Upon hearing about a new venue opening its doors to the metal hordes in the Cape Town area, M4A’s Darkfiend did the rounds to suss it out, and to see some new bands as yet unknown to M4A’s collective ears.
After seeing that our writer for this event would not make it, I wolfed down my supper and set out into the night. Close to an hour and some 70km later, I found myself doing a slow drive-by through an eerie industrial park with my head out of the window, listening for any hint of this rumoured venue. By the third pass, some ADT Security guys started to regard me with suspicion. Luckily, I caught sight of a bare-chested, tattooed guy missioning with his girlfriend (one can assume) down an alley. He looked like the headbanging sort so I followed. Needless to say, the venue was not easy to find, tucked away in the furthest reaches of Montague Gardens, near Milnerton. But the first impression was good. Once I’d passed through the alley, people and cars were suddenly visible everywhere.
The venue is not spacious, but seems comfortable enough. Indoors is split into two. On the one side, you find yourself in a large room not too unlike Cape Town’s beloved ROAR venue. On the other side, there is a similar sized room sporting a bar and some sit-down-and-chill facilities. By this time, it was clear that I’d already missed the first band, Sonnet For A Dead Countess. The best anybody could describe them to me as was “Ya, they were pretty tight, hey.” and not a word more. Disappointed, I took a moment to visit the bar and observe the sort of people I was surrounded by. I definitely had the longest beard in the place – and, admittedly, was relieved when I saw that there were at least a few other bearded blokes around, poking out here and there amongst the many teens who were in attendance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for all-ages shows, but when youngsters outnumber adults 5-to-1, I begin feeling a little pedophobic – like as if it’s wrong that I’m there.
Fortunately, the next band was ready to begin and I quickly forgot my dawdling. I was actually genuinely impressed by Messiah Complex, a band fairly fresh off the starting block. Their facebook page describes them as metalcore, which is evident in their occasional use of breakdowns, and clearly in the vocal style. However, a far cry from many young metalcore bands who have come and gone over the years, their vocalist actually uses his voice in an artful and mature manner which I quite liked, and the breakdowns were not the star of the show, as is often the case with bands who describe themselves under this sub-genre. In fact, as I was listening to them, I got a much greater impression of what In Flames sounded like when they first started playing way back in the 90s. The drummer’s timing was intense. I also liked what the guitarists were doing, and although the lead guitarist pulled some tricks, I really cannot wait to see what the songs will sound like once he’s got another year or two of development to his credit. There is great potential there.
Next up was The Impalement Theory, lovingly called upon by their more loyal fans as “TIT!”. This was the first time I’ve got to see them perform, although they have been knocking about the scene for a while already. I cannot comment too much on their music because the bar was moving so slowly that it took me the full changeover time as well as half of their set to get a beer, but I got back just in time to see champagne spewing from the stage. These guys (and gal) definitely have a strong stage character. You can see that they’re very comfortable performing and enjoying themselves and I think that becomes contagious to their crowd as well, but I must confess that I enjoyed the music of the band before just a little bit more. I think it boils down to vocals and that I’m an “ou toppie” and appreciate more artfulness, where The Impalement Theory are more about “brutality”, as the name of the event so aptly described the night. So, I cannot really fault them on that.
By the time The Impalement Theory were finished, I was relieved to find a lot more of an older crowd filling the place in anticipation of Megalodon. This was Megalodon’s second public performance, but after their electrifying debut at the recent M4A SummerFest’12, I think a lot of people were expecting great things from this performance. And so they delivered! At the Double D’s Night of Brutality, they proved again why they are the exception rather than the rule. These guys are just five tons of pure “mannekrag”; bearded and ugly and heavy, heavy, heavy, the way metal exists in my dreams. They had the crowd up in a frenzy and held them there for every minute of the show.
Unfortunately, the venue seemed to empty out quite a bit after Megalodon as the next newbie band took to the stage. I felt a bit sorry for Blind & Deaf Jesse, but even so, I also soon had to begin the long journey back home. Truth is, although the band was kind of cool, they do not yet measure up to the three bands preceding them and the audience perceives and dwindles. But it’s early days still. I’ll be watching with interest at where these young men end up in another year or so. Keep it up, lads!
All in all, it was quite a lekker night out. Nice venue (once you find it,) great sound (with MacAudio Company supplying,) and nice enough people. I only hope that the venue has learned a bit from this first Night Of Brutality to be slightly better prepared for the next one – as I would easily have spent twice as much money had the bar been more efficient.
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