I'm not going to lie to the readers by saying that I knew that this show would kick ass for while I am a fan of both the headliners - Cradle Of Filth and The 69 Eyes, I just had a lot of problems envisioning how this would even work out after it had been announced. CoF would be supporting their latest release Thornography, and the album was a continued departure from the Extreme Black Metal they were most known for and instead was more of a Gothic Metal piece. Perhaps this is what made the choice of Finland's The 69 Eyes as the opener make the most sense to them. Starting off the festivities would be Three Inches Of Blood, an intense Power Metal group. Essentially, the audience tonight would get a little bit of everything. Here are some thoughts on the evening.
Read on for Ken Pierce and Pete Pardo's review of the show!
Three Inches Of Blood: I had only heard the name before tonight and holy crap am I glad that I arrived early enough to catch them start things off. These guys deliver a level of Power Metal that borders on the Extreme and if you are a fan of Into Eternity, you should definitely check them out as well since there are some worthy comparisons. They really kicked a lot of ass tonight and showed no signs of being nervous to the crowd that was pretty much there for Cradle and 69 Eyes. I watched impressed as they easily won over this audience and had a large level of response when songs ended as well as some moshing going on. They also had a couple of surprises for the fans by bringing out Joey Jordison from Slipknot to play drums for one tune and then guitarist Paul Allender from Cradle for another. These treats definitely made the crowd embrace them all the more. According to their singer a new album is coming soon on Roadrunner Records, and you can be sure that I will be reviewing that when I get the chance to.
The 69 Eyes: Originally, I was a latecomer to the party when it came to The 69 Eyes, having only heard select cuts a few years ago. I luckily caught their first time in New York in early 2006 and since then have been a devout fan because there is just something appealing to me at their levels of Hard Rock with a classic New York Punk vibe mixed in with Gothic melancholy. At first I worried about them being on this bill, fearing that the hardcore Cradle fans would not be too accommodating to their music as its vastly different. However it seemed like the fans in NYC were divided equally for the two tonight and this made it a lot easier for all to have a great time. Led by singer Jyrki 69, The 69 Eyes would support the release of their new CD Angels, released on Caroline Records. Given their set would short tonight they would not focus on the new album outside of the first single and instead deliver several of their classic numbers. For those that think them a new band, they should be aware that they have been around for almost seventeen years. While I am a fan I had to say that the guys sounded as good as I remembered them being the last time around and from my vantage point I could not only see but heard the audience singing along to a large amount of the songs in the set. They give a good show and surely seem to love what they do as Jyrki becomes the ultimate Gothic Punk Idol while Jussi 69 pounds the drums with flair and abandon. After seeing how visual and animated he is at that show last year, I admit that I did not like seeing him on stage level and feel that he should always be on the drum riser. The singer didn't talk all that much but certainly mugged for the fans who were snapping pictures like members of the Rock Paparazzi. I'm really pleased when I see a band that deserves it get such a welcome in a region where their music is all but invisible on the terrestrial radio and television stations that are available. Truly the internet and satellite radio keeps groups like The 69 Eyes alive, and their very devoted following also have a lot to do with it. They have built up quite the following in the States and that's commendable given the fact that most of their catalog was only available as an import until late 2006. Highlights of the set for me were "Devils", "Perfect Skin" and my personal favorite "Brandon Lee". I was surprised that they did not do "Gothic Girl", since the audience was loaded with them, but they were faced with time constraints this evening. I was also glad that I would not witness any shenanigans from the crowd towards them as I had heard some shows they were given a very unwelcome reception. That is always uncalled for when a band is giving you their all to entertain, and if you don't like the group arrive late or go to the bar while they deliver. Never ruin someone else's good time.
Cradle Of Filth: I have a confession to make and it's that I once felt they were too much for me as a group but as the Darker, more Extreme Metal became a way of my life, so did the appeal of Cradle of Filth and what they brought to the table. They are intense in a live situation and the group sports seven members for the purposes of touring. I just loved Thornography, their newest CD and most of what I had heard from Nymphetamine because these were the releases that enabled me to get more into the band than I had in the past. It's very clear that the main man is definitely singer Dani Filth, and he stalked the audience from the stage with the photo pit and security area keeping the flying bodies from hitting the stage as they surfed and slammed around. If you managed to be close enough you would have been able to catch the singer crack a slight grin of approval at this response. Filth is truly one of the most commanding and intense singers I have ever seen and he does a wide variety of vocal styles during a performance with high-pitched shrieking to sullen and somber tones. Given the scope of their set list this evening we would hear all of the different ranges he has possession of. Tonight New York City would also get to enjoy the blistering talent of drummer Martin Skaroupka, who had replaced Adrian Erlandsson only a few months ago. Martin really stepped into the role well, and was among the highlights of the show as he made their music look very easy to execute when it very clearly is not. The bands players would also present the ever-talented Sarah Jezebel Deva, who while not considered a full time member of the group, always does the tours and recordings. She does this outside of her work with Therion and her new band Angtoria. Paul Allender, Dave Pybus, Charles Hedger and Rosie Smith line out the rest of the players in the band and with this amount of people onstage you know they are under the gun to keep it moving efficiently in terms of the performance for their fans. Tonight would be the final night of the tour and the crowd-surfing didn't even stop when the singer paused to talk to the crowd about the new music and their reaction to the old stuff. I swore I heard him slur a couple of times, and wondered if he decided to have a few before he went on as well. I'm always cool with that as long as it does not ruin the show for everyone involved. The band really throttled the listener and it was a non-stop block of entertainment from the minute I walked in. I felt spoiled at this show as I was able to enjoy every portion of the night. The crowd was mixed with Gothic and Black Metal fans from near and far and also a bunch of musical personalities. I ran into members of Type-O-Negative, Trashlight Vision and Hanzel Und Gretyl. It's all the more reason to go to live shows and lend support as you will never know who you will meet.
Side Note: I was fortunate to be part of the after show gathering that was held at The Snitch Rock & Roll bar and it was here that we would find Jyrki 69 spinning some of the new album along with a handful of other songs. It made the end of the show and tour all the more memorable.
I've been following the career of Cradle of Filth for a few years now, but this was the first chance I have had to actually check them out live, so my anticipation level was pretty high for this evening of chaos at New York's Irving Plaza. Being a sell-out, the venue was pretty well packed this evening, no doubt also thanks to the presence of Finland's The 69 Eyes, who brought plenty of gothic punk fans with them (quite a few female at that) that combines with Cradle's more extreme fan base.
Canada's Three Inches of Blood kicked things off with a bang, as these guys play a sort of thrash/death/power metal hybrid that went over real well. Newly signed to Roadrunner Records, the band surely thrilled the crowd and the many label folks who were seen walking around the club. With a dual vocal attack (one who screams/growls and the other who has a Maiden/Priest classic metal shriek) and thundering riffs, these guys are sort of a throwback to the NWOBHM scene but still have a foothold in today's modern extreme metal. Their new CD is being produced by Joey from SlipKnot, who even came out to play drums with them for one tune this night, and judging by the new songs they played here, this RR debut should be killer. Definitely a band to watch!
I'll admit, I'm not much of a fan of The 69 Eyes. Punk was never my scene, and the whole gothic trip is something that I can give or take, so this band's "leather, lipstick, & makeup" approach to music is somewhat lost on me. However, saying that, I do see the appeal, and apparently I was in the minority this night, as The 69 Eyes went over like a house on fire. They have just enough punk in their music, sort of a Iggy and the Stooges meets The Sex Pistols via Mott the Hoople, with a layering of gothic pop thrown in for good measure. Their music is not overly serious and certainly fun if you are in the right frame of mind, which their minions certainly were on this night.
Cradle of Filth took to the stage to a thunderous applause, and ripped right into the lead-off track from their new release Thornography called "Dirge Inferno", which is really a throwback to some of their earlier material, on an album of fairly new sounds for the band. There's an overall "classic metal, ala Maiden & Priest, with a slight gothic vibe on this new record, and the songs went over very well here live. Many classics were played this night, such as "Dusk and Her Embrace", "Cradle to the Enslave", "Gilded Cunt", and of course the ultimate CoF track "Her Ghost In the Fog". The band mixed in newer pieces like "Tonight In Flames", I Am the Thorn", "Rise of the Pentagram", and their cover of the Heaven 17 song "Temptation", all which fit in very well with the rest of the set. Their twin guitar attack, killer drum blasts, spooky keyboards, and Dani Filth's commanding, yet drunken, stage presence (yes, I spotted him pounding beers up in the VIP section before the set, and he made many comments onstage that led me to believe that he had had one too many during the evening) all added to the extreme factor that this band generates. Dani fluctuates between maniacal black metal shrieks, gutteral death metal growls, and a more gothic mid-range, giving CoF's music a sort of schiztophrenic flair which only adds to their appeal. Overall this was a great set from the Filthy crew, despite some odd behavior from their singer, and it will be interesting to see what they bring back with them next time around.
The 69 Eyes Set List
Don't Turn Your Back On Fear
Framed In Blood
Cradle Of Filth Set List
Tonight In Flames
Dusk And Her Embrace
Her Ghost In The Fog
I Am The Thorn
Rise Of The Pentagram
Born In A Burial Gown
Cradle To Enslave
Official Web site: http://www.cradleoffilth.com
Official Web site: http://www.69eyes.com
Official Web site: www.threeinchesofblood.com