Drunken Unicorn // Atlanta, GA // June 18
Someone once told this correspondent, “A metal show should make you feel like you just got blown out a 17th-floor window of an exploding skyscraper. You bounced, and you lived, and you’re ready to kick some heads in.” The good men of Demonaut, Order of the Owl, Mice in Cars and Hail the Titans must have gotten the same memo…
The first half of the night ran the gamut of experimental rock. Hail the Titans, from Montgomery, AL and Mice in Cars, “from over there,” took traditional band configurations and turned them on their ears. After a few solid surf metal jams, Hail the Titans guitarist Josh Carples slung his axe over his back and turned to jam out on an optical Theremin. Mice in Cars’ bassist Mark switched between playing straight and dragging a bow across the strings of his guitar, while their drummer Nick took on double-duty on his kit and a synthesizer. The sound blasting from the stage went from surf metal to mad science to ambient to hard-driving rock and back.
Then the tone of the night took a turn for the Heavy. Order of the Owl took the stage, stared out at their audience and – with nothing more than a look – invited the crowd down the Rabbit Hole to METAL. Their percussion didn’t thrum; it blasted. Clothing rippled against skin like the first wind of a driving storm. People took a step back, but straightened their shoulders and braced forward to weather the blast.
Finally, headliners Demonaut took the stage. The lights dimmed, giving the illusion that the four men on stage had been bathing in blood and murder. With two bassists, Jeff and Joel, guitarist Rod and drummer Dwayne, these men came to thrash. And thrash they did. Little did the audience know, the night had been steadily building to this moment since Hail the Titans’ first chords. Down the Rabbit Hole, indeed, to the Land of Thrashing Metal, Sweat and Darkness.