Views from the Pit: Creative Chaos Vol. 2

What a night. Cynical Sounds has certainly outdone themselves once again with Creative Chaos Vol. 2, this time featuring local melodic death metal act Assault, UAE death metal tyrants Nervecell and the legendary tech-death masters Decapitated. And for the very first time ever, an extreme metal event at Zouk! As early as 5, crowds were already seen gathering outside the venue, and what a weird and ironic scene it was; people dressed in black and often in long hair outside a venue known for some of the most mainstream form of music and culture. And it was the same thing inside the venue, with extreme metal occupying the stage, and the contrasting disco balls and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

But nothing was going to stop extreme metal from reigning supreme on this night as Assault takes the stage as the opening band for the show. The band sounded tighter than ever, and unleashed a couple of new songs to the crowd, starting some early headbanging for the night. With the band’s lead guitarist being stuck with national service commitments, they pulled in guitarist Zi Xiang to fill in the lead spot, and he certainly nailed the entire feel of the tracks of the band, hitting every note with precision and even adding in his personal touch to the solos. Some mini moshpits were even observed throughout the set. The band ended with a slightly modified version of the crowd pleaser Subversion from their debut EP Exceptions of the Rebellions, to some great reception from the crowd, despite the small slip up that the band encountered in the middle of the track.

With the crowd sufficiently warmed up by now, Nervecell then took the stage, and right from the opening track moshpits were aplenty. It didn’t take long for Nervecell to prove to the crowd why they are the best extreme metal act out of UAE of all time, with sheer technical brilliance being displayed by each of the member of the band. Live drummer Kevin Folley handles the energetic tracks with much ease. With so much metal in the air tonight, the first technical issue finally cropped up during the set of Nervecell, with the entire system shutting off suddenly, but the band takes in in their stride and came back with even more vengeance than before. Playing songs from both their albums, Preaching Venom and PsycogenocideNervecell‘s set was definitely an extremely intense one, with no holds barred. The band ended their set with a surprise cover of Sepultura‘s Territory, inviting members of headlining band Decapitated onto stage as well, with Vogg taking over the guitars and Rafal throwing grapes and bananas into the crowd (which were instantly picked up and eaten, only to be stopped by Zouk security haha).

Usually after such an intense set, the stakes are rather high for the next band to take the stage. But with a band with Decapitated‘s calibre, there was no cause for worry at all. Straight off the start of the set, Decapitated was sheer technical brilliance, with the entire band being extremely tight, executing every time signature shift and pulling off every complex section with ease. Despite the warm reception that Carnival is Forever got since its release, when songs from the album were played live, the entire experience is definitely different, with the raw energy of the band instantly infecting the audience. Of course, this being the first time Decapitated set foot in Singapore, songs from the entire discography of the band were played, but the high point has to be when Spheres of Madness started playing, bringing about the most violent moshpit for the night. And like Nervecell‘s set, Decapitated similarly invited Nervecell onstage for a short moment, a display of camaraderie between the bands. Vogg certainly proofs the mastery of his instrument on the set, easily transiting between aggressive riffing to complex lead guitar role yet not even a hint of slipping up at all, and drummer Paul displays his mastery of all the tracks despite his rather recent joining of the band.

One other thing that definitely made Creative Chaos Vol. 2 such an enjoyable one was the sound. Man, the sound is probably the best sound that I have ever heard for live death metal so far, though this shouldn’t be too surprising considering the venue that the gig was held at, but this probably shut up any naysayers and critics of the venue where the show was held.

Definitely one of the most memorable extreme metal shows that I have been to, and probably the best show that Cynical Sounds has ever done so far. Kudos to Cynical Sounds for such an amazing night, and thanks to the bands for the memories.

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