Last night I checked out Skeleton Witch in concert here at the Jinx, located downtown Savannah. I had listened to them on their Myspace, so I knew they were pretty good. Musically, they remind me of old school thrash akin to Exodus and Testament, with maybe a little Destruction thrown in the mix. Vocally, however, they were more death/black metal influenced, with the singer reminding me a little of Abbath from Immortal. Very good show. Outstanding show, both for the band and for the crowd…I really couldn’t believe the turnout and the crowd response considering this was a metal show. By the end of Skeleton Witch’s set, everyone had their fists raised in the air in agreement–so much energy in the place. At one point, the singer asked the crowd “I just wanna know….is Savannah still considered part of the Bible Belt?” Very good question indeed–metal has not always gotten a great reception in the Southeast United States, but it is certainly encouraging to see that there is hope.
Another surprising highlight of the show were Texas metallers, Iron Age. I had a feeling they might be good since the singer had a Candlemass shirt on…good influences usually make for good music. And they didn’t disappoint. They also had an old school metal sound, reminding me at times of Kill ’em All era Metallica, Possessed, Death, and some other earlier bands with a thrash metal/early black metal sound almost. And they actually sounded better live than they do on their Myspace page. At times, the vocals on their recorded material remind me of Chuck Schuldiner from Death, especially on the song “The Way is Narrow.” Live, however, I guess he still sounded a bit like Schuldiner, but his vocals were way more piercing…bordering on Black Metal vocals almost–like maybe Chuck Shuldiner meets the singer of Possessed. Tremendous stage presence. At one point it looked like the guitarist did a sign of a cross with his guitar…and looking at their song titles (“The Way is Narrow,” “777,” “We’re Dust,” “A Younger Earth”?) I couldn’t help but wonder if they were a Christian band. Regardless of whether this is the case, they rocked just as hard as any other metal band…if not harder. It would be funny if this were the case, with the comment that Skeleton Witch’s singer made about the Bible Belt…plus some guy in the crowd kept yelling “hail Satan”…apparently he was a big fan. I don’t know if that was a complement to either band’s playing, however, since neither of them were Satan. This guy definitely seemed to be more excited about Satan than Skeleton Witch or Iron Age, since he kept saying it over and over.
Anyway, tremendous sets by Iron Age and Skeleton Witch, tremendous show. Skeleton Witch and Iron Age were the real deal. There was another band that opened, called Howl, but they played sludge metal, something I’m not a big fan of. Plus, the other two bands were just way better. I still cannot get over the idea that we actually had some metal bands come to Savannah…for a night, stepping into the Jinx actually felt like being in another country, or stepping into a time warp–it just seemed so strange to be attending a metal show in Savannah, where people were dressed in leather and spikes and had their jackets with patches of bands’ logos all over them, and people wearing Candlemass t-shirts. A glorious night indeed.
Maybe they’ll come back around again…and maybe we’ll actually start getting some other metal bands to play here.