Photo: Janice French
As the crowd thickens they start chanting “S.O.B.” No it doesn’t stand for the son of a female dog, it’s for Signs Of Betrayal. Well known and loved throughout the southwest they are a band on the rise. They walk onto the stage amongst cheers, take their positions and ‘Memory’ begins. There is a deep rich quality to Dave William’s voice that brings a dark epic edge to the extraordinary ‘Blink.’ A heart betrayed in love fuels the lyrics of ‘My Song To You.’ And by the time ‘Addiction’ ends we are absolutely blown away.
Shallowpoint kicks their set off with ‘Castaway’ a song that suddenly shifts gears from slow and mellow to loud in your face anger and anguish. ‘Deluge’ washes over us. Then the deeply rhythmic, hypnotic and seductive ‘Hypocrite’ leaves the crowd screaming. Andy, the vocalist, can turn his voice on a dime as spontaneous shouts are heard and he begins ‘A Little Room to Breath.’ Andy says “This song is for our men and women in uniform,” and the band plays ‘Welcome Home.’
Black death metal rains down upon us as the Austrian band Belphegor brings a potent and heavy presence to the stage. We wouldn’t be surprised if their music didn’t really come from the darker side of death itself. That being said their non-melodic songs are laced with deep growls and vocals that sound more like incantations and satanic rituals. It must be hard to sound so evil and they are absolute masters at it. Drummer and Lead Singer Nefastus has the face of an angel and a demons voice. In demonology the character Belphegor is literally a Demon.
The Swedish Thrash Metal band The Haunted are intense. Vocalist Peter Dolving falls to his knees, shakes his head and pours himself into his vocals during ‘Abysmal.’ Like a car crashing into a brick wall ‘In Vein,’ off of their first album, has the crowd cheering whilst he sings. Dripping in sweat and breathing hard, Peter belts out a long wandering roar and slams us with ‘Trespass.’ The crowd rightfully loves these guys.
The bewitching and haunting vocals of Cristina Scabbia and tenor Andrea Ferro set the Italian Goth Metal band Lacuna Coil apart from all others. Cristina’s siren call brings in ‘Fragile.’ Amidst a beckoning bass and heavy beat their vocals intersect, blend and transcend. The audience starts jumping with the band whilst Cristiano Mozzati insanely pounds the drums and draws it all to a climatic end. Andrea puts his foot up on a speaker, leans toward the crowd and sings ‘In Visible Light.’ The song ‘Closer’ has the audience clapping along whilst the band head bangs and works the stage. The audience starts to roar before the song is even done.
Cristina is power, beauty and eloquence in metal. Her resounding voice fills the theater with perfection as she and Andrea face each other and harmonize during the beautiful ‘To Live Is To Hide.’ The band lines up at the front of the stage and head bangs as we are driven ‘To The Edge’ and consumed by this song’s relentless beat. They are called back for an encore and the crowd goes mad as they are treated to ‘Enjoy the Silence’ and ‘Heaven Is A Lie.’ They finish with their first single off their new album Karmacode ‘Our Truth.’ It is also featured in the movie Underworld Revolution and is a killer piece. The crowd sings loudly with the band, cheers and beats the horns skyward as the last song of the night draws to a close.