CRADLE OF FILTH w/ONCE HUMAN – ACE OF SPADES, Sacramento, CA – 10/24/21

Once Human is a band I’ve been curious about live for some time because the first time I heard them I thought they did a nice job of embodying some of the European style metal I really love, while also not getting into pitfalls that you can fall into when having a female fronted metal band this day in age and still able to keep it fresh and modern with a throwback attitude. 

As soon as they came on stage you could tell they were a force and brought a ton of energy and excitement to the crowd and I’m sure surprised some folks, because somehow this band has not gotten very big yet. Singer Lauren Hart truly has an amazing presence on stage and really knows how to work the crowd, along with having amazing vocal range. Guitarists Logan Mader and Max Karon are also a ton of fun to watch and listen to as they completely shred almost the entire set. All in all they are a very impressive band that I have a feeling will be lighting up the metal world soon and be headlining their own tours.

After a few quick moments, which was surprisingly fast, the always insanely fun Cradle of Filth hit the stage with what felt like a bit of a smaller stage set than I’ve seen in the past, but nonetheless did not disappoint with their signature Cradle of Filth look and overwhelming skull mic stand that rivals that of Zakk Wylde’s. The interesting thing between this show and the one I covered before is that the band genuinely looks like they’re having fun on stage, which is an incredibly refreshing thing to see when you see bands with such a dark appearance and music, because after all, music should be fun.

Dani didn’t speak much, if at all and just ripped right into “Once Upon Atrocity” which really set the tone for the rest of the show. Unfortunately I did feel like the mix was a bit off on this one and really took away from some of the songs that should have been more guitar focused, which proved to be a bit of a disappointment as they moved through their set, especially on older songs. 

Either way, Cradle always tends to really bring their A game at every level and entertain the audience, who in this case seemed to be a bit on the subdued side for once. Maybe it was the heavy rain that set the mood for the crowd, or maybe it’s the Covid restrictions that the pit was so limited, but it did make for somewhat poor audience interaction and one has to wonder if that took it’s toll in the minds of the band – but even if it did, you wouldn’t have been able to tell as the band ripped through every track quickly, concisely and on point, with a bit of a surprise cover of Hallowed Be Thy Name by Iron Maiden. A truly enjoyable evening of black metal!

I'm a screenwriter, journalist, independent filmmaker and photographer when time permits. I cut my teeth in Journalism with Klusterfuct Magazine, Fringe Magazine and finally Your Music Magazine interview bands such as Rob Zombie, Korn, Unearth, Shadows Fall, Rise Against, All That Remains and many more. Fed up with the politics involved in working for someone else I ventured out on my own journey and started creating short films in hopes to one day create feature films, but alas I missed writing about bands that mean so much to me, so here I am...fighting the good fight, fighting the metal fight!
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