Ascension, Damcyan & Orcus At The Key Club 11/24
I was getting hammered in the infamous Green Room backstage when Hollywood's black metal outfit ASCENSION took the stage but I did make it out to catch the majority of their set. I have no clue what the hell the names are of any of their band members and they are 'green' enough still in the business apparently to not have any of that info available on their MySpace site. I will say that the lead vocalist/lead guitarist is probably one of the strongest talents of his kind, the likes of which hasn't been seen since James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine began terrorizing the metal world in separate bands near the end of the 80's. He's a tall kid. Maybe twenty. Long blonde hair down to his ass... and oh yeah, he was built like a twig wearing a bullet belt. All this said, the band obviously has a bit of a reputation built up for itself and the kid can play his electrc guitar about as good as any young virtuouso on the planet. Citing Carcass, The Haunted, Slayer and In Flames as their main influences, I could totally see this band going somewhere mainly built upon the kid's simply mutant-like ferocious riff domination and lead soloing. I also have no idea what their song titles were except for one 'The Left Hand Path' and let me say that this is a brutal and all out grooving mosher for certain. The kid rates a five out of a possible ten on singing skills but that's okay because he makes up for it in uncanny stage presence and that's just a flatout gift. His backup band of serious skill itself made the whole experience with him doing his awesome and in full command prancing around the stage that much richer. This is a great young metal band in our midst.
Next up was Santee, California's DAMCYAN and let me say that as trashed as I was trying to hold myself up against the wall of the venue, for which I must certainly apologize profusely to the video camera guy who kept getting pissed at me for standing in his way, it was a true heavy music night to behold with the highly gifted and magically enigmatic Damcyan lighting the inside of the club up with immediate fireworks, showing us many moments of brilliance with cuts off their newly released EP 'Diabolical Indignation' produced by legendary Slayer/Sacred Reich producer Bill Metoyer. The pit went into an immediate 'go off' session with diehard fans of the band including its manager, dancing crazily in a swirling circle of flailing arms and legs as if the second coming of Megadeth had just arrived. And you know what? This band just might well be. Featuring Matt Smith on lead guitar/vocals, Adam Young on bass Guitar, Steven Atkins on rhythm Guitar, David Correa on keyboards/synth and Sean Kattner on drums, this outfit of modern thrash specialists showed such great poise and grace with its full throttle execution of spirited brutality, that it almost brought literal tears to my damn eyes. Settle down, I said almost.
Blitzkrieging through heart-pounding gems like 'Predator', 'Killer Angel' and 'Maverick Hunter', the young act had everyone banging their heads and that includes the black security guy that kept giving me evil stares. The one final thing I will say about this group is that it was real cool of the bassist Adam Young to come over to me after their set concluded and ask my opinion of the show and talk about my involvement in the metal game. He kicked me down a copy of their EP and was a lot cooler and down to earth than most of these rock stars-to-be I meet normally.
The headliner for the night was Glendale, California's ORCUS and they started it off with the title track 'Birth' off their debut full-length album engineered by Poison Carousel's Anna May Gacy. Let me say that what I thought was going to be the first precarious position for the band having to follow the great Damcyan in such a young time in their history turned out to instead be its crowning moment. I have been going to metal shows my whole life. And I honestly haven't seen many acts to the likes of a great Orcus that unmercifully rocked the shit out of the floor as these modern metal masters most certainly did at The Key Club in Hollywood this night. Horns way up. The super mutant metal group of Hayg Terzian on lead guitar, Andrew De Lange on keys, John Paul Fernandes on vocals/guitar with Karo Torosyan on bass and the hard-hitting Chris Moore on Drums, next unleashed 'The Worm or the Sublime' which amazingly managed to out soar the previous incredible song performance, enrapturing and tortured in its content. It was followed by the blistering and enthralling 'The Immolation', which I believe is a track from their next album. ' Deus est Mortus' and 'Embers of their Lost Domain' had this pure beauty in how fluid and complimentary of each other both of these two songs were with one another. The band ended it there but then was cheered out for an encore and they brought out the best the evening would see in ' Anti-Apotheosis ', both chilling and horrifying in its death landscape of one flurry of great riffs and changes after the other that it really made you see what true musicians really area all about. These guys could have played three more sets with all of the energy they displayed. And the crowd ate it all up and this makes becomes a compelling moment for Orcus and I think indicates ultimately that they are ready to stand their ground and now seriously start making their mark in the music world even if they play a mainly european-style brand of metal in sunny beachtown Californa.
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