Somergloom descended – 8/4-8/6

Greater Boston’s annual heavy music showcase returned with a three-day, three-venue lineup of Summer darkness.


Things have been a little quiet on the Noise Floor front this month (I was in Europe for 10 days and missed a number of choice gigs), but “quiet” was not the primary descriptor for my last day of live music before vacation, wherein Somergloom took over an Everett brewery parking lot for several sun-drenched hours of heavy tones. It was the centerpiece day of the festival’s third edition, which moved from the Boynton Yards confines of its previous two iterations to three distinct spaces suiting a bigger and more varied lineup for 2023.

Saturday’s throwdown at Bone Up Brewing featured the hallmarks of Somergloom’s keen eye on all things heavy in the Boston scene, including towering shoegaze immersion courtesy of Vivid Bloom and Still Life Sounds, operatic doom experimentation by way of Ashen Veil and my favorite set of the weekend from funeral doom collective Tears from a Grieving Heart, who were just monumentally crushing. Music of this nature doesn’t often see the light of day (usually by choice I suppose), and each year it’s a lot of fun to subvert the beers-on-the-patio summertime concert vibe with some truly un-sunny racket. The day’s finale turned down the volume but tied it all together perfectly, as Cradle of Judah‘s brooding acoustics closed out the bill under a majestic pink-hued sunset.

The quieter side of the gloom spectrum was also the focus of Friday night’s kickoff event at Somerville’s Rockwell Theater, headlined by the ever-haunting Marissa Nadler. In from her now-home base of Nashville for the show, Nadler led a spellbinding solo tour through her lengthy catalog of atmospheric folk. Shapeshifters The Infinity Ring (who also played the inaugural Somergloom, in more abrasive fashion) conjured a post-rock-tinged vision of gothic country during their stirring set, and Kira McSpice (of Ashen Veil) rounded out the evening with a gorgeous, minimalistic set joined by bandmate Will Ponturo.

Sadly my travel plans forced me to miss out on Sunday’s big finale at Brighton’s Garage B, which boasted the return of post-doom local favorites Seed for a commissioned piece, the oppressive sludge of Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean and the always-arresting Elizabeth Colour Wheel – all lit by the great Dregs Liquid Light Show – but no doubt exists in my mind that it ripped. Organizer and curator Stephen LoVerme did great things with Somergloom as a single-day event for its first two years, and it was truly heartening to see it expand to a weekend-long celebration of Greater Boston’s vibrant heavy music scene for its third (even if I couldn’t be there for all of it).

Scroll below for photos from the whole weekend – Friday and Saturday by me and Sunday by the great Omari Spears, who graciously lent a talented hand to round out my otherwise-incomplete coverage.

Kira McSpice:

The Infinity Ring;

Marissa Nadler:

Vivid Bloom:

Tears from a Grieving Heart:

Still Life Sounds:

Ashen Veil:

Cradle of Judah:

Seed (by Omari Spears):

Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean (by Omari Spears):

Elizabeth Colour Wheel (by Omari Spears):