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Ghost: – Rabobank Arena – Bakersfield, California – 9/13/19

Swedish Grammy Award-winning band Ghost announced a North American tour still in support of their fourth album and latest release Prequelle which was released in 2018. Ghost is known for their theatrical outfits. Seven of the eight members go by the title of Nameless Ghouls and wear identical black costumes and silver-horned masks to conceal their identities. The band’s main man now goes by the name of Cardinal Copia and naturally resembles a Cardinal and sometimes wears a white tuxedo. His face is also a prosthetic mask with black eye makeup. Before the Cardinal existed, there was the character known as Papa Emeritus. Emeritus has gone through multiple incarnations as Papa Emeritus I-III (going backwards in age from old to young) and now a fourth and much older character called Papa Nihil who is unrelated to Cardinal Copia. Their music can be described as a mix between Blue Oyster Cult, The Beatles, ABBA and Black Sabbath‘s debut album. They explore various music genres including doom metal, pop rock, and occult rock. Although their lyrics are Satanic in nature, the band has stated numerous times that their lyrics are tongue-in-cheek humor and are not meant to be taken seriously. The first stop on the tour was the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California. The same day of the show, Ghost surprised fans by dropping two new songs, Kiss the Go-Goat and Mary On A Cross. Both part of a new 7″ LP titled, Seven Inches of Satanic Panic. Even in the early hours of the morning, fans were lined up in anticipation for the arrival of Ghost; many of which came from out of town and drove a few hours to see them. Many fans even went dressed us as the Cardinal, Papa Emeritus and even Satanic nuns known as Sisters of Sin. It was Friday the 13th, there was a full moon out and a satire Satanic band was in town. A perfect way to start the weekend. The opening act was the rock/alternative metal band, Nothing More. They were very energetic and made for a great opening band. Looking around the venue, the crowd was either into them or they weren’t. Regardless, Nothing More gave it their all and never had a dull moment in their performance. Once they finished their set, it was  time for the band that everyone came to see.
A black curtain covered the stage to keep the audience in suspense as to what was going on behind the curtain. The lights eventually went out and the whole venue erupted into a frenzy as the intro track from the newest album Ashes (Ring Around the Rosie rhyme) played over the speakers. The Nameless Ghouls were the first ones to come out and started the show with the first song from the newest album, Rats. The fans were more than ecstatic to finally see Ghost as they cheered, smiled, raised their hands and of course, sang their hearts out. The next song played was Absolution, one of the favorites from their previous album, Meliora. The song featured some explosions that added a nice surprise to the song and had fans singing along once again to the chorus. The third song played was another new track, Faith. It’s one of the more rock tunes from the album and for sure it’s a banger that will have you singing along and raising your horns. The lights went dark for a bit as Ghost prepared the first surprise of the night. The next song played was Mary On A Cross, one of the brand new songs from the new LP. A nice treat for fans to enjoy this song performed for the first time ever. The lights went out once again as the Cardinal went off stage and left it to the Nameless Ghouls to perform the haunting instrumental track, Devil’s Church. After a quick costume change, the Cardinal came back out to rejoin the Ghouls. This time, they would play Cirice (Sa-reese), the very song that earned them their first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2016 as well as the #4 spot on the Mainstream Rock Charts. The Cardinal once again went off stage and the Nameless Ghouls played another instrumental song, Miasma. For an instrumental, this song is fun to listen to and makes you wanna dance. The fun didn’t stop there. More than halfway into the song, fog started to come up from center stage. Little by little, it was revealed that Papa Nihil was slowly making his way to the stage with the help of a crew member. His mission? serenade the audience with a sweet sax solo that had the audience losing their minds and cheering for Papa Nihil. The stage went dark once again and a single bright light lit up to reveal Cardinal Copia in a full white tuxedo. Not only that, but riding a tricycle. A very humorous way to entertain and surprise the fans as you could tell by the amount of laughter heard. The next song performed was another fan-favorite, Ghuleh/Zombie Queen. This song had been missing from their recent setlists and fans had missed it dearly. So to have it back on the list surely put smiles on the fans’ faces and allowed them to sing their hearts out to the chorus. Up next was yet another treat for fans. Ghost performed the instrumental track Helvetesfönster from the new album for the first time ever. It was amazing to be the first show where the song is performed live. Ghost kept playing hit after hit and it was never a dull moment and your eyes are always kept on stage not knowing what would happen next. Cardinal Copia proved to be a very majestic frontman as he embraced his character during his performance by dancing which often includes crotch thrusts that drives the female (and some male) fans wild. Watching him dance was mesmerizing as if he’s trying to lure you into his seductive grasp and you have no choice but  to submit to him. The Ghouls themselves were very entertaining as they beautifully played their instruments to perfection. The chemistry from all the band members was great. Cardinal Copia would notice how one Ghoul was taking the spotlight center stage and shooed him away. Other times, the Cardinal would sneak up behind one of them and spank them for good measure. It it by far one of the most entertaining shows of the year. Ghost would continue to play all the hits including From the Pinnacle to the Pit, Ritual, Satan Prayer and Year Zero. The song Mummy Dust was one of the highlights as one of the Ghoulettes came center stage and played a keytar to the song’s synth solo. To end the song, cannons shot out confetti along with Papa Bucks, dollar bills made to look like Ghost currency complete with a value of $666 and Papa Nihil’s face. Since one of the brand new songs was played, it only made sense to play the other new song. The next new song was Kiss the Go-Goat and it was another special moment as it was also performed live for the first time. The show seemed to come to an end as Ghost finished their set with Dance Macabre from their new album. This disco-like song gets fans up and dancing and singing along to its extremely catchy chorus, “Just wanna be, wanna bewitch you in the moonlight! Just wanna be, wanna bewitch you all night!”. The show came to an end and Ghost left and the stage went dark. All seemed quiet, but quiet is what the opposite of what Ghost is. Knowing that fans weren’t ready to go home just yet, Ghost came back out for an encore. That encore was Square Hammer from their previous Popestar EP. It is currently one of Ghost‘s most popular songs and even sat on the #1 spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts in January 2017. The chorus goes, “are you on the square? are you on the level?” which is one way fans talk to each other when referring to Ghost or the song. As the song and show came to an end, a blanket of fireworks rained down on the stage like a waterfall. A beautiful ending to a beautiful show. Ghost left the stage for the final time and guaranteed the fans left with nothing but smiles and memories. The fans got Ghost and now they had everything.


Power From Hell: Catch One – Los Angeles, Ca – 8/22/19

Live at Catch One – Los Angeles Ca.
  Thursday, August 22nd 2019

On this rowdy evening in the city of angels, Los Angeles heads witnessed the malevolent spectacle that is Power From Hell, hailing all the way from Brazil to treat us all with the finest blackened speed thrash. A stacked lineup brought upon by none other than Elegy Ensemble who always brings nothing but the finest underground acts in the west coast. With support from ‘Unholy Lust’, ‘Transcendence’ and ‘Malefic levitation’, you could not ask for anything more with this monster of a night. Locals and die-hards gathered over at the Catch One (Also known as Union Club) right in the black heart of the city. The venue offers the perfect vibe welcoming the heathens for a night of debauchery, metal, and mayhem. Unbeknownst to the rest of the social residents, this is definitely the place to be for the occasion.
Malefic Levitation:
Upon arrival, there’s notice of a delay in set times due to low attendance causing the show to be pushed back a bit, putting the first act at around 8:45. Malefic Levitation reigns in from the northern side towards Fresno. With the eerie, raw and primal essence thrown into this heavy mix, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Summoning tracks from their latest EP ‘The Ancient Plague’ displays their intention and effort for shear brutality, this music is definitely not for the weak-hearted. Best fit for the bloodthirsty who are in need of the extreme should adhere to the dark force that is Malefic Levitation. With a shortened set you’re only left to be glad being a participant of this malignant extravaganza.
Soon after the alter makes way for one of LA’s finest that brings forth chaos no better than Transcendence who delightfully make an appearance in displaying their brutal sounds of the underground. their is a distinct sound when singer Tom lays down growls and screams that gives you the impression of a possible mic adapter, however these raw demon like sounds are straight from power passion that’s complimented from the face melting riffs from guitarist Miguel that follow. With early sounding death/thrash influenced style music giving the band their blaspheme and obscurity-filled sound, it’s no wonder the crowd gets drawn in and maintains attention in getting precisely what they came for. With tracks from the bands latest EP ‘Hour of Summoning’, you’re being delivered nothing but the goods that keeps your skull banging against the stage. Patrons who seek evil, raw and heavy death riffs must keep a close eye for these terrorizers and all their mighty glory for it is these types of tunes worth sticking too.
Unholy Lust:
Just south of LA reigns the tyrants of ‘Unholy Lust’ who are heavily prepared to fill the room with the might of their blackened speed thrash. Bringing darkness and chaos in a half filled room, I’ve never heard the acoustics work so good in a bands favor like this before so it’s the ultimate pleaser. In hearing this band, you’ll hear influences of old school Slayer, Possessed, Sadistic Intent and Hellhammer rolled into one for demonic intentions can best describe this type of style for legions interested. The band is no stranger to LA and have been around for quite some time. They’ve honed their craft and reached a new level in their music from an aggressive cult punk-like style to the blackened speed witchery sounds of today. Bringing masterpieces onto the stage such as hits like Evil Possession and Evil Blasphemy. You’re in for one hell of a time. There’s definitely an adrenaline rush that grooves into you because the band delivers and engages with their audience who know know and respect the gruesome essence brought by Unholy Lust.
1. Banished from the Light
2. Enslaved in Sin
3. Evil Possession
4. Los Winos (Unholy Drunks)
5. Infernal Blasphemy
6. Humanity at its end
Power From Hell:
As the night finally reaches its climax, you instantly notice the way the room has been filled to its brim so to speak with the die-hards as they finally get a good dose in which they have prepared for. The vigorous and wicked legion of hellions in Power From Hell fronted by singer Sodomic have extended their taste and passage for music, who once were in favor of the sadomasochistic styled music writing. Now have gone above and beyond to summon the presence of diabolical hate and malevolent speed. For as soon as the opening riff starts playing there’s already destruction taking place in the pits as the rest of the crowd makes haste. As if the barricades were enough protection from die-hards who have gathered to gaze upon these Brazilian thrashers, Sodomic does an impressive job in mesmerizing spectators with these heavily dark lyrics which as we all know keep the satanic lustful context and enriched fast pace bangers for everyone to endure. Unlike the other blackened speed acts that hail over Europe, PFH doesn’t cease the opportunity to come all the way from their homeland and leave with the sole appreciation of its heavy brigade also bringing in Alvin from Elegy Ensemble, with a back and forth almost synchronicity of engagement. The band truly stays in character of impertinent havoc. My personal favorite liking when it comes to PFH would be the sound, the way you can hear the cry of these blackened metal riffs which don’t sound recycled like you’ll often hear from time to time. This definitely keeps the blood fresh in listening for the distinction to how the perfect blend of both black and thrash metal can be the unholy duo that delivers that pure madness involving concubines and witches. With the tour well underway, the band’s currently touring the US and ending down south in Mexico. If you’re catching any of these shows, be prepared the cops paint leather gods taking over and terrorizing us all the way from Brazil.
1. Swallowed by Darkness
2. Torture Garden
3. Suicide Metal
4. Lucy’s Curse
5. Caligula
6. Elizabeth needs blood
7. Obscure Creation
8. Power from Hell
9. Lust… Sacrilege & Blood
10. Into the Sabbath
11. Prostiture of Satan
12. False Puritan Philosophies
13. Encore- Bathory (Satan my master)
14. The True Metal

Power From Hell

Unholy Lust


Malefic Levitation

John 5: Invasion album review

Guitar God John 5 released his monstrous ninth solo album titled Invasion on July 31 digitally with the physical copy coming out September 1st. John 5 is best known as the current guitarist for horror master Rob Zombie as well as former longtime guitarist for the Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson. John 5 is one of today’s most criminally underrated guitarists and deserves much more credit for his work and amazing musicianship. John 5’s band mates include Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles on the drums. Together, they are known as John 5 and the Creatures. John 5’s solo albums contain no vocals and is strictly instrumental as he lets his guitar doing all the singing. I was able to get a copy of the album for a review and naturally, I was not disappointed. The album starts with the instrumental horror title track, Invasion. Once that ends, the album takes you on a journey that is best listened to when not doing anything so you can focus on the music. The first track is a bit of a techno tune with a robotic voice saying the name of the track, “I Am John 5“. Soon after, the guitar playing starts and you’re just like, “whoa!” and could make your head spin. His guitar-playing truly is one of a kind. A great starting track for the album. Midnight Mass is a super fun song to air guitar to and is easily one of the best songs on the album. Zoinks! is a clear reference to the catchphrase said by Shaggy from Scooby Doo and the song itself is a great tune. For the song Howdy, John 5 explores a more rockabilly/hillbilly/western sound which suits the name and even has backing vocals with a voice saying, “howwwdyyy!”. Very fun to listen to and even dance. Crank It – Living With Ghosts is another super catchy tune with a backing voice saying, “crank it, crank it, motherfucker”. The guitar work and music will make you wanna dance and could be played at a dance club. The next track Cactus Flower slows things down as the line “they’re all gonna laugh at you!” from the classic horror movie Carrie is played at the beginning of the song. The song is very mellow and overwhelms you with sadness like you could just lay there and think about the sad or hard times you’ve had in life. A beautiful piece of music. The next track I Want It All goes back to metal with catchy guitars and a robotic saying “I Want It All” throughout the song. The guitar segment from 2:00-2:16 is absolutely tasty. The next track is called I Like the Funk and as the name suggests, it is a very funky song. Like something out of the 1970’s. It even has a female voice in the background saying, “I Like the Funk”. Another song you could dance to. The album’s finishing song is Constant Sorrow. It’s a very interesting song because it actually sounds like a Primus song similar to the outro song from South Park with the way the guitar playing sounds. A relaxing song a great way to end the album. The whole album is super fun to listen to if you just enjoy music with no lyrics. If you’ve loved John 5’s previous work, then you will not be disappointed with this release. Order your copy now at iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music. Physical copies of the album come out September 1st so be sure to visit your local record store then! Wanna see John 5 live? He has an upcoming tour in the fall and one stop in Los Angeles which is his last home show of the year. See below for tour posters


  1. Invasion
  2. I Am John 5
  3. Midnight Mass
  4. Zoinks!
  5. Howdy
  6. Crank It – Living With Ghosts
  7. Cactus Flower
  8. I Want It All
  9. I Like the Funk
  10. Constant Sorrow


Demons & Wizards: The Wiltern – Los Angeles, Ca – 8/17/19

Demons & Wizards are a power metal supergroup formed by vocalist Hansi Kürsch of German power metal legends Blind Guardian and guitarist Jon Schaffer of heavy metal legends, Iced Earth. In their 20 year career as a band, they have only released two album being Demons & Wizards (2000) and Crimson King (2005). A third album is currently in the works for a 2020 release. American metal fans were shocked to find out that after 20 years and only touring Europe, Demons & Wizards announced a USA tour. This tour was super special because Demons & Wizards made it clear that this would be their first and only North American tour. The band mates included members of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. Demons & Wizards wouldn’t be coming alone. Joining them on tour would be heavy metal shock rockers Lizzy Borden and folk metal band, Týr. Los Angeles was blessed to be the first stop on the tour at the Wiltern. A perfect way to spend Saturday.
The venue was well packed just as Týr was starting. Týr is a folk metal band from the Faroe Islands, a group of small islands between Norway and Iceland. On March 8, they released their eighth studio album titled Hel, their first studio album in almost six years. Týr came out and started their show with Blood of Heroes from their previous album, Valkyrja. Plenty of Týr fans were seen in the audience singing along along sporting their merch. Týr continued with the ever so catchy song Mare of My Night from that same album. Being that Týr were from the Faroe Islands where they speak Faroese, it would only make sense for them to write music in their native language. One of those songs was Tróndur í Gøtu and is a about a Viking from the Faroe Islands who lived from 945-1035 A.D.. Týr is super fun to see live as the band members sung and danced to their music and were nothing but smiles the whole time. More songs from their set included Fire and Flame, Gates of Hel and By the Sword in My Hand. With only a short set, Týr made sure to give it their all. To end their set, they played their most famous song, the super catchy tune Hold the Heathen Hammer High. The mosh pits were wild, headbanging was seen and horns were raised. Týr finished their set and left the stage. A great start to a great night.
Lizzy Borden is a shock rock/heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. They named themselves after Lizzie Borden, a woman accused of the axe murders of her stepmother and father in 1892. In 2018, they release their seventh studio album My Midnight Things, their first album since 2007. They are known for their use of props and masks to give their live shows that shock rock image similar to those of Alice Cooper. Lizzy Borden came out and started with My Midnight Things from the new album. Singer Lizzy Borden came out with a silver skull mask and cape to give himself that menacing look. Another one of the greatest hits performed was Red Rum and naturally is about the Stephen King book, The Shining. One of the highlights of the show was when Borden came out wearing another skull mask, but this time in what looked like a doctor’s outfit. He came out with blood on his hands and painted people’s faces with it as if marking them for all eternity. Lizzy Borden is still going strong after more than 30 years and will surely be around for much longer.
It was time for Demons & Wizards to hit the stage at long last and fans were more than ecstatic as not only was this most likely the first time anyone in the venue has seen them, but would also be the one and only time they do so. The lights went out and the fans went crazy as the band members of Demons & Wizards came out and started their performance with the first track from their self-titled debut album, Rites of Passage. The music itself was powerful and a perfect blend of power and heavy metal which is what they are known for. The fans were super excited to finally see this legendary band. The next song was the next track from the same album, Heaven Denies. Schaffer was perfect on the guitar as usual and Kürsch on the vocals was perfection as well. For the third song, Demons & Wizards played one of their best and catchiest songs, Crimson King from their second album. Fans were singing along, raising their horns and moshing away. When metal bands like this play, we are all one big happy metal family. Some of the other songs performed were Love’s Tragedy Asunder, Terror Train and Poor Man’s Crusade. Kürsch made note on how he and Schaffer were in their own bands in case the audience didn’t know. On this occasion, Demons & Wizards decided to play some songs from their respective bands. The first cover song was Burning Times (Iced Earth) followed by Welcome to Dying (Blind Guardian). The show continued with an acoustic version of Wicked Witch then back to the metal with The Gunslinger. Up next were more covers which were the beautiful ballad I Died For You (Iced Earth) and the big hit, Valhalla (Blind Guardian). Demons & Wizards seemed to end the show when they played My Last Sunrise, which seemed fitting for the show’s end. Demons & Wizards left the stage, yet fans were very vocal and clearly wanted more by cheering and chanting the band’s name. After a couple of minutes, the band came back out for some encores. The first being Blood on My Hands. Kürsch once again thanked the audience for coming out and most importantly, for being so patient for the band to finally tour the states. For the show’s grand finale, Demons & Wizards played one of their best song, Fiddler on the Green. A rather relaxing song for a finale, but perfect for the occasion. Demons & Wizards once again thanked the audience, bowed and left the stage for the final time. Even though they said this would be their one and only North American tour, it’s clear that they should come back again for longtime fans as well as fans that were unable to make it.


Demons & Wizards


Lizzy Borden



Static-X: The Observatory – Santa Ana, Ca – 7/25/19

Static-X was one of the most popular metal bands of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. After releasing six albums, the band broke up on June 2013. Founding member/guitarist Wayne Static passed away on November 1, 2014 at the age of 48. In his honor, the original lineup of Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitar) and Ken Jay (drums) reformed Static-X and fronting the band is a mysterious member only known as Xer0. He would be wearing a mask of zombie Wayne Static complete with hair. Not only that, but Static-X would also be performing their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip in its entirety as part of the album’s 20th anniversary. A massive tour was announced with many of the dates selling out ahead of time. The tour would include DevilDriver, Dope, Wednesday 13 and Raven Black. One of the last dates of the show was at the Observatory in Santa Ana, California and naturally, it sold out weeks ahead of time. Even before Raven Black started the show, the venue was packed with metal fans.
Raven Black came out and started their show with Spider from their second album 13 which was released in 2018. Right away you’ll notice how they play out their shows in a theatrical fashion full of makeup, outfits and props to add to their carnival look. Raven Black kicked some serious ass as they played songs like Sticks N Stones, Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars, Dollhouse and Seven Sins. Some of the props brought out to add to the theatrics included a giant teddy bear, hoola hoop, mace and scythe. Raven Black ended the show with their newest single Carnival which will hopefully be on the band’s next record. A great start to an explosive night.
The Duke of Spook Wednesday 13 was up next. A metal veteran in his own right, Wednesday 13 also has a very theatrical show similar to those of Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper. Wednesday 13 came out and started the show with Hail Ming. Wednesday 13 himself came out in a robe covering most of this body with a hook in hand making himself look like a pirate. The next song was Get Your Grave On. Wednesday 13 came back out without his robe revealing himself to be covered in glow-in-the-dark painting. Along with his stage antics, this was a combo done very well and kept his audience mesmerized and watching his every move. Other songs from his performance included Serpent Society, What the Night Brings, Prey For Me and a brand new song Zodiac which will be included in the band’s new upcoming album to be released later this year. Wednesday 13 wrapped up their show and left to make room for the next act.
Dope are industrial metal veterans who have been around since the late 1990’s. Founding member/singer Edsel Dope was a very close friend of Wayne Static so it was only natural to see Dope on this lineup. Dope came out and played Dope Money. Dope don’t use theatrics or fancy lighting and instead rely on their energetic stage performance to wow the audience and they always deliver on their shows. Dope played a surprisingly short set with their other songs being 6-6-Sick, Die Motherfucker Die, Burn and ended their show with a cover of You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). A short, but very energetic set for these metal veterans. The night was still young and two more bands were still left.
DevilDriver are also metal veterans who are well-known in the metal community. With frontman Dez Fafara being the main man of the band as well as being the singer for the nu-metal band, Coal Chamber. Many fans were in attendance and were stoked to see them. The lights went out and the members of DevilDriver came out and started with the brutal track, Ruthless. The mosh pits went wild and even crowd surfers started showing up. The next song performed was Grinfucked followed by Cry For Me Sky (Eulogy of the Scorned). DevilDriver was on top of their performance as Fafara sounded great and the rest of the band was also very energetic with no dull moments from start to finish on their performance. Other songs on this performance included Not All Who Wander Are Lost, My Night Sky, and even a cover of AWOLNATION‘s Sail. Fafara mentioned how on this tour, he would go back to his Coal Chamber days and would play some covers. He delivered and played Loco to which the fans responded by putting on one of the craziest mosh pits of the night and plenty of stage divers were seen. DevilDriver also played another Coal Chamber cover of Fiend and the fans loved that one too. Fafara brought out another surprise for the fans when he brought out his son Simon to help him play Clouds Over California. A touching moment between father and son. To end the show, DevilDriver played End of the Line and bid farewell to the packed venue. Just one more band to go which was the band that everyone had come to see.
The lights went out once again as the crowd cheered. The finale track from the Wisconsin Death Trip album December played overhead as a lit screen showed part of a mysterious word that seemed to complete itself as time went by. As the opening track ended, the mysterious word turned out to be the Static-X logo. Fans cheered once again as the band members came out one by one with Xer0 being the last one to come out. The first song played was Bled For Days, a great opening song from the debut album. The energy in the venue was at max as Static-X next played the title track from the debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip. The mosh pits were wild and crowd surfers were plentiful. Two more fan-favorites Fix and Sweat of the Bud were performed and kept the energy going. Xer0 did the band justice as he sounded just like Wayne did and was almost as if Wayne himself was playing. During the instrumental beginning of The Trance Is the Motion, the band left the stage as the lit screen displayed photos of Wayne to which the fans cheered. Static-X took a break from the debut album to play some classics. The intro track Bien Venidos (Spanish for Welcome) from their second album Machine played, then the band came out to play the first track from that album, Get to the Gone. Two other fan-favorites from the album were played which were Black and White and This Is Not to which the fans loved singing along to. Nearing the end of the show, Static-X went back t playing two of their most popular songs starting with I’m With Stupid where the fans loved singing to the chorus, “he’s a loserrrr!”. To end the night, Campos thanked the audience for an amazing tour and support after all these years and mentioned that they have one more song they left out. The fans should know this one and it was none other than their most famous song, Push It. Fans once again moshed and crowd surfed during the whole song. Everyone was on their feet going crazy and singing along. The show came to an end as Xer0 left the stage while the remaining members stayed to hug it out and once again thank the audience. It was truly a great night for metal and to honor the memory of Wayne Static. Keep Evil Disco alive!








Wednesday 13


Raven Black

Bad Religion: Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca 7/19/19

Punk rock legends Bad Religion released their seventeenth studio album Age of Unreason on May 3, 2019. They are also preparing to go on their 40th anniversary next year. Since their formation in Los Angeles in 1980, Bad Religion has been delivering punk rock to the world. Even now they put on an energetic performance and get their fans going crazy. One of the stops was at the Ventura Theater in downtown Ventura, California. Ventura showed how big their punk scene is by selling out the venue weeks ahead of time. Bad Religion was ecstatic to perform in Ventura who have always welcomed them with open arms and consider Ventura their home away from home.
Bad Religion came out to a very packed Ventura Theater as their raging fans cheered for them. Bad Religion started their show with the fan-favorite Them and Us which sent the fans into a mosh pit frenzy. Right off the back, Bad Religion was very energetic and never had a dull moment. Rather than having fancy screens and theatrics, Bad Religion rely on their music to do the talking. They work very well together. Singer Greg Graffin let the audience know about their newly released album and gave the fans a taste by playing End of History. Even the new tunes still drive the fans wild. The third song was Fuck You followed by playing the fan-favorite Stranger Than Fiction from their 1994 album of the same name. Bad Religion is almost halfway through the tour, but they still had plenty of energy left to give their audience an amazing performance. Bad Religion is known for their band logo which is a black Christian cross with a red prohibition sign over it. Despite the logo, the band members do not consider themselves anti-religion. Aside from that, Bad Religion is also known for their heavy use of political lyrics often showing their hate towards past president like George W. Bush in their 2004 album, The Empire Strikes First. Bad Religion kept up that tradition with the current president where their new album Age of Unreason was inspired by the band’s disdain for Trump. Bad Religion kept up the entertaining show and kept the mosh pits going as they blasted through classics like 21st Century (Digital Boy), Suffer, Los Angeles Is Burning, No Control and Fuck Armageddon…This Is Hell. To end the night, Bad Religion played one of their most popular songs, Sorrow. Fans moshed, sang along to the chorus and even a couple of crowd surfers showed up. A perfect way to end the night. Bad Religion left the stage and all seemed quiet. After a few minutes, the members came back out while Graffin mentioned to the audience that they forgot to play a couple of songs. The first encore was another one of their best songs Infected which once again had fans moshing and singing along. To end the show, Bad Religion performed what is perhaps their most famous song and their second all-time best single, American Jesus. Bad Religion finished their show and left the stage. Fans were left with smiles on their faces and felt more than satisfied spending their Friday night with these punk rock legends.


Third Eye Blind & Jimmy Eat World @ BB&T Pavilion 7/14/2019

Third Eye Blind & Jimmy Eat World – July 14th 2019

BB&T Pavilion – Camden, New Jersey

Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks


Third Eye Blind & Jimmy Eat World pulled up to Camden on Sunday with special guests Ra Ra Riot as the Summer Gods 2019 tour rolled through Dirty Jersey. It’s one of America’s top 30 cities… in terms of crime rate (for perspective, I live in NYC and we didn’t even make this list). My girlfriend and I are here for 2:30pm as she was lucky enough to win us VIP passes (Meet & Greet, soundcheck, free food, free drink, air conditioned lounge access all night). Shout outs to the “Livenation Lounge” on that one. Comfy couches and ice cold diet Pepsi? Can’t beat it.


Anyhow, here’s what you came for. It’s the latest Concert Confessions Video Wrap up!

Jimmy Eat World as a co-headliner was perfect. When they had the fans up I’m thinking “Man, I know it’s hot but no way those fans are gonna help us tonight!” And for those that don’t think I’m funny, the fans added to the light show as you’ll see below,

Setlist: Pain, Futures, Bleed American, Lucky Denver Mint, 23, Work, Love Never, Sweetness, Always Be, Hear You Me, Sure and Certain, Big Casino, A Praise Chorus, The Middle.


Third Eye Blind is working on a new record. As they were last summer when they came around and told us that. But in the meanwhile, they can continue to play fun shows for people like me and I’ll enjoy all of that.

Setlist: Screamer, The Kids, Never Let You Go, Back To Zero/Can You Take Me/London, Graduate, Wounded, I Want You, Slow Motion (Stephen Jenkins solo), Motorcycle Drive By, Company Of Strangers, Jumper, Bonfire/Anything/Crystal Baller/Blinded (When I See You), How’s It Going To Be.

Encore: Waze, Semi-Charmed Life

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

Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik

Almost everyone in the rock n roll community and beyond has heard the name Alice Cooper at some point. He’s a legend in metal and rock n roll history having played thousands of shows and released many well known albums and singles. However a lesser known name up until recently in Nita Strauss. Nita is the current guitarist for Alice Cooper and is rapidly rising as one of the most talented metal and rock guitarist in music today. I came across Nita through a close friend and fellow guitarist who also admired her amazing skills. However, playing with Alice Cooper is not the only performing the Nita Strauss does. She also writes her own music with her own self titled solo project and has just wrapped up her tour with the New York City band Kore Rozzik. I was lucky enough to get the chance to shoot one of the stops of this tour when they made their way through Baton Rouge, LA. They played a small theater called the Varsity Theater, which is within only steps from the campus of LSU.

The Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge, LA is one of the few small town venues left in the area for live music. Regardless of how small it is they always seem to draw big name acts such as The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Gwar, and Black Label Society. Being a concert photographer and fellow metal head I’m always looking for great acts, local and big name alike, to shoot. The Varsity Theater is one of the few good venues left that not only book amazing acts but also allow cameras without a press or photo pass. However, like many small venues, the lighting at most shows is less than ideal for photographers. Never the less, Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik tore the house down.

Supporting Nita on this tour was a New York City band named Kore Rozzik. Fronted by a singer known by the same name, Kore Rozzik took the New York City music scene by storm and rapidly rose among artist in the area. Also known as “The Bastard Child of New York”, he and his fellow band mates have created their imagery and stage presence based off of influences from such idols as Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Megadeth. This band, however, was unknown to me before this show and I was skeptical upon first glance. With the face paint, props and outfits I was unsure about them until they began to play. All members of this band are very talented and showcased their talents from the start to the finish of their set making all of my questions vanish. This band is most definitely worth checking out for anyone who likes this type of metal.

If any of my fellow metalheads reading this article are looking for a new act to catch live or some new music to listen to I highly recommend checking out Nita Strauss and Kore Rozzik.





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




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!
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!

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

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

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!

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




Jungle Rot




The Absence

Meat Puppets – May 18th 2019

Monty Hall – Jersey City, New Jersey

Words/Photos/Videos –  Jay Porks

Just off the release of Dusty Notes, the Meat Puppets are back on tour with their original drummer Derrick Bostrom for the first time since the mid 90s. Bostrom may be the headline, but let us not bury the lede and forget about Ron Stabinsky. An aficionado on the keys, there was a certain extra energy the Pups were hitting tonight (and on this whole tour, so I hear). Almost as if the usual trip to outerspace wasn’t enough and we have to take this ship into another galaxy. If that’s even something you can fathom.

On a Saturday Night in Jersey City in a venue called Monty Hall, Let’s Make A Deal with the first of many editions of  a new thing we’re doing here at Concert Confessions: We call it the Concert Confessions Video Wrap Up. I mean, with all the concert police all over the internet telling people like me to put down their devices at shows I figured this is a good way to let all those people know that I have two middle fingers for them.

Anyhow, below we have a few videos from the show last night. Take a look, a listen and share with your friends!

This was my 20th time seeing the Meat Puppets. Here’s to at least 20 more! Full set list below:

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.




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.

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!

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.

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!

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
1. The Black Waltz
2. Hades






Empyrean Throne





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.


Combichrist at Club Red Mesa, 4/9/2019

Celebrating the upcoming launch of their ninth full-length album One Fire, aggrotech EBM magnates Combichrist brought the body beats to Club Red Mesa on Tuesday, April 9. Playing a full set to a packed house, veteran members Andy LaPlegua and guitar icon Eric13 not only debuted several tracks from the up-and-coming album, but also introduced fans to their new meat behind the beat Will Spodnick (@willspod for your Twitter & IG) from New York and Dane White from the House of Mouse…Orlando, FL (@dane_white).

The April 9 show was the first time Arizona fans would experience the band without the iconic dragged ‘n’ dentured appearance and stage tricks of long-time drummer Joe Letz. Letz is known throughout the music world for his outlandish appearances dressed as a skinny buxom school girl with a mouthful of apparatus and headgear, which contorted his face into a monstrosity that was only exacerbated by a messy wig, tattoos, and eyelashes on his cheeks. Joe will not only be missed for his neander-Thelma presence and behavior but also his skills in showmanship and his precision talent. But regardless of all the artistic accolades one can bestow, what I’m going to miss about him the most is standing around in the crowd and leaning up on the barricades eavesdropping on the newer male fans whispering, “Man, that chick is so hot,” to each other while they sip their beers and hope for eye contact.

Perhaps a little apprehensive about what was waiting after Letz’s departure, the Tuesday show line-up featured Will Spod and Dane White in the driver seats. Letz may be a tough act to follow, but Spod and White are new blood, and new blood always brings a sense of rejuvenation when a band has been around as long as Andy’s has. Having a flair for the dramatic must be a requirement on a resume to be a Cc member as both men rose to and met the precedent set by their predecessor. The amount of flash and flair that these gentlemen bring to the stage in their own rites carries on the Combichrist multi-sensational excitement. Between White and Spod there was certainly no lack of talent or entertainment from them, nor was there any love lost from the fans, who packed the club the same as they always do when Combichrist comes to town. Fans were so energized by the band’s performance that an encore was demanded (and they were not disappointed!)

While LaPlegua’s policy is to engage the audience with songs they know and love, there were several debut performances from their up-and-coming album, One Fire. In the past, Combichrist music has been made up of mostly motivational beat metal. However, this latest album showcases the evolution and progress of the band ironically by going back in time and revisiting the sounds of early Cc, yet with a more deft and debonair application. On this album, LaPlegua is like a mad chef (Norwegian, not Swedish) who goes back to his early cooking days and revisits the early recipes of his career, only this time with all the refinery and finesse that only experience can provide; it’s still the same dish, but there is more elegance, style, and substance to it. You hear him perform one of these new songs on stage for the first time, a song like “Hate Like Me”, and it sounds hauntingly familiar. Do I know this one? It sounds like I should know it, but at the same time it sounds new and fresh. It’s reflective and more flavorful, and while it’s a bit bolder than the band’s previous offerings, it fits in perfectly with the evolution of their identity and their progress as musicians. It’s grittier. It’s a bit more personal, but with more wisdom. And there’s more guitar. Sometimes to go forward, you have to go back, and when you hear these new songs that sound like old school, that is the quintessential Combichrist.

One Fire will be available in stores  June 7, 2019.  Album releases “Hate Like Me” and “Guns At Last Dawn” are available on Spotify. The One Fire tour is supported by California aggro guests Silver Snakes. The US tour continues until June 2, 2019 after which the band will begin the European leg of the tour.

**Note:  Nick Rossi, who continues to be part of the Combichrist experience, was not present at the April 9 show in Mesa.

All Photos Copyright ©2019 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

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



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.


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