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Wounded Soul - Kill The Pig Festival

Wounded Soul - Live Outside Venue

April 10th, 2010 - Lumber Bridge, North Carolina

Well, I guess you really had to be there to understand. This wasn’t the Metal Female Voices Festival  in Wieze Belgium, it wasn’t Nightwish in Finland playing to 15,001, it wasn’t Epica playing at a sold out location in South America. What it was was a pig roast, way out in the woods, with some pretty good music. Especially the band we’re focusing on here, Wounded Soul, a local band from the Research Triangle area in central North Carolina.

Wounded Soul - Kill the Pig Festival

We’d gotten a communication from guitar player Carlos Ameri some time ago and hadn’t gotten back. Well, John sends it to me being as we’re kinda like neighbors and I give them a listen. They feature a solid female vocal over a strong metal background so I says, "What the heck, why not" and whip out an e-mail to Carlos. He responds with a communication talking about the event being discussed here and I’m thinking, "In the woods, BBQ North Carolina style, beer, good music, relatively warm, why not?" So, that week, I put a new tire on the Beemer and me and good friend V-Rod George head off on the bikes to see what’s going on. And going on it was, the locale was someone’s rather large back yard, complete with outhouses, a small stage and one thoroughly roasted pig. . . complete with trimmings. The locals were there, and they were local, but they did like their music, which, for the most part was pretty loud metal of several different varieties. The lineup didn’t stray far from Lumber Bridge, I suspect, and Lumber Bridge is close to, well, it really isn’t close to anything. I think South Carolina isn’t far down the road but not sure which way. The bands came with names like Loud Water Fury, Half Dead, Silence the Mind, Domestic Violence and Thou Shall Burn. But the highlight was very definitely Wounded Soul.

The event was sponsored by Cris Carter / Elderoc Records / Life Is Good Music and I really can’t divulge much more about it than that. There was a lady who looked to be in charge when we walked in but it seemed her primary function was to determine how much pork we could put away. We got into a conversation for a couple minutes, I told her I represented SonicCathedral and she asked how much pork they could put away. That pretty much ended the conversation as one of the local bands began to pound away at about 3000 decibels and I decided to move on over to the pork and do what I do best. V-Rod George was right behind and we proceeded to make quick work of the pork that was pulled and then began to pull some more.

Shortly after our third plate, we were introduced to Maria Ward, the vocalist from Wounded Soul. Maria is a half Cherokee, half English woman who’s lived 10 years of her life in the Triangle. She holds duel citizenship and acknowledged that she’d like to see the band take a stab at merry old England. ..she’s trying to get the band to work on passports. I’d heard some of their music on line and thought it was pretty much good enough to get a listen there or anywhere else. They’ve opened for Lacuna Coil among other acts so they’re not just local yokels and know a thing or two about solid metal. We got along well and, several bands later Carlos showed up and I was able to meet the rest of the band. They struck me as pretty interesting people, we talked music and they talked a little about their approach to things, where they’ve been and where they hope to go.

Wounded Soul - Kill the Pig Fest

As usual with these events, things progressed later than planned, so we were looking at a relatively late time frame for Wounded Soul to take the stage, which meant a really cold bike ride back to Durham. But the gods of motorcycling were with us this evening and the band scheduled right before Wounded Soul didn’t show up, moving them up by at least an hour, and in full sunlight. And they didn’t disappoint. The set was focused on harder numbers, there weren’t a lot of slow songs, no ballads although I suspect Maria can do a fine job with them. But what was presented was first rate. The guitars were strong, the drums were tight, the vocals were outstanding. And, fortunately for the listening audience, the time was such that they got to do a somewhat longer set than anticipated. Maria took the stage bare foot, in the best tradition of the Cherokee nation, with a black skirt and black top, topped off by long black Cherokee hair. Her performance is high energy, lots of jumping around, dancing to the music and getting into it. And the attendees responded. Wounded Soul was clearly the highlight of the festival, they’d played there before and most of those in attendance were familiar with their music. Wounded Soul has a CD available but it’s not all up to date material. However, they did play several cuts from that CD, The Ascension, including One and Payback. Several other titles were more recent productions but all were solid.

Of the ones from the previous CD, One is probably one of the more memorable. Of course, for metal heads, One is traditionally associated with the Metalica title of the same name. But this one is nearly as good. And the vocals of our Cherokee songstress probably surpass those of the Metalica vocalist. And, the presentation clearly takes no back seat to that production. Maria clearly loves this song and her energetic presentation demonstrates that affection. And the crowd loved it too. So did I, and I dropped a complete beer while listening, much to my dismay. To my consternation, the drop was the only significant loss, no one saw it and my reputation as an alcohol abuser was not enhanced by the event. Another song of note was the aforementioned Payback which set guitarist Carlos on the front seat. Carlos can crank an axe with the best of them and he did so here. Maria was right there with him; this was metal in the truest sense of the word. And yours truly was rocking right along; at least to the extent that this old rocker can work it out at this stage of the game. A couple lovely ladies to my right were instrumental in my giving my best, they were dressed to the minimum and the inclination was there to perform to the max. I’m easily persuaded.

Well, you know I’m a fan of the European sound; I love the Gothic, the operatic, symphonic Gothic being my favorite dimension in the musical landscape for sure. But, when you get a solid female fronted sound, over a first rate metal framework, you clearly have my attention. And this performance had that. I’m not trying to say this was Nightwish, Epica or Within Temptation, it was not. What it was was a solid female fronted metal sound, one that took me where I wanted to go, one that presented a visual performance that equaled the musical sound. And it came from a Cherokee woman in the woods of North Carolina, how cool is that?

Wounded Soul with Doctor T

In America, we are not exactly leading the way in terms of interesting music. I really can’t deal with rap, I get an upset stomach when I hear Disney Boy bands. But it is clear that, on occasion, there is still some truly interesting music out there in the good ol’ USA. And, on this occasion, my friend V-Rod George and I were presented an opportunity to hear what can be in this country, there are still musical entities out there performing solid metal with outstanding vocals that can compete with anything the Europeans can present. And they probably don’t present it with pulled pork, North Carolina style. So take that you Dutch.

For those of you inclined, there are several sites to visit to acquaint you with the Wounded Soul music. Trust me, it’s worth the time, the Cherokee nation welcomes you and your time will be well spent:


Rock on my brothers and sisters. And, enjoy the pig. Preferably dead.