Exhorder Returns to the New Orleans Scene after 8 Years
Band Photo: Exhorder (?)
After more than twenty years since they rocked the New Orleans scene to its core, Exhorder is still together, ready to destroy anything in its path. Ending a rather long break of eight years, the men of Exhorder proved that they aren’t done making extremely heavy punk, hardcore and metal mixed music. Exhorder was merely laying in wait, holding the fans in agonizing anticipation and striking at the perfect moment to ensure a kill. And, believe me, they killed everyone at that venue with extreme prejudice.
The opener was a metal dj named Holderbeast. Known around town as a graphic designer, Holderbeast played awesome metal songs, many of which were NOLA-homeboys, against a wall of distorted images of war, holocaust, Manson and family and what looked like black masses. While the background music was nice, especially Goatwhore, the images on the screen were often so distorted, it was too hard to make out and lost its meaning. But no matter who the opening band could have been, everyone wanted Exhorder.
And then they walked on the stage. So long removed from the scene; back again with a vengeance. Exhorder started to play the heaviest music I’ve ever heard. The songs were older; vocalist Kyle Thomas made sure that we knew what year each song was made, many of which were from before they recorded their first demo. “Legions of Death” from “Slaughter in the Vatican” was a definite crowd favorite. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that got a stiff neck from headbanging to that song. The best song for me was actually a cover song which I didn’t think anybody could play better than the original band. How did they know “Into the Void” was one of my favorite Black Sabbath songs and that I would be there to hear it? Most of the songs were growling low, heavy pieces. On occasion did the high scream and wails of guitars come out, but the sound was sludgier that night; heavy and low to the ground that guitarists Vinnie Labella and Jay Ceravolo created. A few pure hardcore pieces also came oozing from the amps. While the music was amazing, Kyle Thomas stopped between every song to tell us bits of the band’s history; how they began, the hardcore bands that influenced them and the punk drummer, Chris Nail, who helped form their sound. Of course, he also mentioned how well our football team is doing, which is on the last lips of most New Orleanians and impossible not to mention. For two hours, including a encore, did the men of Exhorder blow our minds. I hope that this was not a one-off show or a final farewell. I don’t think I can hear anything the same after such a powerful and intoxicating performance; they played so loud, my ears haven’t recovered after two days!
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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