Hard & Heavy Unleashed 2024


Our 20th Year Anniversary Series continued with an amazing fifth show at The Wanch. It was a mind-blowing experience! We were thrilled to welcome back our friends from the Philippines – Piledriver! We paired them with some of Hong Kong’s top heavy bands, including Tales of Grim, Chaos Invaded, and ARKM, who truly showcased the greatness of the local music scene.
Thanks to The Wanch for hosting and also to Jojo for making all four bands sounds so good.
Special thanks to Aaron Michelson for the photos, our reviewers LJ and Hazel-Rah. Big thanks to Raven, our wonderful doorperson.
我地嘅20週年系列慶祝活動,今次喺The Wanch舉行第五場表演,實在係一次心靈震撼嘅經歷!我地好開心可以再次歡迎嚟自菲律賓嘅朋友Piledriver!我地亦安排咗一啲本地頂尖嘅重金屬樂隊,包括Tales of Grim、Chaos Invaded同ARKM,一展香港樂隊嘅非凡實力。
多謝The Wanch嘅場地支持,同埋Jojo做咗如此出色嘅音響工作。
特別嗚謝Aaron Michelson提供嘅相片,以及我地嘅樂評人LJ同Hazel-Rah。最後都唔少得我地嘅門房Raven,非常感謝你嘅服務。
❤️ Chris B xx


1: The Omniscient
2: The Witch pt.2
3: Scenes from a glorious past
4: The Twelfth Temple
5: Blind and Frozen (cover)

Tales of Grim is a 6 piece outfit with the sacred mission to spread the gospel of power metal to the people of Hong Kong.

Playing a set of 5 songs, 4 of which were their own works, the band left the audience in absolutely no doubt what their message was: power metal: the song titles, composition/arrangement, delivery, down to the vocal, everything was typical power metal – and they had the technical ability to pull it off very convincingly, with solid and consistent drumming, technically accomplished playing from the guitars, bass, keyboard and rich vocal all coming together in what was a tight set. What could perhaps require a bit of attention, was that they were mostly stationary on the stage… yes, we all have to fiddle with our effects, but a little more animation on stage for this genre is essential to bring the whole experience to the audience. The vocal, which sang mostly in a very well supported voice, was a little uncertain in places, especially in the head register and when the musical phrase involves a diatonic run, probably where it involves switching from her chest to head voice (I couldn’t quite spot a pattern).

All in all I had really enjoyed the set, it was, on the whole, musically, technically and vocally very pleasing.
– Hazel-Rah


2.徘異地 徊塵土

Chaos Invaded is a 5 piece thrash metal band.

The first thing once notices about Chaos Invaded is its interaction with the audience, which started even as early as during setup, and continued throughout the entire set, which kicked off with a grand entrance befitting one of such genre – although there was a minor glitch during the introduction with the lead guitarist which probably would have gone unnoticeable to most of the audience except for the grimace on his face. The glitch, however, did not detract from the first song, which was number full of every instrument (cymbals, drums, kicks, guitars) playing at breakneck speed in a display of shock and awe which worked a treat with the audience, who immediately got into the spirit of things. The rest of the set was relatively subdue, if there is such a thing in thrash metal, interlaced with fine guitar hooks and dual leads, very tightly delivered. The larger than life lead vocal kept the audience enthralled throughout, much to the amusement of the older members in the crowd.

To sum up, an aficionado of the genre would no doubt found the set very slick: the band was technically accomplished, had a great stage presence and engaged the audience throughout what was a very entertaining 30 minutes.
– Hazel-Rah


1. Opening Track
2. Grey
3. Oceans Turn Red
4. ⁠PTSD (crazy song)
5. ⁠Sorrow
6. ⁠Corporate Closet (last song super crazy song)

ARKM had the support slot at Hard and Heavy Unleashed – but you wouldn’t know it. The band swooped in with a skull-crushing energy from opening track Opening Track, greeting a room full of horns already aloft. As the drums built in beat, the pit started to fester and churn. The singer stepped forward – diminutive in size but fearsome in vocal power – and began delivering a sound akin to belching out venom-laced lava alongside serrated, nine-stringed guitar riffing.

Metalheads flipped and writhed like poisoned fish to the blasts of malice emanating from the stage. On a few different tracks, like Grey, the singer slipped into clean singing, which threw the mix off badly; her voice sounded weak and barely audible due to the volume of the other instruments around her. When she went back to growling, her voice was impactfully evil once again, boosted by a gurgling bassline.

The band made great use of accompanying tracks which served to enhance the songs: Oceans Turn Red opened with a cool, underwater-distorted intro, leading into an ominous three-note descending motif, an evil black metal vibration pervading. The, PTSD, which the band promised was a “crazy song” had a Middle Eastern-sounding interlude before – boom – back into heavy metal with a gigantic shredding solo, a flourish of drums and the prerequisite angered shouting.

ARKM have gone through several line-up changes, but it’s hard not to argue that this configuration is their strongest. It’s certainly their heaviest, and performances like this one prove that they’re one of the most exciting live bands to watch in Hong Kong right now. You know it’s heavy when Chris B herself moves tables out of the way to stop people getting injured.
-El Jay


SantaRosa City / The game
Constant Battles
We got your Back
What we stand for / Streets
Hardtimes / Slip
Down since day one
Pride and Honor
Road Dog
Speak my mind
Laguna Hardcore

Stepping up to the plate after the mighty ARKM, Piledriver entered a room that was already fevered and frothing. The scene was set for a killer set and the lads from Laguna City delivered, with a meaty 12-song set that only raised the intensity. Rapid hardcore riffs and roars defined their music, though songs like Santa Rosa City allowed for quieter sections for contrast.

Hong Kong’s substantial contingent of metal-loving Filipinos filled the floor quickly, with a sizable segment kicking off the moshing early and not letting up throughout. The windows ran with condensation as the band gave it their all and their fans responded in kind. The front slot for this group has been described as “a revolving door” by regional music publications, but it was hard to point out any obvious seams or lack of chemistry in this tight outfit. The singer cut a formidable figure in his Stussy hat and was a natural at working up the crowd.

Hardcore culture is a way of life for this gang: “Protect your friends at all costs”, was the order that opened We Got Your Back, while What We Stand For/Streets came with a message of mutual respect and unity, and Pride and Honour went out to “all the brothers”. Punters responded instantly, showing their devotion with as much moshing and bashing as possible but looking after each other if someone fell down.

Down Since Day One felt like the heaviest song of the set, while Road Dog channelled fiery thrash, triggering circle pits that filled the floor. “Thanks everyone for making a Tuesday night look like a Saturday night,” the singer said. Closer Laguna Hardcore, an anthem of sorts, was jollier in tone, prompting an energetic response. Piledriver promised Hong Kong a spectacle and over-delivered – their return will be eagerly anticipated.
-El Jay

Photos by Aaron Michelson.​
由Aaron Michelson攝影​​。
Poster by​ ​​​Chris B.
​海報由​​​ Chris B ​。

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