Johannesburg, South Africa: as the date for South Africa’s national finals of the Wacken Metal Battle surges nearer, the announcement of who this year’s judging panel will be has arrived.
The representation appears to draw from a diverse geography, including not only South African panelists, but also a guest from the Faroe Islands – another global power renowned for delivering an international winner in the competition. It also draws on dynamic input in terms of experience, with some members having been through the paces before as well as some fresh perspectives.
We have listed this years panel in order of direct exposure to the battle, locally and abroad:
Teitur Egholm Fossaberg
Teitur has not only served on the judging panel of his homeland since the introduction of the Faroe Islands into the international battle, but was in fact one of the founding members of the competition there in 2012. He has also served as a judge at the international finals in Germany since 2013. Apart from the Wacken Metal Battle, Tieter has served for many years in music management, tour management, and worked at Tutl Records. His current activities also include bookings/promotion on the Faroe Islands.
Patrick (yours truly) from Cape Town has served as a guest on the judging panel of the South African finals for each year of the competition since it’s 2013 inception in South Africa. Apart from being a fan and an experienced performer himself (Mind Assault & Terminatryx), Patrick has worked in many roles within the entertainment industry since 2002, including band manager, event promoter, stage manager, booking agent, and more. Ultimately, it is as an undying fan of metal music which has led him to settle into the current role of lead writer/editor at www.metal4africa.com.
Read the February 2017 article by Patrick: Wacken Metal Battle SA: score sheet revealed
Nathan, also from Cape Town, returns for his second round at judging for the finals. Proving himself a thorough candidate by judging the regional heats, Nathan was invited to last year’s finals and has since joined the Wacken Metal Battle South Africa team, which also saw him visiting the international finals in Germany for a first-hand taste. His background also includes being a scene personality not only as a co-presenter at the Build Your Scene podcast and a capable stage MC, but also as a vocalist who has guested for a number of bands as well as his own Rhakshah (coming soon).
Christiaan ‘LordBoo’ Bronkhorst
‘LordBoo’ from Middelburg, although a newcomer to the finals, has served for two years as a Wacken Metal Battle regional judge in Gauteng. Widely recognized by both bands and fellow fans as a ‘super-fan’, ‘LordBoo’ has not only shown his face at a massive number of shows in Gauteng, but also been seen traveling to other cities to revel in the joys of local metal of other communities in his homeland. In 2016, he also elevated himself to a promoter, hosting the first of his own series of shows. ‘LordBoo’ was publicly voted as fan judge last year and performed his duty to a high level of satisfaction.
Sammy from Johannesburg, although a newcomer to the Wacken Metal Battle, is no stranger at all to South African metal. An accomplished photographer, Sammy is also key coordinator behind entertainment brands The Metalist and Paper Scissors Rock. Her involvement and sheer level of commitment to metal and rock culture in South Africa earned her an invitation to participate on the judging panel for last year’s South African Metal Music Awards (SAMMA), for which her display of integrity ensured further need for her eyes and ears in other activities of national significance.
Heidi de Villiers
Heidi hails from Krugersdorp and has been following SA metal since the late 1990s and also built a reputation as ‘super-fan’, ‘super-gig-guide’, and ‘super-mom’ to cap it off. Heidi also runs her own blog and review site at www.kontrast.co.za where she pours out her adoration of all things South African and metal. The regional heats for Gauteng were Heidi’s first foray into the world of judging, yet her reasoning and balanced views have proven sound and satisfactory to have had her invited to sit the panel for the national finals.
Raynier will be traveling to the finals all the way from Kimberley, as he has often had to do when supporting metal bands to his liking over the years. He has been pouring much of his hard-earned cash into buying and trading local merchandise since the early 1990s and confesses an obsession with local metal, which also led to his part-time running of a local printed zine. Selected as another fan judge, Raynier will bring a unique element to the panel as having never been exposed to Wacken Metal Battle judging before, thus potentially offering an interesting wildcard possibility to the existing fellows of the panel.
The finals take place at Rumours Rock City on Saturday 06 May, and features one of the most powerful all-local metal line-ups that will be seen in South Africa all year. For full event information, visit the official facebook event page.
South Africa’s national finalists are (A-Z):
Maximum Carnage (Pretoria)
Megalodon (Cape Town)
My Columbine (Pretoria)
Ohgod ( Cape Town)
Only Forever (Johannesburg)
PSordid ( Johannesburg)
Reverse the Sands (Cape Town)
Spectral Realm ( Johannesburg)
The Overmind (Durban)
Performance times to be drawn on the day of the final.