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


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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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