*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*
This month’s state is Alabama!
Formed in Huntsville, Alabama this 4 man band pays tribute to the hey day of wrestling. Heel Turn is a 80’s and 90’s wrestling themed dark hardcore band. You heard that right. The glory years of wresting are rejoiced and moshed to in their breakdowns. The band also keeps their face concealed wearing wrestling masks as well, which you can also purchase yourself one from the band at their merch table when you see them live. The band formed sometime last year and it was around October when they played their first couple live shows. The band of course asked their fans what they wanted to see in regards to their performance and there were some comments made about possibly doing a Frog Splash (Eddie Guerrero’s signature move) onto the drum kit, and the people’s elbow (The Rock’s signature move). The band only drew the line in regards to the people’s elbow drop being a little too modern for them as they are much more old school and instead offered some more old school moves. The band certainly knows their stuff when it comes to old school wrestling and even welcomes fans to come drink beer and talk to them about wrestling after the show. Metal has seen various themed bands, like pirates, clowns, executioners, aliens, dinosaurs but I believe Heel Turn is the most concise wrestling themed band I have encountered.
Heel Turn released their debut EP this year in April titled ‘Territories’. If you know anything about the early days of wrestling before the WWF/WWE became what it is today there was wrestling territories that the wrestlers would work. They were spread out and certain areas belonged to certain wrestling companies. The album was recorded by Lucas Smith at Lucky Sound Studios. The EP consists of 6 total tracks. The Ep starts out with “A Special Message From Arn Anderson”, so you’d assume the band is a big fan of The Four Horsemen. It’s a promo of Arn speaking and it’s pure wrestling nostalgia. One of the stand out tracks on the album is “Who Is Stagger Lee?” and the song in a way answers the question. Stagger Lee was later known as The Junkyard Dog. The song also names drops The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. Saying “Dibiase, you’ll beg for mercy ” and “Dibiase, you’ll pay for everything”. Even if you put wrestling aside for a moment Heel Turn is truly a great hardcore band. The riffs implement groove and the drums pound hard creating an amazing rhythm through the songs. One of the other songs that really catches your ear is “Starrcade 83” its a fast paced track that has this chugging guitar riff that makes it impossible to not head bang along to. I can only imagine how amazing the band will be to see in person. Even if you aren’t a wrestling fan and you simply like hardcore I believe you will love this band, check out the full stream of ‘Territories’ below. Heel Turn does have one show schedule as of right now. You can see them at the Huntsville Loud 2 Festival at Side Tracks Music Hall in Huntsville, Alabama on July 6th. Get out and show this band some love or even better put them in a Cross-Face Chickenwing.
To check out their merch click here