Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An Occulted History of The Haunted (at least concerning its touring history in Austin)

The Haunted
One Kill Wonder

One of the fringe benefits of living in Austin is the ability to absorb tons of supernatural/conspiracy talk radio shows; which I've been listening to copiously. I've even been on Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis twice within the last two weeks. All of this tin-foil-hat talk has left me contemplating the natural order of the world.

We, as the human race, may be better off if we shift our thinking to a four-dimensional frame of mind. The best way I can describe that is comparing it to the way that Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen sees the world. He sees the entire existence of a person or an object from origin to extinction like those "evolution of man" timelines. We live in neither a linear nor temporary existence. All matter in the universe that will ever exist already does and it floats for eternity waiting to be reshaped and reformed time and time again.

I had a curious experience that echoes my hypothesis of humanity as bouncing atoms seeking harmony, and it stars Swedish death/thrash legends The Haunted. In the Spring of 2001, I saw a show at the old Backroom club on Riverside Drive that was one of those "Can you believe these guys all toured together?" experiences. It was called The Spring Neck Break Tour with Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir, The Haunted, and Lamb of God. Yep, that happened once and it was awesome.

Flash forward to 2003 and, this time, I get to see The Haunted headline the big room at the old Emo's with Bleeding Through, Shai Hulud, and Kataklysm opening. There was a huge crowd and a good time was had by all.

Then, over the course of the next decade, the atoms start bouncing. In 2004, The Haunted's rad singer left the band and its original ding-dong singer came back. Also in 2004, it appeared for a moment that Bleeding Through may win the Great Metalcore Sweepstakes of The Stars but, as we all know now, Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage ended up winning that war. Bleeding Through limped along and is playing its final tour this year.

The Backroom shuts down in 2006 and lies dormant for years. Austin enters boom-times unseen since The Great Tech Bubble. The Eastside gets gentrified. The East Riverside Corridor follows suit. The old Emo's on Sixth Street closes in the winter of 2011 but not before concocting an escape plan. The club's then-owner Frank Hendrix reportedly sank two million dollars into remodeling the old Backroom into, tah-dah, Emo's East a.k.a. the new Emo's.

...And, finally, The Haunted's rad singer Marco Aro returns to the band.

So, what did any of this have to do with the occult? Nothing really. This is the sort of area where your brain leads you when it's fed a steady diet of numerology, feng shui, reptilians, microwave weapons, crop circles, and endless CIA dirty tricks. Still, this shell-game of old Austin metal venues can't be a coincidence, can it? Either way, the music rules.


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