Playing METAL to help give kids a great Christmas

     When you think about helping the children at Christmas time, aggressive music might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but that was not the case this Saturday night (12/7/13) at The Hideout in Omaha. This was Horncrowned Productions Presents: Toys for Tots Christmas Brutality show. This event was a fundraiser for the Toys for Tots program, and all proceeds went to the charity. People brought toys to donate and there were also raffles of cool local band merch and donated prizes from local businesses.

The event was also supported by the Nebraska Death Militia, and served as their Christmas party. It’s great when the DM supports shows because they always bring a great crowd and Saturday night was no exception. Hard partying, good friends, and brutal music was the order of the evening.

First on the line up was Norfolk’s The Blood of War delivering a super tight set of their brand of crushing metal. My favorite way to enjoy TBOW is about three­quarters drunk in the mosh pit, head banging and moshing as the power of The Blood of War fills the room. Super downtuned headbanging riffs mixed in with breakdowns and straight­ahead rocking parts are what you are going to get from TBOW.

Second on The Hideout stage was Dire Gnosis from Omaha. This four­piece has a slightly different lineup than most bands you see at a metal show with two guitars, bass, two keyboards and a laptop on stage. Electronic drum beats accompanied by big distorted guitar (and bass!) chords and spacey synth sounds, and a cool light show that the guys bring in themselves, make for an interesting set. There were even some vocoder sounds that were used for both an atmospheric effect and to accompany the strained, hardcore punk­style yelling vocals.

Primal Waters was up next with their set of galloping NWOBHM­ influenced metal. Check out a quick review of them from the 2nd Annual SinFest here. Also check out PW on’s own Crank it up Radio!

After Primal Waters was the almighty DeadEchoes. If you have not had a chance to catch one of DeadEchoes sets, you are missing out. As far as this metalhead is concerned, DeadEchoes is hands­down the best metal band in Nebraska. Mind­melting riffs played at seemingly impossible tempos is DeadEchoes signature. These guys cover a Behemoth tune at a lot of shows, to give you an idea of the speed, brutality, and power that comes off the stage when DE is on it. As always, an insanely tight set dropped jaws and banged heads!

The last band of the evening was Blessed are the Merciless from Omaha. These guys play a breakdown­filled style of hardcore that is usually played to a room full of flat brimmed hats and skinny jeans. They describe their music as “Songs and lyrical content consisting of revenge, self empowerment, and all out chaos” on their Facebook.

It was a great night of brutal music! A big thanks to Horncrowned Productions, The Hideout and the NEDM for putting on an awesome show.

Get out and pay some cover charges, f***ers!