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REVIEW: Akazia, Kill The Sound, A Brilliant Lie, and Meka Nism rock The Haven's Halloween show

Photo credit: Bobby Von Ripper

The Haven Lounge celebrated Halloween by holding an extravaganza featuring local bands, a costume contest, a great DJ, and a fun atmosphere.

Akazia, A Bridge of Thorns, Kill the Sound, A Brilliant Lie, Auditory Armory, Meka Nism, and Miami’s Funeral For a Clown brought the live music to Bobby Von Ripper’s Halloween Extravaganza III. Akazia was the first band of the night.

Akazia is a rock band from Orlando that consists of Hannah Siegel on vocals, Rene Perez on lead guitar, Adrian Cottmeyer on rhythm guitar and Matt Wortman on bass. Before launching into their first song of the set, Siegel, dressed as a black cat, had this to say to the crowd:

“This song is about judgment and why I f----n’ hate it. You know why I like Halloween? No judgment. You can’t judge anyone on Halloween. You can just dress how you want.”

This song had a great guitar solo, but Siegel’s voice did get shout-y on the last note. Fortunately, this was fixed quickly. I also loved how the bass and drums fit together on the third song of the set. You could tell Siegel was excited to be on stage and it was fun to watch.

“Night Terrors”, off their EP “This is Personal”, was written with Halloween in mind. The band wanted it to sound as creepy as possible and the rhythm section brought it on this song. Siegel’s vocals verged on shout-y toward the end, but only for a second or two before she corrected it.

Other local bands also came to support their friends, as Makenzie Kamal from Arcadence did for Akazia.

A Bridge of Thorns is an alternative rock band that consists of Ariel Hope on vocals, Dale Stump on guitar, Wyatt Harris on bass and Zach Garcia on drums. An impromptu dance party broke out between Hope and a fan during the band’s sound check, setting the fun tone for the night. Hope showcased a strong range during their set made more impressive by the fact that the band’s only been together for a year.

They also distinguished themselves by having a song about being short called “Smallest”. “Smallest” featured an unusual guitar tone that made the opening riff interesting. The only misstep of the set was during “Empty Spaces”. It seemed like the vocals didn’t match the music as the lyrics were delivered slowly and the music was very fast-paced.

The last few songs of the set featured a well-done cover of Muse’s “Time Is Running Out” and a song with a punk feel to it. The solos tended to veer into –core territory as they were very reminiscent of breakdowns found in metalcore and the many other –core subgenres.

Kill The Sound is a metal band from Orlando that consists of Kim Acoustic on vocals, Ally Sosa on bass/backup and unclean vocals, Cori Franks and David Duncan on guitar and Senior Dark on drums. Their theatrical set proved to be perfect for the Halloween setting. Acoustic, dressed as Catwoman, cracked a whip she was carrying to accentuate certain lyrics.

The theatricality ended up being more entertaining than her vocals. There was a point where Acoustic held the microphone too far from her face and you couldn’t hear what she was singing. It was a shame as the band was an otherwise well put together metal onslaught.

Where they shone the most was when Sosa and Acoustic switched vocal duties. Sosa, dressed as Beetlejuice, had great command of her screams, especially when making the transition between them and clean vocals. Both were done well, and it made me wish she did more of the songs.

She also had strong harmonies and backup screams in the songs she wasn’t lead on. This made her the standout of the band, especially in regards to getting the crowd hyped up.

There was a nice drum change in one song where the tempo sped up and it made the song sound tighter. They included more songs that featured Sosa screaming as this was in high demand with their fan base. I’m glad this is the case because after watching the set, I would like to see more of this direction.

Sosa’s screams and stage presence are there in a way that they aren’t in Acoustic. Even the guitar riff was more interesting in the newer song. Should the band continue on that path, that’s a band I’d be excited to see.

A Brilliant Lie was coming off the ninth show of their 11-city tour when they stopped at The Haven, so as you can imagine, they were a bit delirious from exhaustion and possibly hunger. This didn’t stop them from putting on a great show dressed as the cast from Bob’s Burgers (this later won them The Haven’s costume contest). A Brilliant Lie is an alternative rock band from Orlando that consists of Tara Lightfoot on vocals and guitar, Chris Lane on drums, Jason Lemrond on guitar and keyboard, Matthew Movens on guitar and vocals and Nick Scout on bass.

Lightfoot was electric on stage, never missing a beat and never staying still. They put on a solid set, injecting humor:

“If we mess up and play more notes, it’s better for you guys. If you’re a bargain shopper, more value for your money.”

and playing a new song.

The new song had a quick pace that was like a jolt of caffeine after a long night of studying. That energy made it the perfect closing song. I especially liked the precision drumming from Lane.

Auditory Armory, an “alternative metal” band from Altamonte Springs, consists of April Rose on vocals and guitar, Oscar Garcia on drums, Dennis Burns on guitar and Justice Maynard on bass. They opened with a song that featured haunting backing vocals and complemented Rose’s lead vocals well.

The intro to the second song of their set had a mysterious and light feel. There was a pause and they launched into full-on heavy metal riffs. A Jason Voorhees mask visible on the side of the drum set was a nice touch.

Other highlights of their set included the room filling effect Burns’ lead guitar had on a specific song and a heavier song evened out by a smooth sounding piano accompanying it.

Meka Nism played up the Halloween angle by opening with the theme from John Carpenter’s “Halloween”. Meka Nism is an Orlando operatic metal/ “epic shaman rock” band that includes Ms. Meka, “vocal artist and shaman, sound and energy healer”, Bobby “The Ripper” Keller, lead guitarist and “monster keeper”, FreeDom guitarist and “vision bringer”, Alvin Bauer, bassist and “party master”, Jeremy Mansfield, drummer and “double bass madman”, and Jay Adkisson on keyboards. From Meka dressed in an elaborate get up that included wearing tails on her head to the dry ice filling the stage; they emanated a mysterious, almost eerie vibe perfect for Halloween.

As for the music, the ease with which Meka could go from operatic vocals to low screams was impressive. She took measured steps and had an unnerving stare as she looked out into the audience, which made me wonder if she’d ever been in a stage play. The image Meka Nism portrays might be off putting for some, but for those who enjoy metal music with a twist, make sure to catch their live set this winter as they’re touring with Trapt until Dec. 21.

Bobby Von Ripper’s Halloween Extravaganza III brought a local, friendly show to Winter Park. The crowd got into the costume aspect of the show as well, as there was a costume contest where you could win a cash prize. Some favorites: a tall man dressed as a pepperoni pizza with a baby mask on his face and a pacifier around his neck as well as a guy dressed as Jesus, accompanied by a female “devil” and holding a “Bible” titled “The Holy Hammered” that contained two plastic shot glasses with gold crosses on them.

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