Wednesday 13 has made quite a name for himself as a rocker who combines tongue-in-cheek Horror themed lyrics, a Heavy Metal sound, and a Punk Rock attitude unlike anyone else, all rolled into one tight knit package. Beginning early on with acts like Psycho Opera and Maniac Spider Trash as well as Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13, Wednesday 13 got his big break into the mainstream when he became lead ghoul of the Murderdolls back in 2002. He has since established quite a solid solo career, adding his sixth album on January 12, 2015, titled Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague, to his repertoire. In support of the new material, a day after its release, he took to the road with Eyes Set To Kill and Die So Fluid for a string of dates throughout February. Despite the impending blizzard of 2015, Blackthorn 51 of Queens, NY was keeping things warm and lively on Sunday, January 25th, as the bands came to cause havoc. Bringing in all sorts of interesting individuals and riff-raff from the local Gothic and Metal scene, a myriad of local bands opened the show for many hours before the headliner, making for an interesting, lengthy night of Dark Rock fun.
Starting things off early was New York City based band Justin Symbol. Combining Alternative Rock, EDM, and Industrial Metal, the band released their debut album, V Ω I D H E A D, back in October of 2014. Led by the theatrical Justin Symbol himself, the rest of the band consists of Will E. Vil (drums), Kevin Vonesper (bass), and Matt Minion (guitar). Taking on a Punk Rock vibe, the band rocked through a set that included songs like “Purgatory.” Making the most of the time they were giving, Justin Symbol and his bunch certainly left a lasting impression on the audience, while setting the tone for the evening. Catch their enticing video for the aforementioned “Purgatory,” featuring special make-up effects from the talented Sue Lee, to get a taste of what this band is all about.
Next was another New York based act by the name of Nox Cult. Relatively fresh to the scene, the band brings a unique mix of Heavy Rock with some Alternative influences that cannot be denied. Consisting of Soda (vocals/guitar), Fox (bass/vocals), and Monkey (drums), the band put on a strong set with dueling vocals that had heads nodding. Check them out as they continue to play the local circuit and build their name.
Moving along, another new act by the name of One Day Waiting took to the stage. Having already shared the stage with the likes of Tantric and Trapt, these rockers are spreading the word of their sound quickly through local clubs. Calling Hudson Valley, New York home, this four piece combines melodic guitar riffs, moody vocals, and a tight sound. Fans of Alternative Metal from the early 2000’s will find a lot in One Day Waiting worth listening to.
Mixing things up a little, New Jersey’s Syka made a bold appearance mid-way through the night. Led by frontman Jesyka on vocals and with Gregg Sgarlata on guitar, Gino Martine on bass, and Steve Richards on drums, the band brings a sleek, sexy, Dark Rock sound. As Jesyka seduced the spectators of Blackthorn 51 with her sweet, textured voice, it was clear that this vocalist has what it takes to become an international success. Complimented by the strong song structures performed by the entire group, Syka are a band that are ready for the next step. Do not be surprised if they are on a major touring bill sometime in the near future.
Bringing a more straightforward Rock sound, Soul Unhinged came out next. Out of Queens, New York, the band brings a mixture of Grunge, Hard, and Alternative Rock influences together. In the groove from the first note of their set, they jammed through strong, original tunes that were pleasing to the ear. Check them out as they play shows in and around New York.
Making sure the evening did have down time, another New York City product by the name of The Fallen Prodigy followed. Performing their first live show ever almost a year earlier at Blackthorn 51, it was a homecoming of sorts for this young band as charged through songs that were drenched in heavy riffs and ruckus vocals. Provoking a positive response in the audience, the band seem to be honing their skills and perfecting their Metalcore driven sound.
As direct support for the touring bill, New York’s Horror Rock act, Demon Boy, did the spot justice. Mixing great stage presence with raunchy guitars and blasting vocals, the band had everyone thrashing around through songs like “Ravenous.” Demon Boy himself proved to be a natural frontman who demanded everyone’s attention and kept it until their final song. Horror Rock fans rejoice, Demon Boy is just what the doctor ordered.
With a great opening of talented local bands, the time came for Die So Fluid to take the stage. Hailing all the way from London, England, the Hard Rock/Alternative Metal trio made the small platform their home away from home. Being a relatively new band is tough in this day and age, especially from outside of the US, and New York City is one of the most fickle and difficult markets to make a lasting impression. Thankfully, Die So Fluid kicked things off right and rolled into numerous grooves and harmonic choruses on songs like “Black Blizzard,” courtesy of front woman/bassist Georgina “Grog” Lisee. Lisee’s affable approach won most of the crowd over, asking if anyone could guess where she was from, based on her accent. Thankfully, NYC still has some sense of culture and most were able to respond accordingly. Guitarist Drew Richards and drummer Al Fletcher fleshed out the rest of the band and provided excellent color and support to Lisee’s soaring vocals that continued on songs like “Comets” and “Raven.” Truly a band to make waves in upcoming months in the USA and globally, Rock fans should keep their eyes and ears open for Die So Fluid. Check out their latest album, The Opposites Of Light, and be prepared to be impressed.
Direct support for the night came from Phoenix Arizona’s Eyes Set to Kill, who took the stage at around 11:30 pm. Although experiencing multiple lineup changes over the years, sisters Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez (on vocals/guitars and bass respectively), long-time drummer Caleb Clifton, and touring guitarist Manny Contreras had no problem keeping things moving cohesively. Breaking free of genre label constraints, the band’s 2013 album, Masks, proved to be their most dynamic to date, helping land them a spot on Revolver’s 2014 Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock Tour, along side Lacuna Coil and Sick Puppies. Combining the warm powerful tones of Alexia’s voice with a perfect mix of harsh screams, Eyes Set to Kill are becoming more than any naysayers every set out for them.
Boasting their own share of followers, aside from the die-hard Wednesday 13 fans as the crowd, Eyes Set to Kill became more dense during opener “Where I Want to Be.” With a more straight forward Metal/Rock theme, the band’s sound has evolved while pleasing the ones who have stood by them all this time. Alexia was quick to connect with fans, wishing some a very happy birthday, as well as introducing certain songs before kicking into overdrive. Clifton’s crushing and clashing symbol work coupled with Anissa’s bass string plucking provided a tight rhythm section for Alexia and Contreras to carry the melodic torch through numbers like “Little Liar,” “Broken Frames,” and closing with the highly addictive “Infected.” Fully arousing the audience to a level of excitement higher than any put that evening, Eyes Set to Kill were outstanding.
The long wait was finally over and Wednesday 13 and his crew made their way onto the stage after much preparation and anticipation. Large CO2 jet machines fuming, lights flashing, and a raucous, blazing intro opened the set, as each member of the Horror/Goth/Metal outfit Wednesday 13 took the stage. The crowd made sure to let the band know they were still alive and well as the roaring shook the tiny venue from wall to wall. As the band kicked into “Keep Watching the Skies,” drummer Jason “Shakes” West made his drum set do just that, as it rocked and swayed to the industrial groove laid down. Wednesday 13 himself pulled out a spotlight, perusing the audience between choruses and pumping up the mood even more. The dual guitar work of longtime shredders Roman Shurman and Jack Tankersely filled the room as Troy Doebbler happily held down the low end. Following with a nice “one-two” punch was the mouthful “Astro Psycho Galactic Blood Drive,” keeping things moving and rocking. The band was clearly happy to be back in NYC and fed off of the rabid devotion of the audience.
Although largely sticking to their newest material from “Come Out and Plague,” the band did play some of their back catalog, like the punchy and fierce “I Want You…Dead,” which was well received right from the first chords. The band also featured a touring keyboardist who nicely filled out their sound, creating a full, spooky Rock atmosphere. Taking a brief intermission fairly early, they followed with a non-stop forty-five minute rampage with songs “Serpent Society,” “Planet Eater,” and the snarling “I Love Watching You Die.” Although everyone knew the band was not really done after “Scream Baby Scream,” they returned again to crank through a thrilling encore of early tracks “Scary Song” and “Bad Things,” before finally finishing with “Monsters of the Universe.”
It was not until the wee hours of Monday morning that Wednesday 13 called it a night, and the audience were still sad to see them go. Fortunately, all bands hung around well after curtain call, making sure to greet fans and friends alike. Truly a rock and shock night, the tour continues westward and southbound, so make sure to get there when their hearse rolls into town.