Distances and Threads headlined a stacked deck at Albany’s Bogies, Saturday, Dec. 28.
Other performers included Echoes, Before the Betrayer, and Dust and Ashes. The night before also saw a pregame performance from Dark Matter, Eden’s Lost Misfits, and Teenage Shred.
The nature of the show brought up a widely debated topic in metal: Among listeners of metal, one complaint is that bands are often emotionless; that bands produce their songs to be brash, angry, violent, or just to incite a fight.
However, anyone who has seen that famous video of Nergal tearing pages out of a Bible on stage — a crime punishable by jail time in Poland, where the performance took place — knows that a singer willing to risk freedom is clearly emotionally involved in the music.
When it comes to bands like Distances and Threads, who both performed in front of crowds of twenty people or less at Bogies a few days ago, emotions ran high. It is clear that every note played, every word spoken, or every beat struck, the bands meant what they played.
Threads, whose set was first following a number of local acts, such as Before the Betrayer and Echoes, delivered a full set of songs about loss, love, relationships, and life. While it may have been easy to dismiss their lyrics as teenaged angst, a few moments with the band — who sound like a hybrid of early Underoath, Being as an Ocean, and Vessels — show a depth that few others have accomplished.
Performance wise, the band was on point in every way. Since their guitar style – riffs courtesy of Levi Miller — calls from fast changes between plucked acoustics to fast, distorted riffs, the band has little room for error. Their musical feel perfectly encases the raw powerhouse that is vocalist Tyler Priola. In fact, in one moment, Priola knelt on the ground — this was not theatrics, it was simply the most honest expression of the song.
Distances, too, held the small audience’s gaze. Their music is faster and heavier by brand. It sounds something like a melodic version — a bit like the night’s opening band, echoes. The singer, Adam Meadors, bares an uncanny resemblance to Falling Up’s Jessy Ribordy.
What should have been midway through the set, drummer Matt Full’s bass pedal broke, nearly causing the band to have to end their set, but thanks to help from another drummer, they played on. But with songs like “Guilt” in the mix, this might just be inevitable.
The crowd’s reaction – less than twenty people, mostly not part of any of the opening bands — however, was less than exciting.
Distances singer Meadors addressed the issue. “(In the end), we’re just here to play music. That’s all we want to do. It doesn’t matter how many people show up.”
In conclusion, the show was stacked. Both bands showed that they cared about each word they said. Threads’ and Distances’ EPs are both available online.