What’s cooler than one of Ohio’s own, Cleveland’s masked men playing doomsday in December last year? Coming back the following October and playing Halloween night. Dayton was the third to last show on the 40 date fall tour with returning vocalist JMann. Though mother-nature brought the rain and winds of fury, postponing several little demons and dragons’ stroll through candy land and once again darkened a few house lights, McGuffy’s House of Rock was packed and celebrating All Hallows Eve under the influence of mushroomed metal.
Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Pagan New Year, Samhain and the night before All Saints Day. The harvest is over and the winter/darker half of the year begins. The name meaning ‘hallowed’ or ‘holy’ evening has origins in both Christian and Pagan history. To any devout horror or heavy metal fan, the 31st is definitely the scariest day of the year and deserving of all day worship. Even mask-wearing, heavy-breathing, knife wielding, silent fictional slashers deserve their own day too.
Dayton home town hero’s Forces of Nature www.facebook.com/forcesofnatureband started the hallowed evening. Last year’s lone Armageddon playing partner to the headliner. Notwithstanding what mother-nature was doing outside. Forces played their patented Pantera meets Slayer mid-pit stomp pounding the piss out of each other sound, ripping open the metal kegger with the face smashing Magnus Lee. Tate Moore’s voice has the devil sandpapering his vocal chords. Since the Apocalypse didn’t happen on schedule last year, they decide to court global danger and play a heavy, angry, defiant song about it. With a few guitar licking tastes of Morbid Angel for extra heavenly hierarchal rebellion.
ASOT (As Seen On TV) rips out Udo Dirkschneider’s soft vocals ramming them down Tate’s hoarse, coarse throat and together they make beautiful music along-side Marc Godsey, Jimmy Rose’s ripping guitar-flesh playing and Johnnie Wallace’s vampiric bass blood wallop. Of course any four some of metal beasts are lucky to have a fair beauty among them and them drums are pleasantly hammered by metal matriarch Shannon Godsey. The Godsey’s were also celebrating their 23 year anniversary.
The second showing of local support comes from Dayton’s self-made Moshpits & Lighters creators, In The Cut , led by event marketing mastermind Daniel DeDoncker. Breaking right into the Killswitch Engage of Until the End. They’re each a silent army of one and collectively sold out McGuffy’s with all local talent.
They play a song about all the assholes, particularly the ones out on Halloween doing stupid sh- (present company excluded). Here’s some Hatred Divine. Aaron Noble poured out the power on keys with the black eyes of Alice. He also broke out the skull and bones keyboard decor using two freshly pulled spines courtesy of one ugly motherf-….. They finish with a fun, fan friendly dip into the 80’s rock power ballad vault singing Separate Ways. There were a few zombies onstage that just happened to be in the band and the night couldn’t end without a cute and innocent love bite amongst monstrous brothers. The end also marked a first time event as DeDoncker stopped mid-song announcing McGuffy’s owner Julia’s birthday.
Next up, from the birthplace of the Mushroom, come’s the answer of what Quentin Tarantino in a heavy metal band would sound like. The X Members are birthed in musical freedom, bathed in whiskey and bred to destroy. Self-described as a beautiful train wreck of punk, rockabilly, metal, swing and hard rock and they’re greasy, mean and good at it too. Comprised of current and ‘ex’ members of Cleveland talent Pitch Black Forecast, State of Conviction, The Missing, Keratoma and Horror Madonna, they’re equal parts Astro-Creep mixed with Horton Heat.
They opened with the fast, twitching high impact Swinging Neckbreaker. Whether demon alcohol fueled or play acting, singer Elliot Barry does the zombie stagger a bit too realistically. The musical head-bobbing concussion begins with a trip down the devils highway burning up the whisky fueled roadster. It’s Quarter To Three and time for some Seltzer’d rockabilly metal and a few hotrod smoking streaks from Ministry. With the hard crunch of oiled up bike chains and greasy gears. Ladies, in the sweetest of southern (Cleveland) sincerity they want to see your special F Hole and they’re willing to play with hardcore punk speed, serenading with the most mosh friendly tune a bunch of cowboy hat wearing, slick styled, metal hillbillies from up north can play on Halloween, if you’ll be so kind to oblige. Just like Anthrax, they’re startin’ up a posse. Indrid Cold is a hard hitting, bass thump’n return home if Slayer, Buck Cherry and The Black Crowes were born in the same place.
Nothing More (Than a Dream) cruises down the road with a silver skull on the shifter, slick backed hair in the wind with a cigarette smile heading to the Black Flag show. It’s a windmill mosh pit come to life. Antemorten Overdrive cranks out the smoke induced haze with some skeletons from the closet riding shotgun in the Jesus built hotrod. Everyone’s got a Dirty Little Secret, they just choose to scream about theirs turning it into an amped up merry go round of punk chain fisted southern charred horse power.
The X Members are a blood drenched wild-west biker gang movie on stage. From dusk till dawn they play their mosh pit twang faster than a hole in the wall one night stand in the making can pound down Jager, Jack and Jim and feel coyote ugly in the morning. They were also celebrating their tenth show in ten days with Mushroomhead.
Columbus’ XFactor1 is American blue collar passion and intensity with a second to none do it yourself attitude and an unquenchable desire for success. They open with Break You, singer QBall dressed for the evening in metal surgical scrubs ready for the scalpel and some bloodshed. With a sound combination of Hellyeah, Seether and Shinedown with hints of Staind and Creed they Bring It On with every show, with deep dark powered background vocals, clean strong lead vocals and a muscle bound hard rock sound stringing the metal carrot at the audience.
The rap rock POD power punch of Parasite could blare over any PA system as a fighter walks toward the octagon. They finish with a classic cover because everyone wants to be like the Rolling Stones and Paint it Black.
Austin based co-headliner One Eyed Doll arrived onstage with the evening’s playful animated playmate, skeleton boned Kimberly Freeman and she’s your friend to the end. But ‘she’ won’t kill you…yet. Formed in 2007 with Jason ‘Junior’ Sewell on drums they’ve toured the country playing a unique brand of rock, punk, metal with vaudeville humor and stand up slapstick encompassing an all-around entertaining show. Freeman and Sewell have released five OED records with creepy comedic videos for You’re a Vampire, Envy, Committed and Be My Friend along with a special 90 minute gonzo tour rockumentary on YouTube. She’s been featured as Revolvers hottest chick in Hard Rock in 2011 and 2012 and is listed in Guitar Player Magazine’s top 20 most extraordinary female guitarists. She also has four solo albums under her name with Sewell producing and is a real life character in the game Adventure Quest Worlds.
Alanis Morissette with the dark side of Smurfette and a twitter of Tinkerbell she resembles a sweet swirling mixture of what made Babes in Toyland, L7, Courtney Love and the Cycle Sluts from Hell so alluring to kids and enduring to concerned mothers everywhere. With a raw performance style of The Great Kat and voice ranging from high pitched innocent girl next door to loud feminine roar she’s her own switchblade banshee donning many hats on stage, including a cowboy and the pope. The demented dolls open with Committed. Freeman, the Chelsea grinned painted princess playing the bad seed asylum escapee roaming the empty roads and backwoods churches in search of her sanity. She could be a sideshow freak or a lost child of the corn.
Unbeknownst to many but the few they’re secretly an easy listening, smooth jazz, hip-hop, contemporary Christian, Kenny G inspired band. In fact the next song was covered by Celine Dion and Michael Bolton also appearing on the soundtracks of Titanic, My Little Pony: The Movie and Passion of the Christ. Crowd chants of Hail Satan were acknowledged but not endorsed by Freeman. So in honor of these musical/movie influences they get ‘Dirty’ with the Black Sabbath/Slayer inspired Plumes of Death.
Crowd participation from Dayton, Texas was needed and politely demanded for the next song. They brought out fellow misunderstood friends Michael Myers and some dead guys borrowed from The Walking Dead. Their show and message is all about friendship and just like touring bands and axe murderers, serial killers are people too. “If you take away the voices I’m just like you. I’ll hack you up and bury you in my yard. So why does making friends have to be so very hard?” She led the crowd though the hardcore metal, country twanged Yee-Haw sing along first verse. The second verse conversed about religion as Freeman sported his Holy Eminences’ head gear proclaiming our two choices (you’ll be forced or converted either way) Amen or….Hail Satan (despite the crowd’s heavily biased dark side, only half-heartedly endorsed by Freeman).
They finish as she proclaims her true calling and identity as a dedicated woman of the metal law threatening to arrest anyone (with a show of horns in the air) who wasn’t metal. It was time to Break… the law One Eyed Doll style with slow motion hard ramming speed. She finishes crowd diving, surfing her way back to the merch booth.
The Cleveland masked men return after playing and escaping the Mayan apocalypse to play Halloween celebrating 20 years of shrune influenced metal. They open playing heavily from XX and XII going straight in for the keyboard lobe shattering mind hemorrhage and religious confusion playing like dog faced gods. The leeches and the lepers in the crowd start to salivate as the predator stalks its prey preparing to Kill Tomorrow.
We take a mind expanding music tablet trip and get Bwomp’d on history’s leaders and who’s trying to control us. Would we be better with the convicted maniacs in charge, creepy crawling the country forward? Ever been offered candy by a water drum playing human Borg reindeer? Only on Halloween.
Mushroomhead count their blessing’s being around/fan supported for 20 years and counting. They’re fed up with the status quo and ready to fight and kill for what they believe in. Do you really wanna f- with a band that looks like that tonight? The Sun Doesn’t Rise at all until the past is put behind.
We take a slower ballad like breather as they Save Us from the flawed masterpiece of humanity. There’s only one way, forward. Inner torment, pain and memories fester inside bleeding your life away, Never Let It Go. Everyone has their own cards to play in life and the inner struggle of good VS evil, right and wrong and what you choose to self-deal.
Everyday life takes its toll on the road, Becoming Cold, missing home. They dedicated The Dream Is Over to lost friend and original guitarist JJ Righteous and called for a pit in his honor.
They encored, changing faces to pumpkin grins and maniacal cut out smiles filling the empty spaces on the floor with some Floyd, proving that every successful band with staying power is Born of Desire.
Forces of Nature photo’s courtesy of Tom Wilson www.facebook.com/jebenezzer.law.