The Best North Texas Bands That Will Scare the Hell Out of You

Power Trip is one of many North Texas acts that aren't for the faint of heart
Power Trip is one of many North Texas acts that aren't for the faint of heart
Ken Penn

There's nothing quite like getting the shit scared out of you, is there? It's why we love watching horror movies. It's why we do things like jumping out of airplanes for fun. Nothing else really gets the endorphins going the same way, you know? It's also why we love Halloween -- not just for the fun of playing dress-up and getting smashed in our Chewbacca costume (we do that all the time anyway), but because we love scaring ourselves.

With Halloween upon us, it's time to fully embrace our love of fear. To do it, we've selected a handful of the scariest goddamn bands you'll band anywhere in Texas. But be warned: You may not be able to sleep tonight if you read this whole list.

Power Trip

Power Trip shows in Dallas can only be described in one word: violent. The band has made a name for itself around the country for its infamous live performances. The band has an army at its disposal and has brought them to shows all over the metroplex, inciting crowds to riotous feats. This includes chair-throwing, banners being set on fire and most of all, getting the die-hard Power Trip faithful to suspend concern for anyone or anything in the room. For the uninitiated, a Power Trip show is a terrifying prospect. The only guarantees at it are amazing riffs, pain and, if you're initiated, one hell of a good time.

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Modern Pain

This Dallas hardcore band doesn't play shows to allow audiences to get a read on them. Instead a Modern Pain show, wildly unpredictable and chaotic, features the band taking their audience to task. Vocalist Noah Boyce launches himself into the crowd like an errant cannonball with no regard for his own physical well-being, let alone that of the audience. Guitarist Jay Chary, towering over most everyone at 6-foot-5, plays with a reckless abandon throwing both fists and his guitar at anyone near him. Bass player Logan Holmes doesn't even know where he's going as he attacks both his instrument and anyone foolish enough to get near him. They say the most terrifying thing is the unknown. A Modern Pain show is a loose cannon, a wild card; they can't even tell you what is going to happen.

Pinkish Black
Pinkish Black
Naomi Vaughan

Pinkish Black

Pinkish Black's sound is variable. They don't like to classify themselves and you shouldn't either. Their brand of droning, gothic rock with haunting vocals is not for everyone. On record, their sound presents the air of an unknown present company. You never quite feel alone when you're listening to Pinkish Black. This means that listening to them in the dark is a rather hair-raising task. Their live shows are chilling and enveloping. Between the volume and their encompassing atmosphere, the band takes possession of you while they play. They make it clear that when you're watching Pinkish Black, you are under their spell and belong to them.

Vulgar Display
Vulgar Display
Gray Muncy

Vulgar Display

Vulgar Display are ready to fight. They really just play music to give themselves a soundtrack while they do it. Vocalist Brian Storms is as confrontational as he is able-bodied. The music is timed to keep hitting the audience, both literally and figuratively, while the band conducts the crowd as their own personal weapon. Flanked by guitarists Austin Johannigmeier and Daniel Schmuck, bass player Rob Glynn and drummer Chad Green, Vulgar Display are the lead gang in the prison riots that are their shows. This fact doesn't put off any of the band's members as they make it a point to get involved in it whenever they can. For Vulgar Display, what you call scary, they call fun.

 

Absu
Absu
Courtesy the artist

Absu

One of the biggest black metal bands in the world is from Plano. They don't wear corpse paint, but their shows give a certain ambiance to their lyrics and aesthetics that suggest the audience is in some of kind of fantastic abattoir. The music is no-frills, thrash-influenced black metal. Their live shows are characterized by the band and their fans alike as "rituals."

Imprisonment

Not much is known about local black metal act Imprisonment. They released their demo, Slow Death, quietly to some fanfare within the black metal community earlier this year. Their music, desolate and drenched in despair, sounds like the soundtrack for acts of depravity inside of a cemetery. I say cemetery because this is the only place that members Crucio and Oblitus Animus have been photographed thus far. Imprisonment is a band that has appeared to have made the dead their companions and the night their home.

Kill the Client
Kill the Client

Kill the Client

This long-standing grindcore outfit from Dallas has an intimidating atmosphere. That is perfectly embodied by their MMA-trained frontman, "Scary" Morgan, who spends most of their sets in the crowd confronting the audience. A Kill the Client show often becomes the confrontation you hope to avoid when you go out (or worse, the one you go looking for). The rest of the band, made up of James Delgado, Bryan Fajardo and newcomer Jesse Fuentes, play their enveloping brand of grindcore at a pace and volume that beats down an audience. Kill The Client are not for the faint of heart.

Cleric
Cleric
Kathleen Kennedy

Cleric

Taking on the moniker of a clergyman, Cleric make Satan their raison d'etre. Their debut album, Gratum Inferno, is a manuscript for their rituals. The band traverses territory that few people would ever venture to. Their debut music video for the song "Through the Starless Abyss" is performed inside of an actual ring of fire. Vocalist Zac Christian's guttural vocals sound like a feral animal over the forceful work of guitarist Chris Richardson. The rhythm section, made up of bass player John Schiller and drummer Zach Jobin, ensures the music is as barbarous as possible.


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