Seven out of seven nights a week, you can find an indie or thrash show in Cleveland. Somewhere, someone sings into a microphone hooked up to a pedal board, drenched with delay and reverb while playing one of four synths on stage.
This person sings over a sea of guitars while a well-dressed bass player hasn’t opened his eyes for the whole set. The band might even have a “jazzy” drummer. Another bar down the street hosts a band that’s mid-blast beat and screaming about god knows what, while up to 10 people vigorously drink whatever the cool cheap beer is now.
Little did we know that the aggressive rock from the early 2000s never went away. Maybe it laid low and evolved. Maybe it’s waiting for its inevitable resurgence in popularity. Either way, Nine Shrines is the nü metal band that will be representing Cleveland in the upcoming uprising.
Existing somewhere between Ringworm and Mushroomhead, Nine Shrines has carved out its own place in Cleveland’s overpopulated metal scene. With only one EP, Misery, to speak of, the band has achieved over two million plays on Spotify, landed a record deal with Mascot Records, and played Rover Fest.
For the last 10 years popular morning radio host and former Pressurelife cover boy Rover of Rover’s Morning Glory has held a competition for local bands to open his very popular annual music festival Roverfest. “I woke up to Lance, my neighbor banging on my door yelling ‘You fucking won! You fucking won,’” singer Chris Parkenty says about the big win to open Rover Fest. As a result, the band played to a 3,000 person-deep crowd on a rainy day in Lorain.
The current iteration of the band is familiar with playing festivals larger than they expect. The full lineup’s first show was the largest show the band has ever played, as the collective members played the famous Summerfest, an 11-day music festival located on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. The lineup was so new that in order to fill an hour time slot, they played the same set twice. Some fans still hold the memory dearly.
Nine Shrines was formed by a couple of members of fairly well-known bands peaking in popularity in the late aughts and early ‘10s. Drummer Andrew Wetzel played in Attack! Attack!, but fear not—no one is crab dancing anymore. Nine Shrines invokes more of a pile-on-top-of-each-other-while-singing-along-with-every-lyric kind of vibe, with catchy choruses and catchier riffs. The EP also sounds profoundly professional for what lead guitarist Andrew Baylis calls “some demos I recorded myself.”
The upcoming second album is a bit of a different story. Now with Mascot Records behind them, Nine Shrines was able to seek out a producer of its choosing and set aside about two months to record their debut full-length. The album is rumored to be much heavier than the Misery EP, but guitarist Evan McKeever describes it as genreless and Baylis adds, “one of the best rock records I’ve heard in a long time.”
The release of the new album in spring will be followed by extensive touring. A large supporting tour is in the works, but was super top secret as of press time. What was said is that Nine Shrines will play at The Foundry Jan. 19 with co-headliners A Sense Of Purpose. If you’re still unconvinced about the popularity of nü metal, this show is sure to sell out. That’s a lot of bodies for a local band.
If you’re reading this saying to yourself, “of course Nü metal is alive and well; I love nü metal!,” then please consider checking out Nü Metal Night at The Richland Cafe in Lakewood, hosted by Nine Shrines. Join the millions of listeners on Spotify and wait with bated breath for the new album coming in spring of 2019, a year which has been dubbed by Parkenty as “the year of The Shrines.”