Discarnate Motions, Psychedellica, Beauty And The Breakdown, Aphoenix Alive, Among The Bleak, Terraforming, Trapped In The Past, Delirium, at the Cobalt Café, December 28, 2014
It was announced recently the final shows at the iconic Cobalt Café would take place throughout December, with the doors set to close for good at the conclusion of 2014. With roots dating back to 1991, the Cobalt Café was known as the starting grounds for collectives such as AFI, Jimmy Eat World, Less Than Jake, Link 80, Avenged Sevenfold, Strung Out, Linkin Park, Incubus, and many more. Owner Dave Polito has been a passionate supporter of our local music scene, but the bad economy and health issues has forced the closure of a club fans of all ages call their “home.” This would be the final metal and hardcore night at the Cobalt, genres the club has become synonymous for in later years. The event was booked by Highwire Daze photographer Talia Farber, and it was a night that many in attendance will remember for the ages ahead.
One bright shining example of the Cobalt’s willingness to let new bands start out and prosper is the last minute booking of Delirium by owner Dave Polito. Currently consisting of Henry Vargas on drums and Nick Madonna on guitars and joined by guest vocalist Noah Martynstien from Trapped In The Past. Delirium is definitely in the beginning stages, experimenting with a heavy sound that instantly caught the attention of the early arrivals. Many a band has played their very first show at the Cobalt Café, and Delirium now joins the ranks of many who had their start at the SFV venue. It’s too early to tell what’s in store for Delirium, but the two main members are certainly passionate about their art.
Delirium on Facebook
Trapped In The Past
The last time I saw Trapped In The Past was in September, when they opened for In Dying Arms at the Cobalt Café. And on that particular night, another one of those memorable Cobalt moments took place. In Dying Arm’s front man Orion Stephens joined Trapped In The Past onstage, and performed am explosive rendition of IDA’s Sloppy Seconds. Members of Trapped In The Past have been in various other bands that have played the Cobalt, and just want Trapped has managed to achieve in four months is pretty exciting. Songs such as Blue Pants Are Officially Banned, New Era Crumbled Down, and Point Blank are infinitely heavy, performed with passion and ambition by this young but very talented collective. Based out of Sylmar, the Trapped In The Past lineup consists of Matt Reyes on vocals, Noah Martynstien on drums, Joseph Pineda on guitars, Nick Mendoza on guitars, and Bryant Mendez on bass. Fans of In Dying Arms and Alesana as well as the local straight edge kids should check into what this band on this rise has to offer!
Trapped In The Past on Facebook
Although they played just four songs, the magnum opuses spewed forth by Terraforming nearly blew the roof off the Cobalt! What a stunning performance, the kind that leaves you surprised and enraptured by the sonic magnetism emitting from the stage. First and foremost, the guitar work presented by Adam Wang and Anthony Arellano is absolutely inspired, sending Terraforming’s compositions into the stratosphere. Bassist Joshua Barreras and drummer Ivan Arellano make for a highly skilled, supremely heavy rhythm section. And then there’s vocalist Braden Wise, whose ferocious performance grabs the listener by the throat. Terraforming proves yet again that Los Angeles is teeming with metal bands ready to take on the world at large. In their beginning stages for now, it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for these very imaginative musicians. Stay tuned! The four songs unleashed were Window Man, Carnal Patterns, Robot House and Cid.
Terraforming on Facebook
Among The Bleak
Taking over the Cobalt stage next was Among The Bleak, presenting their own breathtaking brand of deathcore / metalcore. Opening with the raging sounds of Vanta Black, Among The Bleak presented an exhilarating collection of songs that really captured the audience’s undivided attention. Lead vocalist Gustavo Lopez is a charismatic front man, delivering the lyrics with a fierce conviction. The frenetic dual guitar work was courtesy of Je Ad Ma and Mario Manjarrez, filling the room with a rapturous wall of sound. Peter Souza on bass and Jay Hadley on drums meshed perfectly as Among The Bleak’s fiery rhythm section. Highlights in the set included The Intelligence Complex, Terra Apocalyptica, and especially the closing song Ontologism. Judging by their exciting set and the reaction from the local crowd, there is little doubt that Among The Bleak has a bright future ahead of them.
Among The Bleak on Facebook
Imagine a lethal amalgamation of bands such as Alesana and Chelsea Grin, and then get ready to be introduced to your next favorite local band. Based out of Wilmington, Aphoenix Alive certainly brought a mighty amount of ferocity into the Cobalt. Songs such as Total Annihilation and Connect The Cuts sent the room into an all-out rage, and the heated intensity never let up. Playing with a dynamic sense of urgency, the devastating Aphoenix Alive lineup consists of Erik on vocals, Winston on lead guitar, Daniel on rhythm guitar, Seth on bassist, and Arturo on drums. Definitely check into what this Los Angeles based collective has to offer, as Aphoenix Alive is definitely a band seething with promise. Here’s hoping we see Aphoenix Alive rising out and obliterating other clubs in the area soon!
Aphoenix Alive on Facebook
Beauty And The Breakdown
The rest of the evening would show just how diverse one night at the Cobalt Café could be. Beauty And The Breakdown certainly attracted a good amount of kids with their own inspiring brand of rock and metalcore. With influences such as Bullet For My Valentine and Blessthefall, Beauty And The Breakdown presented a thoroughly infectious set that was a good deal of fun to watch. Songs such as Obsessions, 19 and Vegan, and Down The Road were instantly memorable. The entire band exudes a good deal of passion and charisma, featuring the participation of Ilyan Biteranta on lead vocals, Danny Hollywood on guitar, Andy Astengo on guitar, Dayton Blandon om bass, and Jerimiah Kripakov on drums. With the clever moniker, and the tunes and performance to back it all up, it will be exciting to see the sonic roads Beauty And The Breakdown travel upon in the months ahead.
Beauty And The Breakdown on Facebook
And now for something completely wonderful and wildly different! Psychedellica from the SFV was up next, presenting their own stunning take on classic rock, and winning over the crowd in a big and glorious way! The musicianship in the band is superb, delivering timeless songs with some experimental heaviness rounding out the edges. Opening with the anthem-like Hell Breaks Loose, Psychedellica continued on with rip-roaring cuts such as Once In A Blue Moon, Rebels, and Sands Of Time. The good times and cranking tunes were delivered by Scott “Rock n Roll” Kraner on vocals, William Castle on lead guitar, Marcus Vamvas on drums, Eric Simion on rhythm guitar, and Troy Maldonado on bass. Rocking out of Reseda since 2007, Psychedellica is a band that all types of music aficionados will surely enjoy.
Psychedellica on Facebook
Headlining the final heavy music night at the Cobalt Café was Discarnate Motions, a metal band from the SFV more than ready to break out on the national music scene. Founded by guitarist Jelena in 2011, Discarnate Motions originally began as a one-woman project. At the commencement, Jelena was writing and recording songs on her home computer. Now an entire collective who has opened for bands such as Vader and Amaranthe, Discarnate Motions drew in quite a crowd ready to give the Cobalt Café the raging head banging sendoff it deserved! In addition to the mesmerizing axe work on Jelana, the Discarnate Motions membership includes Arron on vocals, Josh on bass, Fernando on guitar, and Edgar on drums. Wings Under Skin would be the last song performed, concluding the show and the Cobalt’s vast and glorious legacy for hosting heavy music on a high flying note.
Discarnate Motions on Facebook
(Review and Some Photos by Ken Morton – Other Live Photos by Jack Lue and Talia Farber)