Live Review: WITCHCRYER, MESSA, DESTROYER OF LIGHT – One Hot Night [Austin, TX 5/21/2017]

Article By: Damon ‘Gravitoyd’ Caraway ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway

Hotel Vegas, Austin, Texas, 10:00 pm. It was dark and felt like Godzilla’s breath: muggy and hot. Austin’s heaviness-seekers filed in, clad in black t-shirts – we only come out at night, it seems. This was the last show for Messa and  Witchcryer on their Scarlet U.S. Tour of 2017, and they brought Destroyer Of Light along for this night of destruction.

Witchcryer rattled the rafters and banged heads. Jason Muxlow’s guitar was spot on. His leads and rhythmic attacks were spot-on: he owned his side of the stage! Bassist, Marilyn, and drummer, Javi Moctezuma were always to be in tandem and worked seamlessly with Muxlow to offer a tight show all night.

These three are the musical backbone of Witchcryer, solid and melodic when it was called for, but sledgehammer heavy for the doomier offerings. As the show progressed, they transitioned into a more classic Sabbath feel, which was fun as fuck!

What kept tugging at my ear and eye throughout the show was the presence of the soulful, but bold and dynamic vocalizations of the audacious Suzy Bravo! Wow! What a dominant force on stage! Such a beautiful and frightening performance! She held me and everyone else in trance until the final note. You can stream Witchcryer‘s latest release here, and catch some of the live footage from each band in the videos at the end of the article:

Next up was Messa, from Italy. Coming to the United States on their inaugural jump across the pond, “Messa” is spoken, in doom and metal circles, in the same sentences with the words “doom album of the year” in them. I have to agree after experiencing the “scarlet doom” sounds of this extremely talented band.

The show starts with an ethereal scent of candle and incense and Sara kneeling on the side of the stage. The music starts as she joins the others. Sara’s voice is so compelling and mesmerizing – she is the key element that sets Messa apart from other bands offering similar doom efforts. Her voice is so soft and dynamic, yet at the same time haunting.

Mark Sade, the Marquis de Sade of the bass and guitar, manipulates the echoing ambiance. His bass and guitar (yes, he played both) are both instruments of destruction in his hands: dangerous. Mistyr hammers the drums with determination and rhythmic purpose – there are times during the interludes of their set that require no percussion. During these times, he sits entranced and motionless. His commitment to those moments is as intense as when he is ravaging his kit with the ferocity of a barbarian horde!

Alberto. When the show first starts, he is softly and emotionally playing a piece reminiscent of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. When the heaviness comes, though, the bottom drops out of the whole place! There were times when I felt like a plastic football player on one of those old vibration football games (look it up if you’re too young to get the reference).


I am struggling for words that aren’t cliche or ordinary to describe Destroyer of Light in concert because they are anything but cliché or ordinary. Destroyer of Light may have been in William Faulkner’s mind when he penned the title “The Sound and the Fury” for his classic novel.

Penny Turner looks like his drumming requires little effort from him, but his aggressive beats and fills are an avalanche running free reign throughout all the songs. Keegan Kjeldsen’s guitar weaves a spell of terror into each song and is relentless. Jeff Klein (who has since left the band to pursue other ventures) is a furious fiend on the bass, bringing the low-end bludgeoning attack to each song. He has a larger-than-life persona and emits voluminous energy with each breath, footstep, and hammered string.

Steve Colca’s presence on stage may be the origin of their name: his presence seemed to suck the light out of the room like watching smoke return to its source in a strange reversal of reality. He truly is a different and more terrifying person on stage – it is awesome (as in – to be in awe). His guitar chords slam hard to the ground with each release of the pick and, his take-no-prisoners style of play entices one’s need to hit something, to destroy something. His vocals come from a dark place. His guttural wailing seems to lament the silence of light and revel in its destruction.

I said this is an experience, and for all of these reasons it was.  Definitely bear witness to all three of these bands live if you can.

Witchcryer has a Midwest Tour coming up in October:

Oct. 7th – San Antonio, TX @ Hi-Tones
Oct. 13th – San Angelo, Texas @ The Deadhorse
Oct. 14th – Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
Oct 15th – Little Rock, AR @ The Sonic Temple
Oct. 16th – Louisville, KY @ Highland Tavern
Oct. 17th – Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewery
Oct. 18th – Madison, WI @ The Frequency
Oct. 19th – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
Oct. 20th – Hamtramck, MI @ New Dodge Lounge
Oct. 21th – Chicago, Ill @ Livewire

Witchcryer live video from this event:

Messa live video from this event:

Destroyer Of Light live video from this event:

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