The world still hasnâ’t ended and Sadville keeps going
by Kevin Crowe
Fast and, at times, mordantly beautiful, Sadville is drum-driven, heavier-than-thou sludge, a thickening noise thatâ’s as unpredictable as it is brutal. And for the past five years, this quintet has been unleashing tumultuous, foreboding metal. â“The Forbidden Dance of Decay,â” which may go down as one of the most absurdly kick-ass song titles in the history of Knoxvilleâ’s extreme music scene, is a masterwork of the erratic Sadville aesthetic. Itâ’s loud. Itâ’s fast. The devil-throat vocals focus on murder, love, and lycanthropy.
Front man Travis Flatt screamed us all towards Valhalla at the 6-6-6 Festival in Cookeville on June 6, 2006. But the world didnâ’t come to an end as Sadville played into the night with dreary, propulsive chugs. More than a year later, thus sayeth Nostradamus:
â“The year of the great seventh number passed
An apparition at a time of ritual sacrifice
Not far from the age of the millennium
When the buried go out from their tombsâ”
But right now, Andy Kohler (drums), Blan Williams (guitar), and Flatt (growls and snarls) are watching an episode of ER with the sound turned off. â“Hey, thatâ’s that chick from Arrested Development,â” Flatt says. â“She looks a lot pudgier.â”
The clock above the television reads a little after 10. But it isnâ’t working. The batteries are dead. On the wall, a general biology poster describes the rudimentary steps one should follow when dissecting a worm. The house is cozy. There arenâ’t beer cans strewn about at haphazard. A nicely carved jack-o-lantern glows on the front porch.
â“Heâ’s real busy with some shit,â” Travis says of his twin brother, Lucas Flatt, who teaches at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville when heâ’s not slinging his guitar as a part of Sadville. Williams, meanwhile, talks about Chairman Meow, a young kitten that has been living in the neighborhood. There isnâ’t much doom and gloom at the moment.
After Sadville signed to Brooklynâ’s Inkblot Records last year, they headed to Columbia, S.C., to record in Jay Mathesonâ’s Jam Room. â“This extremely bad-ass record right here was recorded at the Jam Room,â” Kohler says before playing Damadâ’s Burning Cold. â“It was a collaboration between Jay and Billy Anderson. Billyâ’s the dude that recorded all of Sleep and Neurosis and every other extremely bad-ass heavy band. That dude has his own studio in California that he does all of his recording in, but he came to the Jam Room to record that shit with Jay.â”
Travis adds: â“Jay is a wizard.â”
Their first album with Inkblot, Make Ready the Cross, was finished at the beginning of the year. Itâ’s a monolithic album, recorded in just 10 hours. It almost captures the ferocity of seeing Sadville live, including â“The Forbidden Dance of Decay.â” Since then theyâ’ve recorded their side of a 7-inch split that, when completed, will pair them up with Bay Area hardcore outfit Acts of Sedition.
â“The best part of a 7-inch split is that half of the work is done,â” Williams says. â“Half of the people who are going to buy it are going to buy it for the other band.â”
â“We just have to mail in the lyrics, a picture of our goofy asses,â” Kohler says. â“And I guess I was going to mail our new logo. Then I guess weâ’re done.â”
â“There are parts that I wrote just before we did the vocals,â” says Travis, trying to decipher some of his lyrics. â“I guess Iâ’ll have to relearn them.â”
Both of the Flatt brothers have been heavily involved in local theater, an unexpected artistic outlet for a couple of metalheads. Most of Travisâ’ acting chops have been fine tuned at the Black Box Theatre with the Actorsâ’ Co-op. He recently played a witchfinder in Caryl Churchillâ’s Vinegar Tom. And from Nov. 23 through Dec. 3, heâ’ll be onstage at the Bijou for a production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
â“Typical childrenâ’s theater, but still, itâ’s fun,â” Travis says. The guys are listening to an unmastered copy of their latest recording. A voice screams, â“God is dead! Satan lives!â” Itâ’s all theater.
Who: Sadville with Lioplurodon
Where: Pilot Light
When: Friday, Nov. 9, 10 p.m.
How Much: $5
All content © 2007 Metropulse .