Eugene Weekly : Music : 8.23.07

Brothers of Metal
The sickest day of the year

A Plague of Hatred

You know what I love about the ’80s? I love the fact that the same decade that produced Valley girls, pop music, crimped hair, neon spandex and Molly Ringwald also spawned a plethora of some of the best metal bands ever known. Thrash, death, heavy, black, gore and power metal: The ’80s had it all. Each band produced either a different sound or different style that in one way or another influenced the metal we have today.

Of course we all know the infamous heavy metal heads Iron Maiden, Metallica and Megadeth, but I doubt a lot of youth are really aware of the variety of metal that was once out there — like the black metal band Manowar, who sang about mythological creatures, or the thrash metal band GWAR, who wore sci-fi/horror costumes on stage and paved the way for other gore metal bands like Slipknot.

I feel sorry for this generation of metal lovers who didn’t get to experience Metallica during their drug years or witness Slayer rise up to become the crowning kings of metal. But all is not lost! There are true metal enthusiasts out there who want to honor and continue the tradition of vintage metal by introducing it to a whole new generation. Their efforts have come together to form one large metal festival featuring local metal bands: Sickfest.

I have to admit I am a virgin to Sickfest (apparently I was comatose the last two years), so I’m fired up to see if these current bands can measure up to the metal gods that came before them. This year’s lineup features four local bands: Domesticide, Grieving Sun, The Athiarchists and A Plague of Hatred. I hope to see hair being whipped into a frenzy and hear the screams of the living dead, and after listening to each of the bands, I’m certain they won’t disappoint me.

Domesticide kicks some serious ass and does a great cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood.” Grieving Sun’s hardcore death metal sound is very animalistic and makes me puke in my mouth a little, but in a good way. A Plague of Hatred is new to the music scene; they describe their music as rhythmic, dark metal. My personal favorite is The Athiarchists, who mix their political and religious views into their songs. I listened to their demented version of “Jesus Loves Me,” entitled “The Athiarchist,” about five times in a row. Hail to the new Brothers of Metal.

Sickfest III 8 pm Friday, Aug. 24, WOW Hall • $7 adv., $8 door