Something was different about Batillus Aug. 21, when they transformed Brooklyn's Union Pool back bar into a swampy house of doom. I had seen them before. They were one of the openers at a Show No Mercy doom showcase, which included Ocean and Salome. Yet, this set was vividly pain-soaked and included a fourth member: Fade Kainer of Inswarm and Jarboe.

With flying dreds, vocalist Kainer delivered a serious set. It was seamless, sans crowd-talk, with noise and samples that could have come straight from the Everglades. His ghoulish shrieks and growls echoed, adding texture that bounced off the wooden walls. It was an ugly layer -- in a good way -- blended over slow psychedelic riffage that gave Batillus some of Inswarm's industrial character.

The success of their set queued in when the feedback faded out and the crowd's arms perched up with their finger horns held high. This was a great lead up to Liturgy, who were performing next.

On Sept. 3, both Batillus and Inswarm will open for Battlefields and Overmars at the Charleston, a small basement venue in Brooklyn, N.Y. Following that show, Batillus will hit the road for a couple weeks with Salome and fellow Brooklynites Hull. They are also slated for North Carolina's Planet Caravan Festival with headliners like Pentagram and Clutch. The tour will surely be one of the coolest small venue doom packages this fall.

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