WILLOW WISP, ISOLATION IN INFAMY, BACK FROM DEATH, BLOOD THIRSTY ANGELS, NO SHAME IN DYING, Cobalt Café, November 14, 2010
It was Wright Productions night at the Cobalt Café on a Sunday, and Highwire Daze was there to support and review the local acts on the bill. The night was headlined by the legendary Willow Wisp, an avant-garde Black Metal band who has been haunting the City Of Angels with their anthems of dementia for well over 20 years. The metal and headbanging was flowing freely through the walls of the Cobalt, and it was time to raise the devil horns in the air and celebrate the diversity within our Los Angeles metal scene.
Playing the early slot was No Shame In Dying (NSID), whose impressive set brought the venue to life. A newer band from the Montebello area, NSID clearly has what it takes to gain a listeners attention. One is quick to notice the various influences each of the band members bring to the collective, and together they create a sound that both hardcore kids and metal purists may enjoy. Vocalist Weechy is a compelling stage presence, and can really let loose with a powerhouse stage presence. Sylvester Luevano excels on guitar while Randy Rios and Erik Padilla make for a formidable rhythm section. Their cover of the As I Lay Dying song Through Struggle was inspired. Amongst the original material, Your Insincerity really stood out and grabbed the audience by throat. NSID is definitely a local band to be on the lookout for – it will be exciting to see where they are a year from now.
There was a brief instrumental set from a duo called Arsanal – featuring some superb guitar work and kick ass drumming. Not sure why or how they were added to the show, but the musicianship exuded from these two guys was absolutely inspired and definitely metal in your face! Immediately following was a set from Bloodthirsty Angels from North Hills, who’s dark and heavy take on death and thrash metal was quite interesting to behold. Nuclear Christ was absolutely explosive and another song House Of Pain was highly memorable and could really wind up being a signature tune for these promising musicians. They may be influenced by bands such as Slayer and Cannibal Corpse, but Bloodthirsty Angels definitely exudes a manic personality all their own – and the tunes to back it up. Even without a bass player, these guys tore it up!
Back From Death from Simi Valley delivered a lively set of death metal to the Cobalt horde. Solid performances from all members abound. A bit on the progressive side of the musical spectrum, fans of entities such as Hate Eternal and Diabolic may want to check into the mighty tunes Back From Death has to offer. Especially impressive was the lead vocalist/bassist Regurgitate, whose solid delivery and heavy low end really sent the material soaring. Other tremendous contributions were emitted from Rambro and Wayne on dueling axes and Timpaled on drums. Highlights from their set included Burning In The Furnace, Enslaving The Dead, and Boiled In Mucas.
A band that seems destined for life well beyond the Cobalt is Isolation In Infamy. They may have been preparing themselves for their upcoming opening slots with Nile and Abysmal Dawn, but Isolation In Infamy did not even hold back, and delivered a tremendously all out metal assault. Opening with a solid one-two slam dunk of Threshold and Unison Of Beasts, Isolation In Infamy proceeded to fill the room a sonic wall of sound that was mesmerizing to behold. With sets this thoroughly impressive and a professional looking self-released EP in tow, it’s obvious that this collective means serious business when it comes to their art. Definitely a local band with a thrilling future ahead of them. Be sure to check out their EP and get yourself to an Isolation In Infamy show soon!
And then there was Willow Wisp, taking the stage for a late show, and delivering yet another devastating performance. While some of the faces of the membership may change, the concept to “Defy The Mundane” remains defiantly in place. The plague continues to spread and the live show remains as exciting and innovative as ever. Founding member Toe-Knee is one of the most underrated drummers in this life and beyond, playing frontwards, backwards, and exuding a sinister charisma that is fascinating to behold. Mr Horrorble on bass may be a bit more subtle, but there’s still something brilliantly macabre about his very presence. Lazreal is the newest addition, a cyborg guitarist who really knows how to swing his axe. And finally there’s the mesmerizing performance of their front man M6D6M6A – a vocalist that emits both a sense of eminent danger and untimely possession. Songs including in their seriously intense set included I Watched You Drown, Prisoners Of Technology, and The Left Over Fodder From Another Era. And The Trash Murder as performed by a masked Toe-Knee is classic Willow Wisp in their finest, and most frenzied hour.
The latest Willow Wisp album is entitled Antihuman Manifesto and it’s well worth checking into. And whatever you do, be sure to check the Wisp out when they show up to curse your neck of the woods. And so the ghouls and demons of the Cobalt were to convene onto the streets of Canoga Park after a night of astounding entertainment. Until the next metal clarion call…
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)