The historic Haltom City theater is back, thanks to Chaz Buchanan and his team.
The theater is looking great. Chaz has kept a lot of the old structure, while adding modern touches and improvements. Two full bars, a full service kitchen, and the venue space is very large. Due to a lot of unforeseen circumstances, the start time was pushed back from 2 pm until 4 pm. Tower High kicked off Hellfest with a burst of energy to start the crowds day, followed up by Oklahoma natives She, The Serpent. They have a male and female vocalist, which I feel brings a great dynamic to the music they produce. Local favorites Cutthroat Conspiracy started around 5:45 and kept the energy moving even with technical difficulties delaying the set a little.
The crowd started to fill in and the costumes became more intricate. It was a mixed bunch of ages and all the crazy looks came out to play. Up next on the bill was Mile Zero, who kept the aggressiveness high and set the stage for Brazos River Outlaws to send us onward into the evening and the second half of the set list. Beneath A Dying Sun was a highlight of the night. These dude’s absolutely rip. I honestly can’t say how I’ve never heard of them before, but I am certainly a fan now. They also had super reasonable merch and music pricing. I was thoroughly bummed that their set was cut short due to the night some how running almost an hour behind schedule. The long time running Horror Cult assaulted out ear drums next. With the fest being Halloween themed, they brought a solid look to the stage with all member dressed as something. The drummer was Captain Spaulding, which is one of my favorite characters (Rest in peace Sid Haig).
The final three bands of the night started with Hell’s Half Acre, who came dressed to the nines with horror film ensembles and pushed us into a heavier market. Kill For Mother really go the bodies moving and opened up the first good sized pit of the night. I do feel like they needed to remove some of the chairs they had on the floor to make more standing room. The front area is limited and could possibly lead to injury. These guys are heavy and very in your face. The band the whole night was leading up to was Within Chaos, who play extremely few shows. They’ve been around for quite some time and have a solid following, who certainly showed up that evening. Bodies started piling forward and it became difficult to maneuver throughout. A heavy way to end a heavy day. Thank you to the Haltom City theater staff for making the day a good time and answering all the questions I had. I had a great time and look forward to next years Hellfest.
– Brently Kirksey
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