Blood Star Halo & Heavenly Trip To Hell At Whisky
I was lucky enough to catch the opening band for this bill at The Whisky A Go Go Nov 3rd, 2006. The act is called BLOOD STAR HALO, and I think this group of perfectly sinister-looking metalers are going to make a very big name for themselves if they can just continue to push forward in the murky and cutthroat sea of the music business. With one of the more intriguing lead vocalists I've seen in a long time here in Los Angeles in Dust Devil, Nine Bones on bass guitar, Thorne on lead guitar and Diesel on drums, I think these guys are easily ready for the fight. Working through some bare bones evil-sounding cuts like 'My Disorder', 'Chosen' and 'Get Out' from their 2005 EP 'Disorder' and 2004's 'Incendium Infernum' album, this was a band I found to be locked into a perfect rhythm as a musical unit, making no mistakes with their playing and from the gothic/industrial vibe minus the keyboards, it was clear to see that these guys are all about getting the 'evil' in their music just right. Most bands that I see trying to act Satanic, would get jumped outside the club and be perfect prey for punishment. Dust Devil, short but solidly built, tatt'd down and body cloaked in reddish war paint, is the perfect cross between Danzig and Satan behind the microphone himself. The band was even joined by a dancing woman who had seductive moves for each pounding note delivered by the drums. They are one of those acts you see where you know from the level of craftsmanship that they are delivering on the stage, they will be a band to be reckoned with no matter who gets in their way. Because in this industry the corporate suits and scam artists will never be able to stop the power and poignancy behind a well performing rock band. And Blood Star Halo is the real deal.
Next up was HEAVENLY TRIP TO HELL and as fun and entertaining as this industrial metal band was this evening, delivering a top notch performance all around of mostly tracks from their debut full length effort, "Who Is The Enemy", it was their drummer, JD Flores, the often last one mentioned in a show review, that straight up owned the stage this night. With Gerardo Christ on lead vocals, Scott C. on lead guitar, Sergio Natas on bass/backing vocals, Vicky Vicious on keyboards, Heavenly Trip To Hell rampaged through politically-charged rockers such as 'Designated Enemy', 'New World, 'Lies' and 'Welcome To The Fire' with absolute gusto and near flawless execution. What I found most interesting about this band, beyond the fact that the atmosphere around the energy they give off from the stage is purely one of literal electric shock currents, they employ the usage of a stage performer named Juan F.L., who has the sole task of throwing out glowsticks and glow-frisbees to the crowd as the band plays. The crowd was obviously made up of diehard HTTH fans who follow them wherever they stray from their Long Beach home, pumping devil horns proudly into the air and mosh dancing in celebration. And as gripping as this band certainly is as a whole, I return to my initial remark about the drummer for this band. I have seen many of the great rock percussionists of my time, including Tommy Lee and Nicko Mcbrain. And this JD Flores is easily one of the best I've ever witnessed. He's a little guy too, which is what throws you off so much when you hear the sonic boom that goes off with the first slam down onto his snare drum. I knew right away I was in for the treat of my life. The band played for about an hour and this dude never once let up in his dizzying and perfectly metered assault. This is a drummer who knows how to do a whole lot with a whole little. There couldn't have been more than twelve pieces to his entire setup, compared to these monster kits that the top in his field get to use. I'm telling you that I don't know if this was just one of those nights where a performer rises to another level all of the sudden, but I kept scratching my head throughout the performance, saying to myself: "This dude is one of the baddest drummers around, why doesn't anyone else know this?" Perhaps, that answer has been met head on with the writing of this review for all the many thousand upon thousands of worldwide readers to be educated on. The last two songs from this high-charged fury machine were 'Assassination Number One' and '69', and turned up the anti-White House stance by ten notches, making one feel that as big of a 'Davey and Goliath' situation it is for everyday Americans to dare and speakout versus it own government on a major subject like 'a war started over a lie', the environment this night at The Whisky quickly affirmed my belief that little Davey is not going to be taking any shit! The band was joined on the stage by at least thirty women for the closer '69' and it looked like New Years Eve gone wrong in the joint at this point. It doesn't get any more metal than this. And when I met up with HTTH drummer, JD Flores, after the show to hang and chat, I literally felt as if I were in the presence of Bonzo himself. So I suggest that the very first time you get a chance to checkout Heavenly Trip To Hell, bring a bunch of friends, get ready to drink and be silly and free -- these rockers are causing more noise for their heavy music scene than one hundred bands around them.
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