Necrogazm frontman Travis ‘Wulf’ Boyd (front, left): ‘I’ve been at this since I was 16, and I just have to keep believing that things will happen.’
Sat w/Grain, Fist Full of War, The Destro, By Any Means Necessary, The Aftermath, Negative 263, When Faith Fails, Vodnik, Derision, and Vitality at Ridglea Theater, 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. 817-738-9500.
After several line-up changes and the death of a lead singer, Necrogazm returns with a new record and new outlook.
By JUSTIN PRESS
If there’s one thing you gotta love about head-bangers and professional wrestlers, it’s their sweetly sincere bluster.
“Let it be known that we are a true metal band!” said Travis “Wulf” Boyd, guitarist and remaining original member of the eight-year-old Fort Worth-based “true metal band” Necrogazm. Having been through their share of ups and downs, including the death of original vocalist Kenny Enos a couple of years ago, Boyd and the rest of the band have spent the past few months orchestrating a resurrection of sorts. The plan hinges on a forthcoming name change and the release of a new full-length, What Doesn’t Kill You, that’s been a long time coming. Both will be unveiled this Saturday at the Ridglea Theater, where Necrogazm headlines an all-day metalfest beginning in the early afternoon.
Like most admittedly “true” metal bands, the guys in Necrogazm were raised on Slayer, Megadeth, and Metallica, in addition to local legends Pantera. Necrogazm’s music represents the best of its influences — it’s alternately chaotic and painstakingly in sync while also groove-laden and not afraid to embrace strong melodies. While Wulf admits that he and his bandmates are “from that school of metal where the solos are still there, and it’s just as heavy as it gets,” he also believes they incorporate newer, rougher-edged motifs, resulting in an ultimately uncategorizable signature sound. He more closely aligns the band with Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage than with anything even partially cacophonous. “We want to get as heavy as possible without crossing over into death metal,” he said. “Then it just gets boring.”
What Doesn’t Kill You is a pretty honest reflection of the band’s heavy-yet-melodic handiwork. There’s a little bit of something for everybody. Old-schoolers will gravitate toward the dual-guitar action (Boyd and Jason Huggett) and vocalist Danny Reid’s surprisingly expansive range, from guttural and scratchy to airy and steady. Newbies will dig the bulldozing rhythm section of drummer Travis Denham and bassist Jim Taylor. They’re as tight and light as any multi-platinum metal act’s bass-and-drums backing.
The goal, Wulf said, is to transcend regional audiences, both to keep making music and to “let it be known that [Fort Worth-Dallas] is a true place for metal.” Hence, the name change. “We came up with Necrogazm when we were 16 years old,” Wulf said. “We are not those people anymore.”
The guys in Necrogazm, indeed, are a little older — they all have decent day jobs, even though, Wulf said, he and his band mates would trade the 9-to-5 routine in a second to be able to write, record, and perform full-time. Several nationally distributed labels, Wulf said, are showing some interest in the new record. “I’ve been at this since I was 16, and I just have to keep believing that things will happen,” he said. “I am living a dream, and a job is not about to get in the way of the music we’re making.”
Wulf’s almost child-like enthusiasm, he admits, is probably what has kept the band together so long. In some cases, especially after Eno’s death, Wulf kept the project going almost by sheer force of will alone. His inspiration? “There is no better feeling than looking out on a crowd and a sea of horned hands are out there just kicking ass and getting brutal,” he said. “The kids here are the best. They want kick-ass music and bands that will interact with them. They stay fans.”
Kinda like the guys in Necrogazm themselves.
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