baltimore soundstage | 3/15/19
By Jay Oakley
the depot | 8/2/17
A darkness falls over The Depot...the openers have finished, the stage is set and the time has come, for Raven Black. The house band for the Dark Metal Carnival where your nightmares become reality and some of your realities become nightmares.
Led by singer Raven, the doll who will play with you in the daytime, laugh at you behind your back and kill you while you sleep. Drummer Muppet, whose grin gives you chills and makes you take a step back, Stitches, a masked creature whose bass work forms the dark clouds on a stormy, hallowed night and finally, The Doctor, who created them all. His guitar work deliver the carnival feel and sound, mixed with the hint of death.
Raven Black is a band that I have been familiar with due to my interest in theatrical performers, darker looks and story-telling. This, however, was my first time seeing them live. I purposely left myself in the dark about their live show. I wanted to be surprised and I wanted to keep what little I knew about them a mystery. Glad I did.
The Hex O'Clock Tour is currently on it's second leg and they're killing it. A dark, eerie set with smoke, tombstones and cemetery fences. The set opened up as the chilling voice of a child spoke. The band took the stage and Raven stood front and center as she opened her umbrella. The set was a stellar delivery of riffs, crushing drums and screaming vocals. The crowd was entranced and very receptive to Raven Black. Nodding their heads, jumping up and down and throwing up the horns. Raven Black performed all the songs from their Seven Sins record as well as more. Raven's dynamic stage presence was highlighted by her use of her umbrella, baseball bat and jump rope. Her strong vocals and screams captivated the audience and drew closer. Doctor's guitar playing was stellar as he found ways to deliver the carnival sound in his riffs to highlight and detail the sound that is Raven Black. Stitches was a joy to watch as he controlled not only his side of the stage but delivered his parts with precision. Constantly banging his head, moving around and proving there could be no rhythm section with out him. Finally, Muppet is a killer character, a killer performer. A charismatic drummer that you can't help but watch. Hair flying, mixed with his toothy-grin, his wide-eyed performances suck you in. This was an amazing show and watching the crowd head-banging and showing them such support was something to behold. They are worth going to see and I am already excited for their next trip to Baltimore. When they come to your town; go because every night is Halloween.
My only major issue was the size of the crowd. While The Depot might not be the biggest venue in the world, Raven Black deserved a bigger crowd then twenty people. It wasn't fair to them and it wasn't fair to the other fans in attendance. Attention fans and promoters alike; lets support these touring bands and give them a reason to perform for us.
Photography is courtesy of Arturo Santaella and Lynch-Moore Studios