Exhorder is kind of a big deal around these parts. Their one of the longest running bands in the city, and they play a unique style of metal/hard rock that has influenced bands from around the world for several decades. Through break ups and make ups, Exhorder has certainly withstood the test of time and show no signs of ever going away. They headlined this Howlin' Wolf show with a series of bands who all sound completely different from each other, but pretty much every musician in them is friends with one another. It was like one big family reunion.
Coming out onto a blood red stage, Morbid Torment unleashed a crushing blow to the crowd. The trio would tell you that they play drunken satanic thrash, but it has a whole lot of black metal tones and imagery to me. Unfortunately, their set was cut short due to a guitar malfunction. Draped in a spooky blue light, A Hanging came out just as costumed revelers were filtering in from the nearby Halloween parade leading to an interesting cast of characters. They quickly, abruptly powered through their set with songs like "Winter" and "Sweet Nothing". Scott Walle contorted his visage to get the words out (the band was once fronted by a powerful female vocalist, but A Hanging decided to continue on as a trio after her departure). Scott explained that their show this night was dedicated to the late Perry McAuley, former vocalist of Graveyard Rodeo and a major player in the early New Orleans metal/hardcore scene. They covered Graveyard Rodeo's "Behind Enemy Lines," and threw out a bucket of fake eyeballs at the end. Well, they kind of rolled out onto the stage, but they were eventually flung into the crowd. You may have heard his name before; Adam Pearce was a contender on "The Voice". He's been performing regionally and locally with his backing band The Warbirds for a wide variety of music fans. His brand of hard, not too heavy, rock was a perfect fit in this show.
Exhorder, Exhorder has an interesting history. They've been a band since the 1980s, and they've been broken up for years at a time. Apparently, this stint of being back together started when Kyle Thomas and Vinnie LaBella started talking about making new music when they saw each other at the unusual and packed Corey Feldman concert at Southport Hall just a few years ago. Made new music they did, and they played several songs from their brand new album Mourn the Southern Skies at this homecoming show. Kyle was in top form as he grimaced, sneered, and belted out tune after tune. He truly has one of the best voices in metal. Vinnie roamed the stage back and forth like a predator. Exhorder was rounded out with a new group of musicians that joined the outfit less than two years ago. Marzi Montazeri is on the backing guitar, Jason Viebrooks is on bass, and Sasha Horn is the newest drummer. While Kyle and Vinnie can look pretty intimidating when their doing their thing on stage, it was still very clear that they were having the time of their life. No doubt that being on the road in far away locales is a thrill, but performing to your friends and family during a very festive time of year in your hometown is even better.