“Five dollars dude”, a gruff sounding man says while an equally gruff looking bouncer checks over my I.D. I pull the money out of my wallet and hand it to him in exchange for a wristband, or stamp of some kind, signifying that I’ve paid and am of age. I walk into the venue; dark, noisy and crowded. The smell burns at my nostrils and my ears ring with the echoes of chants and screams. Then he appears on stage; his name: Kevin Barton; his band: Tabernacle. Like a reaper and his servants preparing you for the journey, seemingly to the gates of hell, the crowd waits with anticipation. The solemn look on all of their faces matches their attire: black shoes, black slacks, black pencil ties, and white shirts. These aren’t just any Mormons (actually none of them are) but rather masters of hardcore. What set them apart from other bands though are their unique blend of personality and character, and their ability to come together and play music.
I guess you could say Kevin is the ring leader of the group. He is an unassuming man at first look. Sure he is covered in tattoos and has his ears gauged, but that’s not so out of the normal anymore. Once you get to know him however, your outlook may change. Kevin was raised as a Mormon from his childhood. He went to church and was baptized according to their
beliefs. Things began to change however when he started to question his belief in Mormonism around the age of fourteen. He still continued to attend church for a few years, but by the age of sixteen or seventeen he stopped going all together. He describes this change as an “Ideology Shift” (Barton) that led him to his current beliefs. As of today he proclaims himself to be an Atheist, saying “I used to go by the term agnostic, but after thinking about it, most people consider agnostic as those believing in a higher power but not necessarily a god, but I think you have to have an experience that would lead you to believe that, so I started calling myself an atheist instead”.
Like Kevin, most of the band is demure in appearance with the exception of Wes, who likens himself to a modern day Viking. Given his stocky build, long black hair, and a black beard that would put Blackbeard to shame, there is little room to argue. Still even with this bold appearance, one would be hard pressed to say that Wes, or any other of the band members, exhibit any “movie star charm”. But they play this to their advantage; they brand what they do or what they look like as “metal” which allows them to do or say pretty much anything they feel like. The other two members of the band are Chris and Jarred. Chris is tall and stocky while Jarred is tall and lanky. With the exception of the bands attire and music, there is not much that these two share in common. Individually, they are quiet and reserved, but as Tabernacle they are loud, obnoxious and play with an in-your-face kind of style.
By 2005, Kevin had been involved in numerous bands and groups, one of which he...