Winterfest in Review – Part 2

Yesterday Helldog gave his account of the first half of Winterfest ’12 and today Brutalviking dives headfirst into the “main event” of the night – the headliners, Strident and Mind Assault!

Before people ask, yes, I was there for the entire event and I saw most of the bands that Helldog covered. An honourable mention goes out to Beeldenstorm and Zombies Ate My Girlfriend, who got my head banging, and kept it groovy a la Bruce Campbell, respectively.

Now, after the psychotic death metallers Bloodbeast decimated the stage, it was up to local power metal stalwarts Strident, to bring fire raining down from the sky, and let me tell you, those bombastic warriors of metal pulled it off! From the first riff, the crowd was whipped up into a frenzy. I was especially impressed to see the younger crowd in the pit banging their heads with the older, grizzled bastards in the crowd, (yeah, I’m talking to you, Knights of Stridentia!).
Their performance was packed with the catchy, fist pumping antics one would expect, but what nobody expected was the guest appearance by George “Shredking” Engelbrecht, who is some sort of guitar god. Deon abandoned his guitar for half the set, letting the shredking show us what he’s made of! They performed new songs, along with their fist pumping classics “Blood Rage”, and “Power Metal From Space”. They also paid tribute to the kings of metal themselves, Manowar, with “Heart of Steel”, and once again proved that metal need not be serious, with a thunderstone cover of a Judas Priest cover of a Joan Baez classic, “Diamonds and Rust”. I hold my horns up high to these boys for a memorable performance!

Next up were self-proclaimed “ou ballies” of metal, Mind Assault. Much was anticipated from their long overdue return to the Metal4Africa stage, and they delivered, as only they know how. The hall was packed, and by opening the set with the national anthem, they had all enthralled. Personally, I haven’t seen these guys rock any harder, and without sounding cheesy, their performance, as always, was an assault on one’s mind. Hitting hard, hitting fast, leaving no one untouched as is their custom. They also debuted some new material, and it was very well received! They also gave us a taste of cheese, with their cover of the Duncan Hills Coffee jingle (originally by Dethklok of Metalocalypse fame), followed by a new, very liberal track, “Tiete”! They let flapper sing this one, with Jacques growling out the chorus, “Kyk net al die lekker fokken tiete!”, wrapping up their show with an old Mind Assault classic “Wielie Walie”. It was a show to remember, and if you missed it, you should be kicking yourself; in the mind testicles.

Next a touch of class graced the stage after the assault, in the form of BOB’s Beasties with exquisitely choreographed group performances and some pretty damn sexy solo dances. I have never seen a more attractive group of zombies (and I’ve seen damn near every George Romero film)! Always a treat; their set was a welcome break from the metal onslaught!

Finally, after months of anticipation, Axxon, Cape Town’s very own EBM industrialists graced the stage. It’s been ages since their last performance, as they have been hard at work on their EP Bite Your Tongue. It was well worth the wait, stomping out tracks to get the blood pumping late on a Saturday night. With a guest appearance from Crow Black Sky‘s Ryan Higgo, they even got M4A’s own Lord Doom to break down into what people are calling “The Doomstomp 3000”. If I had one complaint, it would be that the set seemed short, but I guess time goes quickly when you’re dancing the night away! Much respect to Axxon for delivering a sterling set.

And there it is. Short, I know, but in all honesty, you just had to be there. A night that shall live on in the annals of S.A. metal history as a night of glory; a night of beer, a night of POWER, TITS and STOMPING!

If you were there, why not order a shirt (unless you already have one,) now available at Subterania’s online shop. Then like me, and several others, you can say, “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!”