complete and unmitigated success for the bands, the venue, and the many, many fans who braved the unpredictable weather to make it out to Cobra Lounge to catch Dismalimerence’s first performance in over two years, Morta Skuld’s fantastic supporting set, and Withering Soul’s first live set as a four-piece and first live renderings of so many awesome tracks off Last Contact.
If you missed it, you missed out! However, fret not, for you can peep videos from all three of the artists’ latest offerings by pressing play below and you can also follow the links provided at the bottom of the page to investigate the bands further if you’re turned on by the vids… Enjoy, and thanks for reading! \m/