Oct 2013 10

The Church, Dallas, TX, 2013/08/29

 

Being at a Psyclon Nine show is like being at an insane asylum during Revelations. It sounds like constant screaming, banging on walls, and people being tortured. It embodies madness, mayhem, beauty, and intensity. And on August 29, Dallas, Texas witnessed it all when Psyclon Nine took the stage at the Church. Joining P9 on the Hellions of Hollywood tour was fellow California based act Dawn of Ashes. Together, the two groups created an atmosphere of chaos that filled the venue with liquid latex, blood and, spit. The last time P9 appeared in north Texas was on Halloween of 2007 with Wednesday 13 and Mushroomhead for the Rockyard at the Stockyard Halloween special. The band cut its set short only playing five-and-a-half songs or so. In other words, Dallas was due for a good night of soul-damning music.

 

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Dawn of Ashes came on about 10:30 to a scattered and apparently still sleeping Dallas crowd. But by the time DoA finished the second song, everyone was wide awake. Vocalist Kristof Bathory commands the stage well as his range between death/black metal and ear piercing industrial screams is quite impressive. He definitely could be the lovechild of Dani Filth and Marilyn Manson – his antics onstage are much like an old Manson Antichrist Superstar-era performance with bible tearing, spitting, and awkward yet fitting body movements. DoA definitely has a niche for fashion too; there aren’t many bands that can look sexy while dressed up as what this reviewer would call “butcher Cenobites.” The set mostly consisted of material off the latest album, Anathema with tracks like “Scars on Scars,” “Insidious (Of the Judas Breed),” and “Poisoning the Steps of Babel” absolutely killing live and creating a few minor mosh pits, something this particular dance floor isn’t usually accustomed to. Past songs such as “A Blade in the Dark” and “Torture Device” got the crowd moving the most, but that may have been due to familiarity of the music rather than what actually sounded best because Anathema must be heard live to take in the full impact of that album’s sound. Overall, you couldn’t ask much more from an opener than what Dawn of Ashes served up. There is no doubt the band will be a headliner soon.

 

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30 or so minutes later, Psyclon Nine took the stage with authority. One by one, the band members filed out through the duration of the “We the Fallen” intro. As soon as Nero Bellum took the stage and the first song began, mosh pits ensued as immediately, the crowd in front went from contained cheering and screaming to all out riot. It wasn’t long before many audience members were drenched in beer and slipping on the hardwood floors from spilled drinks; it also wasn’t long before security had to step in to cool things down. Usually, interference from the guys in charge is unnecessary and unwanted, but certain fans were out of control and, unfortunately, ruined it for the rest. The mutiny died down a bit as Psyclon broke into the second song, “Derelict.” The intensity was still present from the audience, but it was acted out through fist pumping and headbanging. Matching the intensity of the audience was every P9 band member. Front man Bellum came out figuratively on fire with deafening screams and spastic, bursting industrial-induced convulsions. Jon Siren, who drummed for both acts, brought forth an intensity few others in the scene can match or keep up with, while Rotny Ford was his usual powerful, tall statuesque self while newcomers Merritt Goodwin on bass and keyboardist Glitch brought an attitude with them that proved they belonged in the band. Together, the members of Psyclon Nine were an absolute force.

 

P9′s set list was a mixed bag of older, newer, and even unreleased material. Unfortunately, the next album was supposed to be released in time for the tour, but that did not happen. However, Order of the Shadow: Act I encompassed a good portion of the set and the crowd’s reaction was overwhelmingly positive to the new material. “Use Once and Destroy,” “Afferte Mihi Mortem,” and “Glamour Through Debris” were standouts and showcased that P9 had not lost its touch even though it had been a few years between albums. One particular moment of the show that brought a different perspective was “The Saint and the Valentine” as it’s primarily an acoustic track – it’s similar to “Under the Judas Tree,” but seems to have more of an end-of-the-world vibe rather than a suicidal tone to it. “Glamour Through Debris” was a fitting song as it summed up what most of the night felt like; with such menacing music and attitude it may seem hard to believe to some that there is a lot of beauty contained within the carnage of the Hellions of Hollywood tour. A majority of the band members wear lipstick, makeup, and baby powder just like many conventional makeup wearers might, but with a little touch of blood and a lot of liquid latex, you have this hellish concept of beauty. It’s truly impressive that guys covered in blood, scars, and makeup can have such sex appeal. Despite the outstanding new material, the fans reacted most vibrantly when their favorites like “Behind a Serrated Grin,” “Better than Suicide,” and “Parasitic” were played. A large uproar came when Kristof Bathory joined Bellum onstage to sing “Better than Suicide.” There aren’t many duets where both singers scream, growl, and howl together, but this instance showed it should happen more often.

 

In the end, fans left sweaty, bloody, and sore. If you didn’t leave with a sore neck that night, you weren’t watching the show at all. Psyclon Nine announced this next album would be its last, which is okay so long as the band keeps putting on amazing tours like this. Whether P9 is done or not, do not miss these guys if/when they come to your town. It’s rare to find bands that can fuse industrial and metal together like Dawn of Ashes and Psyclon Nine.

 
Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)
Photographs by Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ) and Obscuri – courtesy ofObscuri.net.

 

 
Psyclon Nine (GVZ)

 
Dawn of Ashes (GVZ)

 
Psyclon Nine (Obscuri)

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