As it often goes with punk and metal, some of the best bands call it quits with only a demo or EP to their name. Such is the case for local heathens Deadmen, who are losing their drummer Patrick Driscoll to Portland, Oregon. Their final release, “Possession Of The Void,” was recently released online and in 7” form.
I was lucky enough to see Deadmen’s last show in my basement on July 31. Unfortunately for Casa Del Kotex, and Indianapolis, we haven’t had central air all summer. Well, there’s one room in the house blocked off from the other rooms with a bed sheet, where one fan and one window unit create a room-sized icebox. Everywhere else in the house feels like a sauna. Combine those conditions with the body heat of a crowd packed in one area, and you’ve got our lovely little venue.
Deadmen at Casa Del Kotex back in 2009
Relentless heat aside, quite a few people stuck around to witness Deadmen’s final hour. Occasionally someone would walk outside panting. It was almost like hell was rising up through the basement floor.
Opening for Deadmen were Red Shadows (with Driscoll again on drums) and What Lurks. Red Shadows play driving hardcore with dark, melodic undertones. What Lurks wasn’t what I had expected at all and I regret not checking them out sooner. Their sound is passionate and reminiscent of bands like Propaghandi. Download What Lurks' demo here!: http://www.mediafire.com/?dqu3gsdi4gu2w4n.
Photo: M. Rippy
Deadmen adhere to a metal-inflected school of nihilism. Life is short, life is shit, and then—you die. The cover of their 7” proudly displays not only a church on fire but a prominent, skeletal middle finger. It's an anguished record.
Deadmen's “The Coming” sounds like a cry for the damned:
“Cleansing in the fire flood
Curse us down until it's done
Worship not the rotten ghost
While walking with the hooded one”
It’s as though one hand is still making its way through a fresh grave while the other clasps a dirty microphone to capture every sneer and growl. Their sound reminds me of Celtic Frost, with a hard punk edge.
Many of the members of Deadmen played or continue to play in other projects - Demiricous, Lair of the Minotaur, Whiskeytits, Suicide Note, Salvation, Angelville, Coffinworm, The Dream Is Dead, and The Retreads. Indy has lost another solid metal outfit, but I doubt the rest of these guys are disappearing anytime soon.
You can pick up a physical copy of "Possession" at Vibes Music, or download through their blog: http://deadmencomesripping.blogspot.com/