by Gerry Mak in New Music on Wednesday 28 April 2010

I’ll admit it gets pretty lonely sometimes being a metalhead in a Wham City-dominated town, but when my buddies in Krallice rolled through with amazing San Franscisco black metal band Ludicra the other night, it was heartening to see the long hair and back patches coming out of the woodwork.

Krallice was tight as ever with their dynamic and subtly progressive species of the genre, though some crusties in the crowd seemed incapable of getting past frontman Mick Barr’s decidedly un-metal appearance. Headliners Ludicra, however, finally pushed the crowd past the tipping point, their impossibly precise instrumentation keeping the pit churning while vocalist Laurie Sue Shanaman spit throat-ripping rasps and howls – the strain of nearly three straight weeks of tour began to show, but she soldiered through, making up for the cracks in her voice with a terrifyingly intense delivery. The occasional quiet interlude gave moody contrast to the full-throttle pummeling in the set, resulting in the kind of over-the-top histrionics that makes metal such a fun genre.