By Lisa Burke
September 1st 2017, Union, Los Angeles CA: When one door closes another one opens, and in the metal life in LA, the head promotor at Church Of The 8th Day is still making strong waves in the community booking various shows all around town despite the unfortunate abrupt ending of the Complex venue which he had made a home for quite some time. Soon enough I’m sure a new home will spring up, but in the meantime, on Friday September 1st 2017, I visited the multi-room venue Union for some good old-fashioned Satanic black metal.
On this particular night, they actually had at least two if not three other events, such as a rave taking place upstairs and in the other rooms, and it seemed very apparent that the black metal show was not a priority. I was ID’d at the back door but then I was not asked for my ticket. A sold-out show should have a much stricter entrance policy to ensure no fire hazards, and also it needed more than one bartender which eventually was rectified by the end of the second band.
The band that drew me into this show was Inquisition who received support by Uada, Volahn, Our Place Of Worship is Silence, and Vomit Ritual. Out of the five bands I saw four, but had seen Vomit Ritual recently at another past show so I can say that five out of five bands were worth a watch.
Our Place Of Worship is Silence made a good impression in this primarily black metal setting and while they seemed to be more on the deathcore path, they kept the structure alive and powered through the set. They had the least amount of hair on stage of all the other bands but they guided the patrons well with their energetic brutality. In this setting, as solid as they were, there was not much to stand out with and because I only caught half the set I’ll quit while I’m ahead here.
Next up, five-piece Volahn brought a solid set of black metal of the mostly old-school variety, taken to extreme measures, and with that came plenty of hair whipping and Satan-calling. A couple of oddities here for me were the slightly painful looking hair whipping hunched over guitarist that came with a guitar with the string ends not clipped and swaying about in full chaotic insanity. The bassist had sunglasses on in the red lit darkness and tended to play in that extreme style where the bass kept ending up vertical while being strummed. Also, playing extreme black metal on a Fender Strat guitar seemed a bit out of context, yet it seemed to work just fine, and the keyboards were a nice touch to help rise the intensity of the tunes. Definitely it was a treat to watch these guys as best as I could see, and if it wasn’t for the distraction of the problematics from the sold-out show in this venue I certainly would have enjoyed it more.
Moving onto the best kept secret of the tour package, Uada took the stage and with their black hoods and dark, rich, seriously satanic black metal tunes in effect. They come from Portland and they chose the white light for their entire set which was infinitely better than the red. The bass grooves were heavy and sporadically structured, and they were as serious as they were smoothly talented. This band seems to create quite the ritual, yet it’s so well achieved it remains unscarred. Its speed sparked a pit, which again at a sold-out show with limited space, was not an easy upheaval. The security guard at first seemed intimidated by this and just shone his flashlight into the pit, but then after a shy attempt at a fight break up, he ran on in and dragged a dude out of the pit and the venue with a feisty demeanor that granted him with metal school honors. Portland seems to be on a roll with newly formed bands coming out in a big way that really make a giant impact on first live viewings, and Uada is no exception. Keep them on your radar of darkness because they are hotter than hell right now.
Finally, after a near death experience on the slip n’ slide floor of the ladies room and a bad pick up line experience from random young nerdy metalhead on the patio, it was time for Seattle’s dose of black metal chaos with Inquisition. They played a ferocious set with their “practical” face paint, raspy dark vocals, and blazing riffs. The band apparently came to Los Angeles for the first time in 2003 despite their 1988 origin, so they really are an older band with thrash roots that excels at skilled black metal. The drumming was creative enough to work well with the rest of the package and the singer played a great front man who commanded the sold-out audience, complete with corset wearing mosh pit participants as well. They used a fair share of backing tracks for this one but it worked appropriately as an aide to the style of black metal. This band probably serves as an acquired taste even within the black metal community because of the harsh vocals mixed with total Satanic overload, which by the way at a sold-out show I only recognized about four familiar faces which means the scene is far from dead, and I need more black metal buddies. As a tight-knit band with a clear following, this band can do no wrong if you’re into that sort of style as I happen to be. They got a well-deserved long set and stayed dedicated through the end unlike some audience members who were drunkenly fanning themselves with flyers due to the heat wafting into the club.
This is one of those well thought-out tour packages where the bands seemed to respect each other while remaining completely independent of one another. This show brought down the house with all the sweaty dedicated faces of heavy metal it brought into the sold-out room. Check this unique lineup if you enjoy the dark side and are willing and able to participate, because it will capture your heavy metal soul.
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Inquisition Set List:
01. Intro: The Force Before Darkness
02. From Chaos They Came
03. Hymn for a Dead Star
04. Dark Mutilation Rites
05. Ancient Monumental War Hymn
06. Command of the Dark Crown
07. The Realm of Shadows Shall Forever Reign
08. Vortex From the Celestial Flying Throne of Storms
09. Embraced by the Unholy Powers of Death and Destruction
10. Infinite Interstellar Genocide
11. Astral Path to Supreme Majesties
12. Desolate Funeral Chant
13. A Magnificent Crypt of Stars
Remaining Tour Dates:
09/09/2017 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
09/10/2017 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
09/12/2017 – Lakewood, OH @ The Foundry
09/13/2017 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
09/14/2017 – Providence, RI @ Alchemy
09/15/2017 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch
09/16/2017 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
09/17/2017 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
09/18/2017 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
09/20/2017 – Houston, TX @ Arcadia
09/22/2017 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
09/23/2017 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street Collective
09/25/2017 – Las Vegas, NV @ Adrenaline
09/26/2017 – Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto