- Brian Mahar
Exuberant turmoil littered the crowded floor of the Orpheum in Tampa earlier this month for the Scion Rock Fest, an annual, one-day extreme metal and hardcore all-you-can-hear buffet. The culprits responsible for the pandemonium were St. Petersburg metal grind quartet Flyingsnakes, one of three West Florida bands invited, who kick-started the festivities with visceral authority. Each brandished hybrid sludge-grind artillery that invoked a skintight, communal head-bob-and-shove among their onlookers. Sweat-encrusted guitarist-vocalist Cletis Chatterton says that despite his band's potential stylistic conflict with the thrash-heavy lineup, he was delighted by the reception.
"I wasn't expecting that, with us opening the Exodus show. We're a quite different breed than the rest of the metal that was going down," Chatterton says. "It really whipped us into shape."
Chatterton cites Deviated Instinct, Stormcrow, Instinct of Survival "and lots of grindcore" as his go-to muses, qualifying that Flyingsnakes collectively attribute their nightmarish style to "not knowing what we want to sound like, but rather [knowing] exactly what we don't want to sound like."
Although Flyingsnakes have been together since 2005, Chatterton says they've never been tighter.
"Back in April, we moved into a new practice space and it makes a great deal of difference," he says. "We're practicing three nights a week and really focusing on what it is to write and play a crushing, seamless set."
This week's area show concludes an intensive month of North American touring for the group on the strength of their recent 7-inch split with Massachusetts trio the Proselyte, which Chatterton hopes will ready them for their
"We are tighter than ever and hitting the road with phasers set to bludgeon," he says. "I would imagine when we get back it'll be time to record a new album. Love it or hate it, Flyingsnakes is its own monster."
Flyingsnakes with Infinite Earths, Hyimn, Servants of the Mist
9 p.m. Friday, June 29
The Peacock Room,