Even when grabbing a drink at the bar Drinkerie, you can tell there was a metal show nearby from all the gothic patrons who were taking over and defacing the bar’s usual chic and casual atmosphere.
Corona Theatre already felt like a haunted house, but when the lights went down for the opener, Uncured, the darkness prevailed. Without introducing themselves, they went straight into their heavy, powerful, and incoherent set. There were synchronized headbanging and devil horns galore coming off the stage, but not much of a response from the crowd. Perhaps the crowd wasn’t too familiar with the work of Uncured, but I thought metalheads were sworn to solidarity and supported by fellow metalheads. It took some time for the audience to participate after frontman Zak Cox’ warm welcoming and encouragement to join in on the fun. He exclaimed “We’re gonna have some fun tonight. Come on everybody!” With his deepened, devil-toned speech, he was probably the most enthusiastic and cordial death metalist I’ve ever heard. The lights were wild, the guitar shredding was super crisp, and the band was tight. And as I was there with my chapstick, the crowd started revving up more and more for live evil.
Drummer of Jinjer, Vladislav Ulasevishcame, walked out to a blast of cheers. Without any encouragement from the band, the crowd’s fists were already up high in the air. If I hadn’t seen who was singing at first, I would have never thought the lead vocalist of Jinjer were female or even human. Tatiana Shmailyuk has such an incredible ability to switch from an intensely deep, hoarse vocal tone to a beautifully melodic one: angelically diabolic. Busting out super heavy-hitter tracks like “Pisces,” ” Just Another,” and ” I Speak Astronony,” Shmailyuk took over the stage, but the rest of the members most definitely ensured the heavy rocking look and sound while Shmailyuk added a more erotic look to the experience. The majority of the set was loud, raw, intrusive, and something my 91-year-old grandmother would throw holy water on. However, when things settled down, and the red demon stage lights changed to soft blue lights, the angelic side of Shmailyuk’s voice was soothing and sensual, almost presenting a feeling of hope and euphoria until she started summoning Satan again, then all hope went to hell.
The dark red lights were back but were now accompanied by horrifying religious chants and big terrifying musicians with dark eyes who were dressed in leather outfits. Cradle of Filth arrived. Although I still could not for the life of me understand what any of the vocalists were singing about that night, I will say that vocalist Dani Filth had some unique pipes. From super deep tones to super high squeals, Cradle of Filth’s vocal section had diversity. And mobility, I might add. Before I could notice, Filth was at the front of the stage, then all of a sudden in the back by the keyboards. He was like a villain in a video game who keeps teleporting, making him very difficult to defeat and level-up.
That performance was the most theatrical of the night, by no surprise. From the costumes to the strobe lights and the smoke machines to Filth’s teleportation skills, it was a spectacle. Although the musicianship was on point, with gut-busting drums and guitar solos and the performance of nightmare-inducing tracks such as “Beneath the Howling Stars,” “The Death of Love,” and “Dusk and Her Embrace,” I still didn’t get the crowd response that I was expecting. I highly anticipated major moshing and solid walls of death. Many fans’ shirts read: “The only walls we build, are walls of death.”
Under thepretencee of ending the show, Cradle of Filth exited the stage, only to come back and play a five-song encore which included big hits “Nymphetamine (Fix),” and “From The Cradle to Enslave,” along with instrumental intros and outros to open and close their encore. This was definitely no country band, folks; there was no Stable of Filth performance at the Corona Theatre this past Tuesday night. That’s for sure.
Written by Keenan Kerr
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy