Ekktoplasm at Wonderland

Ekktoplasm performing at Wonderland in Richmond, VA on 9.23.2023. Photo Credit: Robert Escue

Richmond, VA – On a rainy Saturday night, Ekktoplasm, a new metal band described as “paranormal death metal” played for the second time to a pumped-up crowd with support from Hampton Roads blackened thrashers The Day of The Beast and the revitalized Winchester thrash metal band Monolith.

The last time I saw a show at Wonderland was Vomit Stain‘s CD release show on January 26th, 2019. Since that time a new stage was built and some of the decorations have come off the walls, but the place still has that funky character that people love and it is almost a requirement to take a selfie in the bathroom, I can think of no other place to host this show but Wonderland.

Starting the night off was my friends The Day of The Beast who haven’t played much this year, but they make up for the lack of performances with incredible ferocity when they do play. Their set consisted mostly of songs from their 2021 effort Indisputably Carnivorous, one from their self-titled first album and two from 2012’s Relentless Demonic Intrusion, including the title track which vocalist Steve Harris describes as “an exorcism gone wrong” and one of my favorite TDOTB songs. It was great to see them play and open this show.

The Day of The Beast performing at Wonderland in Richmond, VA on 9.23.2023.
All Photos © Robert Escue


The Day of The Beast SETLIST

Enter the Witch House
Indisputably Carnivorous
He Who Shuns the Light
Annihilation Prayer (Shallow by Thy Graves)
Judas in Hell Be Proud
Predators Path
Disturbing Roars at Twilight
Relentless Demonic Intrusion

I have to admit that Monolith is a band I never heard and looking them up on Encyclopedia Metallum  (www.metal-archives.com) and found 14 bands in the United States alone named Monolith. Finding the band’s page I got some idea as to the kind of music was expecting to hear live. Their Facebook page describes them as “Brutal since “94” so I was hopeful. The band broke up after the death of their drummer Brian “Skippy” Bayliss in 2013. Getting back together with original members Reece Scruggs, Timothy Artz and Eric Bayliss and picking up Stefen Burns to round out the lineup, Monolith is back with a vengeance!! Playing a set that included songs from albums 1999’s “Use Only As Directed”, 2002’s “One Nation Under Metal”, 2009’s “Four” and 2013’s EP “Deadline” I was blown away as well as a number of people in the crowd who were far more familiar with Monolith than I was. Talking to Reece after the show he told me that Monolith was a major influence for him and that playing with the band is what he does for fun. If you get a chance to see them live, don’t miss it!!!

Reece Scruggs – Guitar
Timothy Artz – Guitar
Eric Bayliss – Bass
Stefen Burns – Drums

Monolith performing at Wonderland in Richmond, VA on 9.23.2023.
All Photos © Robert Escue


Monolith SETLIST

Metal Odyssey
Come Join The Fight
Minute of Tragedy
All Pawns Fall
Into You
Self Destructive
Endless Negativity

I have known Kim Dylla for years and while most people know her for clothing line for musicians and wrestlers, I know her more for her work as a singer in a number of metal bands including the KungFuDykes, Fulton Ave and as Vulvatron of GWAR just to name a few. In a Facebook post she mentioned that she was working on a new musical project and this piqued my interest. Kim picked Benjamin Linden and Justin Melton who she worked with when Fulton Ave was active and Larry Shreddy and Rahael Arruda to complete the lineup.

Ekktoplasm played their first gig at a venue in Charlottesville and was unable to attend due to shooting a show in Maryland. but the video I saw brought back memories of seeing the KungFuDykes play live. Some people may have an issue with bands who wear glow in the dark outfits as being over the top. If done well, I see it as plus because too many bands don’t concern themselves with how they look and Ekktoplasm to me is on point. Hearing them play reminds me of a number of death metal bands including Suffocation, Nile and a little Abbath in the mix. The songs are about spooky and scary things in Virginia and other places in the US and the band sounded tight and Kim screeched and growled throughout the set. The crowd loved it and wanted more but the show ran a little long and they had to stop. If you are looking for something different in the way of death metal, give Ekktoplasm a shot. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Kim Dylla – Vocals
Larry Shreddy – Guitar
Justin Melton – Guitar
Benjamin Linden – Bass
Raphael Arruda – Drums

Ekktoplasm performing at Wonderland in Richmond, VA on 9.23.2023.
All Photos © Robert Escue


Ekktoplasm SETLIST

Shadow Figure
Ticket To The Burial Ground
Bell Witch
Western State
Hollywood Vampire
Black Metal
Jilted Bride Suicide

Show Date: 9.23.2023

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Born in Mansfield, Ohio and now calls Virginia Beach home, Robert spent 20 years in the Navy, eighteen of them as a Photographer's Mate. Robert split his time supporting both the public affairs and intelligence communities before retiring in 1998. After an eight year hiatus he picked up his camera in 2008 and started documenting the metal scene in Hampton Roads and covers local, regional and National Act bands.