Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Find of the festival: Municipal waste live at bloodstock 2013

I have never in my life seen a moshpit starting before the band is even on the stage. That my friend is power of thrash and this outfit is one of the quintessential thrash metal band, which will just ram more and more thrash in your face as long as you keep chanting "Municipal waste is gonna fuck you up!". The chant was audible along the mosh pit, it was the war cry of the gig, a welcome prelude for their grand entrance. I was told that this is a pretty kick arse band and I should definitely check them out. As of now I really fully understand this band very well, but back then I had no clue who they were, what were they up to and what their music was like.
But as I would like to point out this band is my find of this festival and a very good find. I can listen to them for good amount of time. Initially their songs sounded same to me, which is pretty much true for any specialised genre at the beginning, but you need a lot of listening to find the distinction and appreciate the effort they have put in various songs. Municipal waste are comparatively newer to thrash scene and have a whole fresh take at the genre. Their songs are short and fast. In an interview I heard the lead singer saying it is hard to sing for longer duration and he don't really know his unholiness Sire Thomas Araya of Slayer does it.

Another noteworthy item is their poster and their album art is, as it looks like some kind of mutated waste containment unit or something. Pretty much all their albums are about either partying or thrashing or mutation of some kind, which is pretty kick arse theme for a band.
So I didn't know most of their song at that time and since they performed one song after another it was hard to tell which song was being played at the very moment. The performance was very tight, I was standing with my neck down and headbanging through out the whole performance, there was no fucking break.
They performed actually a lot of song for their slot time, which was in middle of the freaking day. This is list of all songs they performed thanks to setlist.fm:
  1. (inc Bass solo)
  2. Born to Party

    Pretty much after every song there was a chant of "Municipal waste is gonna fuck you up". Atleast there were people who knew these guys and understood their songs. I don't remember at this point if they talked to public or what did they say. For the most part of the gig my eyes were on the crowd or just head banging. I had no idea what antics band was upto, but from most of what I can recall there was nothing much but pure thrash coming from stage and simple high octane performance.
    I think somewhere in the end they performed the song "the art of partying" that is when the shit got really hyper. It is the song which have lyrics of "gonna fuck you up". This is one fucking skull crushing song and with face melting performance. The party was fucking at this zenith at this song. I have heard of crowd surfing and moshing wheel chair users. but I saw this myself in this gig. The dude was being pushed by the crowd and raise during one of the song. Totally respect worthy site, I love you all the crazy bloodstock metal head motherfuckers.
    I think another song they talked about was president Obama, which was a hilarious song title but interesting nevertheless.
    That was one of the maddest gig I have ever seen, the whole gig was one large thrash party. Anyway the last song they performed was Born to party, which is another great song form the album of the same title, it can be said that this is the best song to describe the band in one song. Fast, energetic, relentless and overall amazing.  I was too fucking tired by the end of the gig, so I got myself a wurst. I have since then, heard these guys quite a bit and they are now a permanent addition to my thrash list.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Metaruuu: Baby Metal live at sonisphere

Ohk well, this was the most anticipated band for me and quite a lot of people to be frank. Everyone was excited to see a Japanese band, which has model of a J-pop girl band and music from a Metal band. In a lot of way this sounds like something, which could totally be wrong with the whole thing to begin with. This is corporate created metal, which is just contradictory to the whole concept of rock n roll, but it might not be first band with such strong corporate backing. I mean, ofcourse ,the bands first earn name for themselves and then become a corporate entity or as they lovingly call them "sell-outs". But I don't know many Metal bands, which have been produced by label companies or other corporate entities. What makes it more interesting is that it has come out of Japan, which has produced some very good Metal bands in the past and lot of garbage corporate non metal music groups.

Anyway, the band started its performance with a good starting intro using Starwar style text and describing "how the gods of metal(Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth) wants to pass their torch to newer generation and that newer generation manifests itself as Baby Metal. They should go to Europe because all the road to rock leads to Europe". Well that was some tight marketing and packaging gimmick and I totally bought it. Everyone cheered and applauded when the band came on the stage, with musicians(drummer, guitarist and bassist) dressed in some kind of white Japanese clothes and the performers(singers and dancers) were dressed in small red and black frocks(or whatever the hell it was).

The band was not particularly bad, guitarist and drummer were tight and riffs were good. Later when these three girls started singing and dancing it was all a downhill ride for me. Not that they are bad singers, but it just doesn't fit the whole metal/brutal scene and seems like a terrible cocktail.  Meanwhile I initiated a new trend with some of my Scottish and Welsh buddies  of shouting "Metaruuu" at random times. To make shit more hilarious and ironic, they were moshing to the songs.
They performed following songs(courtesy setlist.fm)

At some point during performance they performed this chocolate song and all I can hear is "CHOCO-- CHOCO Letau!! chocoletau!!!!", which is my interpretation of their pronunciation. Another peculiar thing about the whole dance routine was they were making devils horns all wrong, it looked like they were making a shadow puppet sign for a deer. These girls took a break after 2-3 songs and then the musicians performed drum and guitar solos, which was a relief from the whole singing and dancing routine. They were fairly impressive lot. Later these girls came back and performed some other song which sounded like a record stuck in a tape recorder "ta ta ta ta ta.........", seriously that is all I could hear. The bunch was three girls I think two of them younger between 12-14 and older main singer was 14-16. I have heard somewhere when they get too old in J-pop world, the band continues with younger lot and older ones are fired. Seems like same fate might await these chicks in 2-3 years time.

The last gimmick they pulled out was requesting a WALL of DEATH using the same animated large screen display. I don't thing these girls could pull a request for a brutal Wall of Death directly since let's face it they are too KAWAII for that shit! Anywho, crowd was taking a piss, so there was a fucking WALL OF DEATH!!! who knew that would happen.
They ended happily after seeing the crowd response, not sure if they understood what was really going on. But I am happy that these kids were not treated badly as they could have in their first ever gig outside their home country, Metal crowd can be very difficult to please. The crowd dispersed with shits and giggles and there were few who were genuinely impressed and liked the whole thing. Each to their own.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Gojira live at sonisphere 2104

This was my third Gojira gig and I am sorry that I have not written the reviews for the last two YET. I have been too lazy and uninspired to write, but may be today I will complete a few. Firstly, let me make a giant claim that Gojira is the greatest thing that ever came out of France. That is indeed a big thing to say since France has given world with many great things and have centuries of glorious history but that has boiled down to Gojira being the final French fruit of labour. Gojira combines the greatness of individual free thinking of French with technical creativity of a heavy metal band combined with deep lyrics and complex musical composition. Gojira is a perfect band, I am not sure why they are not as big as they deserve to be, may be they are too chilled out to go out and sell themselves, but in coming times they are going to become one of the most important heavy metal band of all times. The kind of band, which will inspire upcoming generation of musicians and headline massive festivals.
Anyway on Sunday morning I was hanging out with my bloodstock buddies before heading to Gojira, but I ditched them since I was super eager to see Gojira from the front lines. To make the matter worse I basically ditched some cuties just to line up first for the Gojira. We reached on time, however the arena was not prepared, there were still barriers around and it took them about 15 minutes from the scheduled time to clear the barriers and let the crowd in. To add to the silliness, we ran to the arena as if it was a train leaving the platform, it was great fun. I was shouting "SPARTANS!!!! ATTACK!!!" while running.
So we waited for another 15 minutes before all equipment were set and sound test was being carried out, we were chatting with security folks and asking if they are going to cut down the time, but they said no, but the whole day schedules would be delayed by 20 minutes now.

The band appeared on the stage with Joe Duplantier waving his hands. They didn't say anything they just started with their first song from new Album "L'Enfant Sauvage" the song was called "Explosia". This is the first song of the morning for me, the double bass from twin bass drums were just exploding in my face while Joe running around the stage. I had opportunity to see Joe from 2 meters or so, but I couldn't capture him with the camera because he was running around and not staying in one place. This man is a master vocalist in league with Randy Blythe and Mikeal Akerfedlt. Well given this is Gojira, it goes without saying every blast beat follows a massive mosh pit and windmill headbanging. For me starting this day with such massive metal boner was just icing on the cake. The second song was also from the same album it was called "The Axe", I couldn't tell the name of the song but it is pretty distinct song and you know the riffs and drumming is damn amazing. After finishing the song, Joe came to the mic and asked if everyone is doing well, he is so mild mannered and well spoken that you would never take him for a vocalist of Brutal death metal band, (well not really, most of them are gentlemanly) but this guy has a whole different air of sophistication. He said they are not going to waste any time talking and started "backbone" from  "From Mars to Sirius". The song is pretty fantastic song, I haven't heard it many times to be frank, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying and headbanging to the fullest. He said, this next song is dedicated to the Death Metal fans, I knew what was coming next, THE HEAVIEST FUCKING MATTER OF THE UNIVERSE, one of the greatest song written in 2000s. The mosh grows larger, my windmill goes faster and each double bass and lead makes it all much better. Every hand in the air raising horns to the brutality that was ensuing. Lead guitarist of Gojira was hanging out mostly at the back of the stage playing, however the bassist was in front most of the time. He has those side burns which are so fucking amazing, I wish I can grow it like him, I have tried it in the past but not to great success.  To make matter a bit more sinister, Joe announced another beauty "Flying Whales". The crowd went absolute mental with this song being played. This is a crowd favourite in England. To be frank I don't know lyrics of the most Gojira songs by heart, but this is one song which most people were singing along. I must admit at this point Gojiras drummer is an absolute beast, the dude keeps the speed and tempo to the maximum. Though he is one of the most under rated drummer of current generation, I can easily compare him with likes of Chris Adler, who is easily the best drummer in this generation of Heavy Metal drummers.
And this is not even all, the next song was "L'Enfant Sauvage", this was getting better with each song. Absolutely phenomenal performance. Crowd was roaring with joy. Those sophisticated riffs were just pleasure to the ears and the drum thumps were thrilling the whole body. The last two songs they did were from the album "The way of all Flesh", which is my favourite album. They performed "Toxic Garbage Island" next, which is always the next song in my playlist after my favourite Gojira song, so I am pretty used to this one. The last song they did was "Vacuity", another highly energy filled performance. I enjoyed every bit of the performance.  Joe was talking about getting another album soon and coming back to us again. I cannot fucking wait to see them again. The greatest start for a morning I can think of. Well there is more to come for this sunday if I get down to writing more.