Live at 1720
Los Angeles, CA
October 7th, 2021
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Infected Rain come to Los Angeles, and the United States as a whole, for the first time with this tour. Hailing from Moldova they play a unique and powerful style of metal that juxtaposes beauty and melody with extremity, harshness, and driving energy.
Led by the forceful and bewitching vocalist, Lena Scissorhands, they turned out a performance that was far beyond expectations. Four gentlemen accompany her on stage; Vidick on guitars with dreads flowing like Cthulu's tentacles as he plays, Sergey who comes across as very "normal" and sedate for this crew, Vladamir takes up bass with a sinister grin and an overall amped up attitude, and Eugene on drums appears pretty intense but if you catch the look in is his eyes, he comes across as if this is a mellow and chill vibe for him.
Infected Rain were special guests on tour with the Butcher Babies and Stitched Up Heart, two other great bands with amazing women leading the charge. They put on a profound center-piece set where they got to flex their muscle and everyone was absolutely blown away.
They kicked off the set with "Pendulum" from the latest release "Endorphin", showcasing Lena's ability to sing in aggressive snarls and deep growls. She alternately moves through moments of melodic realization, seemingly bringing catharsis to the tormented soul - but the discordant returns, as this dark side is held barely at bay.
"Mold", from their previous release, "86" brought shouted anger, mixing between death metal growls and blasting spoken lyrics. This all slides away at key intervals to become a completely different song entirely; with melodic verse of acceptance and love. As with all things Infected Rain, this is temporary as they blast back and forth between styles, strengths, and intensities at the drop of hat. This is absolutely part of their charm: the juxtaposition of beauty, melody, and catchy hooks falling away to blasting roars, blistering rhythms, chugging base, and driving riffs.
"Black Gold" from Endorphin brings more of their latest material to light. They continue to evolve and become more of their own entity, absolutely stunning to see live as Lena surpasses even lofty expectations with her live delivery.
Continuing with the recent material they did "Passerby". Lena weaves between the deep growls, melodic beautiful verse, and snarled-snapped verse with equal ease. Comparisons between peers is inevitable as they invoke Lacuna Coil, Jinjer, Arch Enemy, et al. but they are also an absolute original entity - building something on its own steady foundation.
"Freaky Carnival" from the "86" release exudes cyberpunk essence as it leads into an aggressive delivery of essential knowledge that breaks into a beautiful epiphany (only to crash back down to snarled truth). This song's use of keyboards and atmospheres pulls it into a quasi-industrial realm crossing them over into even yet another sub-genre. The message is clear: "Everyone is welcome here" in this carnival of freaks.
They continued with three more from the "86" album with "Endless Stairs", a fan favorite that shows her ability to go full on "Cradle of Filth" vocal style screeching like a gorgeous pterodactyl and then move to a metal-rap delivery and finish it all of with beautiful crooning. "Fool the Gravity" and "Orphan Soul" finish out the material from this album and like all of Lena's lyrics they process some heavy duty emotions and situations.
Infected Rain returned to the latest release for "The Earth Mantra", and then finished with "Sweet, Sweet Lies" from "Embrace the Eternity". It was an amazing set and having been a fan now for quite some time, I was really happy with the song selection and the amount of time they got.
It was awesome to finally get to see these guys live and I can't wait for them to return. Their new album is going to drop soon so next time they come through they will have even more material to choose from.
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