Our third show in 2019, celebrating 15 years, continued with our popular Heavy showcases. We welcomed back Cursed Eyes and three other bands, new to The Underground stage, to perform their heavy music to an eager audience. Thanks guys for showcasing your best songs for a truly memorable night. Thanks so much to Ally, Kate & Leon for filming, audio recording & photography, Matt, Jasmine & Oscar for their reviews, Yo and Sophie on door duties and to Bun for extensive IT and visual duties. Let’s go heavy again before the end of the year!!
2019的第三個演出節目，慶祝The Underground HK十五週年，繼續有我們受歡迎的重金屬搖滾！很感謝Cursed Eyes和其餘三個樂隊再次重返The Underground舞台演出，令聽眾再次感受到精彩的重金屬音樂。在此感謝樂隊令當晚變得精彩過癮！感謝Ally、Kate和Leon的拍攝、錄音及拍照工作，感謝Matt、Jasmine和傑仔的音樂評論，感謝Yo和Sophie入場接待，感謝Bun的技術及視覺效果支援。今年之前再好好地重搖滾一番啦！
❤️ Chris B xx
1. river of blood
2. be my sacrifice
3. frezzing to death
4. madding angel
5. unholy night
6. future in my eyes
作為開場樂隊，Cursed Eyes開頭的兩首歌 River of Blood & Be My Sacrifice未有太大驚喜，比較似為聽眾稍稍熱身。第三首歌Freezing to death就絕對展現了樂隊的特色，以及其與一般重金屬搖滾樂隊的分別。此歌緩慢而不失重金屬味，主音的死喉在這首較慢的歌中展露了個人風格，穩定地唱出死喉低音，呈現與歌名一致的感覺，使聽眾緩慢地感受到死喉的逼近、纏繞和漩渦式的重金屬風格。其餘曲目Madding Angel, Unholy Night & Future In My Eyes則較普通，偶有爆發位，但卻失去了第三首歌的獨特死亡韻味。
Even though it stated that this band plays melodic death metal, the band displayed a bit of a mix of metal styles, ranging from trash to hardcore punk to doom to death to black. The gig was high energy. Using samples at the beginning of songs added to the atmosphere, creating a solid foundation for what was to come. The use of solos and the various styles brought forward in single songs certainly didn’t create boredom. The sound was tight and the players skillful. I heard Exodus and Slayer, Paradise Lost, Bloodbath and Arch Enemy. Certainly fans of these bands would be well catered for. Vocals ranged from growling to screeching; again, it seems the band wanted to present a vast spectrum of abilities and styles, however, at times, it seemed a bit all over the place. All band members definitely possess the skill.
– Matt Harris
Wreckage of Progress
1.Beneath The Truth
3.Game Of Throne
5.Such a liar
Wreckage of Progress一進場便進入狂野狀態，整個樂隊很快就合拍地一齊瘋狂FING頭，勁有味道，而主音在唱歌之餘不忘Stage Dive，甚至去到聽眾群裡一邊唱一邊跑，顯然將聽眾正式帶入重金屬世界，是令重金屬樂迷最爽的一隊。樂隊的歌曲風格較一致，均是過癮、充滿力量的經典重金屬風格，但亦因此沒有哪首較為突出，歌曲Game of Throne算是擁有較亮眼的旋律，而Such A Liar則在經典過癮的重金屬風格中帶有一絲哀怨的特色。歌曲段落之間的反差亦不太明顯，可以嘗試加強反差味道。
“Tonight, you are all going to die.”
A pre-recorded electronic voice utters these simple words as six black-clad men take the stage one by one. Punctuated by vivid red lighting and a space-synth backing track, this theatrical procession oozes a brooding, nu-gothic aesthetic.
Think Matrix 2019, but with guitars.
Straight from opening track Beneath The Truth, Wreckage of Progress grab you by the throat and demand your attention. Heavy, drum-driven tracks are paired with keyboard synth to pack a defiant punch not dissimilar to the sound of electro-metallers Underøath.
Explosively energetic frontman Billy executes those fry screams to perfection, the deliciously demonic, guttural growls echoing an early Olli Sykes as he makes full use of his stage space as well as that of the audience.
Not only does he enjoy weaving through them mid-song, but Billy has another unique method of engaging his audience: actively heckling them.
The peroxide blonde embodiment of mischief, he repeatedly spits profanity at a baying crowd, taunting them from his perch atop a stage amp to “buy our f*cking EP from the f*cking flashlight corner [where the merch table is].”
The more he insults them, the more the audience cheers in delight.
The show is not without its (modest) share of wobbles. I would have loved to hear more from the keyboardist, SHIF, whose input I found added a compelling cross-media texture upon which I focused at first blush. The clean vocal choruses, whilst featuring catchy melodies, were almost drowned out by the instruments. Perhaps the breath behind them was a touch shallow, resulting in less power and projection.
However, when it comes to showmanship, passion, and technical cohesion, it really can’t get much better. This is a band which clearly loves what they do. Maybe it’s the beaming smiles briefly flashed between the members. Maybe it’s the perfectly synchronized headbanging during anthemic track Reflection. Maybe it’s how seamlessly the rhythm guitarist saved himself from a potentially serious fall and managed to correct the offending shaky amplifier before Billy came bounding back up onstage.
Whatever Wreckage of Progress’s secret ingredient is, the result is an electrifying concoction of cleverly layered synth metalcore, performed with such fiery intensity that you struggle to decide where to look.
I nearly forgot I was in the red light district.
– Jasmine Gould-Wilson
2.life is too short
3. pac man
K’ SCOPE 萬花筒雖然並非傳統重金屬風格，反而更偏向龐克搖滾，但仍然足以支撐現場的Heavy味，外國聽眾似乎尤其熱愛此樂隊，首首歌都投入狂FING。樂隊較為亮眼的是開首的理念對立作戰及Restart，副歌位不斷重覆歌詞「理念對立作戰」及「Do you hear? Do you see?」確是過癮。但在這些過癮為主的龐克搖滾歌曲中，歌詞卻是密實而文藝，承載了大量具說教意味和有深度的文字，在高亢的現場中快速吐出這些文字，則有些搞笑，但又可說是樂隊的特色之一。總括而言，樂隊歌曲的旋律處理得不錯，令人印象深刻。
Punk rock may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the word “Heavy”. At least, not alongside other bands who tout deathcore and prog-metal as their musical influences. Admittedly, I was skeptical.
K’scope, however, are nothing if not totally contrary.
For a self-proclaimed punk band, they acquired a more distinctly rap-metal quality as their set progressed. Words were spoken, sometimes yelled or growled (but never sung) over driving guitars. Songs were indeed peppered throughout with characteristic punk riffs, catchy in their celebratory yet discordant nature, and interspersed with System Of A Down-esque shredding.
But then Shake City featured a twenty second guitar solo, which loaned itself more to the realms of grandiose arena rock. After this came a sudden, rhythmic staccato guitar break, the drums rasping out a Rastafarian groove before surging back to heavy rock with little in the way of relevance.
As the lead vocalist clapped her hands above her head in a questionable move to encourage a clap-along during a non-melodic bridge, and later unsuccessfully trying to instigate a circle pit, there was palpable confusion.
Although providing a unique break from convention, some of these sudden genre-bending moments felt unnecessary, out of place, and haphazardly spliced into songs.
Short for kaleidoscope, K’scope’s name seems to serve them well. Their talent is unquestionable across multiple rock genres, but it fails to find a home in any of them. Yes, genre is transient. Music would be dull if no one challenged its constraints, after all. But it is apparent that K’scope may have yet to settle into their sound as a band, and the effect is an unexpectedly fragmented one.
That being said, they certainly proved themselves worthy of the title “heavy”. Able to swap with ease between Cantonese and English, K’scope have formidable potential to appeal to broader audience demographics here in Hong Kong. And hey, as for the genre dissonance, I guess there’s really nothing more punk than going against convention purely for the chaotic joy of doing so.
– Jasmine Gould-Wilson
1. Opening track
2. Phantom Pain
3. Oceans Turn Red
4. Mist (Instrumental)
ARKM作為壓軸，一出場所有聽眾都湧上前，熱切期待樂隊演出。開首的Opening track和Phantom Pain在處理低音方面十分出色，鼓密集的雙踏與貝斯互相配合，很有水準。而樂隊的女主音出場後的高音則與鼓和貝斯的低音部分形成對比，令歌曲變得有層次。雖然是死亡金屬樂隊，但純音樂的慢歌Mist卻令人很有驚喜，同時兼有迷幻、哀傷和迷失，甚至比其他歌曲來得更有特色，更有味道。而Mirrors作為樂隊的Debut Single，卻不見太有特色，亦未聽得出主音介紹的科技迷失感。但整體而言，ARKM展現了立體、有層次而獨特的重金屬風格，值得一讚。
Guitars were quite distorted and the metalcore influence shone through. Right at the start the band had a Korn vibe going coupled with death metal vocals as well as skilful screeching vocals. Calling this band industrial might be a bit of a stretch as many elements reminded me of the metalcore genre. Breakdowns were frequent and as well as the above mentioned vocal styles, the vocalist also presented hardcore vocals. The gig was definitely high energy. The band used samples to create atmosphere and one song involved the audience and their phone lights (back then it would’ve been lighters). The band presented a few different styles and influences so casual metal listeners should be well catered for and enjoy the show. Overall, the band certainly knew how to use their instruments of choice; now if they’d focus on creating a more industrial metal sounding band, they’d surely have the skill to.
– Matt Harris
Photos by Leon Che’ Clark.
由Leon Che’ Clark攝影。
Poster by Yo Ho.
海報由 Yo Ho。