Friday the 13th has been associated with many bad things for a long time. Historically, theories suggest the combination of two superstitions claiming 13 as an unlucky number and Friday as an unlucky day are partially responsible for its original bad reputation. In numerology 12 stands for divine organized arrangements and completion (12 months, 12 hours of the clock) 13 is thought of as irregular, offsetting the pattern. There’s also a superstition possibly derived from the Last Supper that having 13 guests at the table meant the death of one and Friday was the day of the Crucifixion. Historical references are almost non-existent before the 1907 novel Friday, the Thirteenth where a shady broker takes advantage of the superstition creating a panic on Wall Street. There’s also a fear of Friday the 13th called friggatriskaidekaphobia, if you can pronounce it.
The most popular version of Friday the 13th aka ‘Jason Day’ began the dawn of the early 80’s slasher era, introducing the world to one of the longest running film franchises in history, the creepy effect of two whispered one syllable sounds and the craziest mother since Norma Bates. According to some die hard horror fans, Friday the 13th should be a national holiday worldwide and with a proven track record nothing goes better with horror than heavy metal, making a metal show on Friday the 13th a machete to the head no-brainer.
SITH, Horlet, King Stench and Zuel fit the blood soaked bill delivering loud, killer performances providing the music for any screaming chase scene.
Shadows in the Hourglass take the stage at Blind Bobs opening with the eerie ambient trance of bass and drums. Zack Ryan plays bass like a lead guitar with effects pedals making it the center of attention and conversation, his fingers spelling out the intelligent intricacies of the strings. Cliff Burton would be proud. The Lovecraft inspired Behind the Veil of Sleep is a high neck, frantic sounding interpretation of an MMA fighters walk to the cage. Illusions of Serenity pour schizophrenic sweat down the face of a deep dark jagged cliff starring into the dark mirror of water below. Ryan turns his bass into a dark voiced reverberation of a tortured soul’s inner turmoil as drummer Travis Abling hits the skins providing the musical canvas for the two man tapestry of sound. They finish with namesake SITH, as Ryan plays the dark lord on bass.
Death metal lovers of Egypt, Horlet play next promoting their new CD The Keys of Life and Death. Starting with the musical pile-driver Wings of Ariel we walk through the hallowed Halls of Amenti. We’re Taken to a place where Iron Maiden and Amon Amarth coexist on the same stage at the same time. Next is the potential ‘CD single’ and hit Annabelle’s Curse, which might conjure up visions of evil but has nothing to do with raggedy dolls. We get a warning From the Clouds then they finish with their own special heretic anthem Children of the Light. The band played as loud as Allen D. McCowan’s neon green bass strings.
The stench has arrived, worse than any bottom of the lake drowned body or stalking masked corpse. King Stench has come with their working class black/death metal legions. Hell Gate’s open with the hellacious blast beats of the hammering Eric Barnes with Slayer solos bringing the crowd up front and necks rapidly mobile. They deliver the electro shocks, shrieking notes of False Prophets and the down in the dirt on the knees riffs of Fight. They unleash the army of hungry, fanged mongrels on Hell Hounds. Visions of Death bring the violence of the battlefield to the stage. They finish with a Behemoth sized cover of Ov Fire in the Void.
Intelligent, instrumental thrash and pound masters Zuel headline starting with the neck power-bombing Facemelter giving out fast secondary beatings with the grunting, thudding concrete wallop of the S—thammer. Rapture’s heavy mechanic, destructive, industrial sound captures the human panic of a world without mobile technology, texting and computers for a few days.
There’s a nice guttural mixture of Godflesh, Meshuggah and Morbid Angel without evil/violent vocal intentions. Though, lyrically silent Zuel showcased a healthy experimentation with the elements of the periodic metal table, finishing with the five minute chug juggernaut Johnny.