Macabre Credit: michelle margaux

As saccharine as holiday-themed foo-foo can get, there’s always a dark current beneath the tinsel—consider the tradition of Christmas ghost stories, for example. Chicago murder-metal institution Macabre are at the core of a distinctly local custom that reliably provides an opportunity to harmlessly vent in the mosh pit: Holiday of Horror. This year, the mini fest—which is inspired by the band’s satisfyingly vicious song of the same title—turns 21 and sprawls out over two rooms at Reggie’s. Headlining the Music Joint is Putrid Pile, the gnarly, gargling one-man band of ex-Numskull multi-instrumentalist Shaun LaCanne, with support by blackened death-metal outfit Blood of the Wolf and Atonement Theory, a heavy industrial four-piece fronted by Jay Jancetic of Harm’s Way and Holy Roman Empire. Macabre take the main stage, with Kenosha’s finest death-metal band, Jungle Rot (who released a self-titled ninth full-length in July), and Chicago horror/death-metal crew  Disinter. Holidays can produce a lot of aggression that needs catharsis, and if you still haven’t had enough, there’s a free aftershow with Motörhead tribute band We Are the Roadkill.   v