11/05/18 – By: Addie Hayes, Editor/Lead Writer, Regional Music Journal
On Sunday, October 28, 2018, metal masters DevilDriver rolled into Oklahoma City with Jinjer and Raven Black for a night of pure, raw metal at the Diamond Ballroom. The band took to the road for a short six week fall tour in support of their album, Outlaws ‘Til The End Vol 1, which was released on July 6, 2018. The album includes covers of outlaw country songs and included several featured artists including Randy Blythe from Lamb of God, Wednesday 13, Brock Lindow from 36 Crazyfists, Burton C Bell of Fear Factory, Hank Williams III, John Carter Cash and Lee Ving of Fear. Local Bands Wood N Bone, Blackthorne Elite and Curse The Fall were brought in to provide additional opening support.
Wood N Bone performing at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City 10/28/18 (Band are Left to Right: Llogan Lewis, Jerry Lund, Bruce Richards and Bud Thornsberry) – Photos Courtesy Shane Loudon Photography
Oklahoma City band Wood N Bone was first to take the stage. The band is comprised of Llogan Lewis on lead guitar and vocals, Bud Thornsberry on rhythm guitar, bassist Jerry Lund and Bruce Richards on drums and vocals. At the beginning of their set, the crowd was fairly small but grew throughout the performance. Lewis is a great frontman and knows how to engage with fans. The energy level was high as Lewis, Thornsberry and Lund moved around the stage and encouraged fans to let loose and enjoy the experience.
Wood N Bone’s style is southern metal to the core, with heavy beats, a hard groove and bold riffs. Frontman Lewis is great at engaging with the crowd and making sure everybody in attendance enjoys the show. The band played a short set and performed songs including “Lies” and “Apprentice” before winding down and leaving the stage for Blackthorne-Elite.
Blackthorne-Elite at the Diamond Ballroom on 10/28/18 in Oklahoma City (Band Members are from Left to Right: Outlaw D.J., Elias and Donkey Tom) – Photos Courtesy Shane Loudon Photography
Enid, Oklahoma is home to four piece band Blackthorne-Elite. The band has won over music fans all over Oklahoma with their hard hitting music and strong stage show. Members are Outlaw D.J. on guitar and vocals, Danny Diablo on guitar, Elias on bass and Donkey Tom on drums. Blackthorne-Elite has created a sound that is equal parts southern metal and thrash metal with a touch of old school nu metal.
The energetic performance drew a strong response from the growing crowd. Right before the band broke into the song “Heritage” a man in the crowd yelled, “you guys fucking rock”, and he was right. Outlaw D.J. is a strong vocalist with a wide range. He’s capable of singing melodic hard rock, growling out the thrash metal and perfectly delivering the rapid fire, rhythmic vocals made popular by nu metal bands like Coal Chamber. The band wrapped up their powerful set with “Cry Wolf”.
Up next was Oklahoma City band Curse The Fall, whose members include, vocalist Dewayne Clifton, guitarist Brian Carrigan, Nick Cebalo on bass and Bill Stephens on drums. Curse The Fall is a popular band in Oklahoma City and they performed in front of an ever growing crowd. Their style is thrash metal with a few punk elements. Guitarist Carrigan is very skilled and performs excellent solos and powerful riffs. Stephens and Cebalo create a deep, pounding rhythm that vibrated throughout the venue and electrified the crowd.
Dewayne Clifton is a strong frontman who knows how to engage with a crowd. He draws fans in and elicits a response, creating a give and take of energy between the band and the crowd. Curse The Fall turned up the intensity before leaving the stage.
Los Angeles metal band Raven Black took the stage and the crowd was captivated before they even started playing their first song. Vocalist Raven appeared and looked like a demented doll with heavy make-up and blue pigtails. Lead guitarist and vocalist The Doctor, bassist Stitches along with drummer Muppet added to the maniacal carnival theme with their own stage appearance. Raven Black are a visually stunning band and one you have to see perform live to fully appreciate their artistry.
The band’s music delivers a powerful punch; many songs fluctuate between a light and whimsical tone, then break into a hard driving groove. Singer Raven plays the part of a shy and coy child before erupting into a demented little girl. She eventually brings the music back to a calm place before erupting yet again. Raven Black uses word play in their songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars”, “Seven Sins” and “Spider”, taking old nursery rhythms and morphing them into something dark and twisted. It didn’t take long for the crowd to decide they liked Raven Black.
Raven Black performing at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City on 10/28/18 (Band are From Left to Right: Raven, The Doctor, Stitches and Muppet) – Photos Courtesy Shane Loudon Photography
Ukrainian metal band Jinjer provided direct support for DevilDriver. Several people came out specifically to see Jinjer perform. The band has been on the scene for almost a decade and has proven to be a crowd favorite among metal fans. The band is made up of Tatiana Shmailyuk on vocals, Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar, Eugene Kostuk on bass and Vladislav Ulasevish on drums. Their sound is a mix of progressive metalcore and groove metal with underlying tones of funk, reggae and jazz. As soon as the band took the stage the crowd went nuts. Shmailyuk is one of the best female metal vocalists out there and she has perfected her blend of melodic and growling vocals. She also had a strong command of the stage throughout the band’s performance.
A mosh pit started early into Jinjer’s set and was sporadic throughout the show. The crowd’s enthusiasm grew as the band made their way through their setlist, performing songs like “Words of Wisdom”, “I Speak Astronomy” and “Who’s Gonna Be the One”, to name a few. The band left the stage to chants of “Jinjer, Jinjer, Jinjer…” from the crowd. They definitely have a strong following in Oklahoma City and fans showed up ready for their performance.
After Jinjer wrapped up their set it was time for the main attraction, DevilDriver. The stage was bathed in deep red light and a large backdrop with the band’s name stood out. DevilDriver is one of those bands slated to take over the top spot in the metal scene as the older generations are retiring or winding down in anticipation of retirement. Vocalist Dez Fafara has assembled a powerful lineup with Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann on guitars, Diego Ibarra on bass and Austin D’Amond on drums. Fafara acknowledged the crowd as soon as he climbed on stage, causing fans to go crazy. Everyone sang along with the opening song “Ruthless”, from the bands 2013 album Winter Kills. Fafara appeared to enjoy himself on stage and his enthusiasm showed in the band’s performance.
DevilDriver’s latest album Outlaws ‘til the End: Vol. 1 is a masterful piece of work and they treated the crowd to their version of Willie Nelson’s classic “Whiskey River”. Other songs performed throughout the set included tracks from their early albums, such as “”Nothings Wrong?”, “I Could Care Less”, and “The Mountain” from the band’s 2003 debut self-titled album DevilDriver; as well as “Hold Back the Day”, “Before the Hangman’s Noose” and “End of the Line” from the 2005 release The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand.
Their setlist also included songs from later albums, including “These Fighting Words” and “Clouds Over California” from the 2007 album The Last Kind Word, their cover of AWOLNATION’s popular song “Sail”, which appeared on DevilDriver’s 2013 album Winter Kills, and “My Night Sky” from the 2016 release Trust No One.
DevilDriver headlining at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City on 10/28/18 (Band are From Left to Right: Dez Fafara, Neal Tiemann, Mike Spreitzer, Diego Ibarra and Austin D’Amond) – Photos Courtesy Shane Loudon Photography
DevilDriver’s live performance is an assault on the senses, including hard pounding beats, searing guitar solos and intense energy. Throughout their set, fans crowd surfed, head banged and moshed along with each song. At one point during the show, Fafara called for the crowd to move in closer, which resulted in the largest mosh pit of the night. DevilDriver delivered one of the best metal shows at the Diamond Ballroom in 2018.
The band has been hard at work on material for their next album and they will be hitting the road in 2019. They have not made any announcements about upcoming album release dates or tour dates, but you can follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or keep up with announcements on their website.
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