By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy … Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez
When Matt Martinez and I first attended the Viper Room for a Metal Assault showcase, we were astounded by the line-up that editor-in-chief/founder Andrew Bansal brought to the venue. He is really good at organizing a metal concert for metal fans to enjoy. He has been putting together more shows with other groups that want to grace us with their music. On June 7th, Martinez and I headed back to the Viper Room for Metal Assault Vol. 5. This time, the line-up featured my good friends, Edge of Paradise. A band that I have been following since 2015, this time around, they teamed up with Fallen Suns and Socionic. I was looking forward to seeing my friends perform again, as well as catch some new acts and see what they are all about.
First on stage was Fallen Suns. A group formed out of Los Angeles, Calif., I was taken away by the transcending voice of frontman Gustavo Trujillo. He sounds like early day Chris Cornell. Trujillo commands a fierce, dedicated band that is influenced by the early acts of heavy metal like Soundgarden and Black Sabbath. I was in awe for their guitar player, Garrett Bower, whose hyper-sonic style of playing was like a moth to flames. The sound of his performance combined with Trujillo’s powerful voice drew me into their songs. Drummer Jake Hanson and bassist Jimmy Durish provide a dominant, rhythmic groove that gives their tunes a jolt of electricity. I was blown away by the newest single, “Forsaken.” The lyrics are very evocative and stir up the spirit. Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties, we could not get any shots of Fallen Suns. We will be sure the next time we come their party, Matt and I will get plenty of photos of them. For a band that is only a year old, they played like seasoned pros.
Also from L.A., Edge of Paradise came on stage to deliver us their brand of symphonic metal. They are led by the captivating songstress Margarita Monet. Every time Monet opens her mouth, it is like listening to Snow White sing harmonically to a heavier sound. I know, you must be saying, “A Disney Princess singing metal?”, and I would quickly respond, “Yes!” because it works and Margarita Monet does it very well. This once quartet has turned into a quintet group, with the debut of rhythm guitarist, David Ruiz. He really helps take some of the weight off of lead guitarist, Dave Bates’, shoulders. While Ortiz rocks out a solid riff, Bates is scorching out solos that heat up the room. There were some excellent pulse-pounding drum kicks from John Chominsky, and smooth, electric bass licks from Nick Ericson. Edge of Paradise played mostly songs off their newest EP hit, Alive, which entered in the Billboard charts. With songs like “Rise of the Fallen,” “Dust to Dust,” and “Shades of Crazy,” fans flocked to gaze at this spectacle. I get a thrill every time I come watch them perform.
Complete Edege of Paradise Slideshow Below:
Up next was another act that fairly new to me, . Another band from the Los Angeles region, they were probably the most interesting band of the night. They had a mixture of psychedelic metal, industrial rock, and progressive metal. They draw most of their inspiration from the Deftones, Alice in Chains, and Tool to name a few bands. Lead singer Michael Meinhart sings crystal clearly. He does not try to scream into the microphone, but rather sing harmoniously hypnotic. He puts you in trance that you do not want to come out of. Their sound can go from brutal to beautiful. Guitarist Billy Graczyk reminds of Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains and Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones, just striking stunning power chords. Their songs are soothing to the ears, from “System’s Son” to “Sanctity.” Drummer Lior Dar has this almost Neil Peart quality to his skills. I would have to say that Socionic brought the Viper Room down. Aeonic Impulse closed out the night in a manner that was just a continuation of raw energy that was alive in the Viper Room this night.
Complete Socionic Slideshow Below:
Overall, Bansal did what he does best; install kick ass local shows that are beginning to gain an immense reputation. Not only does he continue to book the Viper Room, but now he is starting expand the event to include all California, including San Diego and Sacramento. I loved seeing my old friends Edge of Paradise, while also getting to know Fallen Suns and Socionic. Each band brought their unique signature sounds to Hollywood and the fans were eternally grateful to witness such a display. Metal Assault Vol. 5 was an instant success, and I cannot wait to see who will play at the next one. To all the bands, especially Edge of Paradise, I salute you. Horns up!!!