Scene Not Heard, A Taste of Alabama Metal and Hardcore

Brad Razorfed
3 min readMay 11, 2024
Atomic Johnny’s — Gadsden, AL — 1/13/2023

LED lights illuminate the front patio area of Atomic Johnny’s on a Saturday night, with the roar of loud guitars, screaming vocals, and fast drums bellowing through the front door as patrons move in and out of the venue. This isn’t the music you normally associate with the “bar scene” of Gadsden, AL, but that is what makes it special.

When you think about the bars in Downtown Gadsden and the musicians that usually play, you can’t help but think about everything from classic rock cover bands to a local singer-songwriter doing a great Tyler Childers cover. Not that this is a bad thing; there are some incredible musicians that play downtown nightly, but every now and then you need some people to come shake things up. Below, you can find a vlog from one of the bands that played at the Pit at the Pitman Festival back in 2023, which I definitely think was a shake up to downtown Gadsden.

Back in January I attended a show in Gadsden where bands like Meadows, Heavy Handed, Heel Turn, Avian Theory, and Witch Hunter did just that, and it was an absolute blast to see people two stepping in the middle of the Atomic Johnny’s. While this is a unique thing to the local bar scene, it’s becoming more common not only in Gadsden but in Alabama as a whole.