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The Rise of The Black Cross Brotherhood

Bill Lynch
Loud and proud, local metal super-band The Black Cross Brotherhood debuts Friday night at The Blue Parrot. The band is (left to right): Jim Lawrence, Adrian Pace, Johnny Compton and Chris Bowe.
WANT TO GO? The Black Cross BrotherhoodWith Harrah and FreaktentWHERE: The Blue Parrot, 14 Capitol St.WHEN: 10 p.m. FridayTICKETS: $5INFO: 304-342-2583 CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you ask, the members of The Black Cross Brotherhood will tell you they're the best band in the valley."We're not trying to put anybody down," drummer Jim Lawrence said. "We're just coming out swinging, which is what people should expect out of us."The Black Cross Brotherhood is a Frankenstein's monster stitched together from the parts of other local metal bands. Chris Bowe and Lawrence come from War Creek Mafia, Adrian Pace is from Freakflag, and Johnny Compton came from all sorts of bands. The Black Cross Brotherhood's members figure somebody ought to be loudest, hardest-rocking band in Charleston. So . . . why not them?The band makes its official Charleston debut Friday night at The Blue Parrot, performing with Harrah and Freaktent.It's an important show to The Black Cross Brotherhood. It's members feel like they've got something to prove."We're tired of getting passed over, man," Compton said. "We're tired of being in really good outfits and overlooked."
This band, they hope, will change all that. They look at themselves as the best parts of some of the best metal acts in the area."We're not a cookie-cutter band," Bowe said.
"We're not trying to be Nickelback," Compton added.Compton and Bowe, The Black Cross Brotherhood's guitarists, said they had wanted to play together in a musical outfit for a while but really hadn't had much of a chance to do anything since Black Sky Rite, a few years back.Bowe and Lawrence have been part of War Creek Mafia for years, while Compton, one of the Charleston scene's most prolific players, plays in several musical outfits in town and hosts an open mic."We'd always talked about bringing Johnny in to War Creek, but I guess it was just a perfect storm," Bowe said. "We've gone through several bassists over the past couple of years. The last one had to move on. It wasn't like there was a big fight, but there was a life situation. He got a job and had to move on."
"We talked about getting another bassist and maybe just keeping on with War Creek Mafia," Lawrence said, "but we really had to decide what it was we really wanted to do."What it turned out they wanted to do was work with Compton and come out with something completely different."So what we have is a very guitar-driven rock band," Compton said. "You've got Chris and me playing hard as hell and throwing things at each other all night long."The band promised old-school metal that's somewhere between Metallica and Pantera with some overtones of Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains."Loud, heavy, but with good melodies," Compton said."It's music to get a speeding ticket to," Bowe said.The band came together after Pace was brought in on bass.Pace said he'd been away from playing music for a couple of years and had instead been focusing on family and his job, but he had been itching to get back in."I told my old lady that I felt like starting something up," he said.It was just sort of luck that Compton, Bowe and Lawrence happened to be looking for a bass player."We were working with another guy before, but I don't think he felt really comfortable," Bowe said. "It just wasn't for him."Pace didn't have much to say, just shrugged and said he is glad to be part of the Black Cross Brotherhood."I think we can be the best band in town," he said, "but we'll leave that up for people to decide."Reach Bill Lynch at or 304-348-5195.
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