Views from the Pit: Grindhouse

The Grindhouse (a misleading title for the gig, for it took some of us quite a bit of convincing to go because we thought it was going to be a grind gig) was held on 30th April. After a 1 hour delay, the gig finally kicked off at 8pm. 6 awesome bands, displaying the prowess of Asian death metal.

The lineup:
Stillborn
GrindButo (Indonesia)
Truth Be Known
Lacerate (Thailand)
GxSxD (Japan)
Defiled (Japan)

Stillborn took the stage promptly after doors opened, much to the crowds’ anticipation after gathering outside the venue for an hour. As per Stillborn’s SOP (standard operating procedure), midway through their performance, singer Sathish and guitarist Tharenii soon lost their top. Being the first band on stage and the slow crowd (initially) did not daunt Stillborn’s effort to put on an awesome show. Within a few songs heads were seen banging and hair flying at the front.

Grindbuto was up next. A three-piece grind band hailing from Indonesia, they were able to draw the crowd back in after the venue emptied after Stillborn’s performance. This is largely due to the aggressive and infectious grind laid out, with continuously screaming guitar harmonics and furious drumming. Their set ended with a grind redoing of the Metallica classic, Seek and Destroy, a song which is always a sure bet to get people headbanging.

TBK: Angriest band on earth!

Truth Be Known came onstage after GrindButo’s exhilarating performance. With Subash’s usual stage antics (the dancing and grooving to the music), it definitely provided certain comic relief amongst the crowds. Of course this did not mean that the music was compromised as could be seen from the crowd’s reaction. Alcohol certainly did put more life into the band’s performance as they managed to grab hold of some Barcadi (courtesy of one of the members of the Japanese band playing later, couldn’t see who it was though…). They later dedicated a song to those who were not at a band, entitled “It Sucks to be You”. Well, it really did, because Stillborn, Grindbuto and Truth Be Known are just a prelude to what was coming up later.

Sunyalux: wreaking havoc behind the drums

Whoever said that death metal without vocals cannot work will be promptly proven wrong once Lacerate began their aural assault. As the crowds began to wonder why they were performing without vocals, drummer Sunyalux enlightened the crowd: their vocalist was stuck at Bangkok due to issues with the immigration, so FUCK THE IMMIGRATION, but as he says “the show must still go on!” to which the crowd responded with cries of “fuck the immigration!” Impressive show of musicianship but even more impressive was the show of technical skills of the individual members on their instruments, in particular Sunyalux who, in some people’s words, is “sick” and “crazy”. One really has to see to believe how insane a drummer he can be, with non-stop blast beats constantly throughout their set.

Twin brothers = twin guitar attack = twin windmill

Finally at around 10.30, the first of the 2 headlining bands took the stage. Often hailed as the Japanese version of famed Polish band Vader (just listen to their song, Mercy Killing vs. Vader’s Devilizer), GxSxD instantly proved themselves that they are perhaps more than worthy of the comparison, with their infectious music. Twin brothers Yusuke and Yohsuke are relentless in their vocals and twin axe assault, gathering in what was perhaps one of the largest crowds of the night. With both guitarists taking the role of vocals and knowing when to come it, it was hard at times to know who was doing the vocals (after all, they are twin brothers, look alike and even sound alike!) displaying their technical prowess and tightness as a band. The encore with a medley of Slayer’s Raining Blood and Angel of Death instantly caused the crowd to break into a moshpit, thereafter marked the end of GxSxD’s set.

With one last headlining band to appear, the crowd was beginning to get restless. By the time Defiled took the stage it was already close to midnight, and unfortunately the crowd started to thin. For those who stayed all the way to the end, it was definitely worth the wait as Defiled promptly broke into their set, impressing the crowds with their technical skills (such as those of bassist Haruhisa who played some slap bass riffs before the start of the performance). I couldn’t help but notice how young their drummer looked yet being so consistently good at his drumming. At the end of the show, it was overheard that the show put up by the headliners are testament to how Asian bands can be just as good, if not better than most Western bands.

At slightly after midnight the gig finally came to an end, with a photo taking session with all the bands that performed (courtesy of Ayla from SRH!) and crowds hanging out with the foreign bands that came to perform. I have to say I was impressed with how different the Japanese bands were compared to the rest, bringing in their flags and pasting it at the wall even though this wasn’t a huge concert. Not to say that the rest of the bands were any worse though! While the crowd was definitely not ideally huge for a metal gig (it’s a Friday, after all), it was definitely an enjoyable experience. Kudos to the bands and Bret from Mourningsounds for putting this gig together!

Stillborn had to leave the party early.

Special mention to Ayla from SRH Singapore and Rage99.com for being the “official” photographer! 😛 Horns up to you too!

Visit SRH Singapore on Facebook, and Rage99.com on Facebook.
You can view the photo albums to the Grindhouse here (part 1) and here (part 2).

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune

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