Thursday 26 September 2019

An American Werewolf in Manchester - Ice Nine Kills

Funny how things work out, isn't it? One day, on a long car trip, probably to some dam on some lake near snake pass in the peak district, the wife and I had some random metal Spotify playlist on. One random track on this random playlist came from a band called Ice Nine Kills. After a little chuckle at how random the name of the band playing this random song from the random playlist was, we listened to the song. "The American Nightmare" was the song, and good lord, it kicked ass!

After a few days, we listened to this band again, this time they were singing a ridiculously catchy song about Crystal Lake. "Isn't that where Jason Vorhees killed a bunch of teenagers?" One of us asked the other.

After a few more days and weeks, we found ourselves getting obsessed with this album from Ice Nine Kills. "The Silver Scream" is the band's fifth album, and every song on the (heavy as fuck) album is inspired by a different horror film. Fantastic!!! 

After a little look on Google, we found out that Ice Nine is a chemical compound from a sci-fi novel, that when a single drop touches water, it turns it to ice. Ice Nine, does indeed, Kill. But, more importantly, on this Google search we discovered that Ice Nine Kills were playing very soon, very close. We obviously bought tickets. Funny how things work out, isn't it?

That gig was on Wednesday. In Manchester's Club Academy. The support came from a lively bunch of young lads from Yorkshire called Values, they were endearing and engaging and heavy enough to warm this already sweltering room up for the main event.

Before the band came on, the usual backing track of AC\DC and Rage songs were replaced by orchestral horror movie scores. That was until the crowd unexpectedly broke into a tuneful rendition of "that" Smash Mouth song. Not sure why, but it was wonderful.

The band burst on a stage decorated with red balloons and chainsaws and pounded into that very song we fell in love with, "The American Nightmare" was every bit as bad-ass live as it was that first time we heard it. Every member of the band wearing a costume inspired by the songs from the album. Singer Spencer Charnas conducting the crowd with a series of masks and props, and his unsettling body language cut the figure of the very slasher villains he was singing about.

The whole gig was a balls to the wall metal fest and a celebration of all things horror, a great way to get everyone in the mood for Halloween next month.

Notable highlights from the set were, Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired 'Savages' which had the whole room jumping and moshing and singing along, and the song they closed with, inspired by Pennywise the Dancing Clown 'IT is The End', which had the frontman, donned in a creepy clown mask ensuring the basement venue that "We all float down here".

It's been ages since I had so much fun! This is a great band and certainly one to keep an eye out for, especially if you're into this new generation of Metalcore bands. For fans of While She Sleeps, In Flames and the mighty Parkway Drive, these guys make a lot of noise, and are doing something a bit different. It's unique, it's fun, it's clever and I reckon it's just the beginning of the golden age of the Silver Scream.

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