Heavy 17


IMG_9956.JPG Another fantastic night at Orange Peel. We all love these heavy shows in the middle of Lan Kwai Fong. Big love to Jack Daniels for keeping the bands and audience refreshed. The four bands made for an amazing line-up that had one of our best Heavy turnouts. Thanks to The Underground Team for their awesome hard work. Thanks always to our amazing reviewer El Jay.
那天在Orange Peel舉行的表演很棒!我們都非常喜歡!謝謝Jack Daniels協助我們令觀眾投入整晚的音樂,以及4個演出單位。還有感謝The Underground團隊和我們的樂評人。​
❤️ Chris B xx


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Shadow Black

1. Black Storm (Theme)
2. Let’s Fight
3. Rebel Night
4. SpitFire
5. 罪惡城
6. Enter Sandman (cover)

The Underground took a few months break from Heavy nights, but that didn’t mean that anything was held back upon its return. Shadow Black proved the ideal band to open Heavy 17 – or any metal show, for that matter – will a carefully-crafted set that rocked ridiculously hard. On opener Let’s Fight, fuzzy riffs took off into the air like an angry swarm of hornets. A few cymbal crashes made way for guitar reminiscent of Muse on Ashamed alongside doomish, Metallica-tinged bass. The riff was actually the same as Shotgun Politics’ 852, one local music-savvy punter noted. Lead singer Alvis had a Bruce Dickinson shrillness to his voice, which sounded somewhere between growling and singing. Champion’s bass was way too loud, but this was quickly rectified by the sound guy after the first song.

The band went back to basics for Let’s Fight, a meat-headed mosher of a song with a simple, Megadeth riff and shouty vocals. For Spitfire, Alvis’s guitar closely channelled Master of Puppets, while lead guitarist Kurt played a high blues solo, which gave the piece a more driving classic rock sound. ­Having crept back up again, the bass was so loud that it reverberated in the ribcage – though it was probably something to do with the set-up of Champion’s instrument, rather than the amps. The track closed with a classic, ballsy Muse breakdown riff.

Though each song was strong and well-rehearsed, nothing stood out as much as 罪惡城. With a riff straight out of the Metallica handbook, the song experimented with tempo and making both guitars sound as beefy as possible. Champion and Alvis barked lyrics in sync theatrically, but drummer Paco stood out with his shifting rhythms. The extended track took on a doom-laden Sabbath vibe during a seamless segway into a thrash interlude. Alvis shredded feverishly while his bandmates continued to hit heavy with bass-laden ’80s-style metal.
Shadow Black’s music had recalled Metallica so many times during the set, that it was only right that they signed off with an ode to the US rockers. Their rendition of Enter Sandman was a neat, note perfect cover, delivered with just the right amount of taut guitar, smashing drums and vocal snarl. The song is covered so often that it can be hard to pull off with conviction, but Shadow Black mastered it in a solid and technically brilliant performance.

– El Jay

不同嘅樂隊對「重型」音樂一詞會有不同嘅演譯。Heavy 17,一個禮拜四晚上,齊集蘭桂坊Orange Peel嘅觀眾見證咗四場截然不同嘅表演。

首隊演出嘅Shadow Black出場時,四名成員身穿整齊嘅黑色制服,氣氛壯重。佢地係一隊典型嘅重金屬thrash metal組合,從可以聽得出,佢地風格特別受到Iron Maiden、Metallica等八十年代樂隊影響。雖然主音Alvis聲線可能唔及前輩沙啞,但係夠彪悍,表演時亦一樣熱血、投入。

Shadow Black編得最成熟嘅一首歌,無疑係變幻多端嘅「罪惡城」。呢首歌聽落係由十幾廿個重金屬結他riff拼出黎嘅經典樂曲,單單前奏一段就彈咗差唔多兩分鐘,然後係源源不絕嘅音諧、速度變化,一段glam metal、一段thrash、再配高音嘅結他solo。雖然呢隊組合四首嘅原創歌曲喺風格上變化唔大,但係單單一首「罪惡城」,已經令聽眾印象深刻。

– Elson Tong


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GoGo Monster

1. Disappointment
2. Whig Party
3. Indie Pop 冚家剷
4. Nic Fit
5. Faulty Plumbing
6. Landlord

The Underground stages welcome all kinds of wonderful freaks and weirdos, but no one at Heavy 17 had prepared themselves for the utter mayhem of GoGo Monster. The masked three-piece tramped onstage wearing DIY-“bloodstained” shirts and dad shoes, and the crowd began wondering how a band with no guitar could possibly meld into a Heavy night. The tag shock rock wouldn’t quite cut it for a group that blends peculiar performance art techniques with outsider music, punk, jazz and metal.

We’ve come to rock all you mother-fuckers!” roared singer/wind instrument player Callum MacKenzie as the band launched into Disappointment, a discordant melding of punk bass and shrieking flute. Second song Whigs was introduced as “about something dear to my heart … wigs!” The singer then entered into a macabre monologue about how he makes wigs for a living, while he held the mic like a clarinet. His words mixed with flute echoes from his looper pedal, before he shouted “she’s screaming” over and over to finish the song.

Indie Pop mixed a Native American war chant melody with squawking sax and strummed bass, before ode to smoking Nic Fit extolled the virtues of nicotine. It was the kind of jangling cacophony David Byrne would have been proud of. Faulty Plumbing, a song “about how your plumbing gets fucked up”, struck a chord with the audience as the lyrical style moved more towards surreal ranting instead of incoherent freak-out. MacKenzie’s delivery became increasingly demented as he sang, “hair in my pipes, coming back up again” to Blue Kwok’s Faith No More drums. While jumping around like a jackalope, MacKenzie tried to leap off the stage and hit his head on one of the speakers suspended from the ceiling, releasing a shower of dust and causing a sharp intake of breath from the room. Thankfully, he carried on bouncing.

The crowd particularly got on board with the sentiment of final song Landlord, aka, “Someone special and dear to our hearts who’d do anything for us.” If The Shaggs had a flute, they still wouldn’t have been anywhere near as inharmonious or hilarious. Flutey squeaks and a Pixies bassline slowed into a reverb-laden crescendo finale. Weird, disturbing, but ultimately a big pile of fun.

– El Jay

GoGo Monster一開波時已經申報利益:佢地唔算得上係樂隊,而係為觀眾帶黎視覺藝術表演嘅組合。萬聖節已經過咗四日,但係三個人好似啱啱從派對走出黎,戴上面罩、成身都係血。佢地攜帶嘅樂器竟然只得鼓、低音結他、同埋長笛以及色士風,吹笛嘅主音Callum彷彿有少少Peter Gabriel嘅身影。

「歌曲」呢個概念並唔太適用於GoGo Monster,筆者真係聽唔出佢地玩咗六首歌。嚴格黎講,主音Callum係亂嗡講咗六段唔太正經嘅故事(題材包括通渠佬、剃頭髮),中間穿插一段又一段嘅音樂。但係其實,佢地三個都係從音樂學校畢業,喺演奏方面好有經驗。佢地嘅風格可以形容為受到龐克同埋迷幻影響嘅即興爵士樂,速度快、氣氛激烈,長笛同低音結他不時撞音,而鼓手Blue直程係打咗連續三十分鐘嘅solo,技術過人。在場好多觀眾都冇諗過音樂可以咁玩,包括筆者。
– Elson Tong


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1. Justice
2. 1st rule
3. Train
4. This is what I want
5. Stand strong
6. Steadfast
7. Palisade (cover)

It was a night of loud bands, but none as noisy as FightxClub. The hardcore quartet drove their genre to its limits with seven abrasive songs. Channelling aggressive acts like Hatebreed and Terror, the band were the only act of the night to incite moshing.

The delivery style of frontman “The Fight” used cracked vocal yelps interspersed with belching growls, in a similar vein as Suicide Silence on songs like Train. His voice grew to anguished screams on This Is All I Want, over fast, pulsing bass and a simple metal riff. The drummer hammered his snare as cymbals rang out, before guitarist The Means broke into a rapid, finger-tapped solo in a metalcore breakdown. Stand Strong channelled Funeral for a Friend’s She Drove Me to Daytime Television in hoarse yells and punk-inspired guitar. All members jumped around and headbanged to some heavy rhythm: the bass was tuned so low that the slack strings bobbled and gurgled. 

Brutalist drums, grunting bass, furious barks and guitar revving like a muscle car defined Steadfast. The Fight started a chant of “fight fight fight”, encouraging further violence, before indulging in some pretty pop punk “woahhhs” to get everyone singing. Final song Palisade began with what sounded like metal’s answer to Blondie’s Call Me on the guitar. The high-song signed off a lean, mean, testosterone-fuelled set, confirming the irreverent FightxClub as a force to be reckoned with on the Hong Kong hardcore scene.

– El Jay


FightxClub玩得最精彩嘅一首歌,無疑係改編自荔枝王嘅「Stand Strong」,可想而知呢隊老牌樂隊對香港獨立音樂嘅影響力有幾大。呢首歌非常適合現場表演,鼓手以片刻停頓操控觀眾嘅情緒,主音一開始獨自一個吶喊,然後係成隊樂隊突來嘅爆發,前排嘅觀眾,全程都跟住拍子跳。四人喺一片「We want more! 」嘅呼聲下,玩咗歇斯底里嘅七首歌。
– Elson Tong


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Ancient Spirit 古幽靈

1. The Grand Conspiracy
2. Chastisement
3. Black Mass Exorcism
4. Midnight Symphony

A night of diverse sounds was crowned with the regal mysticism of Ancient Spirit. Incredibly, the band has been around since handover, but singer Cecelia was a relatively recent addition to the line-up. The Grand Conspiracy gave way to gothic cliché with creepy fairground organs from keyboard plater Tony Wong. With Cecelia’s swishing lace robe and Amy Lee vocals, the band hammed up the Halloween vibes. Things took an interesting and unexpected turn when Kenny twinned his galloping guitar with low, Mongolian-style folk chanting – his weather-beaten snarl against her ethereal opera.

Cecelia elevated her voice beyond goth rock songstress on Chastisement. The song began with Middle Eastern wails before smashing drums and heavy down riffing joined in the dark mix. Wong’s bell chime keys twinkled ominously alongside the singer’s sharp yelps. It was mesmeric, transporting and easily the performance of the night. Drummer Bruce Lau brought out a djembe for a raw, rhythmic close.

It was the first time Ancient Spirit had played Black Mass Exorcism live. A strong, heavy melody rode atop soaring operatic vocals over staccato riffing and eerie piano arpeggios. Kenny’s voice grew into a coarse growl amid slowly beating bass, choral keys and a snapping snare.

Final song Midnight Symphony consisted of spoken lines before a djembe and bass rhythm kicked in for an early music vibe. This cast a ghostly spell before the drums suddenly snapped and both guitars kicked in, galloping over the plains and cementing a set of awesome power. Ancient Spirit put on a spell-binding, skin-tingling show, and we can’t wait to see them play The Underground again – next time with a longer set.
– El Jay

Heavy 17當晚最後一隊表演嘅樂隊係古幽靈(Ancient Spirit)。呢隊六人組合嘅出現令到氣氛立即嚴肅起黎,表演時歌與歌之間一言不發,主音Cecilia打扮悉心,身穿黑色長裙,猶如出席一場喪禮。

古幽靈風格可以描述為Nightwish等哥德類型金屬,但亦受到progressive rock、甚至古典音樂影響,每首歌都編得十分豐滿。喺第一首歌「The Grand Conspiracy」率先出場嘅就係壯重嘅電子琴弦樂,女主音嘅幽靈式呼叫,同埋男結他手嘅吶喊。主音Cecilia其實非常有技巧,唱第二首歌「Chastisement」以及第三首歌「Black Mass Exorcism」時,佢聲線不斷飄動,令人聯想起Cocteau Twins嘅Elizabeth Fraser。雖然當晚嘅表演比較短,但係觀眾似睇咗一場電影,古幽靈嘅每一首歌都彷彿有背景故事。
– Elson Tong

Photos by ​Angus Leung.
由​​​Angus Leung攝影.
Poster by​ ​​​​Angus Leung.
海報由​​​Angus Leung​.

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