By Mitchell Brown, Reporter
The sound of amplified rage and distortion cut through the warm June night air like a chainsaw through a stick of butter. Stonecutters, a hard-hitting metal band from Louisville, Ken., brought their own brand of auditory annihilation to The Bay this past Saturday.
I decided to check out the show on a whim. It’s not like there’s usually much going on in Warrensburg, Mo. on a Saturday night in the summer, and what little I heard from these guys via the net, I liked.
Hearing only a few songs on the Stonecutters’ Facebook page didn’t compare to the awesome force of being up front at the show. Those who know me know my first and main musical love is punk rock, but I also listen to a wide spectrum of sounds, which does include metal, primarily old school thrash, Slayer, Venom, Motorhead, etc.
I was in amazement watching Stonecutters musically bring the hammer down. They were playing a powerful heavy metal hybrid. I was converted to a fan hearing “Sign of the Pentagram” live.
It’s a song that starts with a deep Black Sabbath-esque riff, and the tempo is then raised, with a seemingly anthemic feel.
So much was going on with the Stonecutters’ music, thicker than molasses dirge-like riffs, shredding leads, tempo changes in some parts to a more thrash influenced sound, accompanied with breakneck blast beats. These guys were musically all over the place, yet so sonically tight and cohesive with their sound.
After their set, I chatted with the two guitarists/vocalists of the band, Brian Omer and Nick Burks and they addressed their varied influences within the band.
Omer cited bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden as being fundamental influences, but other influences are part of their music as well.
“We like to change it up,” Burks noted. “It’s cool because we can play diverse bills. We can play with a death metal band or we can play with Nashville Pussy.”
“We played with GWAR in LA,” Omer said. “We’ll play anywhere, as long as people are interested.”
The band’s lyrical content is varied as well. While some songs deal with mythological, theological and horror influenced themes, other songs deal with personal struggle or strife.
“We’re really into horror, science-fiction, art in general,” Burks said.
Burks elaborated on the process of creating lyrics with a personal perspective. He said he likes using metaphor when crafting lyrics on personal topics because it leaves the meaning of the song up to the listener’s interpenetration.
Stonecutters’ face-melting performance at The Bay was not their first time at the venue. They’ve played there once before, on a rare Monday night show.
Both Burks and Omer commented on how more people came out to see them this time.
“This place (The Bay) is actually bigger than some of the places we’ve played in bigger cities,” Omer said with a chuckle
This performance marked the last date on Stonecutters’ “Pagan Warrior” tour, which saw the band doing a total of around 16 shows in the Midwest, South, East Coast and West Coast.
Omer said the audience turnouts were best in California. “Colorado was really fun,” Omer said. “None of it (the tour) was really bad.”
The band’s draw to Warrensburg came from being in contact with William Gleason, lead singer of Mercurial. Just as much as the band left an impression on me, The Bay and the local scene left a positive impression on Stonecutters. “Mercurial is awesome,” Burks said.
“We want to play in front of people who appreciate music,” Burks said. “We love touring.”