Entrance was free, the line-up was impeccable and the gang was game, therefore our mission was clear, a mid-week metal adventure to Pretoria to escape from the mundane “back at work” regime the new year has brought with it. Armed with anticipation and metal thirsty ears, we piled into my little Chevy and embarked on our mini roadtrip into the night.
Albeit small, Factory in Centurion is always buzzing with an alternative energy and remains an underground and jock-free venue that caters for just about any non-commercial niche. Gig-goers were sauntering around the balcony area and sipping Black Label while eagerly waiting for the metal mayhem to ensue.
One of my personal favourites, Killatoria, where first on stage to release the beast and provide me with my heavy metal fix. This young and talented quartet never ceases to amaze me with their relentlessly heavy yet classic sound. While most younger metal heads sport skinny jeans, emo hairstyles and a mainstream driven liking for deathcore, Killatoria is clearly influenced by the more old school slow and heavy fundamental building blocks of metal. The moment they started ripping up the stage, my head began swaying involuntarily to the heavy riffs complimented with ease by Adri’s deep guttural growls. I always wonder where these boys will be a few years down the line seeing as they have mastered the art of heavy metal at such an early time in their lives.
Hailing from Pretoria, Boargazm were next on the menu with a set that was about to blow my mind. With members coming from well established old SA bands such as FUCK and RhütZ, I knew that despite certain stigmas attached to the ‘pig squealing’ genre, Boargazm would not disappoint or sound like a thousand other bands out there. I was all too right. To add a little something different to their performance, the band members wore latex pig masks throughout their theatrical performance making it a visually entertaining show without compromising on the quality of the music. I watched in awe as Boargazm pulled off a high-energy set that was both brutal and potent in terms of well orchestrated metal. What sets them aside in their chosen genre is the fact that they flawlessly maintain a balance between chaos and melody. Amongst the grind-style madness, they worked in classic heavy metal breaks and beautifully melodic riffs to form an interesting contrast in styles. Being partial to percussive bass, the way the bassist was slapping at the strings appealed to me deeply and added solid heavy structure to the music.
A well respected muso within our scene, Chris “Danger Thunderbolt” was very entertaining with his infamous “Fuck You” guitar, energetic stage presence and well crafted riffs delivered with so much talent. I managed to have a quick chat to Chris before they jammed. He described their genre as “swine-core” and gave mention to metal gods Pantera as one of their influences. Maintaining the thrash element in this fairly new style of metal makes Boargazm unique. Despite this genre being one our scene is rather unfamiliar with, Boargazm reeled in the crowd and had many heads banging profusely to their music. A breath of fresh air, this band is rich with versatility without over doing it.
To end off the night on a good note, Emperium played a soothing set that remains unchallenged in its slower yet intense, heavy feel. Being no strangers to the stage, they delivered a great performance despite a few technical glitches and took me right back to my metal roots.
Needless to say, my neck suffered a stiff state the following day with me being a bit out of practice after the holidays, but it was definitely worth every ounce of pain! I look forward to watching Boargazm change the general conception surrounding the “pig squealing” and experimental sides of metal. I am beyond thrilled that this exciting new project comes from well oiled and experienced musicians that can do it right and have most certainly earned the freedom to experiment and shift boundaries without taking a step backwards.