A frequent knock on Jaxx, the metal-oriented club out in Springfield, is that it never seems to book shows with fewer than five bands. If there’s a big headliner in town, Jaxx will invariably stick four local bands onto the bill to warm things up. It’s a great gesture for local musicians, but the concertgoer interested in an efficient in-and-out experience is likely to be frustrated.

Sometimes, though, there are pleasant surprises. Last night, a diverse lineup of metal bands—-Amorphis from Finland, Samael from Switzerland, and Virgin Black from Australia—-hit Jaxx, and sure enough, there were a couple openers. For one of them, D.C.’s Dark Dissolve, it was their first public performance ever, which is pretty neat. Also pretty neat is that they had a harp onstage. Also pretty neat is that they put on a good show. No one would have guessed they’d never played live in public before until the singer said so towards the end of their set. (Three of the members did play together in The Groaning.)

Dark Dissolve played a melodic, straightforward brand of gothic rock—-I only caught three songs or so of their set (but then they were the first group on the bill so that may have been most of it), but I enjoyed what I heard; their violinist stood out a bit as the one who seemed to hold the songs together and give them a unique twist. My only complaint was that I couldn’t really hear the harp—-something tells me the sound guys at Jaxx might not be used to working a harp into the mix. Looking forward to hearing what these folks come up with in time.

I’ll be posting a few photos from all five bands that played last night soon.