Satan Conquers The Sunset Strip

By Lisa Burke

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March 26th 2016, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: Last Saturday night March 26th 2016, I went back for another metal fix to the ever-popular Sunset Strip, or should I say what’s left of it since the Key Club and House Of Blues which were once staples of the strip have been long gone. On this night I paid a visit to Whisky-A-Go-Go to bask in the sounds of Satan as headlining act, with support from Night Demon, Resistance, and Toxin.

Toxin comprises four dudes with long curly hair and they bring to you some thrashy extreme metal. I really don’t have a whole lot to say about them just yet, but they seem to be on a path similar to that of Exmortus in style, although there is much to be fine-tuned in stage presence, cohesive song writing, and sound in general. I found the shared vocal duties interesting but I wasn’t sure I was completely following on the same page. Plus their constant stage circling and their backs facing the audience for too long made them hard to keep focus on. All things considered they are on the right track, utilizing the right skills, and it wasn’t disappointing as an early opener at Whisky.

Resistance
Resistance

Next on the agenda was local heavy metal band Resistance who with their interesting mix of musical elements and genres set the bar high for the acts to follow. There was definitely some power metal going on and some strong wild-eyed guitar and bass riffage happening throughout. The vibe at times was reminicent of Accept and a touch of Manowar also. The singer carried his stage presence well and his voice was exactly as it should be blending and counteracting the music in the best ways possible. The only part I wasn’t totally on par with was some of the backing vocals that didn’t always carry through for me mostly because it was too different sounding from the main singer’s voice and was more of a distraction in certain places than an enhancement. Still, a very fun band and extremely professional in their approach, and I was definitely hooked on it by the end of their set. They also did a little tribute to Ronnie James Dio as a bonus as well as a tribute to tequila so I’m voting them good quality people in my book.

During the break before Night Demon, I was thoroughly amused by the outdoor curbside banter I overheard about how one middle aged man thought it unnecessary to talk between songs on stage as a singer when no one can understand what you are saying anyway and you know you sing good so as he put it “just shut up and play your songs because we know you sound good and we have no idea what you are saying to us anyway”. Not sure who he was referring to, the previous band or Satan or what, but as funny as it was, I personally like a little banter and announcing of song titles even if I’m not sure what was just said. Sharing is caring in my book. He then continued his conversation by expressing that high pitched drunk girls chatting and cackling in a room together sound as bad as cats in heat and I had to agree on that front. Anyway, back to the music and the first rule of Night Demon which is that I’m not allowed to talk about how good Night Demon was.

Satan
Satan

Moving on to the second demon of the night, Satan blew away the stage with their high-pitched vocals and commanding metal sent to us straight from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The best part about this band is the insane vocal range of Brian Ross and some powerful intricate guitar technique. These heavy metal elements take these guys soaring to the top of the ladder in hell. Now, before I make a bunch of silly Satan jokes about this band, I am actually a fan of the fact that there really is nothing Satanic happening here other than a few lyrical elements, and the idea that the singer must have been given his voice by Satan himself because it destroys anything in its path with its sheer awesomeness. He could probably win a glass-shattering competition against King Diamond with his vocal range, and in fact he gets my vote. The other great fact about this band is the bass player and guitar player formed folk metal band Skyclad, which if you are unfamiliar with, you should get on familiarizing yourself with because Martin Walkyier was a part of it and it was great. With songs ‘The Devil’s Infantry’, ‘My Own God’, and ‘Fallen Saviour’ you start to comprehend the Satan name a little, but the music tells a different story and the dichotomy of this is wonderful. From old to new material I’m a fan of it all, and once again the vocals really stepped it up for me, and while I’m unfamiliar with any of their old singers I will say that I can’t imagine anyone sounding better here. This whole show in my opinion was full of talent and definitely not one to miss.

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Set List:
01. Siege Mentality
02. Incantations
03. The Devil’s Infantry
04. Twenty Twenty Five
05. Break Free
06. Atom by Atom
07. Oppression
08. My Own God
09. Into the Fire
10. Trial by Fire
11. Blades of Steel
12. Farewell Evolution
13. Cenotaph
14. Fallen Saviour
15. Testimony
16. Alone in the Dock
Encore:
17. Time to Die
18. Play Video
19. Kiss of Death

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