I Need Holy Water -The Hangman’s Ball Ottawa 1992

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There were a lot of doubters when I initially talked about organizing and sponsoring a Death Metal music extravaganza in June of 1992. Most said, “You call this torrent of violence music?” There was definitely a burgeoning Death Metal scene in Ottawa in the early 90’s, and some overheard in-store conversations wondered if it had anything to do with Satan. After I heard the Satanic comment one too many times I told one customer,

“Of course it is Satanic! I’ve already killed 8 people, using nothing but a wooden spoon and a jar of peanut butter, inverted 2 rabbits, maimed a cow, and glued a litter of kittens to the sidewalk.”

After getting the final word that it would be a failure from Ottawa music icon Shawn Scallen, I set out to prove him wrong. The bands and I began having meetings in the basement of the store. For metal heads, these guys were clever, hardworking, and really stood by their local music scene.

While most people associate Death Metal Music with a bunch of guys screaming, and creating random noise, there’s a multitude of reasons why Death Metal is loved by some. There are melodies, patterns, and complexities to be realized and appreciated, if enough time is spent soaking it all in. It takes practice and dedication, which challenges the stereotype of metal heads being lazy and careless. If you think it’s just a bunch of noise, and you call yourself a guitarist, download a tablature of just about any Vital Remains song and try to keep up.

Ever wondered what Cannibal Corpse’s ‘Frantic Disembowelment’ sounds like played on a Ukulele? Well, you most certainly would not have found out that night. The show started at 8 pm at Off Limits in the Byward Market. At 4 pm we found ourselves cleaning up the bar that had not been touched since the day before. At 7 pm the doors opened, and there stood a line up outside the door.

It was an all ages event, with booze served to those over 19. The hands of kids barely 4.5 feet tall were stamped as they carefully paid for their ticket in change. It was going to be a sell out. Shawn came in and shook my hand, and was amazed so many of Satan’s minions would turn up for such an event. Personally, I was worried about the aftermath of the concert. Would these kids need to go torch a church, or drink some goat blood or something?

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music, and not for everyone. It typically employs heavily distorted and low tuned guitars, played with techniques such as: palm muting, tremolo picking, and aggressive, powerful drumming– featuring double kick or blast beat techniques. I swear the ‘harmonies’ of these bands kill me every time. It’s an iconic harsh style of singing. Low and grumbly screaming, and the word “Die” is used frequently. Those who claim that the vocalists are talentless however, are utterly moronic in their comments. Obviously, they haven’t tried reaching the guttural lows and shrieking highs that the experienced metal vocalist is capable of.

Sometimes, when riffs got way too fast that night, I was worried that some of the smaller patrons would screw their ‘little horns” up banging their heads around in the mosh pit. But then, there was that occasional “bass face” the minions made when they heard a good drop in a song melody that just put everything into perspective.

Set changes that night sometimes took over 30 minutes between bands, as none of the enormous drum kits had what I call ‘little man syndrome’. Considering how mechanical and over-triggered a lot of extreme metal drumming has become I would also like to point out: while Deathcore uses breakdowns, which is rare in Death Metal, Death Metal talks smack about the high-hat and playing snare as fast as possible.

Death metal to this day is still non-mainstream. It’s musicians have to work incredibly hard for their career sales to reach even a million copies (which very few death metal musicians have actually done). But, I must admit that after hearing all those bands for hours that night I had to smile at a young future music critic:

“You think Satan would be like, “Okay, yes, that is brutal, soul-destroying, Christ-crushing music, but, dude…yougotsta stay in key!”

Without music, of any kind, life would be a mistake. Rock on!

Linda Seccaspina-2015

Dedicated to Andrew, Adrian and Blair

Chapter in my 6th book called: Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac – out this summer.

aflashdd

The 1st and only Hangman’s Ball – June 27, 1992.

Sponsored by: Ace Magazine, Flash Cadilac, CKCU, and Record Runner

Bands:

Gorguts- still rockin’ on

Gorguts is a technical death metal band from Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. The band was formed in 1989; it’s only constant member has been Luc Lemay. One of the best technical death metal bands on the earth!

Zealous Witness –1990 –1996

Based in Clayton ON

Technical Thrash Metal

Last label:Unsigned/independent

Macifecation-1991-1993

Macifecation was a death metal band from Ontario, Canada that formed in 1991. Shrine of the Mortalities, their only release, was released in 1992. Singer died in car crash in 1994.

Location:

Ingersoll, Ontario

Status:Split-up

Formed in:1991

Genre:Death Metal/Grindcore

Last label:Unsigned/independent

Red Nails

Location:Ottawa, Ontario

Status:Split-up

Formed in:1991

Genre:Thrash Metal

Lyrical themes:N/A

Last label:Unsigned/independent

Years active:1991-

Mutiny of a Small Group of Lemmings

Distemper

From Ottawa, Ontario

No other information.

Midevil-1988-?

Other release:

Live Shows (VHS Video) – 1990
Sarkasm

1990 (as Traumatism), 1990 (as Sarcasm), 1990-?, 2012-present

Originally formed in July ’90 under the moniker Traumatism. Most recently reunited in 2012.

Put out a comp in 2012

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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