By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
There are times in my life when life itself can make me dead tired and forget the pleasant things in life. One of those pleasant things to me is headbanging at heavy metal shows. Between my work and working out, it feels like I have no time for one of the things that gives me passion in life. Being that it is Easter weekend, I was feeling His Glory for the sacrifice He made for me. For that, I decided to honor it by going to the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles with Rabit. It has been a while now since we saw some good metal excitement there. Two bands decided to return to LA after a couple years away due to the pandemic, Apocalyptica and Lacuna Coil. Rabit and I were getting an Easter treat by hearing symphonic metal and alternative gothic metal collide.
Lacuna Coil is very near and dear to me. The Italian metalheads have been conquering the metal circuit with their genius mix of alternative metal and gothic metal since 1993. Picking up where they left off while promoting their ninth release, Black Anima. Stepping out in macabre black and white face paint & donning gothic style clothing, Lacuna Coil kicked the evening off with “Blood, Tears, Dust.” The singing duo Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia are as tight as ever. Between Ferro’s mixture of death growls & melodic singing and Scabbia’s harmonious voice, these two spin a web of sultry melody that everyone in the theater loved hearing. Bassist Marco Coti Zelati played ferocious licks that were full of blackness, while guitarist Diego “Didi” Cavalotti captivated us with his sinister solos that sounds like a battle between the light and the darkness. For a cool 45 minutes, Lacuna Coil brought us closer to metal glory with tunes like “Trip the Darkness,” “Reckless,” “Apocalypse,” “Layers of Time,” “Heaven’s a Lie,””Save Me,” “Veneficium,” “Our Truth,” and “Nothing Stand in Our Way.” We had fun being in the dark, but now it was time to be brought back into the light.
Full Lacuna Coil gallery below:
This is a group I have been wanting to check out for a long time. Apocalyptica comes from Helsinki, Finland, and they rock out with their cellos out. That’s right, you heard me. They create symphonic metal with cellos. Aided by their longtime wild drummer Mikko Sirén, Apocalyptica dazzled the fans with their classically trained nuance, starting with “Ashes of the Modern World.” Led by Eicca Toppinen, he was a symphonic metal mecca along with his partners Perttu Kivilaakso and Paavo Lötjönen. All three of these incredible musicians rocked out on their bowed string instruments, with Toppinen and Kivilaakso trading off electrifying solos. While most of their set was instrumental, they traveled with their occasional vocalist Franky Perez, who mesmerized the crowd with his heavy blues rock voice to songs like “I’m Not Jesus,” “Not Strong Enough,” “I’ll Get Through It,” “Shadowmaker,” and “I Don’t Care.” Reveling in the success of their ninth record, Cell-0, Apocalyptica brought neoclassical metal to the Heaven. From originals like “Path” “Grace,” “Rise,” “En Route to Mayhem,” and “Scream for the Silent” to inspiring covers like Sepultura’s “Inquisition Symphony” and Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and “Seek & Destroy,” where Kivilaakso started strumming like a madman on the cello. That was quite a site. After a brief break, the group returned to give their loyal fans an Easter gift of encores like “Farewell” and the icon classical piece, “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg.
Full Apocalyptica gallery below:
This was one show that has reignited my passion for heavy metal. Like the Chinese philosophical concept of Yin and Yang, Apocalyptica and Lacuna Coil brought the light and darkness together for an unbelievable evening. Apocalyptica is a true niche band that has a great sound and following, while Lacuna Coil was a tale of beauty and the beast in sync with gothic and alternative. Glory on the Highest as the Lord Himself brought us metal for us to enjoy on a day to celebrate Jesus’ gift to mankind. Not to sound too religious, but that is what I felt from that night, and I am sure Rabit felt it as well. To Apocalyptica and Lacuna Coil, I salute you. Horns up, and Praise to you all!!!