Fans of metal music know that it comes in all shapes and sizes. Metal culture is a subculture of the general music culture, and even metal subculture has subcultures of its own. Now that’s a lot of cultures! But what I’m trying to say is that metal comes in all shapes and sizes. You lose yourself in the vibes they create, which is what happened at Corona Theatre on Saturday, March 30th with Cradle of Filth, Wednesday 13 and Raven Black.
Starting up the early night was Raven Black, the more creative of the three bands playing. Like much of what I saw that night, their set was very theatrical, in the sense that they all wore costumes and slightly embodied their character. None more than singer Raven though, with her little girl/undead doll/not-sure-if-cute-or-scary outfit. They had a good variety of songs, some being pure metal with harsh vocals and others more atmospheric, straight out of a Rob Zombie movie.
Drummer Muppet was a powerhouse, hitting those drums like no tomorrow. The reason I mention him is because of how he was able to change his pace with ease, one moment giving us trash and the next slowing it down for a slower doom sound. There wasn’t much moshing going on; at first, I felt like the crowd wasn’t enjoying the music. Then I saw all the smiles and realized the audience was just as mesmerized as I was. All in all, it was a creative set and I was surprised by both the musical and visual aspects.
If Raven Black was Rob Zombie, Wednesday 13 was (early) Marilyn Manson. They came out in force with “Hail Ming,” all members dressed in black leather and sporting corpse paint. The lead singer, who goes by the stage name Wednesday 13, came out at first wearing a hooded cloak. By the next song, the hood was off to show his entire upper body covered in glow-in-the-dark body paint. They were heavier than the band before them and inspired a slew of mosh pits during their entire set. This was the sort of set where the singer spent a lot of time yelling things like “Raise your fists!” or “If you got horns, raise em high!” It always makes me laugh, especially after the 30th time, but who am I to judge, it works!
It was, now that I mention it, a very physical set. Apart from the drummer who made his entire kit shake, all band members hardly stayed in the same spot for more than a minute at a time. On “Zodiac,” there was a lot of body contortion going on, adding to the creepy atmosphere already set by their music. By the time they got to their last song, “Keep Watching the Skies,” I was surprised to see people still standing. By the end of the song, I was surprised that no one had a broken nose.
Finally came Cradle of Filth. No one seems to really know what genre these guys are, which is a good thing in my opinion – it means that their music is different and unique. They had elements of black metal with a symphonic, operatic touch and of course, lots of goth stuff. I was very impressed with Dani Filth’s screeches and overall vocals, but at the halfway point, he seemed to have lost a lot of energy. His screeches were lower and he was off time, often singing apart from the melody. It might have been the venue sound and not their actual music, but it was difficult to hear the individual riffs and licks, as much of it was lost in the overall mix. Lindsay Schoolcraft on the keyboard added diversity to songs like “Nymphetamine,” but for the most part, she was barely heard.
That being said, songs like “Bathory Aria” and “You Will Know the Lion by His Claw” stood out because of the crowd. The people knew the songs and all seemed to have their favourites. Even with my criticism, I cannot take away from the band their faithful and loving fans. They were crazy for Cradle of Filth, singing along and raising the horns high. Cradle of Filth know their fans and they know how to draw them in. It might be difficult for someone outside the scene to get into their music, but those already in it live for it.
I think it’s important to say that this genre of music isn’t what I usually go for, and even with that in mind, I still enjoyed my night. Music is so diverse, and being stuck up means you miss out on so many interesting bands. It was a kick-ass night and every group brought something for the fans, who were all too glad to indulge.
Written by Johnathan Robinson
Photography by Mihaela Petrescu
*edited by Kate Erickson