Burn The Throne Festival Destroys Hammond, LA
As high school prom-goers meandered around taking photos in their overly-bright gowns near the picturesque buildings of downtown Hammond, Louisiana, groups of men in black clothing with horrific band logos and album covers smoked cigarettes outside Augustine’s Bar as blasting metal pouring out of the door, frightening the youngsters and keeping them from this side of the street. In the setting orange sun, the music began.
Ruineverse continues to hone their tech-ready death metal sound, abstract time signatures, tons of varied riffs in one song, and perfect precision. Now a two piece with just mathematical guitarist Shea’ Creel and drummer Max Dandry, both doing vocals, the music is tight and intricate. But they don’t miss one note of the maddening tunes. This band has played countless shows around the New Orleans metro, forging a fan base of extreme and experimental metal heads, incorporating styles of death metal, grind, black, and things that seem just beyond this planet. One fan lingering outside after their set described them as "Alien Core."
It was my first time seeing Vapid Butchery live, and they played a style of death metal much like the days of the old Florida scene like Morbid Angel, Obituary, Deicide, and the many others. Guttural growls and low bass notes by the imposing Brandon, fast riffs and guitar squeals by Ben followed by machine gun drum snare hits of Rick all came together to make some new fans in the crowd to say the least. There is a lot of potential for this band because of their talent, although it seems they might be emulating their heroes a little too closely for originality. They shall go on to find their own sound in the metal world.
Misanthropic Inoculation from Lafayette, LA, put on a stunning and surprising performance of dark death metal and great atmosphere; this band played a set of full-on head breaking metal with otherworldly tones, creating a creepy mood. The guitar sounds from Johnathon Bourque shredded like glass and brought back a piece of pure, precise nostalgia for the early death bands. Low screams of discord raged out of the bowels of Tim Armond and the classic double kick drums of Brian Snelling provided the backdrop of destruction; like a soundtrack to the shockumentary "Traces of Death." This band knows what they want to achieve and deliver the sound with no apologies.
Necrotic Priapism delivered a brutal assault; the performance tonight was much more polished now after getting more practice under their belts. It was almost as if Carpathian Forest had a love child with Enslaved. They brought a cold black metal sound to their already brooding death metal. High and low screams executed to perfection by vocalist Jason Milbourne, and a dual guitar attack by Brian Michaelis and Siim Bourgeois that makes this band sound ready for a festival, even though they still destroy the bar scene of the Crescent City. Their new song of the night was inspired by the true story of a cruel French Quarter Creole woman named Madame LaLaurie who allegedly tortured her slaves called “Delphine.”
I became hungry for more than music at this point and ventured from the safety of the metal den to find food. Across the railroad tracks I spotted some bright lights and headed toward them. A church was holding a carnival to raise funds, and it was not like most carnivals I’ve been to; the carnies were relatively clean and didn’t look like vagrants, the ground had not one piece of trash on it, and most people weren’t drinking hard liquor. I got some fried fest food and wandered around the cute little carnival stinking of stale beer and cigarette smoke from Augustine’s to the chagrin of the church-folk.
I made it back in time to see a somewhat newer band that is truly impressive; Chaos Aeon. They have a unique flare of heaviness; for instance, you can tell that they’re fans of early Mr. Bungle, Dog Fashion Disco, and the typical metal influence of Dimmu Borgir. Chaos Aeon is true to their name in that they mesh so many different things together. They can play a brutal blackened death metal section, then slow it down into a spooky symphonic breakdown. Keyboardist Thomas had a great raspy high scream that complimented guitarist J.P.’s low growl. The orchestral compositions brought so many dimensions to the music that no other band had, while the distortion and vocals solidified their sound as metal. There were a few fans wearing this bands shirt tonight, and can appeal to many even outside the metal circle.
The metal belly dancing queens Moonhoar performed a set to the tune of Acidbath’s “The Mortician’s Wife.” The pair wore clothing and masks inspired by notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. The piece also included saws spraying the crowd with sparks and an electrocution.
Hometown boys, Suspended Obscurity, brought a painful salute of blast beat frenzy to the mix. Two guitars, bass, drums, and a full wall of sound. The crowd reacted with much violent pleasure. If there is one thing I hope to see from this band in the future, is that they play more shows around the entire NOLA and southern region. They really have the expertise and brutality to expand beyond the region. Perhaps the most rewarding part of Suspended Obscurity’s performance is that they are not afraid to show their influences, but also have the bravery to do more with the sound; bringing it to unexpected planes to retain interest. By the end of the set, all I could think about was: "Please turn up the amps louder."
Black metal band from New Orleans, Serpentis, has gained a following through booking many good shows, opening for black metal bands from around the world who came to play our fair city, and have even headlined a small fest in Texas. The dedicated members of Serpentis smothered their faces and biceps with corpse paint (and what I think was mud from outside the bar), decorated their arms with gauntlets, stomped around in heavy boots, and donned an attitude necessary to forge the cold sound they produce. The music is fast, and like their hero in Burzum, it brings a raw power and hate to the mass. They’re all very precise in their playing as well with a tightened-up sound honed from much practice.
The headliners of the night and hometown band, Legions of Hoar Frost, were highly anticipated. The crowd was at its largest and they formed a tight semi-circle around the stage. Legions burst on the stage with a furious presence and launched into their equally veracious style of demonic black metal. Fast-strummed riffs by Leviathan and Daemontis, really impressive ripping screams by Beast, and double-kick fury by Andras made for some heavy and intriguing metal. Moonhoar even came back to dance the forbidden dance for the song “Bringers of the Black Flame” with the live band behind them; Daemontis performed some great, short solos during the breakdowns.
This fest had enough music to be drawn out into a weekend. All of the bands did an awesome job that night and made for an evening that will be difficult to forget. I also have to commend Augustine’s for providing a very fun zombie shooting game for between-band entertainment.
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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