Starting off the last day of the festival was Krigblast from Austin, TX.
These guys offered an aggressive punk detour which was quite welcomed by the audience. Krigblast’s style of punk leans a little more towards the cross-over feel. Laden with fast and heavy riffs that transform from thrash to open, soaring chords that are cut through by the abrasive vocals and powerful drums. Krigblast is definitely a unique mix and worth checking out.
Continuing the punk vibe, Gasmiasma hit the stage quite ferociously. Hailing from Louisiana, Gasmiasma smacks you in the face with a proper crust punk sound and a sizable helping of creole flavor.
There is a huge trend of bands trying to imitate the raw, bluesy tinge that naturally occurs with Louisiana based bands, but in my opinion it’s something that cannot be replicated. With Aaron Hill (EYEHATEGOD) on guitar
and Pat Bruders (Down/Crowbar) on bass,
you get the wonderful experience of witnessing another side of the talents these men possess. The lyrical delivery is very intense and the drummer is awesome, using a simple setup to deliver the driving force behind the riffs.
There is not very much information available on the internet about Gasmiasma, so remember the name and make sure to catch them if they ever come through your town.
As the next band started loading gear and sound checking I noticed a familiar face. Last year’s HHFF included sets from Pig Destroyer and Hate Eternal with Adam Jarvis pulling double drum duty for each band. Adam is quite an accomplished and respected metal drummer and seeing him adjust the house kit to his liking was a great indication that Fulgora was going to be something technical and heavy.
This hypothesis was easily shown to be true as soon as Fulgora started their set. You’ll find many labels for this band (hardcore, tech death, metal core, etc.) and you can find in their sound where these labels are extracted, but the delivery of these influences come across in a pretty unique way. The “tech” part of their sound is tastefully done instead of the spastic, time-signature-pulled-from-a-hat trend as of late, and the hardcore element is very apparent in the vocals of B.L. LaMew. The mixture the band puts together is a refreshing sound for sure.
Shifting gears, Child Bite took over. The first thing that jumped out at me was front man Shawn Knight’s boundless energy and determination to grab your attention.
Child Bite’s sound is very interesting. They definitely have a punk/hardcore feel, but in a free and open way that doesn’t corner them into a structure of what they will offer.
I could sense very strong influences of Jello Biafra and Dave Brockie in Shawn Knight’s stage presence and vocal style. Knight would leap from guitar stacks, and at one point, climbed the stage scaffolding and continued to belt out lyrics without any sense of concern or fear.
These displays definitely grabbed the audience and helped to confirm my thoughts on Shawn’s possible mentors. Look them up, buy their music and enjoy yourself.
Every time a group of independently well known musicians decide to start a project it is immediately labeled a “Super Group,” .A lot of times it is a ploy to revise slumped careers by cashing in on the tailings of the members’ previous bands with only a glimmer of whatever was great showing through. As the list of members are announced preceding any material to digest, the interested public develop preconceived notions of what the project will sound like, therefore narrowing their mind to what they will want from the project. If those expectations are not realized, the “super group” gets nailed with criticisms and withers away.
Thankfully, Corrections House is not one of those cash-in scenarios. This project is a big departure from what the interested public would expect from a group comprised of Mike IX Williams (EYEHATEGOD), Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Sanford Parker (Buried at Sea, well known Produce/Engineer) and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza). Corrections House comes accross as a labor of love and collective interest in making uncomfortable and real art. Driven by droning synthesized sounds and an electronic heart beat provided by Sanford Parker, textures and layers from Scott Kelly’s guitar and Bruce Lamont’s saxophone create the pulpit for Mike Williams to deliver his narrative of the hypocrisies our society is too frightened to admit exist. I mean, that’s what I take from it anyway.
A project like this would normally be a risky adventure for your ordinary group of accomplished musicians. Corrections House works because it is the realization of a real interest and committed effort by friends who are willing to shove the idea of art being a risk aside, and pursuing something they believe in and sharing it with whoever will take a glance.
The audience was very perceptive to this art on display, when after only 20 minutes in, the band was told they only had four minutes remaining to finish their set. This did not sit well with Scott Kelly as he aired his frustration through the PA right back at the sound board, and rightfully so.
By this point, every day of the festival had started late at Midway’s but every band was allowed their time slot set forth in the schedule. Although their set may have gotten cut a little short, Corrections House went on to perform their next song, at their pace, with huge adoration by those watching.
As the Sun finally began to set behind the stage, all remaining space in the crowd was quickly taken up in anticipation for the next band. Superjoint’s set was easily one of the most anticipated performances of the entire festival and fans and bands alike turned out to watch.
This would mark nearly 10 years since the band had been active and most thought Superjoint would never surface again after countless vows from front man Phil Anselmo that Superjoint was over. It is easy to see that the height of the bands popularity in the early to mid 2000’s marks a hard time in Phil’s life that he has ferociously pushed past, so it’s quite understandable that he would not want to revisit these dark times. Even though the band was revived for this festival, Phil has said this is a one time only situation.
Although most crowds up to this point had been pit-less, there was no way a Superjoint set was not going to have a healthy mosh pit. Phil pulled resources from his other band Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals having Joey “Blue” Gonzalez fill in on drums and Stephen Taylor on bass. Both did an amazing job navigating the intense tempo changes and were in my opinion the best picks for the job.
I saw Superjoint Ritual 10 years ago when they toured with Slayer and it was definitely a different atmosphere than what was experienced at this festival. We got to witness good friends play music they enjoyed, capturing what I can only assume was the true spirit behind the band, without all of the negativity that eventually lead to the band dissolving. Phil took a moment to thank everyone in attendance and noted the hard work of Corey Mitchell, claiming without which Superjoint would not even be on stage at that moment. He then urged everyone to rush over to Emo’s to catch the next onslaught performances.
With the start up delays earlier in the day at Midway’s, Superjoints set overlapped the start time of Dead Earth Politics so unfortunately I was not able to catch more than 2 minutes of their last song. Luckily our friend Dave Prewitt (CapZeyeZ Digital Media www.davetv.org) was able to catch the action. See the video here
Up next was KEN Mode from Canada. At this point most everyone else had migrated over to Emo’s to finish off the last day of the festival and there was a vibe reminiscent of a large group brought closer together nearing the end of a long journey. I have to admit, at this point I was spent physically and mentally and I wasn’t alone.
As everyone basked in the air conditioning and re-hydrated themselves, I looked over to my right and noticed Corey Mitchell right in the middle of the crowd with a huge smile on his face. KEN Mode was a personal favorite of Corey’s and seeing the man who stitched this entire weekend together getting to enjoy the fruits of his labor instantly made all the achy joints and mental fuzz disappear. It was an amazing moment to behold, reminding me why all of us came together under this roof in the first place. Corey’s smile and adoration was contagious, literally changing the atmosphere in the room by his presence. This was something I took note of specifically as I stood there, not knowing how important this performance would ultimately be for Corey himself. He had so many things pulling him in every direction all weekend so it was great to see him enjoying himself.
Warbeast played the festival last year and put on a great show, so I was very happy to see them on the bill again this year. Thrash metal has come back with a vengeance in the past few years, especially in the NW region where I am from. So having proper, old school thrash on the bill made me feel right at home.
Having Bruce Corbitt from Rigor Mortis fronting the band and Scott Shelby from Gammacide on guitar, there is no questioning the clout or origin of the sounds you get pelted with. The rhythm section is just as crushing with Casey Orr (also of Rigor Mortis and GWAR) on bass and one of my favorite drummers Joey “Blue” Gonzalez. The inherent speed of thrash metal usually doesn’t allow much time for creativity in the drum beats or fills, as the energy has to remain high at all times as it provides the foundation for the fast and intense guitar riffs.
Joey’s drumming is very creative and should be an inspiration to other drummers out there, proving that you can think outside the box and keep the energy very high. You just have to work your ass off to achieve it. Make sure to frequent Warbeast’s website and Facebook page to so you don’t miss them when they come to your town.
Also playing the festival for the second year in a row was southern sludge juggernaut EYEHATEGOD. Last year’s performance at Housecore was the band’s first after the very untimely passing of drummer Joey LaCaze. Dale Crover of The Melvins lended his very capable hands in drum duties that year. It was indeed a heavy, emotionally intense experience to say the least and one I will never forget.
Since then, Aaron Hill has taken up permanent residency behind the kit, continuing EYEHATEGOD’s legacy. This is my second time seeing the band with Aaron Hill as their drummer and he brings every ounce of himself to each performance.
There is a monumental amount of power behind his playing that definitely matches the heavy-ness of each riff and scream. At this point in the show, the room was full with members of the other bands that had played, enjoying the show right along with everyone else. I don’t think the festival would be the same without a performance from EYEHATEGOD, as they convey the feel of where they are from better than anyone out there. This festival is about metal and horror, but is also a great celebration of music from the South.
It was now time for the big finale, Danzig. Most of the press you see about Glenn Danzig is an update on a lawsuit, how fans were dissappointed about a performance or shows stopping due to pictures/video being taken. With this much negativity and a perceived rock star mentality, people are still drawn out in droves to attend Danzig’s concerts. One must also take into consideration that various music blogs will perpetuate the stigma attached to Glenn Danzig to an exaggerated degree, but none the less, he definitely thinks highly of himself and carries some out-dated expectations. In the age where cell phones are involved in almost every aspect of peoples lives, and having some pretty decent camera technology built into the phones, taking a few snaps of the musicians you are watching has become a huge part of the concert going experience, even if it is just motivated by gaining more hipster cred on your Instagram account. Glenn Danzig does not like pictures. We were all told by security that if we have to be told more than once to put away our phones, we would be thrown out of the show. They were also not allowing any media into the photo pit nor letting them shoot from the crowd. After a lengthy delay seemingly due to a blown guitar amp, the show finally began. This has been a very long time coming for me personally as I first became a Danzig fan at age 7. My father is completely responsible for my musical tastes starting with Sabbath and Trouble at age 3, and continuing through the rest of my upbringing. When Danzig’s solo career picked up after Samhain my Dad got really into it, and in turn so did I. I knew all of the lyrics, got in trouble in school for wearing my Danzig shirt too much and stayed up way past my bed time in the hopes that Beavis and Butthead would air one of his music videos. Musicians were my super heroes as a child (I was way into Batman though, and just assumed he was a badass guitar player or something on the side) so as I got older and the ability to go to a Danzig show was possible, I got scared. Hearing so many rumors about lack luster performances and a terrible attitude, I didn’t want to ruin my personal perception of one of my earliest musical interests. Seeing him at Housecore seemed safe to me. I am old enough now to understand that ego’s can transform people, and with the amount of amazing shit that had already happened I could suffer the consequences of disappointment if needed. I can speak for myself and at least hundreds in attendance in saying it was not disappointing. Sure there was a little warm up period needed for his voice, but in short order, the voice I had grown up listening to was soaring through the venue. Hearing songs like Dirty Black Summer, Twist of Cain and How the Gods Kill live fulfilled an almost life long aspiration of mine. For me, it was seeing Spider man or Kermit the Frog or whatever other famous childhood figures kids are supposed to be raised with, right in front of me. Midway through the set there was a line up change and the Samhain portion of the set gave way. Covering their faces with blood, they ripped through several songs with a very enthusiastic cheering section right up front. Glenn interacted graciously with the fans, more so than I expected, and seemingly gave everyone what they wanted. After another short intermission Danzig came back out to finish off the evening. Inevitably, it was time to end with Mother, and Glenn invited Phil Anselmo out on stage to perform the song with him. Now I was about to see Spider Man and Kermit the Frog perform together, which I never thought would happen. Some may have negative reviews of the show, but to me it was something I had been waiting for since I was a young child, and Danzig delivered.
Because of the fact that no photography was allowed, I took the liberty of illustrating my experience. Enjoy.
We would like to thank everyone involved with this festival for all the hard work you do to bring joy to people like us. Our hearts go out to each and every one of you for the huge loss of Corey Mitchell.
A fund has been set up to support Corey’s wife and children. If you would like to donate, please go here.