Views From the Pit: Mass Ritual 2

Mass Ritual 2 is the first proper gig for me in almost 4 months. After a one and a half hour wait outside Blackhole, the ritual finally began. It kicked off with an initiation with incense and chanting, with gig organizer Jaarvis drinking a cup of blood-looking fluid. Thereafter, Abyssal [7]kicked off with their first track. It was hard for them to get the crowd, who were restless from all the waiting, to move. But with their infectious style of melodic black metal people in the crowds were soon bobbing their heads to the music. Their frontman tried to fuse some humour effect by mentioning that “no, I (he) am not Cedric, but thanks for the beer” to some laughter from the crowd.

However, it didn’t take much for Stillborn [8] to get the party started. The band’s charismatic stage persona, the frontman’s random ramblings, coupled with their aggressive style of melodic death metal, by their first track the crowd was headbanging wildly and by their second track, moshing was inevitable.
With all the hype and energy built up by Stillborn, it would be hard for Massive [6] to carry through the momentum. But Massive wasn’t going to let the crowds down. While unable to retain the whole crowd’s attention, their main fanbase was there to cheer them on, encouraging them throughout their set.
Xanadoo [8] was up after Massive. They played songs from their latest 2 demos, Blood is Dirt and This Demo is Shit. They played song after song, with hardly any time to breathe in between them. With such loud and blazing fast thrash metal, it wasn’t hard to get crowds to mosh and headbang.
Featuring ex-members of Saitan, Warsaw [7] put up a pretty impressive performance, being able to make the crowds headbang to their music, with lots of horns in the air. Xepher (Draconis Infernum) was invited on stage to perform a track for them as well. The music stand on the stage was a bit awkward though, to be really honest, it was kind of funny to see the vocalist staring into the music stand while growling away the lyrics. However, they put up a good show, featuring Serberuz Hammerfrost (Draconis Infernum) on the bass and backup vocals.
I unfortunately missed Sammath Sathanas’ performance due to a relentless growling devil in the stomach, begging for food. However, judging from the responses and positive feedback, they seemed to be a crowd favourite, playing 3 originals and 3 covers and opening for Wormrot. Apologies to Sammath Sathanas for being unable to be present and do a justifiable review.
Wormrot [9] probably gathered the most violent crowds in the moshpit, with even one member of the crowd being dragged out perhaps due to exhaustion in the pit. Flying limbs and people jumping on each other weren’t an uncommon sight, but all in the name of good fun. Notable moments included the guitarist and vocalist taking turns to surf the crowd in the middle of songs, while maintaining their flawless playing.
When it was time for the last band, Draconis Infernum [9], most of the crowd has already dispersed, probably due to the time it was. Having kept the identity of their new vocalist a secret for a long time, everyone was curious who was going to complete the new line up. Surprisingly to most of us, Serberuz Hammerfrost (previously drums) took over bass and vocals duties and Syroth (Warsaw) filling in for drums. 2 new songs from their upcoming album were played, along with 3 from their previous album and a cover from archgoat.
Overall, was an awesome experience though the venue got pretty stuffy and suffocating towards the end of the gig with the lack of ventilation, excessive activity from the crowd and lots of loud live music. Thanks to JaarVis for this awesome gig line up, and the bands for putting up awesome performances!
Most horns in the air: WARSAW
Most violent moshpit: WORMROT
Most violent headbanging: DRACONIS INFERNUM
Special mention: STILLBORN

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©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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