Posted in metal | music | pictures on February 8, 2012

words by Jamie Ludwig, photos by Carmelo Espanola

BV Chicago contributors Jamie Ludwig and Carmelo Espanola were on the scene in Chicago at Reggie's on 2/3 to take in the ongoing Slow Southern Steel/Hail! Hornet tour. The tour hits NYC at Europa TONIGHT (2/8) and tickets are still available. -BBG

Hail Hornet! @ Reggie's
Hail! Hornet

An enthusiastic crowd gathered at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago on Friday night (2/3) for a rare appearance of Southern metal super-group Hail! Hornet, with Atlanta psychedelic-sludge trio Zoroaster, and the Chicago premiere of the Slow Southern Steel, a documentary exploring the heaviest bands throughout the South [ED: it premiered in NYC last year].

Directed by Chris Terry (CT, front man for Little Rock, Arkansas-based Rwake) and David Lipke, and produced by Karim Kahn of I Am Better Than Everyone Records, Slow Southern Steel has been drawing attention among heavy music fans since production began in 2009. The devil horns that flew as the house lights went down and the opening credits started to roll seemed telling that many in the sizable audience had been awaiting the screening for quite some time.

Slow Southern Steel proved itself to be a smart, thoughtful film that sheds light on how regional culture and common experiences continue to shape art even in a time where the spread of technology and the homogenization / strip mall-ization of the American landscape can appear to render those factors invalid. Told exclusively through the musicians' perspectives and featuring interviews and concert footage from over 40 bands including Hank III, Kylesa, Eyehategod, Alabama Thunderpussy, Torche, Dark Castle, Sourvein, Music Hates You, and Weedeater, Slow Southern Steel is a testimony to the longevity, power, and rich diversity of sounds of an under-recognized genre. For the uninitiated, it provides an honest and compelling look into a music community where good riffs matter more than what you wear or how many records you've sold.

The film left the audience primed for a show, and thankfully the night was only just beginning. Zoroaster took to the stage in a haze of smoke and laser lights, visually matching the moody atmospherics of its dark, groove-laden metal. A slight muddiness that plagued the beginning the set was soon remedied, leaving guitarist/vocalist Will Fiore's winding, experimental guitar solos to soar over the rumble of Mike Morris' bass and Dan Scanlon's unwavering drum beat. The effect was heavy enough for the vibrations to resonate off the floor.

Hail! Hornet, comprised of vocalist T-Roy Medlin (Sourvein, Buzzov*en), drummer Erik Larson (Alabama Thunderpussy), guitarist Vince Burke (Beaten Back to Pure), and bassist / Slow Southern Steel narrator "Dixie" Dave Collins (also of Weedeater, Buzzov*en) capped off the night with a set of raunchy, fuel-guzzling metal. The same crowd that only an hour ago had sat so peacefully through a feature-length film combusted into a volatile pit, as if everything up to this point in the evening had just been foreplay before getting down to business.

Although this tour is Hail! Hornet's first as a unit, you wouldn't know it from watching. With the grace of a chainsaw the band barreled through songs from their second and latest record Disperse the Curse (Relapse) as well as a few tracks from their debut eponymous album. Chaos reigned as Medlin cooed from the stage, "I wanna see you fucking miserable in the morning." It's a guarantee that many of Friday's concertgoers weren't so chipper come Saturday, but it's doubtful that after such a celebratory night out anyone really cared.

The tour arrives in NYC tonight (2/8). More pictures from Chicago below...

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Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Zoroaster

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

Hail! Hornet

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Comments (21)

moar hillbillies

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 5:25 PM

Europa? I thought all the inbred shows were at Saint Vitus.

Hey Brooklyn sausages if you like this cracker shit so much, why don't you go ahead and migrate down south?

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 5:28 PM

Hillbilly sausage and that little boy smile
Hillbilly sausage in that slow southern style
A new religion that'll bring you to your knees
Hillbilly sausage if you please.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 6:28 PM

Smells like oxycontin and pork rinds.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 6:30 PM

Smells like oxycontin and pork rinds.

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 6:31 PM

"Hey Brooklyn sausages if you like this cracker shit so much, why don't you go ahead and migrate down south?"

Because the shows happen in Brooklyn?

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 7:12 PM

Now, that there gentlemenz, that there is a beer muscle

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 10:15 PM

barnyard animals

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 10:29 PM

http://www.ecretailer.com Apple mac books: $280- 520`Iphone 4S: $320

Posted by carychen | February 8, 2012 10:51 PM

I'm just gonna write anything here to get that SPAM faggot out of the "just posted" window

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 11:15 PM

livestock rock

Posted by Anonymous | February 8, 2012 11:48 PM

interpol broke up

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 1:11 AM

did i ever tell you that i like hairy fat dudes

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 2:27 AM

Sausage-Core

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 7:41 AM

Body by Budweiser

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 10:02 AM

so glad a bunch of you sausage belted hummus queens saw this film. now you have a bunch of songs you can rip off once you are done jerking it to Portlandia reruns.

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 1:24 PM

^ cool story, sausage-bro!

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 1:33 PM

^ no problem. wanna borrow my mom's scarf and take pictures of each other's hogs? i got a Holga. bring the Cummas, i got the sasuage

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 3:19 PM

The guitarist from Hail Hornet looks like the My Cats from Hell guy.
Just sayin'..

Posted by Anonymous | February 9, 2012 7:38 PM

this is straight up wicked

Posted by jordon | August 6, 2013 3:17 PM

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