Views from the Pit: Full Battle Order 2012

Organised by Singapore-based label, Mourningsound Records, Full Battle Order was first initiated back in 2007 comprising of local & foreign bands. After a pretty long hiatus, this year marks the return of FBO, with 3 local acts and 4 foreign acts, but what really stood out and impressed me the most of this year was that this line up of 7 bands was put together for a single day of metal.

The gig kicked-off with the local act Stillborn. Having been busy recording their upcoming album, this marks the return of the band to the gigging circle, beating out tracks from their upcoming album. With frontman Sathish interacting with the crowds, it really makes them stand-out and kept the crowd going throughout their set. Unfortunately the band had to perform without its other guitarist Tharenii who was then out on vacation.

With just a 10 mins set-up time and a short break for us, Intolerant, hailing from Manila, Philippines is another band that caught my attention, not only because of their professional showmanship but also with the presence of their fellow countrymen cheering for them below the stage. It would certainly make them feel proud to see their fellow countrymen supporting them, playing song from their 2008 debut album Reasons for Unrest, tracks such like Clenched Fist and Agenda, really stood out well for me personally for the heaviness and groovy influences it had and with the vocalist versatility of switching between low growl, high shriek and even clean vocals at times, it really reminds me a lot of the Chaos AD-era Sepultura. And not forgetting their guitarist Joey being the only musician from Philippines to be endorsed by guitar brand ESP.

As soon as the set for Intolerant ended, Out or Blood the only local hardcore band on the bill certainly seemed weird in the lineup, as hardcore and heavy metal had its very own history in the past. But Out for Blood did not waste any time, performing material off their demo, proving that they can be just as heavy as any of the other bands on this event. Despite some technical fault in the middle of the performance, it did not slow the band down, leaving it leave a very good impression on the crowd with the band professional attitude.

Up next on the bill is Wynken Delirium from Malaysia, Johor Bahru performing a mixture of sludge & heavy metal, and I got to admit, my knowledge for sludge metal is pretty limited, but what stands out for this band is the incorporating the traditional instrument in their music. Unfortunately I had no idea what its called, and the set saw them performing material from their upcoming album which is currently mixing in Australia. Towards the last song the band even invite a good friend of theirs, Remy, frontman of local grindcore act Nafsu to perform Sepultura’s Refuse & Resist, pushing the intensity of the crowd even higher! Certainly I’m looking forward what these guys have to offer with their intense live show. They will also be one of the supporting acts for the Arch Enemy shows in Malaysia, proving these guys are hardworking and striving their ass off for the love of music!

Up next was Taiwan brutal death metal band Revilement. Having caught the band for the second time in the row this year, with the first being their Manila show, this batch of Taiwanese maniacs never fail to impress me, with the circle pits and massive headbanging showing that Revilement knows what to expect from the crowds. The band performed most of the material from their latest full length album Pillar of Balance and also one track, Raping the Comatose, off their Human Vivisection EP, I wouldn’t hesitate to watch them live again soon, being one of my favorite brutal death metal band.

With the crowd not getting even tired after all the violent moshing, up next was Singapore very own Truth Be Known who just came back from their Bangkok show a day before FBO 2012, and they certainly do not intend to slow down. As soon as the band performed their first track, the crowd kicked-off with the moshpits. The band mostly played material off their Asphyxihate EP. To push the boundary even further, at one point bassist Joshua was standing in the middle of the circle pits, showing the guys how important crowd interaction was to them. Another thing worth mentioning here was that with their sessionist drummer Vijesh (Absence of the Sacred) filling in for Gene, it certainly was a different experience as Vijesh’s technical and intense blast beats pushes the band beyond what the crowd expected. The band also performed one new track supposedly off from their upcoming release.

And finally, we come to the last band, playing a genre they call Samurai Metal is Gotsu Toksu Kotsu, led by bassist Haruhisa Takahata, previously from Defiled. It was a totally different experience watching these guys live, compared to Haruhisa’s work with Defiled. The band performed material off their debut album Mouryou released back in 2009, and these guys offered something different from the other Japanese band as they focus mainly on the samurai themes in their music. Haruhisa Takahata even went to the extent of asking the crowd on their knowledge on Japanese language before ending the night with an encore off their album.

©2012 Heavy Metal Tribune | Clarence

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