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LUCIFER, COVEN In Los Angeles With Photos!

By Francisco Zamudio, Metal X Candy 2.0
Thursday, November 30, 2023 @ 10:12 AM


At The Teragram Ballroom

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All Photos By Joshua Gonzales/Chicken Good Productions

Ave Satanas. The idea of individualism escapes most, few are those who find the ability to set themselves apart from the herd. When it comes to artistic expression, it is those who don't feel the need to fall in line with what everyone else is doing who create something that can stand the test of time. While the easy road is taken by mainstream music, there are those of us who take the path less taken, or the left-hand path if you will. In the amazing era of music from the 60's, there was the eye-opening vision of THE DOORS, the mind-altering sound of PINK FLOYD, and other groundbreaking psychedelic and heavier acts such DEEP PURPLE and IRON BUTTERFLY - and this doesn't even scratch the surface. The female representation in music went hand in hand with the women's empowerment movement and aside from the romantic sounds they would create such as HEART, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and FLEETWOOD MAC, from the dark shadows of Chicago came Jinx Dawson and COVEN who would represent what would be known as Occult Rock and would spur a new movement in Rock music that would delve into Witchcraft and Satanism and all things "DARK".

The inevitable joining of past and present Female-led Occult Rock came in the form of today's face Johanna Sadonis and LUCIFER and yesterday's pioneer, Jinx Dawson and her new vision of COVEN that features Colin Oakley on Drums, Music Director and Keyboardist Alex Kercheval, Guitarist Chris Wild and Zayne Hutchinson on Bass. Together on the SATANIC PANIC tour that hit Los Angeles at the Teragram Ballroom was one I have been waiting for since I discovered LUCIFER a few years ago.

On this bill was a local up-and-coming from East Los Angeles known as EARLY MOODS. They really captured an old school essence of Doom Rock reminiscent of CANDLEMASS, PENTAGRAM and the like, filled with great heavy rock to warm up the crowd. Their 5 song set consisted of a couple songs off their only full-length album, their self-titled release from last year, a cut from their debut EP SpellBound and a couple of new songs. With a very energetic frontman, with energy as large as his afro, they were really riff-driven and I could see what sets them apart from many of the countless hipster indie-rock bands L.A. is flooded with. Good performance for these guys who show a lot of promise in their young career. Congrats to them for getting on this amazing bill.

Jinx Dawson was born in 1950. At 73 yrs old, it is absolutely wonderful to see her performing, and with plenty of energy. With a planted volunteer in the crowd to take part in a ceremonial offering, this Satanic Ritual disguised as a Rock concert was a beautiful experience. Performing mostly songs from what is considered the only real full-length album Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls, plus "Blood On The Snow", the title track of the 1974 album, "Black Swan" from Goth Queen, which was unreleased material that later saw the light of day in 2008, - and "The Crematory" from the 2016 single "Light The Fire". With consideration of how long she has been doing this, or at least since a new fire in here had been lit, as she's released from her coffin, speaking of course of her stage act at the beginning of the show, there is still much more of herself to give on stage and although her voice and the band may look or sound a bit "off", it's part of the allure - it's not meant to sound perfect. Her classic sound and presence still has heart and paved the way for many bands who dared to try and be "dark".

It was around the release of III that I discovered LUCIFER. I had the chance to interview the power couple of Johanna Sadonis and husband Nicke Andersson who I knew from Swedish Death Metal Legends ENTOMBED. It was interesting to me that Nicke went from guitar to drums for this band and style-wise, in a completely different direction. I loved their sound since then and was anxious to see both of them, their magic on stage. Unfortunately Nicke Andersson could not make the US tour which I did not know about until I stood in the audience and noticed it wasn't him behind the kit but Henry Vasquez of SAINT VITUS and SKULL. Nicke's style is what helped shape LUCIFER and respect to Henry but it did feel (what we musicians call) rushed. I know, the adrenaline hits you, all the emotion and rush of hitting the stage, especially that first show of a big tour, your excitement is made obvious through your performance. Be-that-as-it-may, Sadonis and company put on an incredibly electric show, playing songs from mostly albums IV and III, opening with "Ghosts". It was the drum-fill in the intro that caught my attention and when I realized Nicke was absent. I didn't let it take away from my enjoyment of finally seeing LUCIFER and hearing this music live. Although Johanna is the sole female in the band, I still consider her part of the "NEW WAVE OF FEMME FATALE METAL" ( a phrase I coined usually reserved for full-female bands). Her energy and voice owned that stage. Wind blowing through her hair made her seem like she was floating on air along with a voice that carried the whole room. The vibe by the whole band was just grooving with a vintage look that suits their sound, Modern Occult Rock that is simply feel-good-music to my ears. A good break from the insanely extreme stuff I normally listen to. Cuts from III that I was stoked to hear this nite were "Coffin Fever", "Leather Demon", and "Midnight Phantom". With a good chunk of their set with songs from IV, which was also a great album, hard to believe it's already been a couple of years since its release.

Regardless of any imperfections throughout the nite, it did not at all sway people's enjoyment of this highly anticipated tour. If anything, it makes me more anxious to see LUCIFER again and I certainly hope Nicke makes the trip out next time to really get the full effect that I was hoping for. At the least, I got to catch a legend in Jinx Dawson and COVEN and hear these amazing silver age songs, along with Johan and LUCIFER's captivating performance. Hail Jinx, Hail Lucifer, Hail Satan.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Joshua Gonzales/Chicken Good Productions


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