As attendees meandered into Midway’s to cure their hangovers, Acid Witch started the day off by offering their own musical hair of the dog.
Acid Witch has a very raw and gritty sound with apparent influences of doom, stoner, psychedelic and death metal. With how well used and equally distributed these influences are it is hard to categorize the band, which is awesome. The band themselves have saved everyone much time and internet argument by labeling themselves “Halloween Metal” which is again, awesome.
You can easily sync this band up with your favorite Horror film and get excellent results.
Up next was Archspire from Vancouver B.C.-Canada. Categorically they are (brutal) technical death metal, but the level of actual technicality on display breaks past that labeling.
In the same way Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor has a Randy Rhoads themed drumkit, symbolizing Brann’s style of riffing on the drums and matching the guitars, Spencer Prewett of Archspire should have Yngwie Malmsteen plastered on the resonant heads of his bass drums. His interpretation of the arpeggio-filled, almost symphonic riffs is amazing to witness. Not to mention making blast beats interesting to listen to alongside his mastery of left-handed, legible gravity blasts.
Lyrical passages are shot out with the same precision and speed as the rest of the band, adding to the immense and calculated intensity.
No matter what instrument you play, or if you don’t even play an instrument, this band will make you want to go home and practice.
It was yet again time for another sound check as Ringworm was about to take the stage. When one guitarist sound checks by playing Painkiller by Preist and the other runs through Rock Bottom by UFO, you can usually assume you are about to have a good time.
Ringworm started way back in 1991 emerging from the Cleveland metal scene and quickly gained attention with their hardcore metal approach. They took several years off and reformed with the 2001 release of Birth is Pain, and they have been back on it ever since.
They have a great thrash metal edge to their sound that was presented in their later releases, but pontification aside, they are just a great fucking metal band. The riffs are heavy but articulate and the aggression in the vocals supercharge the energy of the rest of the band. The rhythm section is thick, precise and built like a fortress.
Ringworm’s latest release Hammer of the Witch is now available via Relapse Records and the band will be hitting the road in support of Voivod and Napalm Death for select dates in January and February of 2015.
Right after Ringworm, Macabre took over. Starting in 1985, based out of Chicago, Macabre have an extensive catalog of releases centered around the depraved and sinister acts of the human race.
Branding themselves as “Murder Metal,” Macabre takes you on a journey recounting histories most notorious serial killers and mass murderers. The music definitely grabs influences from grindcore and death metal, but they do not limit themselves as they will add folk melodies and other old-world influences to the music as the subject matter dictates.
In between each song Corporate Death (Guitar/vocals) prefaced the next with a brief history lesson and explanation of horrific acts committed by the person the next song was about, usually garnering an eruption from the audience as the evil-doer was named. They are extremely tight as a band and their drummer is phenomenal and relentless.
Definitely another perfect fit for the festival. If they come through your town, definitely catch their show, unless you’re a poser. You can just stay home if that’s the case.
The next band needed no introduction. The longevity of Napalm Death is due to the boundaries they have obliterated and an honest pursuit of redefining the word “extreme” in the realm of music. Emerging from the UK’s hardcore punk scene, they basically invented and mastered the sound of grindcore.
Napalm Death’s influence can be felt far and wide throughout many genres of metal and punk. Starting their set off with “The Silence is Deafening” the tone was set for the next 40 minutes of unrelenting sonic assault. Napalm Death’s lyrical themes usually bounce between vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway’s views on politics, religion and hypocrisies of society.
In between each song he introduced the next with a quick synopsis of the subject matter that fuels the intensity of his extremely abrasive and monstrous vocal style. Finishing off their set with their awesome rendition of “Nazi Punks Fuck off” by the Dead Kennedys the crowd unleashed any energy they had left, moshing and screaming the lyrics right back at the stage.
As the sun started to set, Emo’s began to fill with people as the evening’s offerings quickly got under way. Taking a break from the music, The Masters of Metal and Horror panel began.
Hosted by Corey Mitchell (RIP), it was a loose and casual discussion between a great list of metal musicians and actors involved with horror including Bruce Corbitt (Rigor Mortis/Warbeast), Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), Gunner Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Bill Mosely (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2/House of 1000 corpses), Michel Langevin (Voivod) and Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2).
Each took their turn relating their craft to either metal or film and recounted their experiences in each. The audience was completely captivated as Corey Mitchell incited great conversation between the legendary lineup seated on stage.
The first band to grace Emo’s stage was local death metal band, Images of Violence. This band is pure and true death metal.
As the results of baking from scratch, Images of Violence deliver the very honest and real feel of death metal harkening back to the early days of the genres inception, with no added gimmicks or bullshit to get in the way. Each song was fast and abrasive with the only added influence being the heaviness that only comes from the south. All members were very proficient in their musical ability and their energy got everyone ready for the crazy night ahead.
And then it was time for King Parrot. This was by far one of my favorite performances of the entire festival. This band has been heavily touted and supported by Phil Anselmo and for very good reason.
Formed in 2010 in Melbourne Australia, they have paved their own way from the beginning taking their very intense and energetic stage show all around Australia and the U.S. King Parrot’s sound is a unique form of grindcore with an extreme nature that can only come from Australia.
They wasted no time starting their set hell bent on pulverizing the audience, but the lack of mosh pits throughout the festival was again a circumstance that needed correcting. After pointing out several attendees who were more interested in their phone than the crazy whirlwind of energy and blast beats on stage, front man Matt Young took it upon himself to kick start the pit by jumping into the audience and promptly starting a circle pit. This would be only one of the several departures he took from the stage to stoke the flames of the crowd.
Matt’s power and intensity on display greatly resembles the fervor and drive of Phil Anselmo himself, making it easy to understand his love for this band.
The band themselves possess a great amount of musicianship that appropriately drive Matt Young’s energy and machine gun lyrical delivery, and Todd Hansen’s blast beats sound like a locomotive at full tilt, barreling down the track.
If you see any band this year, do yourself a favor and make sure King Parrot is it. They will be touring North America supporting Bl’ast!, Orange Goblin and Down, so check the dates and buy your ticket. Now.
Removing the instruments after King Parrot’s set gave way to a large, highly engineered contraption that resembles some sort of control station out of a sci-fi movie. It is actually the creation of Tristan Shone, a musician/artist/mechanical engineer from San Diego, CA. This machine provides hands-on physical control over electronic sounds selected by Tristan to create his unique style of music.
You can definitely pick out many stylistic influences mined from a plethora of genres, but the main pulse of the music is thick, droning industrial. As Tristan starts to add the sounds together with the various buttons, levers and controls of his creation, you start to feel as if you are listening to the inhuman heart beat of a massive machine, while distorted imagery captured by various cameras around the contraption are projected behind him reminding you that this is all still very human and organic.
If there is going to be another Terminator movie in the future I am sure those in charge of the musical score would be barking up Tristan’s tree, as his music seems to tell the story of a machine controlled dystopian war zone better than the would-be screen writer. Of course Author and Punisher is great to listen to on a recording, but the real magic of his performance needs to be appreciated live.
It was now time for Neurosis to take the stage. Once again, another band that should need no introduction. Neurosis has been a source of inspiration for countless musicians over their entire career.
Their performance on this evening was no exception to their legendary reputation and captivated the entire audience. The immense weight of their songs is likened to the dredging of a deep river bottom, with a slow and steady pace that seams unstoppable.
Each member gives all of themselves to the performance communicating an incredible amount of power and emotion. It was truly a remarkable experience and should be witnessed whenever the chance is presented.
GWAR performed as a headliner at the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival as a stop on what would ultimately be their last US tour with Front man Dave Brockie. After the untimely passing of Brockie earlier this year, it was unclear to many what the future would hold for the legendary institution that GWAR had become. Nearly 8 months after Dave’s death, most of the musical community is still in shock and mourning over the loss of this larger than life creative genius.
Many who knew him intimately agreed that he would want the show to go on, so after a time of healing and closure, the GWAR camp decided to press on and start the next chapter of the sprawling mythos they have created. Former GWAR bassist and original Beefcake the Mighty, Michael Bishop, stepped in to take over duties as lead singer by introducing a new character known as Blothar.
Another new addition to the band is a character named Vulvatron performed by Kim Dylla. Vulvatron’s contribution to the band is vocals and “Boob spew”, which is gushed onto the audience from her breasts.
GWAR’s performance details a story of the search for Oderus Urungus, implying that he has traveled somewhere in time. As a fan, I must say the way GWAR is continuing their legacy will warm the heart of any fan, and more importantly, bring closure to those still saddened by the loss of Dave Brockie. Nearing the end of their set, Blothar unified the audience in remembrance of Dave resulting in a loud chant segwaying into a performance of ‘The Road Behind’. It was an extremely emotional display that infected everyone in attendance with many singing along with fists raised in the air. It was a very powerful conclusion to this day of the festival with a large sense of comradery in a huge group of people.
Earlier in the day, Gwar did an autograph session with fans. Here are some photos from that session:
A fund has been set up to support Corey’s wife and children. If you would like to donate, please go here.