“If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare

In a geography such as the Mid-Ohio Valley region that often favors a very niche community of country, folk and indie music, the hardcore scene has rested backseat for nearly a  decade. This is not to say that artists and bands of differing genres have become stale and unworthy of attention, but rather, the recent revival of heavy, hard-hitting, and defiant music simply improves the culture and variety of the MOV. Adding attitude and aggression to a much needed time within voice. Listeners and performers of the hardcore, punk and metal community are rapidly emerging from beneath the floorboards and there was no shortage of support on Aug. 19 at the Gough Hazard.The Gough Hazard, Parkersburg’s own, hosted The Metal and BBQ Bash where they served deliciously smoked BBQ and  six bands pummeled the crowd with waves of visceral guitar work, chaotic machine gun blasts of percussive and piercing drums, and organic-throat-cutting vocals. Every band played a unforgettable set leaving blood, sweat and passion spilling over the floor.

Crown Vic, newbloods of hardcore and Parkersburg natives, set the pace for the night when they opened the highly-anticipated metal show with a powerful display of anger  and aggression as their viciously strained voices and words were backed up by their rhythmic sections of brutal beatdown guitar riffs seasoned with a slamming instrumentation of two-step and hardcore articulation.

The Human Tragedy, a symphonic death metal band from Kentucky, filled the room with a dark ominous orchestration of stringed instruments and droaning death metal guitar pulled together with blistering fast double bass patterns and led by screeching vocals registering at piercingly high and hellishly low.

The Corinthian continued to bring the death to metal. Blast beats, double bass, chugging guitars and chaotically spastic vocals influenced the bodies in the room to headbang and move as they performed with precision and energy.

Wolves Among Sheep, another native band of Parkersburg and a fresh blackened deathcore outfit, filled the room with brown note breakdowns, hammering blast beats, intricate guitar work and vocals so raw, and so energized, the vocalist stepped outside on the balcony to spit the accumulated blood in his throat as he appeared spent. Before the song had ended, he returned to the stage and finished the entire set with a sense of rejuvenated motivation and projected his own passion and emotion into the crowd as they banged their heads and felt the music.

The Torture Store, local hardcore legends from Parkersburg brought the house down. This band carried a vintage understanding and passion for what hardcore truly is and this was apparent as their vocalist performed mostly betwixt the crowd as he screamed in the faces of the actively moving crowd. Bodies flew, arms swung and controlled chaos ensued. The heavy music was powerful and the emotion was contagious. A true feeling of inspiration was apparent as The Torture Store showed what hardcore shows are all about, a contagious feeling of power and acceptance, energy and passion, and love for music– inspiring this new wave of metal and hardcore to spread and revive itself as it has already begun.

Lastly, Jesse Smith and the Holy Ghost – the highly successful hard rock outfit from Parkersburg led by founding member of ZAO, Jesse Smith. He ended the night in showstopping fashion. The band rocked the rest of the night away with extremely talented walls of experienced guitarwork and classic drumming. A fitting way to end an incredible night.

The very description of each of these bands and the entire revival of this new wave of music is excitingly upon us as these words meet the paper. This event proved that hardcore music is still alive and well in the MOV.

More and more shows are being scheduled within our lovely region and other areas of Ohio and West Virginia and many of our local bands are reaching out beyond, to the bigger picture of music, and playing shows ever so passionately and consistently. Don’t ponder your options regarding shows – always go to a show you’re even remotely interested in. They are always housing the spiritual connection that brings people together so blissfully to the sound of music. Hardcore music, and all music, will always offer their shelter when you need people to connect with feelings, emotions and troubles to leave behind while you dance, stomp and mosh on.