I’ve seen Exhorder many times, but there was something so interesting about this show. This concert was a tribute to their own record Slaughter in the Vatican, released in 1990, and this show was a history lesson about the making of the record and the early days of Exhorder. So pull out your pen and notebook, and write down your lesson for the day.
Sporting a Deuce McAllister jersey, vocalist Kyle Thomas positioned himself center stage and grabbed the mic with both hands. He held it directly in front of his face and closed his eyes, pouring his soul out of his body through his voice and into the instrument. The band of four ran through the bangers that were featured on the album: “Death in Vain,” “Legions of Death.” “Desecrator,” and their self-titled song “Exhorder.”
Between songs, Kyle took the opportunity to incorporate the band’s long, storied history into the entertainment. He told about pivotal moments in the band’s history to the crowd, some of whom were there when it happened and some of whom were not yet born. One story that Kyle told was about how Exhorder formed when a punk kid liked metal and a metal kid liked punk. They got together through tape trading and started jamming. When they were finally ready to play a show, they went to the metal community who refused to put Exhorder on a gig because “they were too ugly and they didn’t wear Spandex.” Exhorder went to the punk community, and they were welcomed. Kyle never forgot that.
The next story involved a neighbor boy who introduced a third-grader Kyle to the tragic writer Edgar Allen Poe. Young Kyle was so taken with the dark, dreary stories of The Divine Edgar that he felt inspired to write a song about the man and his makings. Kyle wrote the song “The Tragic Period” for Edgar.
In addition to diatribes about the band, Kyle also took the opportunity to give shout outs to our recently fallen friends in music. He pointed out that guitarist Marzi Montazeri was wearing a Hollise Murphy shirt. The late, great Hollise was the vocalist of Fat Stupid Ugly People, a long-running band in the New Orleans metal and punk scene. Kyle also commended Reed Mullin of Corrosion of Conformity for lending to Exhorder’s storyline. “There would be no Exhorder without Reed,” Kyle proclaimed.
Exhorder closed their storybook at the end of the show. It was so much fun revisiting this important time in the band’s life, but a new story is ready to begin.