Gig Seeker Pro


Grayson, Kentucky, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Grayson, Kentucky, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Metal Death Metal




"Carter County Metal"

They don't even call it "Heavy Metal" anymore.
As an old man who was around as this music began, that makes me a little bit angry but the truth is the rock music now known simply as "Metal" has evolved in ways we never could have imagined when those in my crowd were banging their heads.

The word simple, however, can't actually be applied to the Metal music of the past couple of decades. In the days of "Heavy" Metal we surely had a few extra categories including "Death Metal" as well as a somewhat forgotten category called "Thrash" Metal.

Now, there are so many Metal genres and subgenres it would be tough to fit them all on a single list.

This is suddenly important to me because I have somehow gotten myself eyeball deep into assisting with the nuts and bolts of the Carter County Metal show, November 2, 2019 in Grayson, Kentucky.

With four bands taking their turns on the Grayson Gallery & Art Center stage, we will have "Chaotic Hardcore," as well as "Melodic Death Metal" and "Melodic Deathcore" with a slab of "Math Rock" to kick things off.

Of course, that was only the way one of the lineup's drummers described our bands. A vocalist in another band said we will actually have "Deathcore, Metalcore and Hardcore" represented, as he considered the band described as Math Rock to be "just Deathcore".

I'm not sure when I disentangled from the world of Metal, although I suspect it was when "grunge" music largely replaced the entirety of what is now called "Hair Metal" - which is a reference to the hairstyles of the often made-for-MTV-video bands like Poison (who none of us real metalheads considered to be "really metal" at the time).

A few bands of that era, notably Metallica, managed to find their way to high volumes in my home and car in the post-grunge days, but I have not sought out or even listened to much of anything recorded this century. As a result, I have been left behind by the music I once loved and it has moved on without me. To cite a Led Zep song, that's nobody's fault but mine.

This all hit me "like a two-ton heavy thing" (thank you Queensryche) as I snuck into a local home Friday evening to photograph members of the band Not One Is Upright.

Not One Is Upright
The band, rehearsing in a tiny bedroom at the back of the house, left the door unlocked for me. I stood in the hallway and checked them out for a few minutes before letting them know I was there. The vocalist was using a closed system with headphones, so the guitars, bass and drums were all I could hear.

Within a few beats I was standing there saying "Whoooooa, this is really good stuff," as they polished through a series of impossible timing changes on a madly aggressive song. Credit where due, those guys demonstrated a level of timing and overall "heavy" which I haven't heard in a long time, and it hit me right where it counts.

And they did that with about two cubic feet of space each in that little room. Imagine what they will do with an entire stage at their disposal.

I also got to hear a little bit of the new album recently recorded by our headlining band, WhatDrivesTheWeak, and had the same reaction.

It would seem, for me at least, the appeal of hard, fast and somewhat furious music has not entirely faded away with the color of my hair.

Call it what you want, there will be a heavy batch of Metal performed as part of Carter County Metal in Grayson on November 2, 2019. If you want to familiarize yourself with the lineup, start with a search for our opening band, Trash Pageant, and then check out Left To The Wolves.

Our two main bands, Not One Is Upright and What Drives The Weak, were going to flip a coin to decide the "headline" band, but instead agreed to have WhatDrivesTheWeak take the final set because they have a new album and a longer set list.

This show will be provided free of charge to the audience, and it would not have happened without a few other "old folks" who did not hesitate to approve the proposal to host the event at Grayson Gallery & Art Center.

Recognizing this is something for a crowd of mostly younger people who we don't normally consider in our plans, members of the art gallery board essentially asked "How do we pay for it?" and voted unanimously to approve the show.

Jim Wolford, owner of Broken Drum Records, helped with the finances by stepping up and pulling cash out of his own pocket to support the cause.

With his shop in the lower level of the Antiques N' Uniques building set to re-open in the weeks ahead, Wolford has a lot of work to do and his support deserves an extra salute. It doesn't hurt that Jim is also a hardcore metalhead from way back and likes the idea of more rock and roll in Carter County!

Donations to the gallery will be accepted and appreciated, although I will personally be just as happy to see people buy T-shirts and other merchandise offered by the bands. - Tim Preston

"Carter County Metal"

Carter County Metal: Hardcore Fans Set Possible Attendance Record (more than 40 photos)

Fans of hard and heavy sounds fueled by growling vocals, aggressive guitars and thunderous drums traveled to Carter County for the first Carter County Metal event at Grayson Gallery & Art Center, November 2, 2019.

The event, which was free to the public, attracted music fans from across Kentucky, as well as Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida. As the bands loaded their gear into the gallery, the event received a nod of approval from vocalist Chris Ward, who once fronted several eastern Kentucky heavy metal bands.
The show began with an aerial cirque-style performance by "Katie of The Cosmadolls" who amazed onlookers while suspended from the art gallery's ceiling.

Metal music followed in a furious onslaught started off by three-piece band Trash Pageant, Portsmouth, Ohio and then Left To The Wolves, of Lexington.

The show continued, before building to climax and finale with incredible performances by Not One Is Upright as well as WhatDrivesTheWeak, both based in Carter County.

Each band offered a different approach to the music widely known as "Metal", although audience members sometimes debated the proper categories. Most seemed to agree the first Carter County Metal show provided a combination of "hardcore" and "death metal", allowing veteran Metal enthusiast Scott Parsons, to make an observation.

"For me it comes down to the vocals to say what kind of metal it is," said Parsons, who traveled from Prichard, West Virginia and arrived just in time to catch the headline performance by What Drives The Weak.

Jim Wolford of Grayson's Broken Drum Records was presented with a CD autographed by every member of the Lexington-based band Left To The Wolves, in appreciation of his shop's support of the evening's performances.

In addition to the space, Grayson Gallery & Art Center provided cold soft drinks, hot pizza and other refreshments for the evening's guests. An accurate attendance record could not be verified as gallery volunteers ran out of sign-sheets after visitors filled all available copies, although officials estimated the evening's audience was likely at or near record attendance.

Many visitors also enjoyed a chance to climb onto one of the gallery's collection of lighted adult-size trikes and bicycles to pedal around the area as the music echoed through the open door of the former fire department building which now houses the art gallery's events. - Tim Preston


Iniquities (2012)

Lightbringer (2020)

Order of Exile (2021)



WhatDrivesTheWeak is a deathcore band from Eastern Kentucky. Formed in 2008, they released their first full length album “Iniquities” in 2012 then disbanded in 2013. In 2017 the band reformed and came back in full force. After going through a few member changes, the band changed to more of a Melodic Deathcore sound, with some pure Death Metal influence thrown in for good measure. With Chris Whited (Bodysnatcher/King Conquer/1776 Recordings) at the helm, in September 2019 the band went into production for their second full-length album, Lightbringer. The album was released worldwide on March 13th, 2020. During the COVID-19 Nationwide shutdown, the band was forced to cancel all upcoming shows and appearances. Instead of growing stagnant, the band decided to forge ahead and begin writing a new EP, scheduled for release in 2022. For the new “Order of Exile” ep, WhatDrivesTheWeak was once again produced by Chris Whited, and they are looking forward to sharing more new music with all their fans as soon as possible. Stay tuned to the official WDTW social media channels for updates, teasers, clips, memes and more.

Band Members