Once Human

Live at The Belasco Theater

Los Angeles, CA

October 23rd, 2021

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

Once Human return to the stage in Los Angeles, opening for Cradle of Filth on their Lustmord and Tourgasm 2021 tour. With a schedule rife with problems including the other opening band 3teeth calling off the tour due to Covid outbreaks in the band, Once Human managed to persevere through the tour and in turn, reach hundreds of new fans.

At the heart of the band is vocalist extraordinaire, Lauren Hart accompanying musical mastermind Logan Mader (ex Machine Head/Soulfly).

The duo first hit it off in 2014 and now seven years later they are readying their third full length album for release, preceded by a series of amazing singles that have been teezing us along for the duration of the pandemic.

In recent ventures, Lauren has dabbled in clean and melodic vocals in addition to her signature deep snarls which was only enhanced by her time with power metal stalwarts Kamelot.

This juxtaposition of vocal styles is a welcome addition to the sound, and while still to a lesser degree than the death metal growls, it punctuates the new music with variance and depth.

With 3teeth off the billing, they got elevated a slot and given more time to boot, so we got an awesome dose of old and new material.

"Eye of Chaos" still reigns as their anthem, but their set list is rounded out with new songs like "Deadlock", which features the Machine Head singer on the single but Lauren did both parts live which I like even better.

They covered the Machine Head song "Davidian" as well. Additional stand-out songs of the set inlcluded "Killers for the Cure", "Mass Murder Frenzy", and "Pick Your Poison". They closed out their set with "Flock of Flesh".

Lauren is just amazing to behold in person, evoking early Angela Gassow era Arch Enemy in all the best ways while Logan's signature dreadlocks flying around the stage as he plays his guitar and flexes his muscles. The duo are accompanied by Damien Rainaud on bass guitar, Dillon Trollope on drums, and Max Karon on additional guitar.

This is my third time seeing these guys and each time I appreciate them even more. I love that their style is unique when comparing them to the other extreme bands with a powerful woman at the helm and the chugging guitar riffs are made to keep your head moving with the music.

I can't wait for their new album to drop in February, but in the meantime they seem to be feeding us a steady dose of awesome singles.

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