On the 29th of January 2011, Metal4Africa’s annual Summerfest descended on Stellenbosch once again! Featuring 7 killer bands from the Cape Town surrounds and a touring band from Jo’Burg, Summerfest ’11 raised the flag for South African metal once again and held it high in the face of the more commericalized, student revelry happening just over the road! Three fans give their account of the event below.
Half a year down the line, a different season and a pulsating Stellenbosch set the scene for this year’s Metal4Africa Summerfest. The day was a scorcher, yet devoted metal heads headed en masse to witness their favourite local practitioners of ‘the Devil’s music’.
On arrival, after rushing frantically to meet the 17h00 start of the first band, I excitedly entered the venue. Surrounded by the steadily building hordes of black clad metal warriors, draped proudly in the colours of their chosen sub-genre, I was met with the sounds of an african stampede as Suiderbees launched their assault on the crowd. The battle-cry was sounded and the festival had begun. Spiked and chained revellers pitted themselves against one another in the moshpit to the gutteral war-cries, pounding double bass drums and shredding guitars of the Beast from the South.
The hordes were blindsided by this band of cleverly disguised, guitar-wielding jocks. From those unbeknownst came a pounding of steel chords and racy, yet throaty rock-metalcore. If they did not impress themselves on the masses musically, their outfits surely drove itself deep into the memory of those pitted before them.
Returning to the lair, an orc-like creature from the wastelands of Jozi mocked the audience in a vivid display of the eerie world of Black Metal. With ominous screeching tones, Erebus proceeded to spurn the beasts from the pit, raising more than a few demons among the enraptured spectators. Overall, a stunning display of what the darkest depths of South Africa can produce!
I unfortunately missed out on the first two bands, but managed to catch Regicide. I haven’t seen them before and was pretty impressed with their take on symphonic metal.
Throatball? You don’t know what to think of them at first, but then you get caught up in the fun of the whole thing. Mixing metal, punk, ska and whatever else together with some interesting lyrics, you can’t help but love it. It’s a pity that it was their last performance.
Near the end of Stellitius‘ set, the band gave away a Jackson guitar. The guitar was up for grabs through a lucky draw that anyone could enter for free, earlier during the day. They pulled the names out of a hat/container and it went to one lucky audience member!
Earlier in the week, Strident had released their debut music video based on the song “Power Metal From Space”. Their Facebook presence was all a buzz with the new release and the excitement was still felt at the Metal4Africa stage by both the band and the fans. In spirit of the newly released video, Deon (vocals and lead guitar) asked the crowd to sing the catch-phrase “Power Metal From Space”. They did so and to the band’s great surprise continued singing the entire chorus with full force! Every word rang out perfectly clear and it was obvious that the majority of the people in attendance knew the words. You could clearly see the shock on the band’s faces as they didn’t see that coming at all. Being one of the proud First Order Knights of Strident, this was definitely the highlight of the show for me.
At the end of their set the crowd was so hyped up that there was roaring applause and there were chants for more. Unfortunately no matter how hard they shouted, the band wasn’t allowed to play more and despite that minor let down, Metal4Africa Summerfest closed off with a roaring high. Every year the Metal4Africa festivals manage to out-do the previous ones. If this trend continues then I absolutely cannot wait for the next festival!
Thank you to Ike, Wayne and Pieter, respectively for their opinion of the event! See you all at Winterfest ’11!