It wasn’t a stadium or in Sofia, Bulgaria but any of the five bands that played Saturday July 5th could be considered in Dayton’s big thrash four debate. The crowd turned out in droves, jamming the cramped but cozy ‘by metal standards’ space of the Courtyard Lounge into a shroud of die hard, shoulder to shoulder black t-shirts sweating, screaming, yelling along, to Dayton’s ‘metal uniformed’ finest , spilling out into the outside lobby. It was a four band quadruple CD release party and birthday bash for a local guitar hero. Foul Stench’s Blood Orgy, Forces of Nature’s Dark Ages, Eooonmai’s The Witches Hammer and Engine of Chaos’s Uncover the Bones each had new tunes to indulge in. While The Reefer Hut came to help kick ass and Horlet played a show off their The Keys of Life and Death release.
The first collaborative-morphing/heavy mixing of Death Rot Productions and Zeently Productions brought a who’s who of the local scene, along with dedicated fans from afar and some from parts unknown in attendance including Shadows in the Hourglass, Killed By Art, Jebenezzer Law, local artist Sam Holliday who designed the cover art for Forces of Nature’s new CD, their reissues along with their new banner and Engine of Chaos’s new release. SITH’s Zack Ryan was also responsible for the blasphemous cover art on The Witches Hammer. Though his music wasn’t performed live a few choice tracks between sets from TWH were hell spawned out in God defying black metal manor, giving all a loud satanic sample of the battle of inquisition between God, Satan and the witches. Enoonmai’s captured a dark, melodious feast of death, murder and sound torture fit for a midnight graveyard cult ceremony as the symphony of horror movie effects and the walking dead play.
The musical reefer was burning heavy as the thrashing began with Tomorrow is Calling. The personal/professional sacrifices one must make to the dedication and passion of music is a true tale of Abuse as the military tank pummeling guitars shovel it out with Pantera sludge and blast beat breakdowns. Inner Pride’s an oldie, but goodie. No Turning Back was written when Adam Baumann was a bit skinnier with plenty of guitar hammer chugging and drum buildup. The Sepultura flavor of Moving Forward was about recovering from the bad times and getting on with it.
Dayton’s favorite Horlet’s of Nile meets King Diamond with Iron Maiden’s 666 foot flight above brought the keyboard ambiance along with tunes from their latest offering. From the Clouds started it off and Annabelle’s Curse was played in birthday dedication to one of the pillars of Dayton’s metal foundation Marc Godsey. Siren’s rang out, it’s still f’n hot but fall will soon bring the Signs of Winter and The Awakening followed by crowd pleaser Wings of Ariel, dedicated to a hardcore fan that made the trek from Pennsylvania to attend.
Foul Stench ripped open a set full of blasphemous odes to Dayton’s darker dwellers and places unspoken of, playing a diverse selection from their career catalogue featuring Orgy opener Razor Fist, a two minute slice and dice gusher splattering of serial killer friendly crimson to make Dexter smile with ‘more’ than a single drop of blood. We got a Fake rip and tear off The Bone, punk speed and style. The saw bone guitars of The Gash made way for the deep demon throated Blood Orgy as it slowly chugged, writhing along with a dirty, puritanical misanthropic motion and lust. They rung the five minute doorbell To Hell, recorded behind closed doors. We got Fukd by Eternal Rot and over ten tastes of blackened growled sonic thrash and death flavored assault. Along with the lung caterwauling and pig squealing growl of the King was the mobile and thrashing out Eric Nye with the crowd demanding an encore.
Forces of Nature are legendary in D-town, having played pretty much everywhere and continue to kick ass supporting the scene. They opened sending some love to the Dimebag-Nation with some Domination. Midnight came early with the evil witching sounds of Tate Moore’s unearthly screeching dark hole. A midsummer’s night tune came for those souls graveyard enchanted or so inclined. The Apocalypse came with twisting down the spine guitar riffs and just a generally beautiful uncomfortable feeling. The digging, devastating pummel of Magnus Lee played the picture of an evil hooded spell-caster’s hands hovering over the dark cauldron of mirk and mire. Rotten Tooth’s brutal, thudding pace proved a dentist’s drill is more bad-ass than a doctor’s scalpel. Mary Hates Herself but black metal clad Enoonmai hated her more with a brutal shredding.
A new banner debuted on Forest of Corpses. A.S.O.T’s a musical picture of the carnage and violence the old boob tube shows, while most of America watches the Kardashians and ‘reality’ shows. With high, hypnotizing flames illuminating some yummy looking icing Birthday Boy Marc was offered his ceremonial/sacrificial cake of sweet sin.
Engine Of Chaos came out with something a bit more or completely different. A set full of Black Sabbathy, rocky metal tunes with funky grooves from their new Uncover the Bones release along with some older stuff. Them ‘Bones’ got started with the CD title track as Scott Toops outshined on the opening of Change. The engine revs and roars as chaos ensued with Toops bringing out the holy rasping Halford. The slower, melodic Unknown slithered like a sweet serpentine alongside Scott’s snake leathered pipes. The guitar notes rippled the intrepid waters of the blues submerged with the Frogs in the Tug River as he blended the whisky-moonshine strong embrace of Dio, Udo and Dickinson.
Nick Wheelers bass brought out the 7 Demons and told Lies of all-holy/hypocritical dictators and leaders. Toops and co finished with the Chris Cornel/Wylde wicked cry of the Deceiver.
It was a night of horns up plusses and gains for the local metal community showing the collective collaboration and unity of the scene. When everyone works together, we make s**t happen! The Dayton metal scene added another great stage to its list of venues that appreciate good, heavy, loud music along with Nielson Hixon reopening one of Dayton’s longtime signature staples, the newly renamed Oddbody’s.