Last night I attended a glorious metal show. And when I say metal, I mean extreme metal, not Motley Crue-style hard rock. Mournful Congregation were in town from Australia and they brought along tourmates Aldebaran and Anhedonist, as well as local bands Harassor, Destroy Judas, and somebody else that I missed. Anyway, because I was in that kind of mood, I paid special attention to the basses being used and how much sonic butt they were kicking. Given, this is completely unscientific and obviously has just as much to do with the player and the songwriting, but still... I was surprised by the results. Harassor had no bass player, so they're exempt from my research pool. Destroy Judas (who play sludgy post-metal doom stuff) had an Ibanez 5 string that looked like a Soundgear of some type. It looked pretty nice, to be honest. Sonically it did the job. Nothing fancy, I was mostly hearing low end thickness under the wall of guitars. In essence: it was fine. Aldebaran (who had more of a funeral doom or death/doom vibe going on) had a Warwick, one that looked like a Thumb. This one had a little more character, but not much. Again, it sounded good, but for the most part just functional. I wouldn't run out and buy one based on what I was hearing. Anhedonist (who play killer death/doom) were using a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz and... hot damn, that thing sounded outstanding in this setting. It had a huge bottom, but the top end was cutting through the guitars enough to be distinctly heard... and it was just so sweet sounding. Mournful Congregation (pretty much the standard bearers for epic funeral doom) had a really basic Ibanez GSR, and that thing actually sounded pretty good too, but not as sweet as the jazz. I should emphasize that everybody sounded good last night (and it was an all around amazing show, all bands worth checking out). But the difference between the jazz and the rest was striking. I know it ultimately proves nothing, but I was really impressed with how well the jazz tone worked under some EXTREMELY heavy sounding tunes, and that it actually contributed a very nice character to the overall sonic palette. For anyone looking for a metal bass, it's worth giving one a shot at least, to see if it might work for you. Also: I was definitely impressed with the Squier, it looked pretty killer up on stage.