Tour de Force


  • Corey Mitchell


Trying to keep up with the changes at a music festival is like trying to herd a pack of rabid cats. The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival is the biggest musical kitty corral of them all. That’s why you have me here to help you make heads or tails of all your SXSW metallic/hard rock/punk rock/experimental/etc. needs.

There have been plenty of line-up changes since my last SXSW music post over a week ago. First on the list is the welcome news that NOLA-sludgekings eyehategod will team up with doom metal pioneers Pentagram to close out the conference on Saturday, March 19 (both bands will be going on after midnight, so, technically, they are playing on March 20) at the Scoot Inn. They’ll be joined by a stellar group of bands including Cough and Naam.

Other notable additions include YOB, Slough Feg, and Zoroaster.

On a fricken’-frack note, it appears as if a few MetalSucks-approved acts have dropped off the SXSW calendar including Benea Reach, a band MS headcheese Vince Neilstein spotlighted a few weeks back, and Dredg. Vince and I are quickly becoming the Sports Illustrated curse for metal bands at SXSW. First, I wrote about Corrosion of Conformity, the stripped-down three-piece version with Mike Dean on vocals, and BOOM!!!, they’re gone. Then, Vince sang Benea Reach’s praises, and BOOM!!!, they’re gone, too. Wait, maybe we should write up an article or three on Emmure, I See Stars, or Asking Alexandria to see if the curse is real.

Last time around, I told you the boys from haarp informed me they were going to be at SXSW as well. I am happy to report, they are not liars! haarp will be appearing on the Housecore Records showcase along with their labelmates PonyKiller, Warbeast, and their label boss’s band, Arson Anthem (featuring Philip Anselmo, Mike Williams IX of eyehategod, Colin Yeo of PonyKiller, and Hank Williams III).

Speaking of the Housecore Records showcase, I am even more stoked about it now that I have learned two of Austin’s most well-known and entertaining heavy musical spectacles, Skrew and skatenigs, will be opening up the festivities. We’re talking serious metal industrial cowpunk metal straight outta the state capital city, back again, and ready to destroy the Has-to-be-way-too-small-of-a-room Emo’s Jr. on Wednesday, March 16.

There will be so much musical history in this room for one night, it is going to be incredible. Skrew, of course, is the brainchild of former Angkor Wat guitarist and leader, Adam Grossman, who also played with Ministry. The skatenigs were Al Jourgenson’s right-hand band for years and feature former Revolting Cocks member, “Phildo” Owens. Not only that, but the new line-up also features guitarist Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis, Ministry) and bassist Casey Orr (Rigor Mortis, GWAR). Combine those forces with former Rigor Mortis lead singer Bruce Corbitt, who now fronts Warbeast, and it looks like we have ourselves the makings of a potential Rigor Mortis reunion. Hmm, yes? Maybe? Please?! The possibility is not far from a reality as the reformed ’80s horror death metallers just returned from the road this week. Top it off with Warbeast’s Scott Shelby (Gammacide), Arson Anthem’s Philip Anselmo (Pantera/Down/Superjoint Ritual) and Mike Williams IX (eyehategod) and we’re talking some of the greatest Texas/Louisiana-based (hell, anywhere-based) metal figureheads under one roof.

Not to forget that 3/5 of Down will be at SXSW (Anselmo, Kirk Windstein of Crowbar, and Jimmy Bower of eyehategod) throughout the week. Unfortunately, Down will not be playing SXSW, as they will be headlining The Cotton Gin on March 5, in Maxwell, Texas, near Austin.

Phew! That’s a hell of a lot of metallic info and that doesn’t even include the metal-related films at the SXSW Film festival or any of the metal day parties that take place all week and are free and open to the public. You can check out the metal films info right here. I’ll be tackling the SXSW Metal Day Parties very soon.

Also, be on the lookout for the MetalSucks SXSW A2Z page to help you further prep for your trip. It will include venues, times, parties, etc.

Here are the latest updates with new additions in bold and drops afterwards:


Agalloch, ALTAAR, Amber Asylum, The Amity Affliction, Animals as Leaders, Arabrot, Asking Alexandria, The Atlas Moth, Bult, Castevet, Chelsea Grin, Christian Mistress, Cough, Crowbar, DAGOBA, Daniel Lioneye, Dawn of Ashes, Dead By April, Eagle Claw, Emmure, eyehategod, THE FACELESS, For The Fallen Dreams, Goes Cube, Grayceon, Green & Wood, haarp, HORSE the band, HOWL, Hull, Iron Age, KEN Mode, Kublai Khan, Kylesa, Liturgy, Magrudergrind, Miss May I, Mose Giganticus, Naam, Novembers Doom, Pentagram, Primitive Weapons, Red Fang, The Rods, Rwake, Saint Vitus, Skrew, Slough Feg, Structures, Ultrageist, Upon A Burning Body, Valient Thorr, Veil of Maya, Warbeast, We Are Defiance, Weedeater, Whitechapel, Whitehorse, Witch Mountain, Wizard Rifle, Wolvhammer, Worm Ouroboros, YOB, Zoroaster.

(Dropped: Adept, Benea Reach, Modern Escape, War From A Harlots Mouth)


Aphasia, Caspian, Dance Gavin Dance, Dax Riggs, Death Letters, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.), Dixie Witch, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, The Gay Blades, Helmet, I See Stars, In Fear And Faith, J Mascis, Junius, Kvelertak, Luger, Meat Puppets, Mutiny on the Bounty, Native, Of Mice & Men, Ponykiller, Pulled Apart by Horses, Queens of the Stone Age, Sasquatch, She Wants Revenge, skatenigsSolace, Suck Piggy, TarantisT, Ume, Uncle Bad Touch (featuring Mikey from Priestess), Witchburn.

(Dropped: Dearthcrush, Dredg)


Arson Anthem, Banner Pilot, Evergreen Terrace, Japanther, OFF!, Peelander-Z, Rolo Tomassi, Texas Terri, Zlam Dunk.


Alex Skolnick Trio


Bruce Lamont




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**Oh, and here’s a little something for your dedicated MetalSucks readers who made it this far — a little video I shot on my iPhone last month at The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas, of Warbeast performing “Scorched Earth Policy” with Phil Anselmo. Enjoy!


Corey Mitchell is a best-selling author of several true crime books and creator/moderator of the SXSW Film Festival panel, REEL MURDER: From Crime Scene to Big Screen on March 15, 2011.

Join Corey at Facebook and Twitter.

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