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Metalcore Band Inimical Drive Plays the Legendary Viper Room

By Sandy Rodriguez

If you’re unfamiliar with the adjective “inimical,” it might be useful to know that can mean “tending to obstruct” or “tending to harm.” It’s similar to maleficent, detrimental, damaging, dangerous—possibly even hostile. But while band Inimical Drive has a very aggressive metalcore sound, their many fans find it exciting rather than unfriendly.

This summer, the band, a self-described group of hard-rocking St. Louis Party Boys, was in Los Angeles, California, and performed at the legendary Viper Room, co-founded by Johnny Depp. This club is located on the Sunset Strip, the stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through the city of West Hollywood. This area has been popular with musicians—rock, glam rock, glam metal, and other genres—for many decades.

The Viper Room, designed to evoke the great jazz clubs of the 20’s, has welcomed artists as varied as Johnny Cash, Stone Temple Pilots, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis, Queens of The Stone Age, Courtney Love, Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravitz, Pearl Jam, The Strokes, Weezer, Guns N’ Roses, Maroon 5, John Mayer, and Iggy Pop. Sadly, there is another reason this nightclub is a landmark. Budding superstar River Phoenix (Stand by Me, My Own Private Idaho), brother of actor Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Joker), died at the age of 23 outside the venue on Halloween, 1993.

Still, the evening Inimical Drive took the stage, there was no sorrow to be felt. If anything, the crowd was energized by the heart-pounding music— and made the most of this opportunity for headbanging and a bit of slam dancing to let off steam.

The set list included “Sacrifice,” “Reckoning,” “The Call,” “Hollow Ground,” “Nothing Less,” “Natures Kill’,” “Listen to the Legends,” and “For What it’s Worthless.”


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The band’s tremendous appeal is obvious during live performances, but be sure to also check out its videos, which are thrilling from both a musical perspective and a visual one, and have a surprisingly high production value. Find news about what Joel Colby (vocals), Nick Blackburn (guitars), Daniel Winter (bass), Rich Kriete (lead guitar), and Zach Moiser (drums) are up to on Instagram ( @inimical_drive ) and Facebook (Inimical Drive).

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