Vrank 梵姬

Live review from The Medullary Paralysis Live in Hong Kong 2012:

IMG_6119wtmk.jpgI have the good fortune of seeing Vrank three times in the recent two months. They are Hong Kong’s no. 1 gothic industrial band, or one of the top, anyway. Frontman Frankie sings in the most impressive gothic style we have nowadays (while some other are basically more industrial than gothic). The key thing about Vrank as a gothic band is they’re not just about the gothic beat which some of us basically identify gothic with. I must add quickly, though, that drummer, Ku, absolutely blast the hell out of me every single time, which means if you look for some of the more dance gothic music that we’re familiar with, no, this is more than that, even if we only count Ku’s drums. Oh, to cut the long story short, yes, as BLAK needs to get used to a new line-up, Vrank is certainly very comfortable in their clothes (so to speak).

And based on the four piece structure with no-synth (not on the album, mind you), Vrank give us swirling gothic (the instrumentation part) with some amazing vocal. After each show, I would expect Frankie to have lost his voice, but his hoarse gothic vocal just delivers with the biggest punch every time (and then after a show, normal talking quality). Kiyo, the bass player and diva (I’ll call her a diva just for here because I’m not an opera fan so may be some of you would frown — on me, not on Kijo), led the show with the first song over a opera vocal style. I sort of emphasize this only because in the other shows Kijo do more songs in the middle of the set. But this is so fitting, as Kijo did not only sing, but also dance a great gothic dance. Not sure it means a lot if you don’t get to see even a video clip, but you can think of this as an attraction.

You would say it’s not fair to not describe the swirling (at times I would wonder where that sound come from) guitar layer that Phantom plays. No need to go overboard, and besides, yes, Ku is responsible for controlling some programming rhythm/synth portion, but Phantom was not JUST letting you hear guitar solos (or rhythm guitar if you may). Even The Medullary Paralysis were cheering and jumping up and down to this great set, and I like to conclude this portion with a peer-level comment (or yell out) to a friend that, “yes, no wonder Vrank is your favorite band in Hong Kong”.

— Bun Ng halloween172.JPG

Live review from Halloween Underground:

‘Kiss Death as you would touch your own body’.(From ‘Suicide’ by Vrank) Heaviest band of the night were Vrank with an onslaught of sound, jerky rhythms, frenetic drumming, power chords. Dark, menacing and the perfect antidote to syrupy cantopop or sickly indie pop. This was hardcore post- punk metal with stabbing guitars, gut-wrenching bass and impenetrable lyrics with simple but monstrous riffs. The sound is chaotic and confusing but also hypnotic, compelling and a million miles from the commercialised sounds that most would associate with metal. It’s really more a dark, evocative Gothic sound with songs like ‘Moonstone’ and ‘Dark Princess’ and heavy Industrial on ‘Toxic’ and ‘Ripped’, one of the set’s highlights. The band are Vrank (vocals), Phantom (guitar,vocals), and Sheung (bass) and you can check them out at myspace. One thing more.If only fans of other indie genres could generate as much excitement among their fans as metal bands do. Thanks to Underground and all the bands for a wild and crazy Halloween!

Raymond K

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