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  • Writer's pictureTownes Genoves

Haunted Mound at The Metro 2/25/23

By Alycia and Townes

The Haunted Mound is a witch-house meets Chief Keef music collective composed of front-man Sematary, Hackle, Turnabout, Buckshot and closely associated producers. What originally started as a project of Sematary and defunct artist Ghost Mountain in Northern California, has quickly become a niche international sensation with a cult following. Gaining traction in the bouts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haunted Mound (HM) is finally able to tour. Fans were eager, many dates selling out within hours. We attended their first show in Chicago at The Metro.

Upon arriving, the line of fans done up in the token Haunted Mound attire --- think goth fourth of July merch with an appreciation for brands like true religion and new rocks --- was down the block. The demographic of the all ages show was exactly that, ALL AGES. Most fans in the crowd appeared to be somewhere between the ages of 13-22, with older fans sticking to the safety of the balcony. One fan even appeared to be an elementary schooler with his mom. The members of Haunted Mound themselves range from the ages of 18-21, much in line with their mostly Gen-Z audience.

The concert opened with a short set from haunted mound producer and DJ, Goner aka Gonneville. The set featured an array of iconic Chicago drill tracks, a sound that the collective takes a lot of influence from, along with horrorcore. The next artist to come up on stage, Turnabout, is the youngest member of HM at only 18. His sound is a great example of the immediate and catchy side of the HM sound. His set was riddled with blasting drill 808s and soaring witch house-y synth work. While Turnabout’s set was first in the lineup the energy and charisma that he brought throughout the show as a type of spooky hype man was essential to maintaining the vibe.

After Turnabout’s set, Hackle came on. Hackle’s sound is defined by being the most overtly Rap and Trap influenced. The Sacramento native forgoes the usual Haunted Mound fair for gun talk and bragging about tricked out Peterbilt trucks. Hackle continued the high energy of the room while Turnabout led the crowd in a chant of “HDOE” (one of Hackle’s many nicknames).

Continuing the streak of high energy performances is the resident Haunted Mound crooner, Ireland’s own, Buckshot. Buckshot stands out from the rest of the Haunted Mound crew by incorporating emo and alt-rock elements along with an irresistible rural Irish charm. As soon as Buckshot walked out onto the stage the crowd absolutely lit up with energy. So much energy, in fact, that Buckshot was pelted in the face with a full bottled water. Despite the projectile, his performance was high intensity and encapsulating.

After an incredible lineup of openers, finally the main event entered the stage. Sematary is the leader of the collective and by far the most popular member of the group. Sematary’s abrasive Horrorcore and Chicago Drill is influenced by the aesthetics of Black Metal and Punk. Not only are these genres prevalent in his music, but also his style. Sematary ran on stage dawning dark wash True Religion jeans, a Chicago polo, leather jacket and bejeweled skull belt buckle. Sematary’s usual deep autotuned chorus soaked voice was MIA due to venue technical difficulties, but regardless he was able to push through and give a high intensity vocal performance fitting for the set. Fan favorite tracks such as "Slaughter House" and "Chainsaw Party" tore up the venue, while new tracks such as "Babayaga" and "Hallowed Be My Wrist" really shined in a live setting.

Overall the live Haunted Mound experience was just as crazy and intense as any Mounder could wish for. And big thanks to The Metro for maintaining such a good atmosphere.


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