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In this issue: Adolescents, Behemoth, Black Dahlia Murder, Black Label Society, Brand New Sin, Danzig, Die Hunns, The Dresden Dolls, Gardy Loo, King Diamond, Kittie, Kreator, L.A. Guns, Lowlife Fest 1, Lowlife Fest 3, The Loud Pipes, Mortiis, Nocturne (2 reviews,) Nile, Nine Inch Nails, Sheep On Drugs, Stephen Pearcy, Pigface, Thor, X Bash, Vader, W.A.S.P., and Whitesnake.

Reviews by: David Necro, The Pusher, Lexa Vonn, Mark L, K.K., Jenni Jayde, Typhon Blaspherion, Ava.

AMERICAN METAL BLAST 2005
W.A.S.P./L.A. Guns/Stephen Pearcy
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV

Photos by: David Necro

      2005’s AMERICAN METAL BLAST closed out a scorching summer of great metal shows in Las Vegas; we had WHITESNAKE, UFO, MEGADETH, DREAM THEATER, FEAR FACTORY, SYMPHONY X, NEVERMORE, JUDAS PRIEST, QUEENSRYCHE, SLAUGHTER and SKID ROW…The AMERICAN METAL BLAST united W.A.S.P., LA Guns and Stephen Pearcy, formerly of Ratt at the Las Vegas House of Blues…
      METAL CHURCH was originally supposed to open the show, and would have been welcomed in true metal style, but they weren’t there this time around. For shame! Metal Church is still baptizing metal acolytes with their new CD Weight Of The World and their new vocal priest Ronny Munroe and ex-MALICE guitarist Jay Reynolds. Eternal Peace Out to original singer David Wayne, who passed away recently.
      STEPHEN PEARCY opened Metal Blast, looking like an underpaid mechanic. His band got off to a slow start with a low-tuned, unguessable song “Overdrive Pussy”?! (I’m guessing, that’s what I thought I heard.) Then the band cranked out RATT favorite “Wanted Man”, and everyone went nuts, including your humble servant. His other songs that followed were straight out of the Ratt Hits Catalogue: “I’m Insane”, “U Think You’re Tough”, and “Back For More”. Then he stated “F**k yeah, this is a party…I don’t care if we play to a hundred people, or a thousand or ten thousand, it’s still a party…RIGHT?!” We all roared in agreement.
    

Stephen started “Slip of the Lip”, then stopped and said “I f**ked up”, and went into “Lack of Communication” instead. I actually give props to Stephen for standing up the whole time…the last time he was in Las Vegas with RATT (2000), he would actually sit on the drum riser drinking a beer during each guitar solo. LAME! He didn’t introduce his bandmates, but nevertheless they churned out decent versions of “You’re In Love”, “Body Talk”, “Slip of the lip”. The unnamed lead guitarist didn’t have Warren DiMartini’s finesse, but he got the job done…especially during “Round and Round”, the metal song everyone likes. Stephen Pearcy might look like hell now, but he’s also been to heavy metal heaven too, since his original band was an MTV favorite through the 90’s. His voice is much the same, albeit a trifle older, not being able to hit the high notes but still loaded with the sonic rasp that perfectly complemented RATT’s songs. He has a new CD coming out called FUELER, which you can probably get through StephenPearcy.com.      

L.A. GUNS hit the stage next with their perennial opener “No Mercy”, a rapid-fire hit that’s also the story of my life. To my amazement, lead guitarist and band founder Tracii Guns has been…CLONED!!! A guy named Stacey Blades was playing lead now, looking and sounding exactly like Tracii (who is now in BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION, as I understand it).

Word has it that L.A. GUNS is Phil Lewis’s show now, but fortunately they rock just as hard as ever, with long-time drummer Steve Riley and bassist Adam Hamilton. “Sex Action” and “Never Enough” came next, making a trio of crowd pleasers. Then Phil announced their new CD, 'TALES FROM THE STRIP', and played a new song called “Hollywood’s Burning”, a mid-tempo grinder with a good motoring riff (“Hollywood’s burning, house by house, mile by mile…”). 
      

During a brief aside before “Hellraiser’s Ball”, Phil says “For any W.A.S.P. fans here who don’t know who we are, we are L.A. GUNS and we are strictly old-school…no ‘techno’, no ‘industrial’, no ‘scratching’.” The crowd roars in allegiance, and I’m louder than most of them, because old school is in fact the only school. Today’s mallcore bands look and sound like they never went to school, any school. It’s like the homeless were given guitars and pointed towards a stage. By contrast, through their tenacity and relentless touring and recording, the ‘old-school’ bands of the 80s and 90s have Master’s degrees in music and showmanship.      

Phil went on to say “Y’know, we’ve been touring for sixteen years, and people still say ‘Why do you guys still look so young?’ Well, it’s quite simple…we’re vampires, baby…” and the band tears into “Hollywood Vampires”. Great song, but Phil’s intro brings up my only two petty criticisms of the Guns: first of all, Phil’s a great singer and songwriter (and now a rhythm guitarist as well), but his onstage moves make him look like Richard Simmons on Crack. When he’s not playing rhythm guitar or on the mic, he breaks into these weird, jogging-in-place aerobics.

Maybe the girls like it, maybe it’s a British/Mick Jagger thing, who knows. Secondly, if you’re 44 or whatever and you’re only going to wear black jeans and an open black vest onstage, you really ought to do some push-ups and crunches or something if you’re going to let it all hang out. Oh well, as long as they’re comfortable.
      I thought since METAL CHURCH were absent, the Guns would have more stage time, but they don’t. The Guns crank out “One More Reason” and my other favorite “Electric Gypsy”, then bow out. Keep up the good work, lads.

      

It takes a long time for W.A.S.P. to set up, and there’s a story to that, too. There were several cancellations on the AMERICAN METAL BLAST due to the fact that W.A.S.P.’s one big prop…a huge customized microphone stand/sculpture that looks like a cross between a steel skeleton and a motorcycle fork…couldn't fit into some venues. The prop is a bit over seven feet high including its flexible base and about three feet around. So, what venues won’t that fit into? Small ones indeed, and that did not speak well for this tour. 
      Actually, it’s a shame that W.A.S.P. couldn't have broken out all their props for this tour. W.A.S.P. has always been about props. Trampolines, Flaming codpieces, Cannons that shoot t-shirts into the crowd, Guillotines, Strippers in rotating harnesses, raw meat, pyrotechnics, giant severed heads of the band members, drinking blood from skulls, anything at all to up the ante. I really wish I’d seen W.A.S.P. in their halcyon days in the late 80’s, perhaps the Electric Circus Tour when they used every trick in the book to wow the crowd.
      Maybe one reason they’ve scaled down the props is because of the blowback they’ve received from the government (Second Lady Tipper Gore’s PMRC once painted them to be Public Enemy Number One…hey, why not Motley Crue instead?) and other shock-rockers. Alice Cooper once described W.A.S.P. as “pure plagiarists” (and it’d be tough to refute that claim, since W.A.S.P. did in fact get every trick from his book.) and Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH said “If I was gonna be frenching a skull, I’d make sure it had all kinds of maggots and beetles in it first…” (inferring that Blackie Lawless uses cleaned-out skulls to drink blood from! Blasphemy!) Another reason might be that they don’t need them any more. Blackie Lawless learned about combining rock with theatrics in the New York Dolls before forming W.A.S.P. He took a long break after his initial successes of W.A.S.P., The Last Command, Inside The Electric Circus, LIVE-In The Raw, and The Headless Children. He returned with a soul-searching concept album about rock stardom: The Crimson Idol, then released a hit collection entitled First Blood…Last Cuts. That in itself would’ve capped a decent career, but Blackie eschewed retirement and returned to crank out K.F.D., Still Not Black Enough, Double Live Assassins, Helldorado, Unholy Terror, Dying For The World, and a two-CD concept album The Neon God (Parts I & II). With a catalogue like this, who needs props?
      

After a gloomy intro of The Door’s “The End”, W.A.S.P. finally erupts onto the stage with “On Your Knees”, and the crowd goes wild, myself included. The huge microphone prop is included, and Blackie Lawless uses it to full effect, riding it and even climbing it to scowl at the crowd from a twelve-foot height. “Inside The Electric Circus” follows, and it’s hit after hit from there. (Last year they played a full suite of THE NEON GOD that nobody seemed to care for, so now they’re back to their hits.) “L.O.V.E. Machine” and “Wild Child” follow, and Blackie’s unnamed bandmates pounce all over the stage like werewolves on speed…good to see a band put some energy into their work, while so many others just stand there. Another good thing about W.A.S.P. is that although Blackie’s kind of a mediocre musician, he has a perfect voice for heavy metal: deep, chilling, tremulous but also capable of the craziest screams.     

Blackie commands the crowd to chant “F**K LIKE A BEAST”, which they do (chant, that is), and the break out that first song that put them on the map. It was a clever move, back in the day: release a single only playable in Europe and elsewhere, but put out T-shirts everywhere else with the song’s title on it. The next thing you know, every parent in America is telling their kids “If you even dream of listening to these “W.A.S.P.” perverts, I’ll tear both your ears off.”…which naturally makes every kid in America think “Who’s W.A.S.P., and where can I get their album?” Controversy equaled sales, and W.A.S.P. was on the map. In fact we’ve actually got W.A.S.P. to thank for the “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” label on CDs now. While Blackie was both the target and the harshest critic of the PMRC (look them up), he claimed to actually appreciate the “Parental Advisory” label as it actually drove his record sales up, due to the ‘forbidden fruit’ paradigm.    

 “The Headless Children” came next, from the album that proved that W.A.S.P. wasn’t only about BDSM sex and horror themes. (Awwwww.) In fact, look back on their career and you’ll see that their songwriting got better and better over time. Blackie introduces the next song: “I wrote this back in the 90s, I was trying to write an album, and nothing was happening, I was stuck…so I drove home from the studio, and got home just as the sun was rising. I watched the sun rise, had about six or eight ounces of vodka, and wrote the first lines of THE CRIMSON IDOL…” The crowd roared as the penultimate lonely-rock-star ballad began, with a truly blinding light show to go along with it. Cool enough, but the song’s also a trifle pathetic. Millions are starving to death worldwide, and a rock star’s asking “Where is the love, to shelter me?” Cry me a river! Where’s the love? Freakin’ rent it, man, you’re the rock star.
      “Kill your pretty face” follows, which is theorized to be ex-guitarist Chris Holmes’ thoughts about his almost-wife Lita Ford. Then they play their cover of The Who’s “The Real Me”, my favorite song, which sends me down to the balcony railing to supply my backing vocals. "I Wanna Be Somebody” actually finds Blackie and his bassist acknowledging me, the only headbanging air-guitarist at the balcony railing (Wow, thanks, guys). A moment later I discover why I’m the only headbanging air-guitarist
at the balcony railing: security-drone #4 taps me on the shoulder and says “I need you to do me two favors; one, return to your assigned seat, and two, don’t go near the railing since it’s not designed to support your weight.”     

I think initially Well, if I do your first favor, there’s no need to ask the second, is there, and if this railing isn’t designed to support my weight, shouldn’t you idiots build one that IS? My impulse is to drop-kick this cretin down into the pit, but I chill, he did ask a favor instead of making a command. Meanwhile, Blackie is doing the drink-the-blood-from-the-skull routine, and shaking his head both for theatrical effect and to get Red Dye #5 out of his mouth. The band says “Good night”, and returns a few minutes later. Blackie says “Man, you fuckers never wanna go home, huh?” I scream back “Hell no, this is VEGAS, bitch!” Since they’re not playing, I’m actually heard, and agreed with by a thousand or so metalheads.
      W.A.S.P.’s encore begins with “Sleeping In The Fire” off their debut LP, then I race to the floor for their closer “Blind in Texas”. One wishes they’d alter the lyrics to “Blind in Vegas” (same number of syllables, right?) but oh well, great song, great show…the American Metal Blast was three great tastes that that tasted great together! THANKS to David Necro for the ticket (you do work here, ya know? -DN) -K.K.

BLACKEST OF THE BLACK 2005
Danzig/Mortiis/Behemoth
The Joint (inside The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino)
Las Vegas, NV

Believe it or not, I had never witnessed a 'Blackest of The Black' gig before. As you may or may not know, this is Glenn Danzig's answer to over-corporatized festivals, and it did in fact feel more like a meeting of the dark minds or better yet, a unholy gathering than those other festivals offer. This year's bill featured The Agony Scene, Himsa, Behemoth, Mortiis, Chimaira, and last but not least, Danzig. All of the bands for this tour (like previous tours) were hand-picked by Glenn Danzig personally.

With all due respect to Mr. Danzig, I could have done without The Agony Scene, Himsa, and Chimaira. It wasn't my particular bottle of wine. However, if you like metalcore and/or nu-metal these 3 bands are some of the best that I've heard to date. Do check them out.

Now, I've always been fascinated with Mortiis ever since he was in the seminal black-metal band Emperor, so much so that I interviewed him for inclusion in these very pages. You may read that interview here Anyway, where was I? Oh yes..Mortiis' performance right off the bat could be described as very deep, dark and aggressive. He has changed his approach; less ambient, and featuring a 3 piece band of guitar, bass and drums. However, this did not detract from giving you the feeling that the gates to another dimension were opened. Mortiis had the uncanny ability to draw you in, and once you were in his grip there was no turning back. As if you had a choice in the matter. This was accomplished via a very layered, textured, and ominous sound always probing those dark corners of the mind. Otherworldy and quite frankly more exciting than previous performances. The fact of the matter is, you just can't replace the visceral appeal and sexual grind that guitar, bass, and drums provide. Interspersed however, were drum machines and sampling, but this only added to a most malevolent performance of excellently executed and composed goth-industrial-black metal (for lack of a better term.) Larger than life and of course beyond the grave.

As for Behemoth, what can I say? Except that they provided extemely heavy, powerful black/death metal which was overwhelmingly passionate and very fuckin' evil. Very tight playing and string dynamics contributed to a combined atmosphere of brutality and intricacy. This was forceful, authoritative, with lots of time changes that weren't awkward in the slightest. A lot of structure there, and that's important. Because to just rip your head off is too easy, why not cut it off cleanly and with some grandeur and class a la an 18th century French execution? Works for me.

Finally, on this balmy October nite, an Indian Summer nite marking the shift of seasons from light and heat to darkness and cold, Glenn Danzig and his minions (Johnny Kelly-drums, Jerry Montano-bass, and Joe Fraulab-guitar) brought forth an enveloping of darkness and an outpouring of emotion. It wrapped around you (and fit) like a well broken-in black leather jacket. More than that, it was a brilliant dichotomy (intentional or not) of sleek, cold and black versus hot and firey. The yin and the yang. Past Danzig concerts (especially in the early days) were more of a drag race. White-hot energy from the get go. This was a slow, burning build-up of the ominous, lustfulness, and pride. Like a cobra ready to strike, but taking it's time to do so, and in the process toying with your mind. It took some getting used to for some, but once they did, they were hooked.  Because an environment of the forbidden, of sin and indulgence was created due to this unique presentation. Yes, the snake was tempting you to bite into that apple...

Glenn's vocals were tremendously sonorous and the power of his presence was second to none. Nothing short of captivating. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Glenn Danzig proved the cynics and haters wrong. Sorry to say, but as much as they wish for Glenn's demise, that only makes him stronger. Food for thought.

Then the cobra struck...injecting it's venom deep inside your flesh.

What am I talking about? Well, you see, Glenn decided to do a set of tunes from his old punk band the Misfits. To help him achieve this, and to bring some authenticty to the table was guitarist Doyle, who was in the last (and final) lineup of that band. As they say, this was "history in the making." Songs that Glenn hasn't played live (minus 1 or 2 here and there) since the first Danzig tour back in 1988. So, for a new generation of fans, this was an extra special treat.

Let me tell you, this was like witnessing a fuckin' train-wreck, in all of it's grisly and gory details, and the feeling of shock and being overwhelmed could not be avoided. It was massive and absolutely electric. Meaning, it was as if a roadie took a live wire and zapped the crowd with 10,000 volts.

This was indeed as authentic of a Misfits concert that you're gonna get, and Glenn delivered. Sounding exactly like the recordings and then some. Doyle was a man (or is it monster?) possessed. I dunno if he was trying to play guitar or was looking for victims. Probably both.

After a boisterous 2nd Danzig set (complete with encore,) we were treated to yet 1 last Misfits tune ("Die, Die My Darling") which left the audience completely drained and satisfied. I could have made a lot of money selling cigarettes, but as they say, "there's always next time." However, let it be known that according to Glenn himself, this is his last tour.

In closing, this was a nite of contrasting emotions; various textures, energies, and colors. But, it was real emotion and pure intensity all the way through; stuff that can't be manufactured. This was the real deal. But where does it come from? It's real simple, boils and ghouls, it comes from within the beast that is Glenn Danzig. -David Necro

Set List:

Wotan's Procession
Skin Carver
Satan's Child
I, Luciferi
Black Mass
Circle of Snakes
1000 Devils Reign
How The Gods Kill
Not of This World
Her Black Wings
(Misfits set)
20 Eyes
Astro Zombies
Skulls
Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
Earth A.D.
Last Caress
We Are 138
(Danzig Part II.)
Bringer of Death
Twist of Cain
Mother
(Danzig-encore)
Blood and Tears (part of)
Dirty Black Summer
(Misfits set-encore)
Die, Die My Darling

Black Label Society
Newport Music Hall
Columbus, OH

NOTE:
Since no one at Artemis Records felt the need to return my calls or e-mails to "review" it,
I went to this show with every intention of actually enjoying it, figuring I'd just tell you what happened rather than try to write some slick story about it.
Now, having said that...
 
Anyone who can recount every last detail of a Black Label show probably
wasn't even there, as the alcohol consumed during one flows more freely than a string of lies from a Republican's mouth. Take the city of Detroit, for instance;
When BLS recorded their ALCOHOL FUELED BREWTALITY cd/dvd there a couple years back, those in attendance proceeded to drain the bar dry -- literally emptying every can, bottle, and tap in the Harpo's complex. So you'll have to excuse me if I happen to leave anything out... I'm only human, after all.
 
Being that the show was in Columbus, the city that will be forever remembered as the place where Dimebag Darrell met his all too premature demise, I think it's easy to see why more than a few shots of Black Tooth Grin were consumed in his memory. We all still miss you, brother...
 
Having said that, my friends & I packed into the car and headed south pretty early, hoping we might get the chance to meet up with Mr. Wylde & company before the show, but -alas- security at the venue was tighter than Fort Knox. So we pretty much ended up hanging around outside with the rest of the mob that had stretched down the street by the time we scored our tickets from one of the local scalpers.
 
Once inside, the place was so packed I couldn't get anywhere even near the stage, and I ended up getting stuck sitting up by the bar (oh, darnn...) -- After that, the details really begin to get fuzzy:
 
I remember the first song of the night over the PA was
AC/DC's "Have a Drink On Me" -- which we were all only too happy to comply with.
 
I remember BRAND NEW SIN kicked some serious ass
and won the crowd over pretty quickly.
 
I remember that all the music played between sets was Pantera.
 
I remember BLS opened their show with "Fire It Up",
and that their set drew heavily from the MAFIA cd.
 
I remember the way the house lit up with Bic's when they played "In This River".
 
But that's about it, unless you wanna count a friend of mine getting in a fight, or when Kenny (BNS guitarist) gave my buddy a shot of Jager for accidentally knocking his beer out of his hand while trying to maneuver through the chaos.
 
Or that said buddy passed out in the backseat of the car on the way home, breaking in his $45 long sleeve by throwing up on himself (lol) -- But, really, what else would you expect?
 
Maybe SDMF should stand for "Shot Drinking Mother Fuckers"... -The Pusher

Die Hunns/The Adolescents
Revengefest 2005
Roadhouse Casino
Henderson, NV

Photos by: David Necro

 When you’re covering a show featuring two bands with members that have been active in the punk scene for more than a quarter of a century, you’re bound to be a little apprehensive about the show.  As we know, not all things get better with age.
 If you were to take the best of Black Flag, The Sex Pistols, G.B.H., The Misfits, and Cock Sparrer and run them through a meat grinder, feed this mix through a distortion pedal into a Marshall stack and crank it up to 11, you might have something that almost kicks as much ass as a Die Hunns live show.   

Die Hunns burned through their set with a blistering intensity that could make the paint peel from the walls.  Duane Peters, front man of such crust punk legends as U.S. Bombs and the Exploding Fuckdolls, is still in his prime, belting out the songs through a set of vocal cords that must be made of stainless steel to endure the abuse he’s put them through.
 

Corey Parks, formerly of Nashville Pussy, kept the low end together while sharing vocal duties, and doing both very well.  Corey is not only an incredible musician, but she’s sexy as hell, especially when she’s blowing fireballs that look as though they’re going to set the ceiling on fire.  
 

Rob Milucky, of the Grabbers and the Pushers, took care of the guitar duties and made the whole thing burn like the fires of Hell.  Every song was kept tightly together, and that’s saying quite a bit considering the complexity of the guitar parts.
 

Joel Ronamoe, the “baby” of the band, pounded the skins like Buddy Rich on PCP.  Although he’s the new guy in the crew, he plays like a veteran and more than keeps up with the rest of the band. 

Once Die Hunns finished, it was time for the band that cut their teeth with legends like Bad Religion, the Circle Jerks, and Black Flag.  I’m talking about the Adolescents.  With the original lineup of a band that got started before I was born, they can hardly be called “adolescents” anymore.  Age aside, what can I say but “Holy Shit!” This band absolutely blew me away. 
 

Tony Cadena (a.k.a. Tony Montana) has put together numerous incarnations of the Adolescents.  They’ve split up, reformed, split up again, and then reformed, and now they are reportedly back to the original lineup for a reunion tour celebrating the 20 year anniversary of their self-titled album.  
 

If the Adolescents are putting on a live show like this at the ages of 40+, I can only imagine the intensity of a show 20 years ago when you couple the intensity with a healthy dose of post-pubescent angst and a healthy dose of bile. I can’t even find the words to show how fucking cool it was to see this band, and how much I wish I could’ve seen them sooner.

This was one of the best live band shows I’ve seen in a very long time.  There were all different types of people there to see this show.  There were punks, drunks, skinheads, boneheads, old-schoolers, crusties, scenester kids and grown-ups revisiting their youth…and all of them seemed to be having a blast (even with the group of boneheads trying to mosh clockwise while the rest went in the more traditional counter-clockwise fashion.)  I give this one 5 out of 5 crypts…incredible. (and a very ghoul Friday the 13th! -DN) -TB

King Diamond/Nile/Black Dahlia Murder/Behemoth
House of Blues
Anaheim, CA

Photos by:
Jenni Jayde

 Thank you, House of Blues, for making me miss Behemoth. I guess missing out on
a good career means you have to make others miss good bands. I got to see Black
Dahlia play about half a song, which was enough for me to determine that I was
better off anyway.
 So I guess that bounces us straight up to Nile. They are well-worth the five
hour wait (they take their samples seriously; programming everywhere!), and not
only because they carry the amazingly unique sound of their albums over into
their live show. These guys are also superb musicians, to the point where they
would still stand out were they to lower the notch and play mediocre death metal
like everyone else.
 Opening with ‘Ramses’ was just too perfect. More often than not, bands blow the
load early. In the case of Nile, they have so much great material that they can
get away with playing one of their best songs first. Absolutely everything off
of ‘Black Seeds’ sounded fantastic, as did the new songs they shared, I should
probably mention. But what about 'Howling of the Jinn'? How dare you  bastards
not play 'Howling of the Jinn'?! Regardless, you’d think a band like this would
receive far more attention than they do. 

As for King Diamond, I guess you could say you expect only the most
over-the-top from him. Although the band as a whole did sound top-notch, King’s
voice seemed to be waning just a little. Strain caused by previous gigs,
perhaps? Most people cannot hit the high notes this guy does, almost as if by
second nature, but once you see (or in his case, hear) what someone can do,
don’t you normally expect this same display every time?

The performance at least took off with a bang. King, clad in only the finest maroon crushed velvet, proceeded to impale a baby doll snatched up out of the Abigail coffin itself. Now, I have to ask – why a doll? Why not a real baby? Lord knows with the over-abundance of children these days, some of them would just simply not be missed. Missing a kid? REALLY? Oh well, at least she’s making a creative statement. Remember, female readers – this man is taking donations!
(Side note to King: If I am pregnant as I suspect for the millionth time now, I will gladly let you take this burden off my hands.)

Sadly, I cannot remember most of the setlist. And I wasn’t even drinking! This
must be a side effect of unwanted pregnancy. ‘Black Horsemen’, ‘The Eye of the
Witch’, ‘Arrival’, ‘Mansion In Sorrow’…a lot of Abigail going on, you know?
 If you have not yet experienced King, I suggest you make an effort, and judge
for yourself. -Ava

Kittie
Key Club
Los Angeles, CA

Photos by: Lexa Vonn


I kind of wish I had the opportunity to review Kittie’s latest release, “Funeral for Yesterday” instead of their live show because I think the album shows a lot of growth for the Canadian girl metal group.  The vocals on this CD are more experimental than past releases as singer Morgan Lander shows that she can transend the staple metal scream and actually carry a melody. 

Their live show, however left a little to be desired for me.  Don’t get me wrong, though…these girls who were once labeled by the press and concert-goers alike as “not being able to play their instruments” have come a long way in their talents as musicians. Their recent set at Los Angeles’s famous Key Club was rhythmically tight and sounded as polished as any male band of the genre.

Guitarist Tara McLeod and bassist Trish Doan seemed in perfect unison with one another as they scrambled about the stage headbanging, trading positions and interacting with the crowd. In fact, one would think that they were the old pros while the sisters Lander were the rookies.

Morgan’s stage presence came off as nonchalant and deadpan as if she had taken a few Vicodin before hitting the stage and drummer Mercedes looked as though she was concentrating so hard on keeping the beat that she wasn’t enjoying the sheer act of playing.

What’s even more disturbing is the obvious fact that these girls have a fashion buyer that avidly and seemingly exclusively shops at Hot Topic.

When Kittie first appeared on the scene years ago they were gothed to the max in bondage pants and platform boots. Suddenly, a wave of emo hits the market and the girls appear onstage in skinny jeans, tank tops, studded belts and low top Chucks. Don’t they know that real rock stars start trends not follow them?! I found the show in its entirety kind of boring and lacking in any particularly memorable moments. 

I think they should take a lesson from their opening act that night, Walls of Jericho who’s female front-person, Candace refused to take no for an answer as she made sure everyone in the club was feeling the fury.  This girl knew how to command a crowd into a frenzy. I am not even a big fan of this type of metal but she got my adrenaline rushing. I think she will be the next celebrated female metal front-person.  As for Kittie…I am sure they will meander on with frequent line-up changes and mediocre performances. -LV

Kreator/Vader
House of Blues
Sunset Strip
Hollywood, CA


Let me first say that anytime you can guarantee a vast amount of metalheads in
tight jeans, white tennis shoes, and frighteningly old 80s thrash T-shirts, I
will be there. Not because I am attracted to that, I just really get a kick out
of it. It’s like seeing natural tits – you thought they were nonexistent these
days, but goddamnit, here they are!
 Vader is at the top of the death metal heap, and for good reason. Perhaps they
are not as well-known as, say, Morbid Angel, but those of us who are lucky
enough to have stumbled across an album like ‘Litany’ are forever grateful. By
the way, they didn’t even bother playing ‘Wings’. My heart is still aching.
 Kreator floored me. Absolutely floored me! They played way too fucking long,
but I was still pretty impressed. They make me proud to be German. There was not
a single bored person in the entire venue, which is normally quite common when
you go to see some of the bands I do. Why can’t all metal bands remain this
crazy? Granted, you never hear about Kreator going psycho and stabbing
Christians (we can dream though, can’t we?), but in terms of stage presence and
musical ability they’ve still got it.
 And ‘Enemy of God’…what an album! To hear this material played live, not to
mention perfectly, was pure bliss. ‘Impossible Brutality’ and the title track
were just some of the highlights, along with some older material that made the
pit nearly collapse.
 They say this tour turned out to be their most successful, selling out all over
Europe. What can we say? Europeans have better taste than we do. Nonetheless,
Kreator DESERVED that acclaim. An album and live performance like theirs
guarantees long-lasting respect in the metal community for many more years to
come. -Ava

The Loud Pipes
Revengefest 2005
Roadhouse Casino
Henderson, NV

Photos by: David Necro

What would you say if there was a band that combines the heaviness of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath with the energy and raucousness of Motorhead and Black Flag? Not only that, guitar solos that give Slash a run for his money, and a singer who's remnisicent of the late Stiv Bators.

Pretty kool, huh? Well, there is such a band, and they're The Loud Pipes, you creeps. They have a lot of prove yet, although they've done more than basically every band based in Las Vegas to date. Since they are from Vegas, they do capture that "party all nite and looking for trouble" spirit that runs rampant in this town.

On this nite, they dropped the fuckin' hammer. Opening up for the Adolescents (they were singing along in the front row just like the rest of 'em) and the Die Hunns appeared to inspire them. What they threw up in our laps was pure rock n' roll insanity played with abandon. But, it wasn't overly sloppy; you can tell they have a lot of chops, particularly with guitarist Jesse and his jaw-dropping solos. This maniac is probably 1 of the most underrated guitar players in the country. It's true.

To me, the Loud Pipes' forte is displaying a lot of power, recklessness, and this thick, oozing bottom end that just digs deep right into your festering guts. Give credit to bass player Roxie for that. They don't sound "small" like a lot of bands they get lumped in with (in Las Vegas or nationally.) This is the the 440 6 pack, not the 318. To that, they simply overwhelmed with the size of their blitzkreig attack. However, they don't plod and drag around such as the vast majority of Stoner Rock bands. This band swings like mad. It's a charging rhino (or elephant) to be sure, but 1 that can do a little aerobics on the side.They strike me a more punk version of 'In Rock' era Deep Purple minus Jon Lord's organ, Ian Gillan's banshee wail, and the classical influence.

Singer Tony is certainly not gonna give Rob Halford a run for his money when it comes to vocal ability, but this fiend has the attitude to make up for it. Look at Ozzy Osbourne, for example. Not a great technical singer, but he has character and showmanship. Tony has this in common as well. Plus, he looks like he's in band (as do the rest.) What a fuckin' concept!

Therefore boils and ghouls, this is quite possibly America's best kept secret in what hopes to be the upcoming rock revolution. If you're ever in Las Vegas, or even in your town, I highly recommend you check these kids out. And remember, "Loud Pipes Save Lives." Because, you don't wanna take a taste of what death is about. Who better to know this than I? -David Necro

Low Life Fest 1
The Brass Mug
Tampa, FL

Photos by: Mark L.

This was a big concert, to say the least. The bands playing were Gardy Loo(featuring members of Nasty Savage), Unearthed(featuring former members of Iced Earth and Purgatory), AREA 51, Argus, Blood Oath, Covet, Hanover Fiste, Must Not Kill, and Thrash Attack. The concert went from 6pm until after 3am. It was one non-stop headbanging, metal fest of the highest order.

In particular, AREA 51, Gardy Loo, and Unearthed were all phenomenal, and they went above and beyond any of their performances to date. This was one packed house, the fans went crazy all thru the night, and everyone was in unison. METAL is Back, and this is the proof. I give this show 5 out of 5, an A++, a 100% for being totally kick ass, for being totally entertaining(such as when Gardy Loo brought out Shit Man).

Thanks to Ben Meyer of Nasty Savage/Gardy Loo for putting this show together. Gardy Loo was their typical craziness packaged in a show to entertain all. AREA 51 proved all throughout their set why they are among the very best there is, PERIOD!!!!! Unearthed went back and touch all the way back to the days of Purgatory and Iced Earth and brought back the sounds of real Power metal. -Mark L.

Low Life Fest 3
The Brass Mug
Tampa, FL

Photos by:
Mark L.

Here we go again, Heavy Metal is back and it is realy showing. Low Life Fest 3 was the best Low Life Fest yet. The lineup was as follows: Undividual, Contorted, Dark Faith, EZT, Rodan, Unearthed, Paths of Possession(featuring George from Cannibal Corpse), Gardy Loo, and headlining the show, Hallow’s Eve.


This show was just top notch. Everyone kicked total ass. I have to give kudos to Ben Meyer(Nasty Savage, Gardy Loo, Low Brow) for putting together ONE HELL OF A SHOW!!!!! Whether you like Power Metal or Death Metal, it was all there. These bands can play with ANYONE out there!!! A great time was has by one and all. Just like back in the 80's, it is really about the music again, and the faith of Heavy Metal, the defenders of the faith were out in force. The highlights of the evening were seeing George sing with a new band, Paths of Possession, they meshed really well and were on top of their game.

Gardy Loo rocked as always, and they did their El Duce tribute and had Turdman out to rock the night away. Hallow’s Eve played until after 3am and proved toe veryone there that they are on top of their game and just keep getting better, just like a fine wine. They have never lost a step, in fact, none of the bands have. This concert gets 5 out of 5 crypts, and may be one of the best concerts this year. Way to go to everyone who was there, including the fans. METAL IS BACK, Rock On!!!!!!! -Mark L.

Nine Inch Nails (w/special guests The Dresden Dolls)
The Joint (inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino)
Las Vegas, NV

Photos by: David Necro

Depending on who you ask, Nine Inch Nails is either the best thing to ever happen to post-industrial music, or the biggest Skinny Puppy rip-off this side of the Canadian border. (I mean, let's face it-"Down In It" may as well be a "Dig It" remix.) If you weren't fortunate enough to make it in the over sold-out venue that night, believe me, 98 percent of the crowd was having what can probably be considered the closest thing to a religious experience. This in the city of sin, no less.

And why not? The set list drew heavily from every album in the NIN catalog. Everything from set opener "The Frail/The Wretched," a revamped version of "Burn," (complete with LED "flames" that cascaded accross the backdrop,) "Terrible Lie," "March of The Pigs, "Wish," and at least 5 new songs from "With Teeth," (not counting "The Hand That Feeds.") Had they managed to sneak in a version of "Supernaut," it would have been the perfect set, but alas, you can't have everything...

You can come damn close though. And I have to admit, having not seen them live since 10 year prior (95's Bowie tour,) even I was wondering if they could still deliver the goods like they used to.

I should be drawn and quartered for ever doubting.

I don't know where Trent dug up his new guitarist, but jesus, there were times when it was hard to tell if this guy was that on or if he was having a fucking seizure. Especially during "Gave Up," when he was flopping around all over the place like that fish in the Faith No More video.

But let's not forget 'ol Jeordie...you know, "the artist formerly known as Twiggy Ramirez." I haven't seen a smile as big as the 1 on his face since I had a guy try to sell me a used Gremlin back in Hgih School. You know the 1...it's the smile of having gotten away with something big and knowing it. In his case, probably relief from not getting pciked up by Metallica during the recording of 'St. Awful.' (Sorry guys, but if that's the kind of record you make sober, I'll gladly mail James a case of Jagermeister.)

All in all, the only thing that would have possibly made this a better show would've been a bigger venue, since everyone on the floor was packed like sardines. Shoulder to shoulder or not, you'd have been hard pressed to find a crowd more rabid than this crowd on this night. I don't think anyone left disappointed. Hell, even V.I.P. gues Drew Carey opined, "Man, those guys came on like they had something to prove." I couldn't agree with him more, and if there's anything that can be learned from this early show, it's probably "get in line for tickets now, 'cuz they're going to sell out fast."

If you're lucky, they might even bring the Dresden Dolls with them. I'm basically guessing that most of their set came from their latest release, 'Coin Operated Boy.' Primarily becuase I'd never heard of them until right before this show. But ya know what? Whoever heard of Marilyn Manson before opening for NIN? I never would've thought that punk rock cabaret would be something I might like unltil Amanda Palmer began pounding out "War Pigs" (yes, Black Sabbath's "War Pigs") shortly before winding their set down...Damn! I'm sorry, but you gotta respect anyone who can play Sabbath on a piano. It's gonna be interesting to see what happens to them...make sure you check 'em out now so you won't have to lie about being "into them first" later.  -The Pusher

Nocturne
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV

Photos by: Jenni Jayde

Industrial music fans will love the hard hitting sound of the female-fronted band Nocturne.

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Nocturne has toured across the country with big name bands like Bile, King Diamond, Entombed, and Pigface. Most recently, Nocturne was on the road with Pitbull Daycare, Dope, and Mushroomhead for the 2005 Jagermeister Music For Freedom Tour.

I was fortunate enough to catch not one, but two of Nocturne’s shows on the above mentioned tour: at the Roxy in Hollywood and at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.


Nocturne’s sound is thick and powerful with distorted guitars, heavy drums, grinding bass,
and electronic touches that create a polished sound. Bassist Rotny and guitarist Chris
Telkes generate an concentrated backing for vocalist Lacey.

Anyone doubting the ability of
women to perform in the gothic and industrial arenas has not seen Lacey sing. She maintains a feminine touch while still matching the gritty deep attitude of the musical style. As a “front woman” Lacey conveys the power and strength of the band and stands rival to any male counterpart in the genre.


Nocturne is tight and dead-on during live performances. The appearance and charisma of the band is consistent among its members and with the intensity of their music. In her sexy and revealing outfits, Lacey perfectly represents the band. A bra-like top, mini skirt,
fishnets, and black boots only further accents her on stage performance. Though I’m not generally a fan of industrial music, I’ve found myself strangely attracted to Nocturne and recommend that everyone see their intoxicating performance. -Jenni Jayde

Nocturne/Sheep On Drugs/Pigface
The Odeon
Cleveland, OH

Photos by: Jenni Jayde 
and Juan (courtesy of Jenni Jayde)

Holy Jesus. . .

Most of the time, I wouldn't walk across the street to see most bands
play a show, let alone travel 1800 miles to do it. But sometimes you
have to make sacrifices -- when the band won't come to you, you go to
them. And this was one case where it actually paid off to do so.

With parking in the Flats on a Friday night being as hard to find as a
venue not owned by Queer Channel, I didn't even make it into the venue
until just before Nocturne hit the stage, so I couldn't even tell you
if Voodou even played a set...


But Nocturne definitely kicked things into high gear the second they took the stage, setting every head in the room banging along with every note they played. That is, of course, until Lacey Connor began stripping down to a bustier & mini skirt... By that time, the joint could've caught on fire and I don't think anyone would have noticed.

The only downside was that their set could have been longer, but I
guess we'll have to wait for next time. Either way, if anyone in
attendance wasn't familiar with them beforehand, you can bet your ass they're well aware now...

After a quick tear down, an announcement came over the pa announcing
Sheep on Drugs -- which kind of surprised me when I realized the only things on the stage were angled white screens blocking off the back 1/2 of the stage and a microphone. See, I've heard a lot ABOUT Sheep on Drugs, but I'd never actually heard any of their music til they walked
out onto the stage and kicked into the opening track off their new cd,
F**K. Apparently, these guys are electronic minimalists, using (I'm
guessing at this) only keyboards & samplers with a live vocalist, but
packing a bunch bigger than the W's swelled head. This time, it was the
ladies in attendance who were salivating over SOD's frontman,
hypnotizing every female like a demented Pied Piper during tracks such
as crowd favorite "Streetwalker" and "Pleasure & Pain". And while the
place was far from filled, with only about 300 in the 900 seat Odeon,
no one seemed to mind as that just gave them more room to dance. Anyone
who liked Front 242 or Psychotica would do well to pick up their new
disc -- we did, and cranked it up all the way back to Akron.

But first, we had to see PIGFACE.

See, one of the great things about PIGFACE is that you could feasibly see them 10 times, and odds are you won't be seeing the same band twice as they rotate people in & out for each tour (past contributors have ranged from Trent Reznor of NIN to Jason from Pitchshifter, to Edsel Dope to Danny Carey of Tool). This year's incarnation, however, included The Enigma, whom you might have seen swallowing crosses the size of a Louisville Slugger down his throat or pounding nails up his nose with a hammer when he was with the Jim Rose Circus... For a lot of people there, this man stole the show - evidenced by having his picture captured by every camera phone in the house. Trust me -- people are
probably still talking about him today. ( I know I still can't get the
image of him brain-flossing with condoms & drills out of my head.) 

And they have good reason to -- not only did Enigma lend some visual spectacle to the show, I could've listened to their set with my eyes closed & still had a kick ass time, as the band played a little something for everyone; highlights included "Insect/Suspect", a version of KMFDM's "Godlike" that sounded a lot better than the version on NAIVE, and set closer/Pigface anthem "Suck", from their early 90's GUB
album... Though, ironically enough, the biggest crowd response seemed to come during their first encore: a cover of Dope's "Bitch". I shit you not, I was right down front, sitting under the stage right PA stack, and theaudience was singing along so goddamn loud that I could barely hear the band.

And, having said that, had they not told us from the stage, I'd have never noticed that this was only the second night of the tour. And I still wish all the sets would've been longer; but hearing three amazing bands in about four hours or so made the time seem to go a lot faster than it actually did. And I don't think I'm alone in believing that,since the merch booth was still crowded 45 minutes after the show was over... partially, I'm sure, due to the fact that everyone who came got a coupon good for 50% off cd's & t-shirts if they signed up for the mailing list. A gimmick? Some people might have thought so -- But,either way; when was the last time YOU went to a concert & bought a
t-shirt for $11? Or a cd for $5 that wasn't used?

In a time where promoters jack up ticket prices so high you almost have to work two jobs to afford them, and bands are busy slapping their names on
overpriced, useless junk to try & squeeze all the money they can from you (Gene Simmons, I'm looking in your direction...), it's nice to know that some bands actually still care about their fans & won't rake them over the coals to get them back again next time.

So, uhh, where will I be flying next year? -The Pusher

Thor/Gardy Loo
Pegasus Lounge
Tampa, FL

Photos by: Mark L. and Michael Pilmer

This show rocked, OH MY GAWDDDDD!!!!!!!! I wasn’t sure what to expect this night overall, having never seen Thor, but it was definitely a show to remember, for the ages. Gardy Loo opened the show and played for almost two hours, they did most of their songs, and they even ad libbed a lot, it was just awesome, as Gardy Loo always is.

They even brought out crowd favorites, Turdman, and their tribute to The Mentors former lead singer, El Duce, R.I.P. If you have never seen Gardy Loo, you have to catch them at least one time in your life, and that one time will get you hooked to the point of addiction.

Thor came out and played his set. His band is just top notch, and he was doing stuff GWAR does before they were formed. There was a great monster fight, where Thor killed the monster.

There were awsome feats of strength, such as when Thor bent a solid steel bar in his mouth. And there was just some awesome Heavy Metal/ Hard Rock. Everyone there had just the best time.

Thor promised, Thor came, and Thor delivered and kicked ass, BIG TIME!!!!!!!!! The songs were new and yet had that great 80's Metal/Hard Rock quality to them, without sounding passe. This concert was definitely the place to be that night. Something very special went down, and if you weren’t there, you really missed something.  -Mark L.

Whitesnake
House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV

“The sky is red, I don’t understand, past midnight I still see the land; people are saying the woman is damned, she makes you BURN with a wave of her hand!” Thus erupts the thunderous comeback of David Coverdale and his immortal supergroup WHITESNAKE at the House of Blues here in Las Vegas. Thunderous is actually an understatement…I tell David about MOTORHEAD, and his band was even louder than THEM! (No joke!) And he says “Well I should bloody well hope so!”
     Knowing that Coverdale tours every other leap year—if one’s lucky—your humble servant bows to the Gods of American Express and buys the Exclusive Platinum Package of tickets: autographs, photo, t-shirt, admission to soundcheck, backstage meet-and-greet, etc. Pricey, but worth it…how many times has any American seen WHITESNAKE? After the shattering success of the self-titled 1987 album (over 7 million copies sold, outselling Guns and Roses’ debut LP and everyone else as well), WHITESNAKE delivered the platinum follow-up SLIP OF THE TONGUE, and then mysteriously vanished from everyone’s rock & roll radar. Irritating, yeah, but bail out at the top, I say. I didn’t think I’d ever get to see Whitesnake perform live. I had tickets to see COVERDALE/PAGE in Florida, and the show was cancelled for unknown reasons.
     Then finally the blues-metal god came out of seclusion to accompany SCORPIONS and DOKKEN in 2001, and headlined the Rock Never Stops Tour with SLAUGHTER, Kip WINGER, and WARRANT in 2002. Both were excellent shows, but not the Show that Coverdale had planned. This year he’s finally crafted the “Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues Show” he’s always wanted. Though Whitesnake’s always been perceived as a hard rock or metal outfit—and a damned great one at that—Coverdale’s roots are in the blues. “The only connection we have with ‘metal’ is that we play loud…VERY loud!” David maintains.

     And LOUD they are, from their soundcheck to the show itself, which opens with a rare medley of  Deep Purple’s “Burn” and “Stormbringer”. Everyone in the band is in top form: Reb Beach and Doug Aldritch on guitars, talented newcomer Uriah Duffy on bass, and the legendary Tommy Aldridge on drums.
     The near-capacity crowd at the House of Blues is almost as loud in their welcoming applause. From then on, every song is a classic: “Love ain’t no Stranger”, “Slow and Easy”, “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, “Slide it in”,  “Is this Love”, “Judgement Day”, and many more. I would’ve killed to hear “Hit an’ Run” or “Sailing Ships”, but what can ya do when a band’s gotta cram three decades of songs into two hours. You can’t really say there’s a bad Whitesnake song anyway, but there are certain radio-friendly hits that have so much studio gloss and heartwarming lyrics that they almost give you diabetes. “Give Me All Your Love” is one example, but the crowd sings along with fervor. At age 53 (the same age as America’s love-jacker Ted Nugent), Coverdale has never looked or sounded better…kind of strange when you read in the liner notes of SLIP OF THE TONGUE that his instruments are “Coffee, Marlboro 100s, and a wing an’ a prayer.”
     For an encore, the band lets loose “The Boys Are Feeling Hot Tonight” from the COVERDALE/PAGE lp, and then raises the roof with the sure-fire closer “Still Of The Night”. Coverdale closes with “Good night, God bless, and never let anyone make you scared…”
     It’s a great statement, particularly when we live in a time when people want to make you scared, everyone from the loveless killers of Al-Qaeda to the fabricators in our own government. It’s a time that needs bands like Whitesnake to remind us that love is still out there. One wishes that the Middle East or Africa had their own love-oriented band like Whitesnake…if they do, I’ve never heard of them. There’d be a lot more peaceful rock concerts and a lot less needless bloodshed. The world needs more David Coverdales and a lot fewer Bin Ladens. -K.K. 

X-BASH
Riverboat Nudist Resort
Land O’ Lakes, FL

Photos by: Mark L.

Yes, that’s right, a Rock concert at a nudist resort. It totally rocked!!!!!!!! Here are the bands that played: Slut Rag (With Shecter from the Impotent Sea Snakes), Pleasant Problem, Fist Monkey, Lunatic Candy Kreep, In Violet, AREA 51, and Battlestar. The show went from about

12:30pm until a little bit after 1am. Also, in between bands, were DJ Tread, MC DarkSide, and Vainangel, spinning the tunes, as well as fire eaters and firedancers. What is better than great Rock-N-Roll and naked people???? If you can figure that one out, please let me know. From start to finish, this was by far, a great show, absolutely awesome. None of the bands sucked, there were lots of naked people, the sound was engineered very well, and everyone present had an absolutely great time.

The ticket prices couldn’t be beat either, and there was plenty of food available. Special thanks to all the bands who came out, all the women who got naked, and to XZanthia for putting together a great concert, and for going out of her way to make sure all the bands were taken care of, and for making sure everyone felt right at home, and very comfortable.

She is one of the reasons this shows was such a success. If you missed this one, definitely don’t miss it next year. X-Bash has been going on for 16 years now. This is definitely one of those things you want to put on your to-do list. I am going to give Xzanthia and all the bands that played a 5 out of 5 crypts, and I want to say "Thank-you" for a wonderful day of Rock-N-Roll!!!!!! As Iron Maiden would say, "Up The Irons"!!!!!!!!! -Mark L.

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