Preview: Mushroomhead at Engine Rooms, Southampton

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Ohio heavy metal group Mushroomhead will be taking to the stage at Southampton’s Engine Rooms in early April.

The UK-wide tour will take the masked septet to small and medium venues in Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Plymouth and London before the Southampton date; from there it will continue on to Norwich and wrap up at Sub89 in Reading.

Despite bearing a reputation for severe controversy and a highly volatile band roster (vocalist Jeffrey Hatrix and drummer Steve Felton are the only original members), Mushroomhead’s last album, The Righteous & the Butterfly, met with deserved success: it was the band’s first album to break into the top 20 of the Billboard Top 200, selling 11,000 copies in its first week.

Mushroomhead’s exact genre has remained an enigma for most of their twenty-three-year history, not least because they change stylistic tack on every new album they release. It’s easy to say that they’re nu metal or industrial metal – indeed, many of their songs slip nicely into those categories – but that doesn’t do justice to their creativity. What does remain consistent, though, is their fresh approach to established conventions within and across genres, and the way they successfully marry together bludgeoning heaviness and artistic melodies. They’re an acquired taste, for sure, but easy to get addicted to after sustained exposure.

Accompanying the headliners will be Exeter quartet Sanguine.

Tickets for Mushroomhead’s show at the Engine Rooms on the 1st April can be purchased via this link.

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MA English student at the University of Southampton and alternative music correspondent for The Edge.

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