NEPA Scene Staff

Metal band Ice Nine Kills plays free acoustic show at new Art Haus theater in Scranton on Nov. 24

Metal band Ice Nine Kills plays free acoustic show at new Art Haus theater in Scranton on Nov. 24
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

It was announced today that Hazleton active rock radio station 97.9X will bring Boston metal band Ice Nine Kills to the new Art Haus movie theater in downtown Scranton for a live unplugged show this Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m.

The “97.9X-Clusive Pop-Up” is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited, so fans are encouraged to arrive early at the Art Haus (301 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton), the former Cosmic Cinemas across from The Marketplace at Steamtown.

Taking advantage of the venue, there will also be a special screening of Ice Nine Kills music videos, which are based on classic horror movies like the songs on their most recent album, “The Silver Scream.” A deluxe edition titled “The Silver Scream: Final Cut” was recently released on Oct. 25 with six extra tracks, including four acoustic songs.

The band last played in Scranton on the final Vans Warped Tour at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in 2018, where singer Spencer Charnas joined Scranton metal band Motionless In White on stage for a song. Later that year, INK bassist Justin Morrow filled in as MIW’s bassist and eventually joined MIW full time.

In a sea of subculture sound-alikes and would-be social media stars, Ice Nine Kills stand tall as passionate artistic trailblazers. For over a decade, they have built a thrilling new world for their band and their growing legion of fans. INK summons the most captivating elements of metal, punk, and melody with theatricality, cinematic obsession, and literary fascination, creating a thrilling vision.

The Boston-based trio of Spencer Charnas, Justin DeBlieck, and Justin Morrow (together with their onstage cohorts), conjured INK from the ground up, with the artistic confidence and perseverance of their favorite DIY punks and filmmakers.

With over a decade of studio adventures and live showmanship, Ice Nine Kills joins the ranks of like-minded hard rock acts like Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, and Marilyn Manson in terms of the combination of music, lifestyle, and cult-band reverence.

Songs like “Communion of the Cursed,” “Me, Myself & Hyde,” “Hell in the Hallways,” “The Fastest Way to a Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage,” and “Bloodbath & Beyond” have amassed more than 30 million views on YouTube alone, building a story with sales, streams, and downloads that’s evident by the massive sing-a-longs at festivals, on Vans Warped Tour, and when the band headlines theaters and clubs.

Following a fourth album that debuted in the Top 5 of Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart and tours with bands like Motionless In White and Every Time I Die, the band spent much of 2018 in the studio with producer Drew Fulk (Bullet for My Valentine, As I Lay Dying) crafting their most diverse and impressive offering.

“The Silver Scream,” the fifth record from Ice Nine Kills, is a definitive achievement. A conceptually driven post-metalcore masterpiece with the catchiness and spirit of pop punk and the fist-pumping anthem power of arena rock, “The Silver Scream” is 13 songs of horror movie-inspired madness. Just as their previous album, “Every Trick in the Book,” drew from classic literary works (including “Animal Farm,” “Dracula,” and “Romeo and Juliet”), each song on “The Silver Scream” is a tribute to a different iconic cinema classic, the types of movies that inspire the same sort of fandom as music.

Released on Oct. 5, 2018, “The Silver Scream” stars a famous movie werewolf, a great white shark, and more than one axe-wielding movie murderer. “The American Nightmare” is about Freddy Krueger, the dreamscape stalker of the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series; “Thank God It’s Friday” centers on Jason Vorhees; Michael Myers, Leatherface, Pennywise, and Jigsaw get their due as well. There’s even a song for the dark avenger from “The Crow.”

Charnas recorded some of the album’s vocals at famous horror locations, like the houses used in the original “Halloween” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Sam Kubrick, grandson of Stanley Kubrick, guests on “The Shining”-inspired “Enjoy Your Slay.” There’s an appearance from Chelsea Talmadge of “Stranger Things” and guests from INK’s punk-flavored past as well, including members of Finch, Fenix TX, Mest, and Less Than Jake, who lend their horns to the Stephen King-inspired “IT is the End.”

As a young kid, Charnas found himself drawn to the horror aisle of his local video store, located inside the supermarket where his mom did her shopping. “I’d gaze upon the box covers of movies like ‘Sleepaway Camp’ and ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night,’” he recalls. “I became obsessed with horror. My parents were very cool about it all. Around Halloween, I would walk around the neighborhood as Michael Myers. Perhaps it was the idea that if I was the monster then the monster couldn’t get me?”

The obsession continued into his teenage years, when he and his cousins would rent movies from Blockbuster. Wes Craven’s horror-referencing “Scream” made a huge impression. “It was the first time I ever saw a movie in the theater where the characters were talking about Jason and Michael. I immediately fell in love with it.”

Even in the group’s earliest incarnation as a high school pop punk band, Ice Nine Kills dabbled in horror-related imagery, from song titles to merchandise designs. “Last Chance to Make Amends” (2006) and “Safe Is Just a Shadow” (2010) built a name for the band, but it was “The Predator Becomes the Prey” (2014) and “Every Trick in the Book” (2015) that really cemented their reputation. “The Silver Scream” is the natural culmination of everything that’s come before – a full, immersive catharsis.

Ice Nine Kills is at the forefront of the natural cross-pollination of subcultures. “Heavy music and horror are both escapes from our mundane struggles,” Charnas points out. “Horror gets a bad rap with some people who think it’s sick and depraved. But those who love it tend to be the people who get it, who realize you aren’t supposed to see ‘Friday the 13th’ and then go kill a bunch of people at a summer camp. Aggressive music and horror movies are outlets for your demons, not a blueprint for your actions. It’s an escape from reality. You could be having the worst day in the world, with your job or your significant other, and you can go and put on a great metal record or horror movie and forget about all of your problems.”

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Ice Nine Kills performing at the Vans Warped Tour at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton last year here.