Author: Misael (page 1 of 6)

Judas Priest/Uriah Heep: Toyota Arena – Ontario, Ca – 6/28/19

British rock/heavy metal legends Judas Priest and Uriah Heep announced a tour together which could only mean it would be a tour to not miss for rock and metal fans alike. This year, both bands celebrated their 50th anniversary so what better way to celebrate that to tour together. In 2018, Judas Priest released their eighteenth studio album Firepower which brought the band back to their classic heavy metal roots. The fans and critics loved it. Also in 2018, Uriah Heep released their 25th studio album, Living the Dream. Friday night was the perfect way to end a full week’s worth of work and what better way to spend it than with two legendary bands.
Uriah Heep was up first and even before they came on stage, the venue was already packed with loyal metalheads of various ages. Both old school and young fans were in attendance for this monstrous show. Uriah Heep came out and started their show with Grazed By Heaven. The crowd cheered as they got a chance to hear these British legends perform their highly acclaimed music. Vocalist Bernie Shaw still has the chops to sing his heart out to perfection. Guitarist and founding member Mick Box still plays his guitar beautifully and is a majestic sight watching him play. Uriah Heep kept the energy going as they played through their hits which included Take Away My Soul, Gypsy and Stealin’. Shaw took a moment to thank the audience for all their support after all these years and was more than happy that the band was still going strong on its 50th anniversary. To end their show, Uriah Heep performed their most famous song, Easy Livin’. Uriah Heep rocked the building with nothing but energy and good music and did an excellent job warming up the audience for the heavy metal Gods.
The venue was packed with ecstatic fans just hungry for classic heavy metal. The lights went out once again and the audience roared with excitement as the intro for the song Necromancer from the new album started as the members made their way to the stage one by one and started Necromancer. Just as the singing part of the song started, the Metal God himself Rob Halford came out wearing a Necromancer outfit complete with staff and skull. It was just the start of the show and already off to a great and powerful start. The only thing missing from the band was the presence of the legendary Judas Priest guitarist, Glenn Tipton. He sadly had to retire performing with Judas Priest in 2018 due to being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, though he occasionally performs with the band. In his place is producer and guitarist Andy Sneap and what a fine job he has been doing as a fill in. Next song played was the classic Heading Out to the Highway which hasn’t been performed live since 2012. Easily one of their best songs as fans could be seen singing along and banging their heads. The third song was another classic The Sentinel which also hasn’t been played since 2012. Another song that’s a perfect blend of speed and power for fans to sing along to and raise their horns. Judas Priest is obviously one of the greatest bands of all time and it’s only further proven as they flawlessly performed their music which is just as beautiful as the album sound itself. One thing that was noticed was that Judas Priest dropped some of their usual and best known tracks from their setlist like You Got Another Thing Comin’, Electric Eye, Metal Gods, and Turbo Lover. Instead, they took this opportunity to play some classics they haven’t played in a long time. Some of those songs included Judas Rising, Steeler, Out in the Cold, Tyrant, and even the live tour debut of (Take These) Chains from their monumental 1982 Screaming For Vengeance album. The song Victim of Changes was one of the highlights from the performance as Halford still hits those high pitch notes with so much power that you almost have to cover your ears. That feeling was only matched during the final guitar solo as video clips of Tipton were shown on screen playing guitar as Judas Priest paid tribute to him letting Tipton and the audience know that he is always with them in spirit. So many good songs were played and to what is supposed to be the show’s end, Judas Priest played the fan-favorite All Guns Blazing which also hasn’t been played since 1991. Judas Priest left the stage and all seemed quiet. Not too long later, the familiar sound of a motorcycle engine revving was heard over the speakers which mean it could only mean one thing. Judas Priest came back out with Halford being last, but this time he came back out on his traditional motorcycle signaling the start of one of their signature songs, Hell Bent For Leather. Fans love singing along to this song and will get all the metalheads to stop what they’re doing to jam to this. The next encore is perhaps their most famous song and that every metalhead in the world should know, Breaking the Law. Another song for fans to raise their horns to and bang their heads. Halford even let the fans sing the chorus as he held out the mic to the audience for them to sing, “Breaking the Law, Breaking the Law!”. Hearing everyone in the venue come together to sing this song was truly a spectacle. Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end. Judas Priest ended the night with another one of their great classics, Living After Midnight.  This was the last chance the audience had to sing along with the Metal Gods and it was beautifully done as they sang along to the chorus. The show was spectacular from start to finish and no doubt everyone went home with huge smiles on their faces as all things heavy metal should be.

 

Judas Priest

 

Uriah Heep

Clemens Wijers “Parasite Twin” EP review

Clemens “Ardek” Wijers is best known as the lyricist and songwriter for the Dutch symphonic black metal band, Carach Angren. On July 26th, he will be releasing his second solo album, Parasite Twin. His first solo album Worlds was released in 2017. Wijers started playing piano at the tender age of 7, followed by 8 years of keyboard and music lessons at his local art school. In 2002, he studied for a year at the Tilburg Conservatory to refine his skills while continuing to compose music. After several band incantations, he formed the symphonic black metal band Carach Angren with his friend and former band mate Dennis “Seregor” Droomers on vocals and brother Ivo “Namtar” Wijers on drums. He writes a large portion of the band’s music, using classical music as both a foundation and an inspiration. After five albums with Carach Angren, they continue to achieve widespread success and gain new fans wherever they play. I got a chance to listen to the new EP to review and was super excited to see what the mind of Clemens Wijers came up with next.

  1. Machine (Memoirs of an Algorithm): The song has a nice dark industrial sound to it, like a dark rave, almost. As if it could be used as the intro to a horror movie. The song deals with the protagonist of the song reflecting and confessing the systematic and gradual decimation of his victims. It makes for a great opening track and sets the mood.
  2. Parasite Twin: The album’s title track and the catchiest song on the album. The song was inspired from a true story about a man who had surgery done on him and was found to have a mass living inside him complete with hair and teeth. The story is mixed with both horror and comedy elements. The song once again has an industrial metal sound. You can hear the comedy elements in the song when the protagonist complains about his “twin sister” always wanting the opposite of what he wants even including the lyric “bla blah blah and meep meep meep” clearly mocking his sister’s bickering. The catchiest song on the album that will have you playing the chorus in your head all day.
  3. Nightmare: The sound on this reminds you of something Nine Inch Nails would come up with and it’s amazing. An industrial, yet haunting sound. My favorite part of the whole album starts at 1:45 when it’s just keyboards, guitar and drums. It gives you that feeling of doom and being chased in an endless nightmare.
  4. Fucked Up: Another Industrial track that sounds like something Nine Inch Nails would come up with, but with a horror twist. The song also has a dance music vibe that could be played at a goth dance club. Very fun to let loose to and dance.
  5. Closing In: The album’s closing song. The story revolves around the inner world of a stalker, an idea that came to Wijers after a past experience. A rather chilling story to go along with the catchy chorus and dance music.

To listen to the single Parasite Twin, click here.
To preorder your copy of the EP plus his other solo album Worlds, click here.
Interesting in his horror metal band Carach Angren? Check out photos and review of their Los Angeles show from last October by clicking here.
Still hungry for more? We sat down for an interview with the man himself!

-CC: What was the easiest part about making the album? And the hardest?

CW: The interesting is that I never planned to make this EP. After I came back from touring in December with CA, I started working on new Carach songs but also different songs, possibly for other artists. At one point in March I had so much new stuff that I really felt the urge to release something. Then I listened to one of the songs I had already recorded in a good way (the single) and thought that the vocals I had temporary put on the track were not so bad. I kept working on some other tracks, added vocals and during the process I got more and more excited so I decided to make the EP. The challenging part for me was to not put a lot of different arrangements into the songs, I wanted to keep them more compact and “simple”. Also, I took on the whole production myself so I learned a lot about production. I upgraded my studio equipment a lot and that helped me make the mix really big and punchy.

-CC: What was your inspiration behind the story of the album? Were you out on tour looking for inspiration? Or did you sit down and let it come to you?

CW: This time there is not a story on the EP, there are 5 completely different tracks, both musically and lyrically. It was in that sense a nice escape from the Carach world where everything has to work together somehow. The inspiration for the title track came from a story I read about a guy who actually had a parasitic twin inside of him. It was almost like a horror story. They found teeth and some hair inside of him after many years. I wrote something down about it in my notes and when I was working on the music for this song the idea came to use this in the lyrics. Instead of making a horror song, I wanted it to be light and even a bit funny. So I started thinking about actually having another person attached to you or inside of you who is opposing you all the time and then the idea started to flow. I didn’t work hours in a row on it, I just let it flow like you suggest in your question.

The opening track “Machine (Memoirs of an Algorithm)” tells the story about an algorithm looking back on the damage it has on to us as humanity. This idea came to me after reading several books about the influence of changing technology on our psychology. One book that made a huge impact on me was “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr. The internet at first seemed to have been something that liberated us from distance and other boundaries but slowly has developed itself into new boundaries again. Social media used to be a tool that was completely free and you could reach so many people instantly. These days you have to pay to reach people, which is perfectly fine but it means the whole thing has completely shifted again. I found out about this when we were playing shows with CA and sometimes people that lived almost next to a venue we had played a week before would write us like “When are you playing here again?”. They hadn’t seen any update on the show. That’s when I realised that our news feed and everything we see is almost entirely controlled by algorithms, who show you paid ads. I myself am merely looking at these developments, I’m not opposing them or being a whiny critic. It just all fascinates me and that’s how I came up with this song. Depicting a machine confessing its carving out of humanity.

-CC: Could we ever see a tour where you play your solo albums?

CW: I would love to play these songs live somehow. I don’t have a plan for it yet but the desire is there yes.

After my first solo album I felt the urge to do something very different, not just soundtracks but make actual songs where I sing and play all the instruments.

-CC:  What were the similarities or differences for the creative/writing process from your solo albums to Carach Angren?

CW: The similarities are that when I compose for Carach I usually compose the whole songs in its entirety, it’s only then that the other guys take the material and make it their own, like changing the drum patterns, adding ideas for lead guitars etc. This time I was just immediately finished after I was finished haha. Also I tried to keep things simple, work with a chorus – verse structure. I had a lot of fun doing things this way. A big influence on that was when I worked on material for Till (Lindemann) [of Rammstein]. He always suggest keeping things short, compact but super effective.

Another example in which this process differed from CA is that I worked more on the production of the songs. I think the composition work was like 30% and the mixing and arranging was like 70%. I have learned a lot on the production side of the whole thing.
-CC: Were there any movies/bands that you used as inspiration for the album’s sound?CW: During the last seven months I have dramatically upgraded my studio equipment. I now have this perfect listening environment where you sit in frond of the speakers on the sweet spot and the instruments are literary placed around you, almost 360 degrees. It wasn’t easy or cheap to reach this haha but now it’s incredible. This helped me super much to improve my mixes. Some albums that really influenced me on that aspect are Michael Jackson’s Thriller. When you listen this album on good headphones you hear all these binaural effects they have put in there. It is amazing. The same goes for Nine Inch Nails – the Downward Spiral. It’s creepy how his voice his constantly panned off center for example. Things happen left and right of you and change constantly. Also I tried to make the drums really epic, not just a metal drumkit but big Taiko drums, digitally distorted snare drums, etc. I wanted it to sound industrial, massive and almost other worldly at times. For the voice, I just gave myself complete intuitive freedom. I didn’t use auto tune or any of that. I wanted it to sound raw and only used effects like delays and stuff to enhance a certain atmosphere the tracks needed in my opinion. I had a lot of fun doing this. I also only started playing guitars in January of this year. I’m left handed so I always had this idea of buying a left-handed guitar, but somehow postponed it all the time. When I finally bought one in the end of December I couldn’t stop playing. It opened a whole new world for me.

-CC: Will there be more solo albums in the future?

CW: Yes for sure, because I can’t stop writing new material haha. It gives me new inspiration and energy to return to the writing process of CA for example. It’s like a playground for me where there are no expectations, I can do whatever I want.

-CC: How is your current tour going so far?

CW: For me personally it’s one of the best tours ever. The festivals are crazy and despite the heat wave in Europe there are a surprising amount of people showing up in the club shows, really dedicated CA fans which is fucking awesome!

-CC: Any news/updates on the next Carach Angren album?

CW: We are currently planning the recordings, the music is almost completely done. We want to start recording this fall and are looking a t a 2020 release. I’m really excited about the new material, it’s going to be different again but the CA spirit is of course entirely in there.

-CC: When not doing anything music related, what do you do in your spare time? Hobbies? Books? Movies? Art?

CW: I read a lot of books, psychology, spirituality, motivational topics. Currently I have a couple of books in my phone I re-read all the time because they influence me greatly. One of the best discoveries lately for me is “The Power of your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy. It’s an incredibly book containing so much wisdom. If you are interested in those topics I definitely recommend it.

-CC: What are some bands you’d like to play with that you’ve yet to play with?

CW: To be honest I am never focused on which bands we play with because my focus is entirely on our show. Of course when opportunities arise I always look at how it would benefit the band and the fans who come to the shows. I think as being a fan of music I would look at this question differently. I remember my first metal open air festival. It was Dynamo in 1999. I remember that seriously ALL the bands I had recently discovered played there. This was a dream back then. I could just pick up the festival booklet and move from tent to main stage and back and see them all. As far as CA I would like to play an actual stadium and bring an incredible Horror experience.

-CC: What are some of the best crowds/countries you’ve played?

CW: On this tour my favourite show so far was on Full Force in Germany. Because we played at 2 am in the tent stage and still there were many fans and they were going crazy. I watched people doing little parades in the audience on “Pitch Black Box” and had to hide my smile. It was really cool and energetic haha.

-CC: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

CW: Thanks so much for all the support I get everywhere with both CA and my solo experiments!

Dark Funeral/Belphegor: 1720 – Los Angeles, Ca 6/15/19

This year’s Devastation on the Nation tour proved to be a brutal one not to be missed. The tour is known for hosting some of the best metal bands around and brings them together for one unforgettable night. This tour featured some brutal bands like Poland’s Hate and legendary death metal act, Incantation. The tour was headlined by some of Europe’s finest metal bands and it was none other than Austria’s blackened death metal legion Belphegor and Sweden’s black metal lords, Dark Funeral. Los Angeles may have been the final stop on the tour, but was the first show to sell out in a couple of weeks after tickets went on sale! The event was held at the somewhat still new venue known as the 1720 Warehouse which has quickly, in fact, become one of LA’s most hated venues. A show like this that sold out quickly at a venue like this was a clear sign that the show should have been held at a bigger and better venue, but who thinks about that these days when it comes to booking shows? Regardless, it was set to be one of the best metal tours of the year.
Belphegor released their eleventh studio album titled Totenritual in 2017 and have been actively touring since then bringing their satanic imagery to their legions of fans. The lights went out and the packed venue cheered and chanted Belphegor‘s name as the band members made their way to the stage. The stage was setup with upside drown crosses, animals bones and snakes. Belphegor started their evil ritual with Sanctus Diaboli Confidimus. Belphegor unleashed their music to the packed venue and the fans went crazy. Frontman Helmuth sang with his diabolical vocals and made faces to terrorize his audience with. The next two tracks were tracks from the newest album which were Totenkult – Exegesis of Deterioration and The Devil’s Son. In between songs, Helmuth would address the audience with his evil voice, chants and holding his hands together as if saying a prayer. Belphegor continued to lay waste to the Los Angeles crowd as they moshed to satanic hymns like Hell’s Ambassador, Stigma Diabolicum, Lucifer Incestus and Baphomet. It was time for Belphegor to say their farewells to the audience and finished the show with Gasmask Terror. Such a powerful performance and still one more band to go.
Dark Funeral released their sixth studio album Where Shadows Forever Reign in 2016. Dark Funeral last came to the USA in 2018 and before that, it had been several. For people that missed out last year, this was another chance to see one of Sweden’s most legendary bands. With plenty of fans in attendance, Dark Funeral needed no introduction. The lights went out and the crowd once again cheered as Dark Funeral came out and started with King Antichrist. The crowd went wild with mosh pits as Dark Funeral played classic black metal tunes with singer Heljarmadr singing with screams and shrieks. Dark Funeral came out wearing their traditional armor giving them a menacing look as well as traditional black metal corpse paint. Dark Funeral continued raging with Temple of Ahriman followed by My Dark Desires. It’s always great having black metal bands come to the USA, especially if they hardly ever come. Dark Funeral is not afraid to show how their lyrics always contain topics on Satanism and anti-Christianity. One such song performed was The Arrival of Satan’s Empire where Heljarmadr gets a traditional cross with Jesus Christ on it; licks it as well as rubs it all over his crotch. Not for the faint of heart or those who their religion seriously. Regardless, fans loved every minute of the performance and just couldn’t get enough. Dark Funeral continued the black metal assault with Nail Them to the Cross, The Secrets of the Black Arts, and Unchain My Soul. It was sadly time for the show to come to a full end. Dark Funeral thanked the audience for an amazing show and tour before wrapping it up with Where Shadows Forever Reign. The whole show was worth checking out with plenty of great acts on the bill. Many people missed out on this show due to it being held at such a small venue so hopefully bands of this caliber play at bigger venues.

 

Dark Funeral

 

Belphegor

 

Avatar: The Mayan – Los Angeles, Ca – 6/13/19

Swedish melodic death metal band Avatar released their seventh studio album Avatar Country in 2018. Since then, they have been actively touring all over the world performing for their old fans as well as making ton of new fans. Avatar embarked on a North American tour also featuring Devin Townsend, Dance With the Dead and ’68. One of the last stops on the tour was at the Mayan in Los Angeles, California and it was packed with metalheads hungry for one of Sweden’s finest bands.
The lights went out and fans cheered in excitement as fanfare music played over the speakers signaling the arrival of Avatar Country. Guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby took his place on a royal chair in the back overlooking the whole venue in his King outfit greeting the citizens of Los Angeles. A podium stood front and center of the stage as the rest of Avatar made their way to the stage and started the show with A Statue of the King. Singer Johannes Eckerström was the last member to come out and took his place on the podium and started singing the song with his traditional melodic death metal growls. The first thing you’ll notice is how the band wears matching Circus Ringmaster outfits which fits perfectly with the theme of the band. Right away, you see how energetic the band is with every member putting in work to be sure they’re not standing in one spot the whole show. Eckerström was especially mobile with plenty of hand motions, plenty of facial expressions, and of course sticking his tongue out a lot. The song ends and the King makes his way front and center of the stage once again sitting on his throne. The second song played was the new album’s first song, Legend of the King. After a perfectly executed song, the King took his place with the rest of the band as they played the fan-favorite song Paint Me Red which had the audience singing along. Avatar next played another one of their best songs Bloody Angel that sounds just as beautiful live as it does on the album. The song once again had the audience singing along and banging their head. Avatar never had a dull moment in their performance and kept the crowd entertained as they performed other favorites like King’s Harvest, The Eagle Has Landed, Tower, Puppet Show, Let It Burn and Smells Like a Freakshow. Avatar seemed to near the end of the show as they announced Torn Apart as the show’s finale. They left the stage and all seemed quiet for a bit. Eckerström came out after a quick break to talk to the crowd and decided to continue to the show and deliver some encores. Eckerström once again welcomed the crowd to Avatar Country with he and the rest of the band wearing new white Ringmaster outfits. Avatar performed one of the new album’s best songs, The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country. This song is extra fun as during the encore, Avatar drops a giant disco ball and fills the venue with bubbles. Because  nothing shows how metal you can be like blowing bubbles. Sadly, it was time for the show to come to an end and so Avatar decided to end their show with a bang. Avatar played their most popular song, Hail the Apocalypse. The crowd went wild and gave Avatar all their energy for the grand finale. Avatar ended the song, came out front and center of the stage to bid farewell, bowed to the citizens of LA, then left the stage once again. Avatar is one of the most entertaining bands to see live and even if you’ve never heard of them, they’re definitely worth seeing live as they will most likely leave you wanting more and make a fan out of you.

 

Avantasia: The Grove – Anaheim, Ca – 5/19/19

German power metal supergroup Avantasia released their eighth studio album Moonglow on February 15, 2019. The band is the brainchild of frontman Tobias Sammet who also fronts the metal band, Edguy. Avantasia is a rock/metal opera in that it features contributions of various vocalists and musicians. Some of the guest vocalists that have contributed to Avantasia include Michael Kiske (Helloween), Alice Cooper, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Klaus Meine (Scorpions), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) and Mille Petrozza (Kreator). Avantasia‘s albums have a concept or theme to it telling a story that can span more than one album so if you’re into albums like that. The name Avantasia comes from the words “avalon” and fantasia” and describes “a world beyond human imagination”. Soon after the album’s release, Avantasia set out on a huge world tour with new guest vocalists on the road as well as some previous singers. The last time Avantasia came to the USA was in 2016 which was their first USA tour. Only a few cities in the USA were fortunate enough to be blessed by Avantasia‘s presence and one of those stops was at the Grove in Anaheim, California. What makes these shows extra special is that Avantasia never has a support act and always plays for three hours non-stop! The Grove was packed with European metal fanatics that will surely be a power metal performance that they won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

The lights went out and the crowd cheered as the main musicians of Avantasia came out and started the instrumental intro to the new album’s first track Ghost in the Moon before the main man himself Tobias Sammet came out and started singing the song. Knowing power metal, it’s not uncommon for songs to be lengthy. Ghost in the Moon alone was almost ten minutes, but a glorious ten minutes. On backing vocals were Adrienne Cowan and Herbie Langhans who were amazing at keeping up with the fans and providing their amazing vocals to most of the songs performed. The next song performed was another new song Starlight and for this song, Avantasia was joined on stage by one of the special guest vocalist Ronnie Atkins who also fronts the band, Pretty Maids. The next song was yet another new song Book of Shallows where Atkins continued to be a guest singer for the song and this time was joined by Cowan who sang the harsh vocals section of the song (originally sung on the album by Mille Petrozza of Kreator). Sammet took a quick break to talk to the audience about when he first started promoting the album, radios wanted a single to air. Sammet picked The Raven Child and talked about how the problem with that song was that it was just over eleven minutes long and jokingly said he shaved off twenty seconds of the song to satisfy radio stations. With that, Avantasia played The Raven Child in full with another special guest vocalist Jørn Lande who has worked with various bands including his own band, Jorn. Coming up next was a very special guest and it was none other than the Dark Lord of Queensrÿche, Geoff Tate (ex-Queensrÿche). Tate sings two new songs on the new album and he was more than happy to show why he’s one of the greatest metal vocalists of all time. Tate breezed through Alchemy then slowed things down with Invincible which was a beautiful song to listen to. The next track played was the album’s title track, Moonglow. On the album, the song is sung by Candice Night who is the wife of  guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore and fronts the folk rock band Blackmore’s Night with Blackmore. On this occasion, the Anaheim crowd would once again be graced by the presence of Adrienne Cowan with her beautiful singing who matches Night’s tone to perfection. Sammet next introduced a new guest vocalist and an old friend of his Eric Martin who fronts the rock band, Mr. Big. They would go on to perform a cover of the 80’s classic song, Maniac. Avantasia kept the energy going as they played hit after hit never having a dull moment in what seemed an endless performance. Some of the powerful songs performed included Twisted Mind, The Scarecrow, Master of the Pendulum, Dying For an Angel, Avantasia, and their longest song Let the Storm Descend Upon You which clocks in at just a little over twelve minutes. It was time for the show to come to an end and so Sammet mentioned how this song put Avantasia back on the map and is very special to him. The song was Lost in Space and it just as beautiful performed live as it sounds on the album, The Scarecrow. The band left the stage and all seemed quiet. Sammet came out to address the audience once again and was more than willing to play some encores and went back to the debut album, The Metal Opera. The first encore was Farewell with Cowan on vocals. To end the three-hour metal extravaganza, Sammet brought out every vocalist involved on the show which was a special special sight to see. The final encore was a blend of the songs Sign of the Cross followed by the grand finale, The Seven Angels. Everyone in the band got together and bowed to their audience and left the stage once again. The fans were happy to see Avantasia for what many in the audience was their first time. Hopefully it’s not another few years before Avantasia comes back.

 

Death Angel: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 5/18/19

San Francisco Bay Area thrash titans Death Angel released their ninth studio album Humanicide on May 31, 2019. The album received positive reviews from fans and proved that Death Angel still releases killer metal music to bang your head to. Death Angel had just finished a co-headlining tour with thrash metal legends Overkill. Now, they embarked on a mini headlining tour and the second to last stop on the tour was at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, California. In classic Hollywood style, the show sold out ahead of time. This Saturday night was set to be an unforgettable one.
The Whisky was packed with metalheads by the time Death Angel was ready to take the stage.
The lights went out and the sold out crowd cheered as Death Angel came down stairs and started the show with Thrown to the Wolves. The Whisky came alive as a mosh pit started and welcomed the thrash legends. Up next performed was Claws in So Deep. Death Angel next announced how they would be going back to 1987 to their debut album, The Ultra-Violence. Since their debut album, only vocalist Mark Osegueda and guitarist/founding member Rob Cavestany have remained in the band. The crowd cheered as Death Angel played Voracious Souls and once again sent the audience into a frenzy with classic thrash metal riffs. Death Angel kept the energy alive the whole time as all band members were energetic on stage and seemed to be feeding off the crowd. Some tracks from their previous record The Evil Divide were played which were Father of Lies and The Moth. Death Angel took a quick break so Osegueda could address the audience. He thanked the audience for all their support all these years and also announced that the band’s current lineup is longest-standing lineup from the band’s career. Death Angel would go on to play a mix of classic material and new tunes which consisted of The Dream Calls For Blood, Mistress of Pain and Lost. Osegueda made note on how the band had just released their new record and would now perform some new tracks for everyone’s listening pleasure. The first track played was the title track and the album’s first single, Humanicide. The next two new tracks performed were I Came For Blood and then the album’s next single, The Pack. It was now time for the show to come to an end and so Death Angel once again went back to their debut album. They first played the intro to the instrumental title track The Ultra-Violence which normally just past ten minutes long, but only the intro was played on this occasion. After the intro, Death Angel jumped into one of their most popular songs, Kill as One. The floor went just as crazy with mosh pits and shoving. Death Angel wrapped up their show, thanked the audience again, and took their leave. Fans were left happy from their performance and proves that Death Angel still has plenty left in the tank.

 

Metalachi: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 5/17/19

Metalachi is the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band. If you haven’t heard of them by now, they are a mariachi band that does covers of classic rock and heavy metal songs using mariachi instruments. It may sound a bit odd at first, but a quick YouTube search and you’ll find plenty of live videos from their hundreds of performances. The members in the band are: Vega De La Rockha (vocals), Paco Halen (guitar), Kiko Cane (bass), Kyla Vera (violin) and El Cucuy (trumpet). Their stage outfits are inspiration taken from other rock/metal acts like Gwar, KISS, and Rob Zombie. Metalachi currently has three albums out titled Uno, Dos and Tres (One, Two, and Three). Metalachi has been climbing the ladder little by little and this show at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California was no exception as this show was once again sold out! As the stage was ready for Metalachi, the first thing you’ll notice how women’s bras from previous shows cover their mic stands showing just how raunchy their fans can get. The fans were more than ready to await the arrival of Metalachi.
Leading up to the show, Metalachi teased a special guest invited to their show. Many speculations were made, but things got started quickly as the guest was the one to warm up the audience. The lights dimmed and the guest came out which turned out to be none other than the internet sensation and YouTube star, Frankie Quiñones aka Cholo Fit Creeper. He warmed up the audience complete with jokes while wearing a six pack of Corona beers around his neck. The audience loved him and laughed at his performance and made for a great start to the show. Creeper wrapped up his stand up show and next introduced Metalachi as they made their way to the show and started with Rainbow in the Dark (Dio). Right away, you can see how Metalachi turns classic heavy metal tunes into dancing mariachi tunes. Up next, De La Rockha brought out a traditional Mexican instrument called a guiro and played it to the tune of Iron Man (Black Sabbath) which also gave the song a feeling of wanting to dance. Metalachi next paid tribute to everyone’s favorite internet cat meme Grumpy Cat who had recently passed away. De La Rockha said how Grumpy Cat could now pass through the Pet Sematary Gates. As tribute, Metalachi played Cemetery Gates (Pantera). Aside from the performance, Metalachi are also known to be comedians on stage as they constantly berate and taunt each other with insults and jokes. It’s always a warm feeling seeing everyone laugh as El Cucuy let everyone from the first couple of rows is known as the “splash zone” due to the possibility of the women ending up pregnant by the end of the show. El Cucuy also made note on how he noticed the variety of people in the audience. Regardless of gender, age or sexuality, everyone was seen with smiles, dancing, and having a good time which is what a Metalachi show is all about. Kyla Vera jumped in on the conversation and said that if everyone in the audience can dance together then surely they can….sing together. Metalachi continued their entertaining performance by performance more classic songs like Raining Blood (Slayer), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), One (Metallica) and for this special occasion, Metalachi premiered live for the first time their cover of Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers). To end the show, Metalachi played Canción del Mariachi as seen on the film Desperado and is also performed by Los Lobos. Metalachi wrapped up their show and said goodbye to their sold out audience once again leaving them wet and satisfied. If the Metalachi loco train ever comes to your area, they are definitely worth checking out. Even if you have to road trip!

 

 

Deicide: 1720 – Los Angeles, Ca – 5/15/19

Legions of death metal have hit the road and they struck this evening, nowhere better than in the downtown area of Los Angeles. Deicide brings forth an ensemble of hate, destruction and death riffs from their latest album overtures of blasphemy which released late last year. The 1720 has brought forth 6 powerful acts that define the sheer velocity that is Death Metal. With a house full of die-hards and ragers throughout the night and no dead sense, this is the perfect evening to witness the heady doses of main acts such as Origin, Jungle Rot, and The Absence. This Los Angeles even is able to benefit us with local opening acts, Transtorno the Blackened Death metal band from Inland Empire. Whose theatrical mix and influences will consist of Behemoth, Uada and Watain. This Spanish-themed band definitely gets points for taking their act to the next level with their music as well as engagement with oncoming crowds. With their latest tracks from Himnos a Lucifer, a must have for any collection. Dark as Death definitely tears through souls with their brute force of death and grind, really warming up the crowd even further. The band is terrifyingly good and brings you nothing but hard and heavy tones from the latest Bless the Witch, a must, especially for a show like tonight.

The Absence:
Florida keeps bringing out astonishing acts, first of the main acts is The Absence. While I have never heard of them nor have I heard any of their tunes the name was definitely circled around by those around waiting to see the band take the stage. From the first minute the boys started playing, I knew then and there that the rest of this set would be unforgettable. A 5-piece like this who is as coordinated and fun-loving while delivering a solid banging set of jams that have never been this much fun to witness. Many a times there’s a melodic death act thrown into this mix and for the better to stay close to the main genre while having a hint of versatility is a core advantage to being the type of act that stays in your head for a long time. Not only has this band initiated their rightful place to the crowd, members have come from an extensive background of heavy predecessors such as Venom Inc., Havok, Arch Enemy and Wombbath, its no wonder the boys are as good as they are as well as experienced. Definitely the type of music worth keeping track of!
Setlist:
1. The Murder
2. Necropolis
3. Septic Testament
4. Walking Shadows
5. Celestial Hysteria
6. Dead and Gone

Jungle Rot:
One of the main highlights for this evening and my all time favorite fiends from Wisconsin, Jungle Rot only delivers old school death and they do it so damn well. Right off the bat the crowd is part of one mighty spectacle, The band does not hesitate to unleash their monstrous jams such as Doomsday, Terror Regime,  E.F.K and Burning Cinder. While the frontside of the stage is heavily crowded towards the back mostly what you can witness is a number of bodies slamming towards each other. Key Ingredients for this group are the demonic screams from singer Dave Matrise, the heavy riffs from Geoff Bub, as well as the pounding bass lines from Jimm Genenz are the perfect combo that keeps the audience asking for more. With a variety set featuring their latest tracks on their self titled album which has been released for almost a year already. There is no slowing down when seeing Jungle Rot. Every chance I get at seeing them I make sure to make the most of it because they definitely pack a punch!

Setlist:
1. Doomsday
2. Burning Cinder
3. Send Forth Oblivion
4. Stay Dead
5. Worst Case Scenario
6. E.F.K
7. Fearmonger
8. Terror Regime
9. Psychotic Cremation

Origin:
Up next comes tech-death legends Origin, who hail from Topeka, Kansas. With the crowd already packed and the night still young, these folk are beyond ready for more. Nothing but concentration and skill is shown from all sides of the stage as Origin presents us with gravity blasts and sweeps that melt faces and even have the crowds in action with voluntary stage diving. Singer Jason Keyser reacts best when engaging with the crowd, commanding the next move and blasting vocals that are flawless in their latest tracks and jams such as The Aftermath and Finite. The band exceeds brutality delivering much better through a live performance than in studio because of engagement.

Setlist: N/A

Deicide:
Now begins the almighty destruction of Florida legends, Deicide! when asked by sound guys if he’s ready to go, best thing to come out of singer Glen Benton’s mouth “I’m ready to f*ck sh*t up!” All the hellions in the room cheer and roar, ready for this heavy set to get started. First track to be unleashed is the classic Dead by Dawn and damn what a way to getting your night started. Death Metal can’t be described without picturing Glen’s high pitched screaming demon vox that interpret hell and all its glory of evil. Almost 2 hours of a full on classic death setlist along with tracks from their latest album Overtures of Blasphemy, it’s all killer and no filler. Brutality surrounds you as the band delivers their music that is as dark and intense as they come such as One with Satan, Serpents of the Light and Sacrificial Suicide. It’s one hell of a night for everyone grateful enough to be a part of this event and making sure that they have plenty of energy to last the rest of this monstrous tour. Currently these high rollers are taking this tour and domination throughout the US, I highly recommend taking a trip out to the nearest venue to be one with Deicide as well as this tour!

Setlist:
1. Dead by Dawn
2. When Satan Rules His World
3. Scars of the Crucifix
4. Crawled from the Shadows
5. They are children of the Underworld
6. One with Satan
7. Once upon the Cross
8. Defying the Sacred
9. Serpents of the Light
10. Seal of the Tomb Below
11. Oblivious to Evil
12. Excommunicated
13. Dead but Dreaming
14. In the minds of Evil
15. Sacrificial Suicide

Photos & review by: Hugo Juarez

 

Deicide

 

Jungle Rot

 

Origin

 

The Absence

Combichrist: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca – 5/10/19

     

     Norwegian industrial metal band Combichrist will be releasing their ninth studio album One Fire on June 7th. In the meantime, they are busy touring around the world playing their dance/electronic music that gets the blood pumping and fists in the air. Recently, the band saw the departure of their percussionist Nick Rossi and the sad departure of their longtime and fan-favorite drummer Joe Letz after 13 years as the main drummer. Combichrist now has two new members and are still putting on electrifying performances. Their music is best described as electro-industrial with their songs containing elements of electronic music and industrial. Combichrist is currently on tour and one of the stops was at the Regent in Los Angeles, California. A perfect way to spend your Friday night with some electro-industrial metal to relieve stress.
The lights went out and the crowd went wild as the intro track This Shit Will Fuck You Up started. The band members came out one by one with founding member and singer Andy LaPlegua being the last one on stage. Combichrist started the show with Hate Like Me, a brand new song that will be on the new album. The next song played was the favorite Never Surrender which got the crowd singing along to the catchy chorus. The third song played was another fan favorite Shut Up and Swallow that also had the fans singing along to the obvious catchy chorus. Looking around, you could see fans having a good time with plenty of beer drinking, smiles, and dancing. Plenty of fans also dressed the part for industrial metal which involved eye liner, latex, and greasy-looking hair. Combichrist continued the show with blood-pumping tunes like Throat Full of Glass, No Redemption, Follow the Trail and They. Combichrist had an impressive display of strobe lights to give the show a classic electronic show with lots of fog. Along with the performance, the band’s two newest members were also shining. Drummer Dane White and percussionist Will Spodnick were wild displaying their drumming techniques and were very entertaining to watch. They will surely be great additions to the band. The show seemed to come to an end when Combichrist played what is perhaps their most famous song, What the Fuck Is Wrong With You?. Fans were singing along and jumping as they haven been and even a mosh pit was started to the energy of this song. Once Combichrist finished, they left the stage. The fans stayed and didn’t seem to wanna go home yet. After a short break, Combichrist came back out for some encores. The first encore was Blut Royale. The fans were happy to have Combichrist back out so they showed their appreciation by jumping and going crazy once again. The next two encores were the fan-favorites Electrohead and Get Your Body Beat. By this time, it had gotten warm in the venue with everyone looking all sweaty, but were clearly having the time of their life. To end the night, Combichrist played Maggots At the Party. The show ended and Combichrist surely left plenty of smiles on the faces of all their fans both old and new.

 

Peter Beckett’s Player: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca 3/6/19

     American rock band Player is best known for their 1977 hit single, Baby Come Back. They have been through numerous lineup changes and hiatuses, but are now back with an all new lineup with original frontman Peter Beckett leading the band. One of the stops on this tour was the world-famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, California. It was a calm and quiet Wednesday night in Hollywood which was the perfect setting for this show.
After a few opening acts, it was time for Player to hit the stage for old and new fans to enjoy some rocking tunes. Player started the show with Man on Fire. Even after all these years, Beckett still has it with talent and showmanship. The show went on as Player played many of their hits including This Time, How Long (Ace cover), Twist of Fate and My Religion. Fans could be seen cheering singing along, and dancing to the music. Player would also bring out some guests for the show which were Elliot Lurie (Looking Glass band) and Mary Harris From Ambrosia who is also the wife of Player drummer, Burleigh Drummond. Nearing the end of the show, it was time to bring out the song that everyone was waiting. The familiar guitar intro started and everyone gathered as close as possible to hear Player sing one of the most popular rock/love songs, Baby Come Back. Player would end the show with Wildside and called it a night and left the stage. The audience stayed for a bit and after a quick break, Beckett came back out to introduce the band as well as talk about life and music as well as an encore song. That encore song would be House is a Rockin’. Beckett once again thanked the audience for coming out and left the stage once again. Player has left their mark in music history and still show no signs of slowing down.

 

Doro/Metal Church: Whisky A Go Go – Hollywood, Ca – 4/19/19

Heavy metal titans Doro and Metal Church teamed up for a co-headlining tour across the USA. It would make for a great night for classic metal for fans of all ages. What better venue to hold a show of this caliber than the legendary Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. Even before Metal Church went on, the venue was already packed with fans as they were clearly eager to get their weekend started.
Metal Church released their twelfth studio album Damned If You Do in 2018. They came out to a packed venue and were welcomed by the audience as they started the show with the title track from the new album, Damned If You Do. Hearing a classic heavy metal band is always a breath of fresh air. Vocalist Mike Howe returned to the band in 2015 since first leaving in 1995 when Metal Church disbanded. It’s great to have Howe back in the lineup as Metal Church still sounds great as they delivered tracks like Badlands, Date With Poverty and No Friend of Mine. The crowd came alive the most when Metal Church played their best tracks Start the Fire, Watch the Children Pray and Beyond the Black. All those songs had the fans singing along and raising their horns in the air. The show seemed to come to an end when they played By the Numbers. Metal Church left the stage, but the fans kept cheering for them. After a quick break, Metal Church came back out for some encores. The first encore was Fake Healer. The fans kept the energy going as they continuously cheered. The end their performance, Metal Church played In Mourning before leaving the stage once again as they made way for the headlining act of the night.
German metal queen Doro Pesch released her new double album Forever Warriors/Forever United in 2018. By the time Doro and her band was getting ready to come on stage, the venue was packed with metalheads from various age groups. The band members came out with Doro being last. They started the show with the classic I Rule the Ruins from when Doro fronted the heavy metal band, Warlock. Joining her from her Warlock days is guitarist Tommy Bolan who shredded each track played live to perfection and is an absolute madman of a performer. The next track was Earthshaker Rock followed by Raise Your Fist in the Air. The fans were loving every moment of this energetic performance. Doro was very active on stage as she would run around and raise her fists to the loudness of the music. Doro would next play a song from the new albums titled Bastardos and it was heavy metal goodness. One of the highlights of the night was when Doro once again went back to her Warlock roots and played the band’s most popular track, Burning the Witches. The fans would sing along to the song’s catchy chorus as well as raise their metal horns and bang their heads. Doro would continue to deliver plenty of heavy metal classics including Hellbound, All We Are, East Meets West, and even a Judas Priest cover of Breaking the Law which got the crowd pumped up singing along to one of metal’s greatest songs. To end the night, Doro played the metal anthem We Are the Metalheads which is always played at the German metal festival, Wacken Open Air. Doro finished up the show and left, but not before thanking everyone that came out. Doro always puts on a great show for her fans and always show full appreciation to everyone in the audience and proves why she’s the metal queen.

 

Doro

 

Metal Church

Kalmah: The Hi-Hat – Los Angeles, Ca – 4/20/19

As another weekend strikes, the heavy maniacs of SoCal have gathered over at The Hi-Hat for a spectacular set to have ever landed. Better captioned as an “All Killer, no Filler” type of gig with acts from near and very far. With a full capacity and sold out show and on the infamous 4/20 no less, 5 blasphemous sets of pure heavy madness. For the first time in the history of the states, the swamp lords Kalmah have finally been able to grace us with their presence. Hailing all the way from Finland, these titans put on one swamphell of a show along with Norwegian fiends Vreid and supporting acts Empyrean Throne, Wormwitch and Imperialist. A climactic event full of screams and shreds too good to miss.
First to start off the evening are the sci-fi black thrashing locals of Imperialist who reside in the LA area. The 4 piece hellions drew quite a crowd for openers as production managed to give incentives for early comers which in term had the space filling quite fast. With empowering fury and tempos varying from fast and slow-paced rhythms, the band has already set the mood for the types of vibes that are to be felt this evening. Any fan of blast beats combined with euphoric screams are definitely in for a treat due to the energy these gents put forth into their writing. Currently the band has come out with their latest album Cipher jam-packed with supersonic tracks all geared towards a rich symphonic blackened themed piece of art, highly worth taking a listen to.

Imperialist:
1. Binary Coalescence
2. The Singularity
3. Call of Vulcain
4. Advent Anathema
5. Mercurian Dusk

Canada has been introducing us to newer bands lately and what an excellent addition to follow the next set than the mighty Wormwitch hailing just from above us in Vancouver, BC. I had only heard about this band so seeing them on the stage and witnessing the pack that they punch by really pumping up the crowd gives you the sense that they mean business. With an incoming horde of more fans entering by the second this act keeps bringing the heat with
jams such as Disciple of the Serpent Star and Two Wolves. Your only choice is to participate with the heavy
blackened death tones. With a small venue such as the Hi-Hat, it’s both good and bad to be in such close proximity to
these bands leaving the benefit of closer interactions which feels both parties, sure maybe it’ll get tight but better than having barricades and seeing the band from afar. The best way to describe this band in particular would be malevolently epic, the stage presence and aura thrown out is a great setting. While also supporting as a guest act in this tour, the band is also touring with black metal titans Uada in The Spectral Storm Tour which also runs through the rest of this month towards the north of the states. You don’t know what you’re missing unless you’re out catching this band on stage earring it up!

Wormwitch:
1. Dancing in the Ashes
2. Disciple of the Serpent Star
3. Weregild
4. Two Wolves
5. Midnight Sun
6. Lord of Chains

Just south of Los Angeles and in the surrounding Orange County dwells another set of heathens known as
Empyrean Throne. I can’t get enough of the local bands and always astonished as to how many of them
are just a short distance away. I am highly admirable when it comes to groups who have their own set of
charismatic functions and developing presence. E.T. is just that, with their brute force 300 film style-themed
antics the name definitely gives context. Once drawn into the essence through their visual appeal for rituals and chaos,
you get that technical blackened Behemoth elements. With a few hardcore pulses you’re able to feel the type of power
they bring forth to the crowd with killer tracks such as The Twilight Order and Usurping the Obsidian God. It’s a most perfect style of creativity thrown in the mix, fiery lights, stage props, black/death riffs of pure vile hate has you in the adrenaline rush type of mood. E.T. will continue supporting Kalmah up until the very next month of May and is bringing heavy doses of tyrannical fury, be sure to be a part of the spectacle. As if the evening was not finished, yet another group of iconic mortals hit the stage. With a new name and no strangers to the stage is Vreid or better known in their younger days as the very dark and brutal Windir which consists of all original members excluding the very late Valfar. For most who have been followers from the very beginning there are distinct differences between the two but also have some styles that adhere to its predecessor. Vreid delivers a more revamped and versatile style of music which they have made to present themselves evil tracks like Black Rites in the Black Knights and my favorite, Solverv. The only and best elements to expect is the dark spirit of unholy tracks that are the embodiment making this band whole. Of course what is a great tribute to the golden days like a ‘cover’ from your former band which had the crowd going nuts during the segment of Journey to the End. Banger after banger its a sight to behold in getting the opportunity to witness such godlike beings as Vreid.

Vreid:
1. Når Byane Brenn
2. Black Rites in the Black Knights
3. Disciplined
4. Solverv
5. Raped by Light
6. Lifehunger
7. Journey to the End (Windir Cover)
8. Flowers & Blood
9. One Hundred Years
10. Pitch Black

The moment was finally here as the crowd chants “bring out the Swamp Lords” which can only be the forth calling to
legends Kalmah, after so long and many years can finally make history by playing for a full house filled with the fans that enjoy true melodic death metal. Coming from Finland’s finest to destroy the evening in a setlist full of monstrous jams from past and new hymns like They Will Return, The Evil Kin and Swamphell the band delivers. The only goal for the evening is to give the people what they have been wanting and waiting on for so long. Over an hour of chants and killer riffs from all sides of the spectrum be it guitars, bass, effect and who could forget drums. The basis of this group surpasses the rest with its harmonic instrumentals and beautifully crafted rhythms, singer and frontman
Pekka Kokko assures face melting riffs and licks are just a fraction of the entertainment without the hellish leads from Antti Kokko and remarkable fills in effects by keyboardist Veli Kananen. To merely spectate such icons as these is too good of an opportunity to pass up and should highly be taken advantage of to finally see greatness in the flesh!

Kalmah:
1. Hook the Monster
2. They Will Return
3. The Evil Kin
4. For the Revolution
5. Pikemaster
6. The Groan of Wind
7. Swamphell
8. Moon of My Nights
9. Seventh Swamphony
10. 12 Gauge
11. Take me Away
12. Principle Hero
13. Heroes to Us
Encore:
1. The Black Waltz
2. Hades

 

Kalmah

 

Vreid

 

Empyrean Throne

 

Wormwitch

 

Imperialist

Ministry: Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, Ca 4/23/19

Legendary record label Wax Trax! Records released a film titled Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records.  The film was shown on a mini tour consisting of six stops across the USA. The final stop on the tour was at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, California. A venue like this is obviously too small for a band like Ministry and an event like this. Doors opened at 5 and even after the movie had started at 6, the venue was at max capacity and a big line was still waiting outside hoping for a chance to be let in,
The film tells the story about the independent record store and label from the two founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher who started as a record store in 1978 and eventually moved to Chicago where they opened another store. Wax Trax! Records became a presence for genres such as punk rock, new wave and industrial metal. The film shows old footage from bands as well as new interviews from bands like KMFDM, Revolting Cocks, Front 242, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Al Jourgensen (Ministry). After the film ended, there was a standing ovation from the sold out audience who obviously loved the film. There was a Q&A session with Julia Nash (daughter of Jim), Paul Barker (ex-Ministry) and a couple of others. The DVD/Blu Ray of the film is available to purchase and also includes 75 minutes of additional footage. One that was over, the entire venue floor was emptied of people to make room for the music part of the show and what better way to end it than with the industrial metal legends, Ministry.
The members of Ministry came out to a packed venue with mastermind Jourgensen letting the fans know that their setlist will only include songs from the Wax Trax! Records era. The first song was The Missing from their certified gold third album, The Land of Rape and Honey. The next two songs were Deity and Stigmata which were also from that same album. Up next was indeed was a special treat for Ministry as they next played Jesus Built My Hotrod, a song they haven’t played since 2006. It was welcomed by fans as they sang along, moshed, and jumped to this catchy and energetic song. Ministry next played some classic fan-favorites like Just One Fix, N.W.O. and Thieves. Next they once again treated the fans to an old song Burning Inside which they haven’t played since 2003. The night seemed to come to an end as Ministry played So What then left the stage. Fans didn’t seem to wanna leave yet as they stayed and cheered for the band to come back out. After a short break, Ministry came back out for some encores. The first was No Devotion, a Revolting Cocks (Jourgensen side-project) cover which hasn’t been played since 1988. The final treat of the night was when Ministry played their Black Sabbath cover of Supernaut which they haven’t played since 2004. To end the night, Ministry played an acoustic version of (Everyday Is) Halloween. Jourgensen thanked the audience for coming out before leaving the stage once again.

 

Queensryche: Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, Ca – 3/28/19

Queensryche is a progressive heavy metal band that has been around since the 1980’s. Since then, they have released fifteen studio albums with the newest one The Verdict released on March 1st. Queensryche have been touring non-stop since their formation and have delivered many classic albums and songs to rock and metal fanatics. They announced a tour with Fates Warning which was sure to be a great package. The Los Angeles stop was at the Fonda Theatre which had a nice turnout of fans even before Fates Warning came out on stage.
Fates Warning is a progressive metal band that has also been around since the 1980’s. In 2016, they released their twelfth studio album titled Theories of Flight. Fates Warning came out and started the show with the first track from the new album, From the Rooftops. Fates Warning was full of energy and delivered classic heavy metal to the audience. The next track was Life in Still Water from their 1991 Parallels album. Vocalist Ray Alder made note on how he’s had people telling him all tour that they’ve never heard of Fates Warning, so he had to introduce the band to the audience for good measure. Fates Warning continued to play classics and new tracks such as A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Part III, Seven Stars, Pieces of Me and The Eleventh Hour. After a crushing set, Fates Warning finished up their show with Point of View then left the stage properly warming up the audience for the headlining act of the night.
The lights went out and the audience cheered as Queensryche made their way to the stage and started the show with the first track from the new album, Blood of the Levant. Fans were ecstatic to have Queensryche return for a headlining tour. The next song was I Am I followed by NM 156. Queensryche have been enjoying success with their current singer Todd La Torre since 2012. Before then, Queensryche was fronted by Geoff Tate who had an infamous altercation with the band which resulted in his termination. Queensryche has now released three albums with La Torre and show no signs of slowing down. The show continued as Queensryche played classics like Queen of the Reich, Silent Lucidity and Take Hold of the Flame. Fans seemed to enjoy Queensryche as they raised their horns and sang along. Queensryche ended their show with one of their popular hits Eyes of a Stranger from their critically-acclaimed concept album, Operation: Mindcrime. Queensryche left the stage and all seemed quiet for a bit. Fans cheered as thy clearly weren’t ready to go home on this Friday night. After a quick break, Queensryche came back out for some encores. The first encore was Light-years. Now, it was time for Queensryche to bring out the big hits as they next played one of their most popular hits, Jet City Woman. Fans cheered some more and sang along to the chorus. The grand finale of the night was another one of their popular hits, Empire. This night was ruled by two amazing metal bands and lots of happy faces and smiles were seen once Queensryche left the stage.

 

Fates Warning

 

Queensryche

Thy Antichrist: Teragram Ballroom – Los Angeles, Ca – 4/7/19

Colombian black metal band Thy Antichrist released their newest album Wrath of the Beast in 2018. Since then, they have been actively touring in support of the album. Thy Antichrist made an special one-off performance at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles with support from Aire Como Plomo and local acts Witchaven and Vile Descent. Los Angeles was more than ready for Thy Antichrist to take the stage and unleash hell.
The lights went out and the audience cheered as the members of Thy Antichrist came out one by one with vocalist Andres Vargas aka Antichrist 666 being the last one to come out with a staff in hand and wearing a robe hiding his grotesqueness. Thy Antichrist started the show with Between God and The Devil and all hell had broken lose. The first thing you’ll notice is how the band members are covered in black and white paint with armor to give themselves a truly sinister look. The music itself was enough to blow you away and the vocals were brutal to where you wanted to raise your horns and bang your head. The next song was a song from the new album called The Great Beast and is a catchy song to sing along to. The next song was Where Is Your God and features more of the traditional high-pitch black metal vocals which makes the song sound really good and makes you wonder how Vargas is able to maintain those vocals for so long. Throughout the performance, Vargas would live up to the band’s slogan of “Cuernos Arriba!” (Spanish for Horns Up!” as he would regularly raise his horns to the audience. One of the highlights of the show was when Thy Antichrist played Metal to the Bone, one of the best songs from the new album which fans singing along and raising their horns. The show seemed to come to an end as Thy Antichrist played the opening track from the new album Desolation then left the stage. Fans were still hungry for more as they stayed and cheered for the band. After a quick break, Thy Antichrist came back out for some encores. The first encore was Calamity Called Mankind followed by Nightmares. The fans were happy to get more Thy Antichrist in their soul as they continued to cheer and raise their horns. The show had to eventually come to an end and Thy Antichrist did so by playing Pseudo Gods. The show came to an end as Thy Antichrist came together to bow before their audience and took their leave. Hopefully it’s not long before they come back to rage again. Cuernos Arriba!

 

Within Temptation: The Wiltern – Los Angeles, Ca – 3/19/19

Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation released their seventh studio album Resist on February 1, 2019. At last, they announced a USA tour, their first since they last came in 2014. Being one of the biggest symphonic metal bands in the world, American fans flocked to their shows with some traveling many miles or even attending more than one show to catch Within Temptation. Joining them on tour are Swedish melodic death metal giants In Flames and Smash Into Pieces. The final stop on the tour was at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, California. Even before doors opened, fans had lined up outside the venue in anticipation for the show. Smash Into Pieces and In Flames had warmed up the audience by the time Within Temptation came on stage.

The lights went out and the packed venue roared with excitement as the members of Within Temptation came out and started the show with the first track from the new album, The Reckoning (the original song features Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach). Fans were ecstatic to see Within Temptation after so long and for many fans in attendance, it was their first time seeing them. The next song was the second song from the new album, Endless War. Singer Sharon Den Adel continued to prove why she has one of the most beautiful voices in metal and in the world in general with her mezzo-soprano range. Hearing her sing is one of the most soothing, relaxing and most beautiful things you’ll hear in your life. Along to go with the performance, Within Temptation had a big screen in the background showing music videos for the songs as well as different images to go with the performance. The third song was one of their most popular songs In the Middle of the Night and it had fans singing along to the chorus and is also one of the band’s most beautiful songs. The next song was Stand My Ground and is also one of their signature songs that is played at all of their shows and once again displays Den Adel’s impressive vocal range. The next song was a very special treat for fans. Within Temptation next played the track All I Need which is without a doubt one of the most beautiful songs the band has ever written and everyone in the venue was either singing along or staring in awe as they were touched by the music and lyrics. Within Temptation continued to wow the audience and perform beautifully as they performed fan-favorites such as The Heart of Everything, an acoustic version of Ice Queen, Faster and Paradise (What About Us?) (features Tarja Turunen formerly of Nightwish). They also played some new tracks like In Vain and Supernova. To end the night, Within Temptation played another one of their biggest hits, What Have You Done (features Keith Caputo of Life of Agony). The audience was once again singing along to this amazing song. Within Temptation ended the song and left the stage. The fans had waited too long to go home this soon so they stayed and screamed for more. After a small break, Within Temptation came back for more, but were not alone. The first encore was another new song from the new album, Raise Your Banner. The song features Anders Fridén from In Flames and since they are currently on tour with Within Temptation, it only made sense that he join them for the song and this special occasion was only done at the Los Angeles show. To end the night and tour, Within Temptation played their most popular song Mother Earth from their second 2000 album of the same name. It was a powerful song and beautifully executed. Within Temptation finished their show and once again thanked the audience then left the stage. Hopefully it’s not another five years before they return.

 

Children of Bodom: The Observatory – Santa Ana, Ca – 4/2/19

Children of Bodom is a melodic death metal band from Finland. They got their name after The Bodominjärvi Murders, one of the most infamous unsolved homicide cases in Finnish criminal history. On March 8,  they released their tenth studio album Hexed. Children of Bodom wasted no time in announcing a North American tour. On this tour, they brought with them Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart and Fragmentum. Halfway through the tour, Children of Bodom made their way to Santa Ana, California where they packed The Observatory even on a Tuesday night. Metal fans were more than ready to let loose and feel metal pulsing through their bodies.
The Observatory was packed as fans eagerly awaited the arrival of Children of Bodom as they chanted, “Bodom! Bodom! Bodom!” as the lights went out. The members of Children of Bodom came out one by one with frontman Alexi Laiho being last and started the show with Are You Dead Yet?. The fans cheered with excitement and mosh pits quickly began as the fierce guitars ripped through the audience. The music was backed by the growls of Laiho which added ferocity to the music. The next song played was the fan-favorite, In Your Face. For the third song, Children of Bodom made note of their new album and decided to treat the fans to some new tunes and played Platitudes and Barren Words. The crowd was very energetic throughout the whole performance and were thrilled to have Children of Bodom back. The fans stayed wild with mosh pits and crowd surfers showing up the whole time. Children of Bodom played many classics such as Bodom Beach Terror, Everytime I Die and I Worship Chaos. They also played more new tracks like Under Grass and Clover and Hecate’s Nightmare. Nearing the end of the show, the familiar ending dialogue of the film American Psycho played over the speaker, “My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape.” The familiar keyboards started and so Children of Bodom played one of their best songs, Angels Don’t Kill. To end the show, Children of Bodom played another popular hit, If You Want Peace…Prepare For War. Fans cheered and continued to go wild. Children of Bodom left the  stage and all seemed quiet. Fans continued to chant, “Bodom! Bodom! Bodom!” and after a quick break, the band came back out for some encores. The first encore was one of their most successful singles Hate Me! which had fans singing along to the chorus. The grand finale of the night was another one of their most popular hits, Downfall. Children of Bodom wrapped up their performance, thanked the audience for coming out and left the stage leaving the fans wanting more with a very satisfying performance.

 

Hypocrisy: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca – 3/15/19

Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy and Italian symphonic death metal maestros Fleshgod Apocalypse announced a co-headlining tour called Death Is Just the Beginning. A great lineup for metal fans to let loose on a Friday night. The first stop on the tour was the Regent in Downtown Los Angeles. The first 3 bands went on and the venue was already packed as Fleshgod Apocalypse prepared to go on. The lights went out and the crowd cheered as Fleshgod Apocalypse came out and started the show with The Violation, a perfect song to start their crushing performance. Frontman Francesco Paoli led the band with classic death metal growls and shredding guitars. He was backed by Veronica Bordacchini who sang in her beautiful soprano vocals. Their performances can be described as opera death metal. Fleshgod Apocalypse next played Healing Through War from their newest album, King. The next song was Cold As Perfection from the same album. Fleshgod Apocalypse have a new album coming out on May 24th titled Veleno (Italian for Poison). To give the audience a taste of the new album, Fleshgod Apocalypse played the first single Sugar live for the first time ever. A masterpiece of a song and surely the rest of the album will be killer. Fleshgod Apocalypse continued to crush Los Angeles with hits such as Minotaur (The Wrath of Poseidon), The Egoism, and another live debut of Fury from the upcoming new album. It was sadly time for Fleshgod Apocalypse to call it a night and so they ended their show with the most popular track, The Forsaking. A perfect ending song. Fleshgod Apocalypse wrapped up their show and made way for the headlining band of the night.
It has been many years since Hypocrisy last came to the USA so having them back is a true gift for metalheads everywhere. Their last album was 2013’s End of Disclosure. They currently have a new album in the works which will hopefully be released soon. For many people in attendance, it was their first time seeing Hypocrisy and were more than ready to finally see these death metal legends. The lights went out and the crowd once again cheered as Hypocrisy came out on stage with main man Peter Tägtgren being the last member to come out. Hypocrisy started their show with Fractured Millennium from their 1999 self-titled album. The crowd went into a frenzy with mosh pits and crowd surfers throughout the night. Up next was Valley of the Damned followed by End of Disclosure. Tägtgren hasn’t lost his touch in being one of metal’s finest musicians. Hypocrisy never slowed down as they played plenty of classic like Eraser, Penetralia, Fire in the Sky and Killing Art. Seeing Hypocrisy live finally was a thing of beauty and they did not disappoint. To properly end the show, Hypocrisy performed The Final Chapter. Hypocrisy left the stage and all seemed quiet with the stage being dark. The intro track The Gathering from their 1996 extra terrestrial-themed album Abducted played over the speakers. The intro track features samples from the Halt Tape which was allegedly recorded during the Rendlesham Forest Incident in which UFO sightings were reported in Suffolk, England. Hypocrisy came back out and played the next track from the album, Roswell 47. Because who doesn’t love songs involving extra terrestrials? The song is perhaps the band’s most famous song and had the crowd moshing and singing along. Hypocrisy finished the show, thanked the audience for coming out, then left the stage. Hopefully it’s not a long time before they come back again.

 

Hypocrisy

 

Fleshgod Apocalypse

Cradle of Filth: House of Blues – Anaheim, Ca – 3/8/19

British extreme/gothic metal band Cradle of Filth released their newest album Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness of Decay in 2017 and have been actively touring since. Their lyrical themes and imagery are heavily influenced by Gothic literature, poetry, mythology, and horror films. Often being depicted as a satanic band, that is hardly the case and is used as shock value. Cradle of Filth announced a new leg for their North American tour which included Wednesday 13 and Raven Black. The stop on this tour was the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. By the time Cradle of Filth came on stage, the venue was packed with their loyal fanbase.
The lights went out and the crowd cheered in excitement as the intro track Ave Satani blared over the speakers and the band members came out one by one with frontman Dani Filth being the last one to come out. Cradle of Filth started their show with their popular track, Gilded Cunt. Right away, you feel the gothic tone of the band’s music and Filth wastes no time unleashing his high-pitch vocals and Cradle of Filth was now out with full force. The fans all cheered and the mosh pit started as one of Britain’s biggest bands was just a few feet way from them. Cradle of Filth continued the show with Nemesis and Right Wing of the Garden Triptych. Cradle of Filth was off to a great start and they seem to only get better and better. One of the highlights of the night was when they played Bathory Aria, a rarely played track and is eleven minutes long. A nice treat for their devoted fans. The show continued with Dusk and Her Embrace, then the show seemed to come to an end as Cradle of Filth finished with You Will Know the Lion By His Claw. After a brief pause, the intro track A Bruise Upon the Silent Moon started as Cradle of Filth came back out and continued the show with The Promise of Fever. Up next was a very special treat as Cradle of Filth next played Saffron’s Curse, a song that hasn’t been played live since 2003 and is a fan favorite. Up next was another one of their best songs, Nymphetamine (Fix). It is their most beautiful songs and is backed by Lindsay Schoolcraft’s hauntingly beautiful vocals which gives the song life. This is a song for all the fans to sing along. The show was nearing the end and so Cradle of Filth played Honey and Sulphur. To end the show, Cradle of Filth played their most famous song, Her Ghost in the Fog. Another song for fans to sing along to, the song also featured Schoolcraft on vocals which made the song even more hauntingly beautiful. Cradle of Filth finished up their show, thanked the audience, then left the stage. The fans were very happy with the performance and surely can’t wait for Cradle of Filth to return.

 

Lords of Acid: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca 2/22/19

Electronic/industrial metal legends Lords of Acid released their sixth studio album Pretty In Kink in 2018. With that, they embarked on a tour across the USA to spread the love and kink. The second stop on the tour was the Regent Theater and Los Angeles was more than ready to get their kink on, especially on a Friday night. Genitorturers have been active since 1986 and are one of the leading bands of the underground industrial metal scene. Their live performances include latex outfits, gimp masks, whips, and of course, metal grinders on metal with sparks flying everywhere giving in to the genre, industrial metal. They are a band to witness live if they ever come to your area. Up next was the industrial rock band, Orgy. First appearing in 1998, they have only released three albums so far with their fourth album titled Entropy still being made with an undetermined release date. They have a very energetic stage presence that got the crowd pumped up whether their audience had old school fans of theirs or new. Orgy finished up their show and now it was time for the Lords of Acid to sex things up.
Lords of Acid came out and started the show with Sex Bomb. Their music is heavily inspired by techno and rave music so it’s easy to dance to and get in the groove. The second song was Scrood Bi U from their 2001 album, Farstucker. They are known for their outrages sexual lyrics and sound samples. Even then, it fits the band’s image and the lyrics are easy to follow along to and sing along to. This is the first tour to feature the new female vocalist Marieke Bresseleers and what eye candy she was to watch perform on stage. Watching her sing and dance at the same time, it’s impossible to not be hypnotized by her. The band also features guitarist and two time Grammy-nominated Sin Quirin who is also the guitarist for industrial metal legends, Ministry. Leading on the groovy bass is DieTrich Thrall who is a former bassist for the solo band of Misfits legend, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. Praga Khan serves and vocalist and keyboardist and is the sole original member since the band’s inception in 1988. Other sexed up songs to get the audience warmed up included Sex Cam Girl, Out Comes the Evil, and You Belong to Me. It was around this time of the show when Lords of Acid started bringing out the good stuff as Khan played the familiar keyboard intro to one of their famous songs, Rough Sex. The song is very catchy and fun to sing along to the lyrics, “I Think about pure sex, deep sex, hard sex, rough sex” then get hit with a pure techno beat that will have you dancing and jumping. The next song was Rubber Doll and what better way to get into the song than to have backup dancers bring out a sex doll complete with open mouth and drawn out hairy bush. The next hit was Voodoo-U and once again the crowd was seen dancing and singing along. Some more hits were played including Pussy, Lover, and The Most Wonderful Girl. Following the end of that, Khan jumped into another one of their most popular songs, I Sit on Acid. A very simple beat and lyrics, but it’s impossible to resist singing along to “sit on your face, I wanna sit on your face”. The show seemed to come to an end as the band left the stage. After a few minutes, they came back out for some encores. The first encore was Let’s Get High. The crowd still had plenty of energy left and continued to jump the music. The final song of the night was The Crab Louse which is naturally an ode to pubic lice. Lords of Acid wrapped up (no pun intended) their show and surely left their fans in a horny state so they too can spread the love.

 

Lords of Acid

 

Orgy

 

Genitorturers

Pennywise: 3/2/19 – Ventura Theater – Ventura, California

Punk rock legends Pennywise announced a one-off show at the Majestic Ventura Theater in downtown Ventura County where they know they are welcomed with open arms from their dedicated fans. Pennywise got their name from the evil clown monster from the Stephen King horror novel, It. These last few shows have been celebrating the band’s legacy as they have been touring their asses off for 30 years since 1988. To no surprise, the Ventura Theater sold out ahead of time. Even before doors opened, there was a huge line of people waiting to get in to see these punk legends.
The lights went out and the packed venue cheered as the members of Pennywise came out and started the show with Fight Till You Die. A perfect intro to the show as fans went wild with mosh pits and crowd surfers in true punk fashion. The next song was Rules from their Pennywise debut album and it proved to get the audience just as wild as the opening song. The third song was Homesick, another classic track from their catalog. It seemed no matter what song Pennywise played, fans could be seen singing along and going wild. The whole band had a very energetic presence to them and watching them go crazy on stage, it was impossible to sit still as fans not moshing were seen head banging and singing along. Other classic Pennywise tracks played were Perfect People, Same Old Story, Unknown Road, and the title track Pennywise. Before continuing the show, founding member and guitarist Fletcher thanked the fans for supporting Pennywise for 30 years and how they weren’t gonna stop until the fans told them to. Nearing the end of the show, Pennywise brought out the best as the started to play their catchy track Fuck Authority and had the fans singing along to the chorus. Pennywise next played a cover of Stand By Me starting off slow at first, then speeding it up punk style for the rest of the song to keep the energy going. To end the show, Pennywise started the familiar bass intro that everyone in the venue recognized. The fans in the mosh pit went crazy once again as Pennywise played their biggest hit and always closing song, Bro Hymn. Everyone in the venue was singing along to the song’s chorus of “whoa-oh-oh-ohh, whoooaaaa oh-oh-oh-oh”. To make it even more special, fans rushed the stage to dance and sing along with Pennywise until the whole stage was covered with people. Pennywise finished the show and left the stage leaving the audience with nothing but smiles on the faces of their lifelong fans.

 

Cannibal Corpse/Morbid Angel: Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, Ca 2/21/19

The annual Decibel Magazine tour was underway and this year proved to be another brutal year. This year featured death metal legends Morbid Angel as well as metal bands Necrot and Blood Incantation. Death metal legends Cannibal Corpse would headline the tour from February 17-March 7. After that, death metal band Immolation would headline from March 8 till the tour’s end on March 14. The 4th stop on the tour was the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles and to no surprise, the show sold out ahead of time. The venue was flooded with dedicated metalheads as Morbid Angel was set to go on.
The lights went out and the venue cheered as the curtains lifted to reveal Morbid Angel on stage as the venue was filled with death metal as they started the show with Piles of Little Arms. The crowd went wild with mosh pits as the death metal legends unleashed hell onto Los Angeles. Up next were the tracks D.E.A.D. and Garden of Disdain. All the songs performed were brutal and on point with the combination of Steve Tucker’s bass and guttural vocals to Trey Azagthoth’s sweet guitar solos and powerful riffs. The mosh pits and crowd surfers never stopped as Morbid Angel continued to pulverize Los Angeles with hard-hitting songs such as Nothing Is Not, Blasphemy, Prayer of Hatred, and God of Emptiness. The show was thought to be over, but not before Morbid Angel came back out and played an encore of Blood on My Hands. Morbid Angel wrapped up their show and thanked the audience for coming out and made way for one of death metal’s finest bands.
Cannibal Corpse are without a doubt one of the biggest and best death metal bands of all time with over two million album sales. A couple of months ago, Cannibal Corpse were in some hot water when guitarist Pat O’Brien was arrested for burglary and assault from a very misunderstood situation. Until things are settled, guitarist Erik Rutan of death metal band Hate Eternal will be filling in for guitar duties. The lights went out once again and the crowd once again went into a frenzy as the curtains were lifted to reveal the death metal legends on stage. Cannibal Corpse started their show with Code of the Slashers from their newest album, Red Before Black. The crowd went absolutely wild with crowd surfers and brutal mosh pits. Fans were seriously hurt one way or another and they did it all in the name of metal. Two more songs from the new album One Will Die and Red Before Black were played and were just as brutal. One of the main highlights of the show is watching vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher headspin with his gigantic neck and is one of the most entertaining sights in metal. Cannibal Corpse continued to brutalize Los Angeles as they played classics such as Scourge of Iron, Staring Through the Eyes of the Dead, The Wretched Spawn, and A Skull Full of Maggots. Such disgusting song titles that are often brought up in controversies, but still awesome! Fisher announced this next song as a love song and that it was about “shooting blood from your cock!”. The fans cheered knowing what was coming next as Fisher belted out, “I…Cum…Blooood!” and so Cannibal Corpse played one of their most popular hits I Cum Blood which once again drove the fans wild and kept the mosh pits brutal. another song was played which was Make Them Suffer before announced one more song of the night and of the fans wanted more, they would have to scream as loud as possible. The fans screamed as loud as they could. Fisher said after hearing their pleas and after considering it…it was still the last song! HA! Then continued on to call himself a heartbreaker. Cannibal Corpse finished their show with Stripped, Raped, and Strangled which one of the most brutal songs played that night. Cannibal Corpse finished the song and stayed on stage as Fisher screamed into the mic, “Hammer…Smashed…Faaaace!”. It seems the audience got their one last song and it was one of the most popular and brutal songs in metal, Hammer Smashed Face. It is recognizable by its intro and bass solo by legendary metal bassist Alex Webster. The fans went berserk with crowd surfers showing up and a mosh pit so brutal, it hurt just by watching it. Cannibal Corpse finished up the show and left the venue in a surprising standing state. Los Angeles  always awaits Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel.

 

Cannibal Corpse

 

Morbid Angel

Okilly Dokilly: Discovery Ventura – Ventura, Ca – 2/6/19

Neighborinos! Viral sensations Okilly Dokilly – the world’s only “Nedal” band – recently announced the release of their upcoming second full-length album, entitled Howdilly Twodilly, scheduled for release on March 29, 2019. Their first album, Howdilly Doodilly, was released in 2016. As their name suggests, Okilly Dokilly takes after Ned Flanders from the popular TV show, The Simpsons. The band members all dress in traditional Ned Flanders attire with green sweaters, pink shirts, and wear glasses. The Neds go by the names of Head Ned (vocals), Shred Ned (guitars), Dread Ned (drums), Zed Ned (synths), and Bed Ned (bass). Their lyrics are Ned Flanders quotes turned into songs to fit the band’s image. Okilly Dokilly announced a west coast tour called The ReNeducation tour to begin promoting their second album. One of the stops was the Discovery bowling alley in downtown Ventura. The venue was decently packed even on a Wednesday night.
Okilly Dokilly came out and started the show with the first single released from the new album, Reneducation. The band seems to alternate with sound as one song can be more of a metalcore sound, then the next will have more of a punk rock vibe. It was really quite humorous seeing all the band members dressed up as Ned Flanders while playing their music. It was definitely something you need to see to believe. The next song performed was They Warned Me followed by Flanderdoodles. In Between songs, Head Ned would mimic Flanders himself as he spoke to the audience about the dangers of the world and of course, getting closer to heaven. The show went on with the catchy You’re A Jerk and Press Destruct Button. One of the more interesting segments was when Head Ned brought out his acoustic guitar as Okilly Dokilly prepared to play a rendition of Yellow Submarine by The Beatles, but with the title changed to Yellow Family with the lyrics changed to match The Simpsons. Head Ned next brought out his mandolin guitar and performed Panic Room. A typical metalcore-sounding song, then out of nowhere the chorus of the song hits and has a humorous resemblance to the classic song She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain as Head Ned sings, “we’ll be safe inside our fortress when they come, (when they come!) we’ll be safe from creeps and killers when they come (when the come!)”. Okilly Dokilly continued the show with Purple Drapes and White Wine Spritzer. Head Ned brought out a cannon that would shoot out shirts for the audience members to catch. It was time for the show to come to an end and so Okilly Dokilly said their goodbyes in the traditional way that Flanders says bye, Godspeed Little Doodle. Okilly Dokilly left the stage and all seemed quiet. The fans stayed to cheer them on and after a few minutes, the band came back out for one more song. What better to…treat…their audience than to perform Donut Hell. Head Ned tossed a giant inflatable donut into the crowd  which was tossed around for the whole song. Because the audience was so good, Okilly Dokilly decided to treat them to just one more song which was appropriately named Nothing At All. Head Ned removed his clothing and revealed the blue and red suit that Flanders wears during the classic segment of The Simpsons where Homer goes skiing. It really felt like he was wearing nothing at all. The show came to an end and the crowd cheered on Okilly Dokilly for a very entertaining show and thanked them for coming out to a usually overlooked area of Southern California. Hopefully they come back after the release of the second album for more ReNeducation. The current West Coast tour is still going on and just recently, announced an East Coast tour so be sure to catch them in all their Flanderness! Stupid sexy Flanders.

 

 

Last In Line: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca – 2/2/19

     

     Last In Line is a heavy metal band formed in 2012 by former members of the original lineup of Dio, the band belonging to the late legendary heavy metal icon and vocalist, Ronnie James Dio. The band’s name came from Dio‘s 1984 album, The Last In Line. Following the death of Ronnie James Dio in 2010, the original lineup of drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain, guitarist Vivian Campbell, and keyboardist Claude Schnell reunited along with vocalist Andrew Freeman to perform the Dio songs they originally recorded. In February 2016, they released their first album with original material titled Heavy Crown. They are set to release their second album titled II on February 22nd, 2019. The only difference being that bassist Jimmy Bain passed away in 2016. After searching, Last In Line recruited Jimmy Soussan for bass duties. Last In Line announced a USA tour to continue delivering new music as well as beloved Dio classics to heavy metal maniacs throughout the country. One of the stops was at the Majestic Ventura Theater and was the perfect way to spend a cold Saturday night.
Last In Line came out and started the show with the first single from the new album, Landslide. A continuation of a classic heavy metal sound by some of metal’s greatest musicians. With one new song out of the way, Last In Line started playing the classics everyone was waiting for. The second song performed was the fan-favorite Stand Up and Shout which had the audience singing along to the chorus. The next song was another classic Straight Through the Heart which also had the audience singing along and raising their horns. Another new song was played next which was Year of the Gun and when it was finished, the stage went dark and silent as a creepy intro filled the venue. Everyone surely knew what was coming next. Last In Line next played Dio‘s most famous song and one of the most famous songs in heavy metal, Holy Diver. Fans banger their heads, raised their horns, and sang along to the whole song. A sight that Dio himself would be very proud to see. Last In Line continued to play all the hits as they played more classic tracks like Evil Eyes, The Last In Line, and finished up the show with Rainbow in the Dark. Last In Line left the stage and all seemed quiet. Fans didn’t leave and stayed put and cheered for the band. After a brief break, the band came back out to thank the audience for coming out and played some encores. The first encore was one of Dio‘s most famous songs, Don’t Talk to Strangers and had fans singing along to the chorus once again. The next encore was Devil In Me and to finish off the show was the classic We Rock to truly let the fans rock out one last time. Last In Line wrapped up the show, bowed to the audience, and left the stage for the final time.

 

Metalachi: Discovery – Ventura, Ca – 1/25/19

Metalachi is perhaps one of the most interesting and fun bands you will ever see live. As their name suggests, their music is composed of covers of popular rock and metal songs using traditional mariachi instruments. At first it sounds a little odd, but a quick YouTube search and you’ll quickly be blown away by what you see and hear. They make mariachi instruments work perfectly for the covers that they do. Their stage outfits are taken directly out of the books from other rock/metal acts like Rob Zombie, KISS, and Gwar. The members are made up of Vega De La Rockha (vocals), Paco Halen (guitar), El Cucuy (trumpet), Kyla Vera (violin), and Kiko Cane (guitarron/bass). Metalachi just released their third album Tres and have been touring non-stop in support of the album. The Discovery bowling alley in Ventura, California was packed which was no surprise on a Friday night.
The first thing you’ll notice is how the mic stands are covered by the bras of women from previous shows.  Metalachi‘s manager Warren Moscow came out to greet the sold out audience and asked if they were ready to party with Metalachi. The crowd cheered, of course. He said that if any audience member is not ready to party, to do him a favor and walk their ass out of the venue. He also made note that alcohol is your friend and the more you drink, “the more this shit will make sense”. With that, he introduced Metalachi as they came on stage and started with their traditional opening song, a rendition of the classic Mexican song Guadalajara, but with the lyrics and title changed to Metalachi. Metalachi was welcomed by their loving fans as they performed the first song of the night, Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N’ Roses). Right away, you’ll see how the music fits perfectly as it’s performed with mariachi instruments. The next song performed was We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twisted Sister). Metalachi is also known for their humorous dialogue in between song which leads to the band members taunting each other with jokes  and telling personal stories. One such joke is when singer Vega De La Rocha told the audience to drink up as much alcohol as possible because “The more you drink, the better we sound”. Metalachi continued the debauchery as they performed classic rock and metal songs which included Rock You Like A Hurricane (Scorpions), Killing In the Name (Rage Against the Machine), Breaking the Law (Judas Priest), and Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) which has a new music video out by the band. Metalachi made note on how they noticed how people of all races were together rocking out and having fun. To celebrate the occasion, Metalachi played Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS). The show was coming to an end and De La Rockha introduced the final medley of the night which were Iron Maiden covers of Hallowed Be Thy Name, The Trooper, and Run to the HillsMetalachi thanked the audience for coming out then left the stage. Warren Moscow came back out and asked the audience if they had fun. The audience cheered. He then asked if they would like one more song. The crowd cheered even louder. Instead of asking a second time, he was satisfied with the response and brought out Metalachi for an encore. The choice of encore was Canción del Mariachi (“Morena de Mi Corazón”) as heard on the film, Desperado.  The crowd cheered as the show came to an end hoping that it’s not long before Metalachi rides the loco train back to Ventura County.

 

Ensiferum/Septicflesh: The Regent – Los Angeles, Ca – 1/21/19

     

     Septicflesh is a symphonic death metal band from Greece. In 2017, they released their tenth studio album Codex Omega and have been actively touring since then. Septicflesh is currently at work on their eleventh album. The band’s lyrics deal with religion, folklore, history, myths, and legends. Septicflesh came out to a packed venue and started the show with a song from the newest album, Portrait of a Headless Man. The heaviness of the music filled the venue as a mosh pit started and fog cannons filled the stage as frontman Spiros “Seth” Antoniou belched his deep death metal growls onto the audience. They are also known for their use of choirs in their songs giving them their symphonic death metal sound. The next song was one of their best songs and one of their most popular tracks, The Vampire From Nazareth. A catchy song that’s hard not to sing along to the chorus. Septicflesh has a powerful performance on stage and always puts on a killer performance. Septicflesh made sure to play their best hits for this tour and some of those hits included Anubis, Pyramid God, Martyr, and Enemy of Truth. With a short set, Antoniou announced the end of their show and told everyone that they were all…a Dark Art. Septicflesh ended with Dark Art as it made for the perfect ending song. Septicflesh left the stage with the headlining band of the tour waiting to come out.
Ensiferum is a folk metal band from Finland. In 2017 they released their seventh album, Two Paths. As all traditional folk metal bands, Ensiferum‘s lyrics deal with fantasy, history, Nordic, and battles. The lights went out and the crowd cheered as the members of Ensiferum made their way to the stage in traditional folk metal attire and war paint. Ensiferum started the show with For Those About to Fight For Metal. Frontman Petri Lindroos sang in traditional folk metal growls and sent the crowd into a mosh pit and even crowd surfers made an appearance every now and then. The second song performed was the title track from the newest album Two Paths followed by one of their newer fan-favorite’s, Heathen Horde. The music of Ensiferum will either wanna make you bang your head or dance. Probably both. With the new songs out of the way, Ensiferum went on to play their popular songs. Up next was the fun and catchy track, Twilight Tavern and had fans moshing and singing along to the chorus. Other fun songs to dance to included Treacherous Gods, Lai Lai Hei, From Afar, and Way of the Warrior. The show seemed to come to an end as Ensiferum wanted to see the biggest mosh pit LA could give them and so they ended the show with Two of Spades. Ensiferum left the stage, but the fans weren’t ready to go home just yet. After a quick break, Ensiferum came back out to deliver some encores. The first encore was Guardians of Fate. The next encore was one Ensiferum‘s best songs, In My Sword I Trust which the fans loved singing the chorus to. Now nearing the end of the show, Lindroos let the fans know that this next song they should know and mimicked the accordion part by saying “da-dadada, da-dadada” to which crowd sang back to him during the beginning to the song, Iron, another one of Ensiferum‘s best songs. Ensiferum finished their set and seemed to jam on stage for a bit before deciding to treat the fans to a folk metal cover of Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine and had the audience singing along to the chorus. Ensiferum hadn’t played the USA since their last tour in 2015 and it was nice to see them finally come back and hopefully won’t be another four years before their return.

 

Ensiferum

 

Septicflesh

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