Horror fiction meets doom sludge metal on stage

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by Maria Kouvarou (M.ouv)

A doom sludge metal band meets onstage a pioneer of horror fiction and American weird, known as one of the fathers of psychological thriller. We are talking here about the first metal theatrical play, that is taking place at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens, and which is directed by Georgia Andreou and is dressed with live music written and performed by Okwaho. I am writing this article with a hint of bitterness, since if I could be in Athens right now, I would definitely not have missed this.

The title of the play, which is in Greek, is "Parenticide Club"

Some of you are already smiling knowingly, recognising the title of the controversial, caustic short story collection by the American writer Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913), or "Bitter Bierce", as was called this writer who produced stories of violent satire in a dry prose ridden with doses of dark humour.

The play is a vertebrate anatomy of violence. A cult, grotesque, paranoid but solidly dark allegory about what can lead a person to evil (or to even worse). It is comprised by four stories, within which the heroes cite in a raw, cold irony and self-composure, how they killed their parents and other relatives, under conditions abominable. The director aims to orchestrate the cynicism. To dive, along with the anti-heroes within the subconscious of each and to examine, not the reasons behind Bierce's writing of such a work, but the ways in which we people keep relating with it. "Parenticide Club" is an awakening cry, as what we see unfolding before our eyes is not but the result of what has already been cultivated, what society has allowed to be created.

In a perfect marriage between literature, theatre and music, it is not surprising that the music investment of what takes place is done with doom sludge metal sounds, and, even more so, live from the stage, with original music from Okwaho. In this case, it is evident that this is not mere music investment, but the creation of "mood", and to an extent the symbolic "externalisation" of the internal processes that govern the protagonists during their atrocious actions, as well as the confession of these. As it is written on the relevant press release (translation mine), "the dark melodies and the wrathful notes of Okwaho shed light on the psyche of the heroes, frame the action and entrain the viewers in a suffocating dragnet".

Okwaho ("wolf" in the Mohican language) were created in 2013 in Athens. They create a mixture of doom, sludge and stoner, with sociopolitical and, occasionally, more personal lyrics. In March of 2018 their first, self-titled, album was released in a digital format, while in November it was released in an innovative and edgy hand-made packaging, made from... sandpaper. Somewhere between these two releases, they also offered their first video, for the song God of Gold. They make selective live appearances, and we are really looking forward to learn more about their contribution to the staging of "Parenticide Club".

Shows: 21, 28 February and & 7 March at 9pm, at Michael Cacoyannis Foundation. Appropriate for people older than 17 years old.

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