No Satanic swinging necessary, UNF’s got a death metal society

Spinnaker

There’s no denying our fine public university enables a fine array of special interest clubs for students to dive into ranging from the yawningly vanilla to the completely bizarre.

Mark McCombs, a UNF mechanical engineering junior, decided to aim his club toward an entirely different stratosphere — one which is stripped of bake sales and charity runs. One that instead meets in the Student Union cloaked in fog machine fog, clinging to a backbone composed of oozie-shot drum vertebrae.

Last semester, McCombs mobilized UNF’s first student organization tuned in Drop A, the North Florida Death Metal Society (NFDMS).

“When the new Student Union was built, I made it a mission to use the Student Union auditorium for any purpose — specifically band practice,” McCombs said.

Specifically, the five-piece metallic outfit Capricide (Latin for “goat slaughter”). However, the real mission NFDMS, the club McCombs founded in fall 2009, aims to tackle is bringing together a group of kids who genuinely dig quality metal and mobilizing them to better Jacksonville’s live music scene.

The Death Metal Society’s first meeting Tuesday, April 6 only managed to ensnare the interests of about five or six metalheads, McCombs said.

He and Capricide’s lead singer Clifford Newkirk (a current FSCJ student who plans to take classes in the fall at UNF in — you guessed it — mechanical engineering) attribute the Osprey heavy-tunes nihilism to the sedated musical atmosphere of the city.

“Jacksonville is severely under-entertained,” McCombs said.

Newkirk jumped in about elevating the caliber of Jacksonville’s scene.

“Nothing’s been going on for too long,” he said.

McCombs and Newkirk said they’d ideally like the club to transform into a type of booking business, working to cheaply score killer metal groups for venues throughout the community, thus creating more affordable shows for all.

“There’s a big problem with clubs trying to charge $10 a ticket for these local shows that nobody really show up for, anyway,” McCombs said. “They’re making people spend too much money, and there’s a lot of talentless motherfuckers out there.”

Some fellow Floridians Capricide collectively look up to? The oft-banned, super grotesque (yet super shredding) Cannibal Corpse. They hope to eventually book a Corpse show at the UNF Amphitheater, among other shows on the society’s immediate agenda.

McCombs and Newkirk said they think a lot of people attribute the term “death metal” or even just “metal” to hateful images of burning churches and gore, but that’s not always the case. Capricide’s lyrics tend to center around environmental, political and historical topics. However, a little hesitance remains.

“People just don’t open up their hearts to metal,” Newkirk said.

So far, NFDMS meetings have seemed to pan out as simply Capricide jam sessions, but that’s only because of a lack of kids showing up to participate.

“The band pretty much is the club … as of now,” McCombs said.

The two insist the club’s no Capricide street team. Plans to host a monthly open-mic night have gone into motion, designs to promote the club sketched and various connections among UNF and Jacksonville’s communicative and musical outlets foraged.

They said they hope to promote other students’ bands in addition to indulging in metal camaraderie on the scholastic scale.

“Educated metalheads: more powerful than you’d expect,” McCombs said.

E-mail McCombs for details on how to get your metal out at [email protected] or be on the look-out for profesh visuals around the Student Union.

“We’re going to order a giant banner that crushes every other banner for every other club,” McCombs said.

Believe it.