Whiskey Business returns to Red Space on Friday, November 9 - Limited Tickets Available Here!

Beast Masters 

Akron's prog-rock phenoms rule the roost.

Akron is home to a prowling Beast, a four-piece prog-metal monster.

The up-and-coming group played Square Records' third anniversary party at the Lime Spider. The smorgasbord of cupcakes, pizza, booze, and great local music acts was enough to draw the Beast out of hiding.

Goodbye Ohio set the tone early, performing on the dance floor in front of the stage. Surrounded by enthusiastic fans, frontman Scott Hartlaub led the trio through seven blitzkrieg proto-punk tracks, including "The Book and the Band" and "Phoenix Down," screaming like Win Butler fronting Naked Raygun. It was only the appetizer.

Beast's Steve Clements grabbed his keyboard and squealed, "Let's play some fucking music!" launching Beast into "Wolf Bear" -- a shape-shifting instrumental with feral, prog-rock intensity. Clenched fists and bobbing heads greeted bassist Matt Haas as he took center stage, flailing with his four-string battle-axe, long, curly black locks covering his face. His fingers danced over the frets, while guitarist Hartlaub (doing double duty) wrestled lacerating leads out of spiraling arpeggios, punctuated by jagged start-stop dynamics.

Fed by Clements' keyboard frenzy, Beast's massive guitar edifice braced each instrumental -- from "Space Arps" to "Feast of Serpents." Clements, who drums for Akron's Houseguest, pounded the keyboard with rhythmic fury, giving the guitar assault an electronic screech. Each player's improvisations walked the tightrope between indulgent and incredible. Fortunately, Adam Goldman's sturdy timekeeping kept Beast from going too far off the reservation.

The entire set melted away into one enormous, winding jam session, reminiscent of Long Island's Dream Theater (without the vocals). But before the lights dimmed, the group was coaxed into playing one last psychedelic-rock encore, leaving the sound of the Beast ringing in the ears of the audience members as they filed out into the cool city night.

Speaking of Shorts

More by Keith Gribbins


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Andrew Dice Clay @ Lorain Palace Theater

    • Thu., Oct. 18
  • An Evening With Girl With No Job @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Oct. 18

© 2018 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation