Category Archives: Views From the Pit

Views from the Pit: Paul Di’Anno Live in Singapore

Paul Di'Anno Live in SingaporeFans of old school heavy metal rejoiced as Paul Di’Anno, the original voice of Iron Maiden hit the shores of Singapore last night. While Bruce Dickinson may be known as the air-raid siren for his works on The Number of the Beast and The Trooper, Paul Di’Anno’s work with the band has a more punkish vibe, with classics like WrathchildKillers and of course, the eponymous iron Maiden still being played by the current incarnation of Iron Maiden till this day.

Age may have caught up with Di’Anno, but the fiery spirit of punk and heavy metal still burns on in him, and fans gladly embraced the music of Di’Anno and backing band, Suicide Solution (yet another of my personal favourite local heavy metal bands). From the get-go, it is a nice trip down memory lane for followers of Iron Maiden, both young and old as Di’Anno belts out songs from the first two Maiden albums, Iron Maiden and Killers. While it has only been two days since Di’Anno arrived in Singapore, and the band has had hardly any time to jam together before the gig, the chemistry is still evident between the band and Di’Anno, sounding extremely tight throughout the entire set.

While the show could have easily been all about Di’Anno, he made sure that the members of Suicide Solution got their due credit as well, with the band playing the instrumental tracks Transylvania and The Ides of March to much support from the crowd. To keep fans excited, Di’Anno also often engaged in random banter with the crowd, constantly showing his appreciation for the undying support that fans have given to him throughout his musical career.

Unlike the Iron Maiden concert of 2011 that was held in the Indoor Stadium, Di’Anno’s gig was held in the smaller, but way intimate venue of the Hard Rock Cafe at Cuscaden, which allowed for fans to be as up close and personal to Di’Anno as possible. The close proximity between fans and the band allowed for fans to reach out to Di’Anno, with him returning the favour and showing his appreciation for the support, throwing up the horns and high-fiving fans that were within his reach.

After an hour and a half long set, Di’Anno finally ended the set with the song that most were waiting for the night – Iron Maiden. The first riffs immediately got everyone moshing and headbanging furiously, with virtually everyone present singing along to every words of the song. The end of the set left fans wanting more, and the band returned once again, with an encore of Running Free and Ramones‘ Blitzkrieg Bop, once more displaying Di’Anno’s punk roots and influences.

Kudos to Street Noise Productions for yet another well-organised gig, and for another memory for fans of Iron Maiden that will last for eternity.

Views from the Pit: The Simon Yong Band @Mosiac Music Festival 2014

Simon Yong Band

After the ergasmic Alien Stole My Whiskey, I finally got the opportunity to catch The Simon Yong Band live at this year’s Mosaic Music Festival.

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The first set kicked off at 7pm at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, and without wasting any time, Simon Yong kicked off the first set with a brand new song that was written, one that was still untitled at the point of the performance. The chemistry between the band was evident, with the band managing to sound extremely tight despite the progressive and technical nature of Simon Yong‘s music, which often included rather unexpected time signature changes, especially for those who are unfamiliar with his solo material.

Throughout both sets that the band played on that night, Simon Yong included material from both his debut album, Alien Stole My Whiskey and covers from established musicians such as Jeff Beck. Each of the members of the band, including Joanna on keyboards, Brandon on drums and Yazeid on bass, are extremely talented on their instruments. While I have already witnessed Joanna’s and Brandon’s playing with Shirlyn & The UnXpected, it was the first time watching Yazeid performing, and the sheer amount of skills that he displayed just blew me away.

Furthermore, Simon Yong makes sure that the night was not just about him, as he let each of the band display their chops with solos that are incorporated into the songs that were performed. For example, on the title track Alien Stole My Whiskey, there were extended sections for the solos for each of the instruments. There was also an atmosphere of fun and joy during the performance, from Simon and Yazeid playing the bass together, to the banter between the band members on their last song of the night.

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And also, the chemistry and sweetness between husband and wife:

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More photos right here.

Anyway, here’s a taste of what went down last night:

Views from the Pit: Singapore Rock Festival 2014

Singapore Rock Festival

The very first edition of Singapore Rock Festival finally ended last night with a bang, with Alice in Chains bringing the festival to a close. It has been a tiring two-day event for fans of rock music, but this was not without its ups and downs.

Day 1

Day 1 saw Black Veil BridesFive Finger Death PunchRob Zombie and Korn taking the stage. Being there at about 5.30, an hour before gates open, there was already a long queue forming, with the majority of those in the queue being teenage girls, probably waiting to catch cuties Black Veil Brides open the festival. And it wasn’t a bad choice to have Black Veil Brides as the opening act either, as these kids (as mentioned by a friend) probably had a curfew imposed on them, and the organisers are not gonna risk having kids grounded just to catch their favourite band. Jokes aside though, these kids really are dedicated, with some even putting on black camo paint on their faces in the shape of wounds and all that.

Oh my cuties! Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Oh my cuties! Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Anyway, I missed most of Black Veil Brides‘ set, with a growling stomach protesting against the price of food (and beer), and the ruckus on stage. Can’t say much other than the band managing to keep the kids happy.

Five Finger Doub - I mean - Death Punch. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Five Finger Doub – I mean – Death Punch. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Then came Five Finger Death Punch. Apparently they have an identity crisis, not knowing what style of music they wanna play. Cynthia even wondered why they can’t make up their minds about wanting to play ballads or just hardcore music. Why must they sing a ballad then insert some emo-ish screaming in the middle? Oh well. Gods of metalcore they may be, but I just couldn’t find it in myself to understand or enjoy their stuff.

Most of the kids cleared out after the first two bands, so it was just the older crowd left for the highlights of the night – Rob Zombie and Korn.

Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions.

Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions.

Rob Zombie may be a name that anyone who knows rock would have heard of, but it wasn’t until two weeks before the festival that I heard my very first Rob Zombie song through furious YouTubing, and I definitely liked what I heard. Right from the start of his set, he shows the crowd (and the bands before him) how a performance should be done. Kids who thought BvB were awesome should have stayed to know what a show really means. Anyway, the theatrics of Rob Zombie and his band quickly engaged the crowd, and the amount of jumping around by Rob made me worry about him falling, but he proved to be athletic enough to prevent injuries of any sort. Each of the members were also charismatic in their own rights, with even airtime given to Ginger Fish and John 5 for their respective solos. The best part of the set was when Rob ran to the sound tent at the back in the middle of J5’s solo, setting people at the back into a frenzy to grab a quick photo of the man. Oh and not forgetting the covers of Diamond Head‘s Am I Evil? and Alice Cooper‘s School’s Out.

Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Korn concluded the first night of the festival. Never really a fan of nu-metal, and never heard any Korn material before, so this was the first time hearing the band and I have to say I was left pretty impressed. While Rob Zombie‘s set was the best in terms of theatrics, Korn certainly takes the cake when it came to heaviness for the night. Every note of Munky, and every hit on the drums of Ray Luzier sent trembles (literally!) through my body, and on songs like Get Up, it almost felt like being in a club, no thanks to the dubstep that was on the song. The electronic sound of Luzier on the track left me rather fascinated, and was probably one of the most interesting things for me for their set. Jon Davis still maintained to charm the crowd, and despite the time of the day, the energy of the crowd was the highest with lots of headbanging, moshing, fist-pumping.

Day Two

Myles and Mark, my men. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

Myles and Mark, my men. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

The day I was really looking forward to was day two, for Alter Bridge. This was the day for proper music and technicality, and Alter Bridge started their set with Addicted to Pain. The loudness of the music at Fort Canning was certainly painful by this day, but man, with the music of Alter Bridge there is no way that one doesn’t get addicted to the pain. Myles Kennedy was stellar as usual, but it was an extremely different experience watching him perform live, belting out all his song with such perfection. To be honest, I was almost waiting for him to go out of tune, but not once, not a single time did it happen and he left me even more impressed than ever. I mean, not surprising, really, for someone who can hit the painfully high notes of Nightrain like it was nothing. And of course, there were also Mark Tremonti’s perfect solos.

New man on the block, William Duvall. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

New man on the block, William Duvall. Photo by Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

To end the entire festival, Alice in Chains had their very first performance in Singapore. Yet another band that I have not listened to before, and after the high energy performance of Alter Bridge, it was nice to have Alice in Chains headline and conclude the festival. With a nice mix of heavy songs and slower, more melodic numbers, fans of the band alternated between furious headbanging and (some) slow dancing. While DuVall had big shoes to fill after the demise of Layne Staley, he managed to keep the crowd engaged with his stage antics and of course, his voice. This may be the first time that I listen to Alice in Chains, but with the live experience, it will definitely not be the last time either.

Sure, Newsted may have pulled out of the lineup just a few weeks prior to the festival, and I honestly did not enjoy myself at Black Veil Brides and Five Finger Death Punch. But the rest of the lineup made this festival experience more than satisfactory, and despite the exhaustion and dehydration, Singapore Rock Festival was one hell of an experience. Kudos to LAMC Productions once again for such a memorable and awesome live music production.

Oh and of course, we gotta end off this post with one last photo:

Mr. Zombie and us.

Mr. Zombie and us.

Views from the Pit: Behemoth Asia World Tour Singapore

Behemoth Live in Singapore

The weekend of November 1st 2013 was a very festive one in Singapore. Depending on the culture you were born into, you were probably celebrating either Diwali or Halloween/Samhain. But the subculture of metal was celebrating something else on that Friday: the debut performances of possibly the most legendary Polish metal band till date and their opening death metal legionaries from Italy. Both Behemoth (PL) and Hour of Penance (ITA) have been having spectacular runs with their latest releases and their live performances and seeing both of them at the same show was for me a textbook example of having my cake and eating it too.

The show was slated to begin at 1900 hours at the SFCCA hall. Now if you’ve been attending metal shows in Singapore for long enough, you’re probably used to the peculiar location choices that some organisers make. Well this one was happening at a Chinese community centre. I happened to reach slightly late from work and Hour of Penance had already begun their set. Right off the bat: their sound setup was just appalling. Lead guitar too high in the mix, rhythm guitar almost non-existent and the constant barrage of low register noise signals from both bass guitar and drums just made the entire sound very muddy. Nonetheless, the sheer barrage of sound accompanying Paolo Pieri’s guttural vocals made for an enjoyable session. They powered through material from their latest album ‘Sedition’ and its predecessors ‘Paradogma’ and ‘The Vile Conception’ with total mastery of their instruments. Also part of the setlist was a new song titled ‘Regicide’, which was a surprisingly slower, more deliberate track; something one wouldn’t really associate with Hour of Penance. A notable aspect of the band’s live performance was the fact that vocalist/guitarist Paolo’s addresses to the crowd were in a death growl, unlike most vocalists who like to conserve that part of their throat for the actual songs. And with one such final death growl thanking the Singapore crowd, Hour of Penance ended their set to make way for Behemoth.

With 9 albums and a controversy-ridden past, Behemoth is usually the first name on peoples’ lips as a response to questions about blackened death metal. Watching them live removes all doubts as to why. As the choral score signalled foreboding over the PA system, the baphomet on the backdrop staring down at us all, touring drummer Krimh floated onto his throne first, corpsepaint and all. Guitar player Seth emerged from the wings next, followed by bass player Orion, each appearance eliciting a louder cheer from the hungry fans. Finally, vocalist/guitarist Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski walked over in his menacing, hooded garb as he stared knowingly at the crowd in its throes of lunacy. The score reached a crescendo and the instruments of the band ushered in opening song ‘Ov Fire and the Void’ with one united whole-note crash. Immediately evident was the great balance in the backline mix for all instruments, as well as the throat prowess of all three string players. Epic track followed epic track as the band continued with the title track from the critically-acclaimed ‘Demigod’ album. It was then time to address the Singapore crowd briefly, telling them that the next song would be from way back and indeed ‘Moonspell Rites’ from their debut EP And the Forest Dreams Eternally was played. A slow tune, vaguely familiar then sounded from their instruments, teasing the audience, daring them to guess the song. After another short address to the crowd, the band ushered in ‘Conquer All’ with that very tune. Now an anticipated aspect of their set was the new song ‘Blow Your Trumpet, Gabriel’, slated for release on the upcoming album titled The Satanist. And that was very song happened to be the next. It was slower and more deliberate but also quintessentially so. Also quintessential was the way the second half of the song went into total blast beat carnage, leaving a very well-rounded impression on the listener. The band then played the double feast ‘The Seed Ov I’ and ‘Alas, Lord is Upon Me’ from Evangelion and then we were halfway through their set.

That was when Nergal decided to give a little history lesson to the crowd. “2000 years ago”, he growled, “the Ancient Romans would say…Christians…” and his thumb went up. Already anticipated was the completion of that sentence and sure enough, as his thumb went maliciously down, “…to the Lions’ he growled. The band then launched into ‘Christians to the Lions’ from Themela.6, quickly going further back in time to 1999’s Satanica. They played that album’s opening track ‘Decade of Therion’. By now, the people watching had already taken in the band’s monstrous stage presence, Nergal’s preacher-like stares and gesticulations and another familiar tune would only make them more frenzied. As if to prove that very point, the PA blared the acoustic intro of ‘At the Left Hand Ov God’. I had held myself back for too long but finally gave in and rushed straight into the moshpit, facing full-bodied piledrivers but feeling really good about all of them. Drummer Krimh was joined on stage towards the end of the song by his drum technician for 4-armed snare-and-tom frenzy as the famously infamous ‘La Ilah Ila Allah’ chant blared on the PA. However, the fever pitch of the night’s events was to unfold one track later when the PA yet again blared the highly incoherent yet epic demonic intro of ‘Slaves Shall Serve’. This was the point when the crowd just snapped, losing all inhibitions and just colliding straight into each other. As one monstrously loud body, Singapore then chanted the three damning words of the track’s title and the song ended as abruptly as it had begun. A familiar tremolo tune then emanated from Seth’s guitar as the band went all guns blazing into ‘Chant for Eschaton 2000’, the speedy, millennial re-recording of the Satanica classic.

And then it was over. The band said their goodbyes to the crowd and walked off stage. But not for long as they came back, Nergal hoodless and with renewed blood on his face. The familiar tapping intro then resonated from Seth’s guitar and Thelema.6 was revisited in the form of ’23 (The Youth Manifesto)’. Darkness fell on stage following that. A rumbling, ambient tune came from the PA. The closing track from Evangelion was to fittingly close this concert as well. ‘Lucifer’ is a song that is slow, evil and yet stylishly executed. And to add to the style, Nergal wore his now trademark helmet. The song ended with the crowd thirsting for more but this time, all the band did was to salute them and just stride silently off the stage.

No amount of words is enough to describe the theatrical brilliance of this band’s performance: the way the band involved the crowd, the way Nergal’s eyes gleamed throughout the show, the sheer perfection with which each song was executed and the involvement of the lighting. As a fan of both bands, I left thoroughly satisfied, much like most of the crowd. Full props to Revision Singapore for making this happen and a mighty salute to both bands. Especially to Nergal, for beating leukaemia and returning stronger than ever to ‘conquer all’!

Views from the Pit: ChthoniC “Next Republic” live in Singapore

ChthoniC Live in Singapore

11st October 2013 saw the return of Taiwanese Oriental Metal overlords ChthoniC back onto Singaporean soil for their Asia leg of their “Bu-Tik: Next Republic” tour. Despite this being my third time watching them play, the first was their 2010 “Mirror of Retribution” Singapore date and then at Jakarta’s Hammersonic Festival 2012, I was still indubitably excited for the live ChthoniC experience.

After a brief wait, the band ascended onto the stage at Best World Hall along with roars of approval and applause from the visibly eager crowd of 200-300. The night started off with “Oceanquake” from their “Takasago Army” album and instantaneously, handfuls of hell-notes were flung with abandon into the air and the crowd lapped forward in vigor. It did not take very long for the crowd to warm up to the music as I could observe many started to headbang from the get-go (and mine as well); an organic reaction to the beautiful alchemy of ChthoniC’s music helmed by Freddy and his henchmen (and 1 woman) – Jesse, Doris, Dani and CJ. Towards the end of their opening song, Freddy picked up the er-hu (an oriental bow and string instrument) creating the signature beautiful blend of hauntingly brutal wall of music that is uniquely ChthoniC’s.

Going straight into “Next Republic” from their latest studio offering “Bu-Tik”, the musical assault only went in the uphill direction, in which Jesse flawlessly and almost effortlessly displays his prowess with his electric guitar. Peppered alongside with Doris’ luscious thunderous basswork, relentless battery of drumming by Dani and CJ’s , ChthoniC continued to dish out “Takasago Army” album’s “Southern Cross” and “Rise of Shadows” from their “Mirror of Retribution” record. Not one moment was spared as the hell-notes were continuously thrown with indignant pleasure by the crowd. This continual bombardment of air-bourne hell-notes were punctuated with the sea of upraised fists and devil-horns, completed with synchronized passionate headbanging created a very surreal trademark experience that arguably could only be witnessed at ChthoniC’s gigs.

In a bid to catch some breathe in between of songs, Freddy bantered with the crowd in a mixture of English, Mandarin and Taiwanese (which could be seen as an original and purer derivative of the local dialect of Hokkien). Remarking to the crowd that he feels great to be able to sing the Taiwanese lyrics in Singapore due to the ubiquitous usage of the Hokkien dialect here, and that Singapore is one of the very few countries that allowed him that lingual liberty of singing in both English and Taiwanese. Do I feel privileged and secretly proud of the multilingualism of being a Singaporean at that point? I sure do! And so did the Singaporean crowd as they cheered with fervent approval.

The crowd was then treated to the live renditions of songs like “Supreme Pain for the Tyrant”, “Set Fire to the Island” from their latest album, and one of their more famous hits from the “Mirror of Retribution” album – “Forty-Nine Theurgy Chains”. With “Forty-Nine Theurgy Chains” as one of my personal favourites from their catalog, I think it is quite safe to say I have lost all my sense of inhibitions at this conjuncture. This continued into songs like “Unlimited Taiwan” and “Quell the Souls in Sing-Ling Temple”, the crowd swelled with ravenous delight with the triggering of a mosh pit.

To close the night of oriental metal perfection, “Takao” from their “Takasago Army” proved to push things up one more notch with the crowd launched into a massive sing-along amidst the ceaseless communal headbanging during the chorus, creating an aggressively sublime experience where the band, their distinct brand of music, the endless throwing of hell-notes and the crowd merged into one single entity that I could be called as “The ChthoniC Experience”.

Thank you, ChthoniC, for yet another memorable night of musical madness. Singapore is already awaiting for your return!

ChthoniC on the internet:
Official website
Facebook
MySpace

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.

Views from the Pit: Baybeats 2012

Over the past couple of years, Baybeats has been a festival that I have eagerly looked forward to, especially with the increasing presence of metal, extreme or traditional bands in this free, local alternative music festival. This year sees Rudra back once again, taking the main stage on Friday night, the second time in three years headlining the first night of the festival to kick off this 3 day celebration of good music and fun.

Apart from the fact that they are probably the extreme metal band that has played the most on this annual festival, this year’s performance marks another milestone in the band’s career. Formed all the way back in 1992, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the band. And to celebrate this landmark event, Rudra has put in place numerous surprises in their Baybeats set for fans of extreme metal for the night.

As the band began setting up for their set at 9pm. half an hour before their set was scheduled to start, a crowd was starting to form, and as the first riffs for their sound check rang out, chants of the band name resounded throughout the area, displaying the enthusiasm and excitement that is in the air. After a long and anxious wait, the band finally kicked off their set at 9.30pm, with the first single off their newest album, Brahmavidya: Immortal I, entitled Now, Therefore… Despite the slight technical difficulties that were encountered by band mastermind Kathir initially, he took it in stride, and the years of experience on the road and on stage were evident.

This being the band’s celebration for their 20th anniversary, the set list contained songs that were taken from their entire discography. Right after opening Now, Therefore…, the band immediately broke into crowd-pleaser Aryaputra, and hair started flailing and mosh pits ensued. Throughout the set it was classics after classics, including tracks like Rudrapatni and Justified Aggression. In between songs frontman Kathir even made a couple of remarks regarding a certain China Wine, to the cheers from the fans of the crowd, with even the security guys laughing along.

Rudra finally closed their set with the crowd favourite, The Pathless Path to the Knowable Unknown, resulting in some of the harshest and most violently fun pit of the night. While it was overall a rather short set, the professionalism and musicianship displayed by the band had certainly made the set one that was extremely enjoyable and appreciated by the crowd.

Sunday saw home-grown heavy metal band, Cockpit take the stage. The last time that I caught them was at their Baybeats performance 2 years ago, with this year marking their return to the stage at this festival, and boy, they have certainly not lost the charm that made them such a fun and lovable band in the first place.

In their candid fashion, the band opens the set with an introductory track, with the lyrics being simply chants of “Cockpit”, before vocalist Johnny Danger makes a quick introduction to the band, reminding the audience that the band that stands before them are the chosen ones by the gods of heavy metal, as they break into their first track, Gods of Metal. The stage presence of the band was amazing, as guitarist Psyence Fyktion constantly going to the front of the stage to give the audience (and the photographers) a better view of his lead-playing, and the harmonised twin lead guitars.

In between tracks the band even broke into a “tuning song”, where guitarists Psyence Fyktion and Johnny Danger took a short break to tune their guitars and bassmaster Sludge entertained the crowd, interacting with the audience and giving out free Cockpit stickers. Right before closing track, the crowd favourite Crystal Ball, drummer The Collapse of Uncertainty ran off-stage to grab two crystal balls (geeky indeed!), which were thrown into the crowd in the middle of the track, further increasing that sense of entertainment and fun that the band has. Some other interesting points for Cockpit‘s set are the lighted-up picture of a cock in front of Johnny Danger’s mike, blinking according to the rhythm, and the nice Cockpit stand for the synths. And with Crystal Ball, the band ended their set, leaving the audience satisfied yet craving for more at the same time.

Cockpit‘s set at Baybeats has once again reminded the audience why these are the chosen ones by the gods of heavy metal, and was certainly one of the most enjoyable sets for the festival. The good, quality fun that the band evidently had, and the entertainment provided for the audience did nothing to affect the quality of the band’s musical output, and this is certainly a mark of a good band, complete with outstanding showmanship.

Heavy Metal Tribune would like to thank Steven Chew for the photos for Rudra’s set. Check out more of his works here and here.

Related articles:
Interview with Rudra
Interview with Cockpit

Rudra on the internet:
Official website
MySpace
Facebook
Sonic Blast Media

Cockpit on the internet:
Facebook
MySpace
Blog
YouTube
Twitter

Views from the Pit: Fall of Mirra album launch

Those who know my musical preferences will be aware that hardcore and metalcore are rarely my choice of poison, and local metalcore band Fall of Mirra‘s album launch is the first -core gig that I attend and I have to say, the experience has been a rather significantly different compared to the numerous metal shows that I have attended.

Unlike the numerous gigs that attempted to squeeze as many bands as possible into the lineup, Fall of Mirra‘s album launch only had 2 other bands on the bill apart from themselves – Embrace Them Ghosts and Allegiance, and unfortunately we had to give Allegiance‘s set a miss. Embrace Them Ghosts will be performing in the upcoming local alternative music festival Baybeats and their performance was a smaller-scale preview of what will be presented to their fans at their upcoming Baybeats performance. The band displayed their tightness as a unit, and the band’s infectious energy throughout the set, with the synchronised headbanging, among numerous other antics, caused members of the audience to break out into frantic mosh pits once in a while. Vocalist Haliff even remained below the stage throughout the set, having constant interaction with the audience.

Fall of Mirra finally took the stage after Embrace Them Ghosts, and right from the start of the set the energy in the crowd was infectious, with the moshing beginning right from the beginning of their set until the end, garnering some of the most brutal and intense moshing of the night. The checklist for a memorable night was all ticked; kung-fu moshing, circle pits and wall of deaths. The band reminded the crowd that the show was being filmed for an upcoming DVD release, which set them off even more. Vocalist Brandon’s constant interaction with the crowd also ensured that the audience is engaged throughout the set, and proves their experience as a live performance band.

While personally not a fan of the genre of music that the bands played, the album launch has certainly been an extremely successful one, and is definitely a night that fans of the bands will remember in time to come.

Heavy Metal Tribune would like to thank Hadi and Fall of Mirra for the invitation to the album launch.

Fall of Mirra on the internet:
Facebook
MySpace
YouTube
Twitter

©2012 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui