After a slow start to the day that included browsing through the Flatstock concert poster sale (There's a company named Magnificent Beard!) and getting lost looking for a Fang Island show, I serendipitously ended up standing outside a teeny tiny bar where Sleep Bellum Sonno was about to play. Having enjoyed the work of the post-hardcore band for several years, I was excited to see and meet them.
They did not disappoint. The three-piece (guitar/bass/drums) played a merciless set of heavy music, with the guitarist and bassist trading off vocals. They occasionally would both sing and/or yell into the single mic at the same time. They played several tunes from their latest project: a split series which showcases two bands in a small run format. The songs from these releases were intense, but also personal; the tunes never devolved into mindless aggression or riffing for the sake of riffing.
The band members, faultlessly nice, thanked everyone for coming after almost every song (including, humorously, a double entendre with a friend of theirs in attendance: "We love you, Austin!"). They played with heart in their heavy songs, which is something many bands strive for but few achieve successfully. It was a brilliant, unexpected way to start the day.