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Keep it Metal

Keep it Metal

by Kavish Chetty, images by Carla Danielle / 10.05.2010

Longhairs are like wolves. They prowl about, and stare with vicious saucer-eyes. They are decked out in full, heavy metal regalia, each article of clothing is a rosette; a lapel pin, a badge of honour to demonstrate that they are worthy: metal-worthy.

A few choice phrases were hanging off the brim of my consciousness when I walked into War at the Warehouse. They’re shouted out chorus-like, and are as unavoidable as the finger horns that get flashed across the venue. To perfect the finger-horn stance is a three-step process. First you stare down your victim across the room. Then, slowly and deliberately, you raise your right arm until it’s fully extended and perpendicular with your thorax. Your forefinger and pinkie explode upwards, veering away from the centre of the half-fist, your thumb clasps onto your folded index and ring finger, and you lean backwards just slightly. The more perceptive cultural anthropologist will tell you that a gentle and repetitive nod of the head is not mandatory, but appreciated. And when sufficient tension is built up, you can tear it all down with a barked, shouted or otherwise hoarse-throated proclamation of “keep it meddle, bru!” or “keep it broodal!” I pondered this injunction to sustain brutality when I saw a rather brutally chubby young man in black get-up pouring All Gold tomato sauce onto his boerie roll and just taking a bite out of life. He needed the nutrition and kilojoules to keep his body alive while he half-heartedly banged his head on the dancefloor. I saw a Mexican wave of whiplashed necks spreading from the monitors all the way to the bar. I continued to ponder this “brutality” when the emcee of the evening clambered aboard the stage and announced that he bought “lank” raffle tickets, and that we should join him. Holy shit! A raffle? Jesus, that’s brutal. I haven’t bought a raffle ticket since I was at the grade 10 braai at Bishops and won a pedicure gift certificate. That was a pretty heavy-handed, metaphysical brutalisation of my attitudes to karma.
“Keep it fuggen’ metal, bru!”

To be fair, I’m being overly harsh. But heavy metal culture does strike me as though it’s sucked itself inside out and has become an inverted mainstream culture, with poorer sound equipment and a smaller audience. They’ve got different rituals and liturgies, but the whole thing is still a primate mating ritual, poorly performed, lubricated up with Wellington’s brandy and Coke. Some kids take the opportunity to exercise their long-stockpiled atavistic impulses, and mosh about the monitors in a conclusive spectacle that we share 98.5% of the same DNA as the chimpanzee. Other kids need to give their stockpiled sexual lust a workout, and ogle the handful of gorgeous Gothic girls in fishnet stockings, their tits packed so tightly together by leather corsets, it looks like they’ll catapult out and knock someone’s boerie roll out of their hand (sorry, the irony of vampire-types congregated over a skottel, shelling out fifteen a piece for a boerewors roll is just… visual poetry of the most moronic subset). Metal types tend to pride themselves on being beyond the petty trappings of the mainstream culture they denounce with such frothy mouths. But I get the feeling if they could maintain the same critical distance from their own culture as they do from Tiger Tiger, Tin Roof and all these other dens of anti-intellectual iniquity, heavy metal would no longer exist. They’d see all the tropes just decked out in eyeliner and band t-shirts, realise they’re in uniform, goosestepping to the dull rhythm of a capitalist enterprise, throw their cigarettes out in the piss-stained gutter, go home and look at themselves long and hard in the mirror.

Ripping off heavy metal is a monkey’s game, like wrestling midgets or bullying children. It’s an easy target and I don’t congratulate myself for doing it. And yet in my more nostalgic moments, I still can’t resist spinning the odd metal record: Morbid Angel, Deicide, Atheist, Burzum, Summoning, Ildjarn, Enslaved. So I don’t want any racist jackassery popping up on the comments thread about how I should stick to my own rhythm and my own blues.

What do these four bands playing this evening suggest about the future of heavy metal in this country? That’s it’s well-loved by its thin tribe of fans, that it’s being played with passion and skill, but that it’s going nowhere. Even the fans tend to be rather lazy, and the vocal interaction with the bands is disheartening. The first band, Shitstorm (oh, yeah), made my ears bleed – there wasn’t much nuance or melody in their music, and if there was, it was lost in the sound-desk’s obsessive focus on high-range, tinny, treble-emphasised guitars, and low-range, string-flapping bass. During one of the vocalist’s more audible moments, he chorused: “Fuck you, Fuck-face!”, then wrapped the microphone cord around his neck, until the mic swung ’round and hit him in the face. He was hyper-energised and aggressive, I can give him that.

The second band, Sabretooth was the highlight of the evening. Their music is a camp tribute to the hair metal of the ’80s, updated with Malmsteen solos and hoarse vocals. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s why they work. Their lead guitarist is technically accomplished and awesome. He wears a star-spangled bandana over his forehead and his shoulder-length locks moistened so many clefts that night that half the girls could only stagger like zombies trying to keep eggshells secure between their thighs.

Then it was A Walk with the Wicked. Again, technically accomplished, international standards, but fundamentally silly. Their vocalist doesn’t stop talking in his cookie-monster voice even when bantering in the interludes between songs. Their music is fast, well-performed archetypal death metal and their four-man front line is unflinching, a steady stream of necks being placed under severe pressure, hair flailing over fretboards.

Lastly, the Heathens. Again, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Their music is simplistic, not particularly interesting or inventive, but effective and entertaining. I paid special attention to the drummer, only because I know him, and whether through projection of desire or reality, his cymbals and snares articulated themselves with the greatest clarity of the evening. But my eardrums still split, and I can hear white noise in my skull even this morning.

All images © and courtesy Carla Danielle.

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RESPONSES (41)
  1. sjoe says:

    “moistened so many clefts”

    gross.

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  2. a pitty... says:

    …you only attended this gig cause your friend was in one of the bands. Before you even got to the venue you had written this article in your head.
    And it’s a shame that the whole scene would be summarised by sub-par representatives of the evening.

    Oh, who am I kidding. the metal scene has let itself down by becoming the stereotype you described here in Cape Town. I’m suprised some of the kids even managed to leave Gandalfs, even though it was just around the corner. But to be fair, it’s pretty much the only terrible metal cliche in the country. They even wear far less chains and black in PE than they do here in Cape Town.

    But really, theres some good stuff happening in the ‘metal’ scene in the country. I’m just not convinced it would have been on display on Saturday night. Or in Cape Town, in general, where the bands and fans seem determined to inbreed their scene and hope it grows, while slashing at the throats of every other band that gains any kind of momentum.

    But i still feel slightly mollified that an outsider can still sum it up with so much ease and so much reliance on those stereotypes. It would have been nice to grow from that into something real, heartfelt, and geared for change, which seems to be the new attitude in Johannesburg in the dirtier part of the underground. There, with the positivity and sense of community expressed by everyone, you feel like part of a movement, not part of a ill advised fashion show for angry teens with heaps and heaps of ‘opinions’ garnered from reading articles on websites every night at home in the dark.

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  3. Craig says:

    R15 AT THE BARRR!! THE MOST BRROODAL BOERIE ROLLS IN CAPE TOWN!!!

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  4. Art says:

    I just want to say that what was expressed in this review about metal culture is just how “a pity..” said: cliched.

    I am one member of this metal community and we don’t really care for it being mainstream. If you had a chance to look around past the boerie stand and the girls that everyone was looking at, you would have seen older crowd that have been around for over a decade mixing with the younger crowd and loads and loads of smiles everywhere.

    Sound may have been bad but it didn’t hamper the experience that people witnessed. It is not about acting like chimps, it is about letting loose and having fun. There is a closer nit sense of ‘brotherhood’ and ‘family’ in the metal scene than anywhere else, and if you are not in it, you will never understand it. You may see it as a convergence of ape-minded like people but that is because you have an outsiders point of view.

    Throughout my experience, I have had the best times at metal gigs. The guys in the bands are all looking out for each other and always willing to help each other.

    I can say this for all metalheads that we are happy being under the mainstream radar. We are doing just fine without you.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Chetty is so awesome, he listens to bands that don’t even exist yet. THAT’S how non-mainstream he is. Pffft.

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  6. Andy says:

    what exactly makes Kavish an outsider? He listens to a lot of metal. He likes the “genre”, it just doesn’t stop him from thinking critically about the scene here… And despite all claims that metal is not mainstream, it’s just as he says, you’re all still “in uniform, goosestepping to the dull rhythm of a capitalist enterprise”

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  7. cat says:

    For those of us who attend metal shows to enjoy a few beers and have a good time listening to a genre that we are passionate about – this review means nothing. Have a black label, let your hair down and maybe you would not feel so different from the “metal types” you describe.

    I would love the metal scene to grow, there are some great bands and great people…as long as you don’t take everything too seriously. Yes, the show was rough around the edges and full of metal stereotypes but if you look past the boobs and band t-shirts you’ll see a group of people just having a really good night watching bands they love to hear.

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  8. Enkeleen says:

    I had a great time. Thanks to the organisers for putting on the event.

    The ‘mainstream’ today is defined by media, and diverted by corporations, and does not, necessarily, reflect what a human being might find enjoyable or interesting. If you control what people are exposed to, then you control this ‘maintream’.

    Metalheads like metal music, primarily. The stuff that comes with it, is not as important as the music. Just because you enjoy metal, does not mean that you hate everything that is not metal. I like to look at it this way. If you were on a desert island, and you could only take one CD, by one band, which would it be? That is the music you really love…if it’s Britney, they good luck to you, if it’s Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, then HELL YEAH!

    Thanks again for putting this event on. I enjoyed the idea of a dedicated metal event, not affiliated to any club. The sound was poor, but that can be improved very easily. The important thing to focus on, is moving forward and disregarding people that insist on trying to bring metal lovers down with words.

    Next to Jazz and Classical music, metal requires untold hours of dedication to your instrument. For some reason both Jazz and Classical garner respect, and are seen as cultured, but Metal gets put down by articles like this one. Both these genres have been around for some time now, and metal is relatively young, so I predict, in years to come, that metal will be appreciated for what it is. TRULY AWESOME!

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  9. Pat says:

    The very heart and soul of this gig was everything that the author viewed and expressed in a negative and condescending manner. I’ve never expected kind words from any entity outside of our metal community, yet surprisingly, they have been emerging more often of late. Just not from Kavish, though… no matter – if you are not into metal, then you will probably enjoy this work of writing and have a good chuckle. It is, after all, well written and entertaining.
    For those of you who are actually metalheads, you can see another perspective of this great night out at http://www.metal4africa.com/2010-05-10-review …albeit probably a little more “chimp-like” in it’s rendering. At least it’s not written by a smart-ass flaunting his intellectual capacity.

    What many don’t seem to realize is that we are very much more down-to-earth than what this sort of media coverage gives us credit for. We are happy with our less glitzy and glamerous show-style, and do not need hordes of people at our shows in order to have a good time.

    PS: And there ain’t nothing wrong with a good “boerie” at a metal party. I mean, honestly…

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I was at this gig and had one of the best times EVER!

    Old friends, new friends, R10 beers, great attitude and best of all… THRASH- yes genius, Shitstorm is a T H R A S H band (look it up). FYI it was their first gig and they where awesome!! “nuance or melody ” wtf?? Your article is poorly written, and very dull.

    But at least I now know (in painfully boring detail) how to rock the horns. yawn.

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  11. Charles says:

    Haha… Pretty funny Kavish:) i personally have always seen the outfit, and how metal is it’s own genre, with humans in it. That’s the important part… We’re still humans, we just like heavier music – even you. The essence for me is to never loose my inner child. Maybe some day i’ll grow up and act my own age 24/7 – i’m not looking forward to that day! Maybe there’s some information that you don’t have about that show: it cost nearly 10k to put on, many favours made it happen, it’s to raise funds for A Walk With The Wicked’s ep (mixed and mastered by david costello – opeth, symphony x), antonio decided to have a free drinks night at gandalfs to sabotage the event and it’s obviously a pretty risky challenge for a metal band to undertake. I know your into metal… Don’t know why people assumed that you weren’t. I don’t see what is wrong with eating, wearing a metal uniform or many of the other points you made. we’re all still humans… And i think it’s a thoughtfull gesture, cos who wants to be missioning around gimpy street looking for food. I think people that are into metal seek it out because they’re unhappy with their current situations and what an alternative society, but people are still people and they will judge and tear down other peoples ideas, even though they wanted to be the opposite in the first place. I do wanna say thanx for the funny and flattering comments made about me and the guys in the band – eggshells.. Haha. I would never suggest that you baby the metal scene because it doesn’t need the bashing. I do think though, that you may have missed the crucial points of the gig. People had a great time, lots of work went into it and despite some major obsticles, it was a success. I will commend you on a good writting! I just really feel it was a tad too critical and some things were not put into a realistic context. Thanx for coming dude:)

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  12. Tisk tisk. says:

    I do agree with Charles.

    The metal scene does not need more slanting as we have always gone about our business
    without stepping on anybody’s feet, and are in this scene for the sheer passion of the
    more extreme type of music. Clearly you have misinterpreted this succesful event.
    This has been a major stepping stone for cape town bands. It was more about sticking together and trying to make the best of desperate times like these. In a country where metal is already so sub divided into cliques, this event was purely about coming together no matter if you were into thrash, hair rock, death metal or black metal. It was about re-uniting and standing together as one.
    This review missed every single important detail of the event and went straight to the same old stereo typical jabber that we all as metal heads know very well.
    I trust that the next article, you write about a metal gig (if you’re ever going to write another one) will be a bit more insightful and less stereotypical. I suggest you do your homework next time.
    Thank you.

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  13. Kavish says:

    Hi hi,

    Okay, perhaps some things need clarifying, as I was a little harsh.

    1.
    I don’t know why everyone assumes I’m an outsider. I love heavy metal.

    2.
    I think this concert was great – I haven’t disputed that in the article. Sabretooth were an absolute joy to watch; A Walk With the Wicked was, I believe I called them ‘technically accomplished’ and The Heathens I called ‘effective and entertaining.’ I take my hat off to the promoters and organisers and I hope they continue to put together great evenings like this.

    3.
    This piece was more culturally-oriented, a jokey piss-take, relying on that age-old literary device for comedy: IRONY. Okay, I admit, irony is problematic and elitist because it requires morons who can’t detect it in order for the others to get their laughs… But still – heavy metal culture, and my whole adolesence was steeped in heavy metal culture (long-hair, band t-shirts, playing guitar every single day, reveling in otherness, ‘burn[ing] the ways conform’ as Trey Azagthoth would have said) is ironic and if not taken with a spoonful or two of self-consciousness, can be a little silly.

    My friend made a great observation: you’ve got an emcee peddling a message of partying and a good time, and then a line-up who are lyrically and thematically selling misery, apathy, violence and misanthropy. 🙂

    Anyway, my friends and neighbours, my point is: relax, and have a laugh at yourselves! Heavy metal is great and visceral; an impassioned music which strongly invests itself in people’s lives, unlike transient pop songs. But, you’ve got to be able to stop and take the piss out of yourself now and then, and recognize that, culturally, heavy metal is prey to all the same illnesses as every other clique.

    And, yeah, I dig on metal-types. Not wishing to evoke the language of closet homophobes, but “some of my best friends are metalheads.”

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  14. DISFEAR says:

    We dream of poison
    Of annihilating liberation
    We are too young for mercy
    We are the revolution

    Come on!

    When there’s no more room in hell
    The dead shall walk the earth
    You say we are the future
    When will you ever learn?

    A testament
    Born out of desperation
    Life wasted on the living
    The dead but dreaming youth

    A generation staring
    Into the blinding light of truth (of truth)
    Born out of nightmares
    Denial apathy and stress
    You say we are the future
    When will you ever learn?

    A testament
    Born out of desperation
    A testament
    Born out of desperation
    A testament
    Born out of desperation
    A testament
    Born out of desperation
    A testament

    Born out of nightmares
    Denial apathy and stress
    You say we are the future
    Yeah whatever will be left
    A generation wasted
    Cynical and bored to death

    Born out of nightmares
    Denial apathy and stress
    You say we are the future
    When will you ever learn?

    A TESTAMENT 4x

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  15. James Watts says:

    Metal is a scene.. not really a movement.
    It’s funny.. the material at the most, the heathens in particular were blatantly anti-christian.
    Though did I find it abrasive or a christian? behind the veil of ostensible wrath and scorn.. lurked an underlying unspoken suggestion that the young minds behind there had no idea behind their cause and really failed to really contrive a means of.. actually abrasively assailing Christianity.
    Nothing that could match the disturbing subtlety of say Tool – Eulogy.
    Mocking Christ has become a fashion.. you will attract the same moderate amount of notoriety or fame, whatever the flock.. when you dismiss Christ as much as if you try to represent him.
    The truth is none of these people really have a basis to attack him.. Truly, what wrong have he explicitly or indirectly inflicted upon their realities? The truth is they not not how to convey there inner thoughts of hatred and Christ, denouncing him is such an easy way to appear reprehensible and rebel against Society..

    I can, by various degrees.. If I wished.. demonstrate the fallible reality of Christ, If I desired.. but it may seem to be a dry exchange of intellectual verbosity which doesn’t make could for metal..

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  16. James Watts says:

    Metal is a scene.. not really a movement. Or is it
    If you don’t like the scene don’t attend the show.
    It’s funny.. the material at the most, the heathens in particular were blatantly anti-christian.
    Though did I find it abrasive or anti-christian? behind the veil of ostensible wrath and scorn.. lurked an underlying unspoken suggestion that the young minds behind there had no idea behind their cause and really failed to contrive a means of.. actually abrasively assailing Christianity.
    Nothing that could match the disturbing subtlety of say Tool – Eulogy.
    Mocking Christ has become a fashion.. you will attract the same moderate amount of notoriety or fame, whatever the flock.. when you dismiss Christ as much as if you try to represent him.
    The truth is none of these people really have a basis to attack him.. Truly, what wrong have he explicitly or indirectly inflicted upon their realities? The truth is they know not how to convey there inner thoughts of hatred towards Christ. and denouncing him is such an easy way to appear reprehensible and rebel against Society..

    I can, by various degrees.. If I wished.. demonstrate the fallible reality of Christ, If I desired.. but it may seem to be a dry exchange of intellectual verbosity which doesn’t make good entertainment for metal..

    *forgive the repeated post I should have done a cursory spell check ere I submitted it

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  17. Pat says:

    I can’t help notice the odd comment including the “how come Kavish is regarded an outsider” vibe… it’s quite simple:

    To be considered as a part of a community, one has to first be a contributor. Even the most modest form of contribution is acceptable, such as arriving at a gig, paying cover charge, and then walking amongst friends and greeting them in whichever manner most pleases you – even if it is a bit cheesy! That’s how “socialising” works. The author clearly displays an interest in counter-productivity towards the effort and energies exerted by members of our community that made this party and others like it possible, and has nothing contructive to offer in terms of future successes. For those who might like to pull the “constructive criticism” drawcard, criticism can be contructive if conducted tastefully and offers solutions to shortfallings. This is not an example of that.

    If Kavish has been referred to as an “outsider”, then this is of his own making. Clearly, he is the only one to have viewed this bold venture by AWWTW and friends as a failure.

    Kavish, you are sharp with a pen (or in todays terms, a keyboard) for which I salute you. However, you have grossly misinterpreted the event, and you have grossly disrespected your fellow metal listeners on public forum. This is why people can’t imagine you as being “one of us” – so to speak. We now feel that you walked among us as a silent enemy, observing any likely flaws or weaknesses, only so that you could exploit them in the attack to follow.

    Besides all the ensuing nonsense that is destined to follow a post like this, Kavish, I must congratulate you on doing your job very well, because you have gauranteed traffic to this website. At the end of the day, this is what modern jounalism is really all about – accuracy has become inconsequential.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Of course you are going to offend people who put in so much hard work and money into putting on an event in fickle Cape Town. Perhaps, instead of trying to be too clever and ironic, it may be an idea to have researched the bands more. Some very humorous observations, no doubt – but may have been more suited to an article on the commentary of subcultures.

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  19. Kavish says:

    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for your compliments. They are warmly appreciated, I assure you.

    But again, my mandate with this review was less about coverage and more about using the event as a cipher to lightheartedly address ironies and inconsistencies within the metal culture. I don’t offer constructive criticism for the event-organisers, because the event was well-plotted and smoothly delivered. (at no point do I write that the event was a failure, nor that I even thought the event was a failure)

    I can’t offer constructive criticism for the metal culture that I denounce, and I won’t renege on my opinions. The reason I can’t is because heavy metal as a culture is beyond salvage. It is a sold system of beliefs like any other, and it can’t recognize that it isn’t above the reproach levelled against any other music culture. It’s ironic – so all you/we/they/ can do is keep our critical distance and continue to enjoy the music for its pleasures. I agree with James Watts: Metal is now a scene, not a movement – it’s ideals have atrophied, and all that’s left is the aesthetic remnants which we can enjoy. Our intellectual salvation is to be found elsewhere.

    I’m still not an outsider- I’m as well-versed in metal tropes, etiquette, procedure, and ideological principles as someone who has identified with its music since the first surges of puberty could be. So the point of my article, to a metal listener, rather than an outsider, would be this (and I consider it very simple, very obvious): recognize the irony. Once you’ve digested that slice of humble pie, you can mangle that whammy bar and quickfire blast that bass drum much as you like!

    Also, to anyone who thinks I’m being unfair, this is the role of music journalists with an eye to wider cultural trend. I delivered a similarly derisory treatment of indie culture a few weeks, calling them shallow thrill-seekers past their sell-by date.

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  20. RM says:

    My biggest problem with this review is that it was treated like a regular metal gig at a pre-established venue. There is little mention or effort to understand all the hard work that went into converting a fully-stocked production factory into a truly “metal” venue – complete with suspended sound and lighting rig, huge projection screen, DVD screening and chest-high stage built out of the factory’s tables. “War at the Warehouse” was not a gig. It was an EVENT!

    This event embodied the Do-It-Yourself attitude that is all but gone from local metal. Every kid and their dog expects to go from playing in mom’s garage to suddenly playing every major venue as soon as they have written a few songs – and to an extent, venues and organisers enable this attitude by having little-to-no quality control when it comes to bands performing at their events. The problem with this is that they end up shafted by bad organisation, stingy club owners and a general apathy towards the entertainment they provide to a venue. I can assure you that it would not affect Gandalfs’ prices if they suddenly stopped live music performances.

    The bottom line is that while the writer makes some interesting and amusing observations, the self-deprecation and irony that they attempted to evoke fell horribly flat and ostracized them instead of making them accepted for poking fun at themselves and their “fellow” metal fans.
    Regrettably, this “holier-than-thou”, “look-at-the-funny-people” attitude seems to be a regular occurrence in Mahala’s music event reviews and personally, if your idea of razor-sharp-wit is half-assed insults to people you seem to not want to be around, perhaps look into comedy heckling over journalism.

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  21. Nathan Zeno says:

    Stop being so precious. You Cape Town metal fuck heads are as bad as those Assembly cunts. It was just a gig, anyone can hire sound, not everyone can break out of the cliche.

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  22. deanbailey says:

    I for one saw the humor in this article (whether it was intentional or unintentional) and wasn’t offended at all.

    Also thought it wasn’t TOO far from the truth 😛

    BOERIE! LOL

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  23. judy says:

    Jesus, there was a fucking raffle!! That’s hilarious. What a great article. HA. HA.

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  24. He Says She Says says:

    I’m with Nathan Zeno. Metal fuck heads = assembly cunts, ie morons with big wardrobes and small brains.

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  25. Art says:

    I think this has gone out of hand.
    All this is doing is putting focus on this article and creating a sour point after such a cool gig.

    Even the article seems well written by some folks, the irony that is not translated shows that it was not that well written. Still entertaining. I appreciate the coverage you gave to the gig though.

    There are scenes everywhere. I have always said that if the venue does not have bands, I will not go there. Tiger Tiger people have their own uniforms which change according to trends and the main reason they go (to my understanding) is to pick up chicks and get drunk and listen/dance to second rate music that was probably written by a friendless 35 year old geek who moonlights at night as a 14 year old girl friend America to get a wank in before he goes to bed.

    They have their uniforms too, which change according to fashion but with metal, our ‘uniform’ has remained constant at least. Which to me shows a stronger identity and sense of place for oneself outside of the everyday humdrum of work.

    I have not seen any other ‘scene’ that has lifelong followers as metal does.

    Shows like this can be put on by anyone, but it takes dedicated people to make it a success that this particular show was.

    So, I just want to say that arguments and counter debates are pointless and only serve to waste time and energy. After all, this is the kind of thing why metal is so special. Being put in a box only makes it more connected within the metal community.

    Besides, who cares.

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  26. Ben says:

    We’re doing fine without them….

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  27. He Says She Says says:

    you’re doing fine without who?

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  28. James Watts says:

    I’ve when you walk into a metal club or rather enter a show where the crowd is gathered..
    You will find everyone to be forthcoming in a desirable friendly way. No one really resides within their shell of some conceited courageous shit.
    as I did watch ‘The Sleepers’ the other night and found myself surrounded by some seemingly aesthetically pleasing
    people of class. The metal scene sticks together. No one judged Kavish while he was donned in his presentable outfit.
    Despite the appearance they are not a hostile people. I’ve seen worse jerk offs at say, fish hook
    It would be unheard of that you hear some tale about a brawl or so going down at the metal joint. Maybe I am wrong?.
    Also.. it would be a somewhat non sequitur if I did but suggest to procure a section of drugs.. perhaps Crystal Meth or MDMA. Black Label hardly warrants the aforementioned reality.

    But one thing is perhaps the standard of the overall scene shall be judged by the crowds involvement.. You can see the dynamic is worthy to note.
    And the girls are desirable as they exalt their gothic beauty..
    though the music is hardly romantic you can be sure of that…

    it’s nothing like our old material
    http://www.myspace.com/pureblood777

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Blah blah- lame dull poorly researched article. End of story. I’ve heard only good things from everyone about this event! When is the next one? I can’t wait! >_<

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  30. haha says:

    I love the comments about, ‘please respect the amount of work that went into hosting this special event’.
    Really? Cause it’s so much hard work to put one gig on. And there should be some kind of sanctity about that? Did Antonio put his free drinks show on to coincide with this gig intentionally? If so, thats pretty lol.
    I didn’t like most of the bands on that lineup. They’re all buying into cliches in one way or another. Sabretooth are doing some good. The rest of them just blur into black obscurity with the rest of it.

    I also liked the comment about the guy making a bit stand about anti-christianity. Like it matters. I like how ‘if he had enough desire, he could prove the fallable reality of God beyond any doubt’. Give this man some paper and make him write a bible!

    OBVIOUSLY these kids are going to be anti christian. They come from nice homes, their parents buy them fancy equipment and dont complain when they wear black around the dinner table anymore. What else are going to rant against when trying to find a cause? They give religion as much credit as religion does by making a big apparent stand against it. It’s pretty entertaining. It’s like the lead singer from one of these bands with a profile picture he found somewhere on the internet that tells him to ‘think for himself’ and justifies with with some text he felt he could relate to, and in an effort to ‘think for himself’ made it his facebook profile picture. Makes heaps of sense.

    Lol @ this end of the scene in general, in fact.

    Raffles and boeries at gigs proves were all still south african at least.

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  31. vs says:

    I have been following the comments around this gig and subsequent responses quite closely. I was going to write a long message commenting on the above statements, but quite frankly, what’s the point. It would be a waste of time. The line has been drawn, are you a mouse or a man. I’m personally glad people didn’t “get it.”
    I say it’s this type of sentiment that fuels metal and has for all its existence. People either enjoy or they don’t. Fuck it.
    I enjoy reading a well researched article, not some, “how can I make this about me” piece of journalistic trash. And on one final note, just because I can, The above comment by “haha” shows how any twat who can string two words together can have an opinion. It doesn’t mean it has importance.
    Well done for organizing the event.

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  32. Pat says:

    Kavish, I’ll be first to admit, I was also being a bit harsh. Seeing the forces that are pitting against you gives me an inkling of desire to try and restore a little balance here.

    I reckon no review I’ve ever seen would have done better work in arousing the curiosity and the truths about “metal culture”. What has taken place here is that an author has pointed out his view, and respondants gave theirs. The beauty of this is that the oblivious reader who happens upon this thread will be enticed to go forth and determine their own views. If that means more people at shows, then it’s fucking fantastic! More money in circulation might even result in a world-class band finally emerging from this country into the world beyond.
    Truth be told – we can see two distinctive sides showing their best and their worst. Myself included. But on the flip side, it’s fucking entertaining and has opened up loads of insight! So I’m going to take one final stab at it… Shoot me if I’m getting boring!

    Who really gives a fuck about what pidgeon-hole metal gets shoved into, and what bands represent anyway? At the end of the day, when you all become fully-fledged adults, have careers to uphold and families to support, all this opinion kind of stuff becomes background noise in your life that counts for ZERO! You will realize that it is just a brief flicker of time in your lives that meant very little. All that will matter is that every other weekend you can throw off the mundane trappings of day to day life, step into the fantasy, and get horribly wasted while headbanging to some “broooodal fuggen meddel”… the next day you are still going to wake up, hung over, smelly, out of energy – and face the reality that you’re still going to have to put your kids through college, bury your folks someday, hold your tongue when addressed by that FUCK at work otherwise known as: Boss. If you’re lucky, you’ll get totalled in a car wreck before the fantasy is over or die a rock & roll death drowning in your own puke like Jimmi did. Cynical? Maybe. This is just entertainment, not some kind of revolution to change or redefine fucking society. Let the kids blow off some steam, for goodness sake. Why must they be judged every step of the way?
    Actually, fuck it – let’s tear them apart! At least they will grow a thicker skin. Reading this thread shows me some guys really displaying some true metal character: sticking with their brothers through thick and thin! We’d never do that if we had not endured some hardships together. No matter what can be said about our “culture”, fact is that we share something that transcends race, language, nationalism, age and wealth-class barriers which cannot be summed up in words. Perhaps it is this sort of comraderie that I have experienced over my last 15 years since “coming of age” that made me speak out so strongly before.

    All hail HEAVY METAL! Thank you to AWWTW who bust their balls to make the show happen. YOU are the future of SA metal because you have the courage to pull thumb from arse and act, whilst others stand along by the wayside. While guys like you are around, the future for SA metal remains filled with promise. Thank you to those gorgeous gothic girls for showing up, thank you to the MC for raining beer down on me, and thanks to my boerie brother for the meal… oh, and fuck whoever drew that raffle – I wanted that shit! At least I can take consolation in that the money is going to a noble cause. AWWTW, go get that recording finished, dudes!!!

    Last but not least, thank you Kavish for your article. A little controversy has given many of these metal heads a chance to speak about their beliefs and has resulted in further unification amongst “the tribe!” It’s like they say – no press is bad press. I’m sure a lot of people will have learned from this as to why. Sure, you pissed a few people off (admittedly, myself included, but I’m over it already). But look at how it brought them together – lol – I renounce my former statement. You HAVE contributed after all.

    Anyhow, they say it’s the empty tin that rattles the most, so I think I’ll just shut my face from here on in \m/ ^_^ \m/

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  33. Sean says:

    @James Watts,

    Smart cat. Eulogy is subtle, disturbing, pure unadulterated genius. You should be writing articles (excuse me if you already are).

    Anyway, I must say as a Mahala visitor the comments section is always as good (or bad) a read as the articles themselves and this particular thread has been been very interesting. Apart from Nathan Zeno everyone has steered clear of the standard “Fuck you you suck” type comments so prevalent in other music articles (generally those dealing with the electro/indie etc scenes). A glowing reflection on the people in the metal scene I reckon (forgive the use of the scene word, but hey). I’ve spent very little time at metal gigs in SA (usually trying to seek out someone playing the blues properly) but I always get my yearly fix at Ramfest where I’m almost always guaranteed to be treated to someone awesome whenever I stumble across to the metal tent during one of the bands I won’t enjoy on the main stage. Every moment I’ve spent in that tent I’ve seen nothing but a group of people having a fucking good time and a band generally sweating blood on stage, which is more than you can say for some of our more esteemed acts on the other stages. Good people enjoying good music. Like someone further up said, there’re older cats enjoying the music with the generations below them and that’s pretty rare (unless you take Bingo into account).

    Anyway, congratulations to all who’ve commented here (apart from Zeno), from an outsider, on representing metal intelligently and with passion.

    ——-insert devil horns symbol thingy——

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  34. Kitt says:

    Kavish, your’e a dick. How can you even write a review about something like this? It was bands playing in a warehouse in Woodstock. Nothing more. Stop trying to be deep about it.

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  35. thirteenthson says:

    is pat a boy or a girl? i wonder…

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  36. fugly says:

    some of my best friends are metalheads

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  37. Keenan says:

    So a friend of mine told me to go read the comment response to this article. Wow. I agree with Art and vs. Well said.

    A huge lol at haha. If you have something to say, my e-mail is included. Don’t hide behind a screen name with your petty and unnecessary remarks. You went so far as to read the comments on my profile picture on Facebook. I guess that says it all.

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  38. Devon says:

    I think that anyone who took offence to this was being super senstive, and instead of getting the point of the article saw it as an attack on metal without even giving it a chance. and to everyone who said the article was poorly researched please stop being retarded, Mr Chetty did attend the show in question and is a metalhead, so how much more research would you like him to do? So just because you didn’t agree with his view on things doesn’t make him a bad writer.

    i’m a metalhead and i thought the article was super funny and clever… so nice one!

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  39. James Watts says:

    Have the comments endured until the 24th of may? Or am I just reviving an already dead thread.

    My former comments were typed with haste.. I couldn’t really express what I sought to convey.

    But I say this. Do not be too swift to profess your deep reproval towards a people or group.. lest you betray your inner disposition within yourself.
    For what is your desired antithetical reality you wish to propose, or alternatively, impose?
    How are they meant to go about representing the music. You seem to know the answer.

    And I will remind you that music and image is eternally juxtaposed and will always possess interchangeable variables

    Music is unseen. And what you see is a result of the sound, which is the first cause.

    “they don’t take themselves too seriously”
    “they don’t take themselves too seriously”

    As you will notice I have quoted but two different sections of the aforementioned article.

    how do You know they don’t take themselves seriously? Surely it was ‘serious’ enough to endure up until now. Certainly serious to work with deliberation and avoid deplorable result.

    Is it there intent to dismiss their efforts as a comical joke or not serious?

    Yes. I am aware you are implicitly saying music has lost its potency as a movement.
    Hardly anything to inaugurate a subversive revolution of monumental proportion.

    What were you hoping for. Them to have a contingent of belligerent Neo Nazis present?

    I think that if you hate something, or belittle some one, there may be more to it then just being diametrically opposed to their reality.

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  40. Kavish says:

    Hmm… you’re all flogging a dead horse by now.

    Everyone here who has taken issue with this article is immolating a giant strawman built of their own hypersensitivity. No one has argued with the actual substance of the commentary, because it isn’t difficult to grasp, and can’t be faulted. See the nut graf: “…they’re in uniform, goosestepping to the dull rhythm of a capitalist enterprise.”

    Make a quick distinction in your heads, friends and neighbours. This article was cultural cipher, and not wholly intended as gig review. I didn’t write about all the planning, perspiration and practice that went into the concert, because that’s not the topic of my piece. Besides, every concert that’s organised is built off sweat and dedication.

    Lastly, briefly: all criticism here is dedicated to a) I didn’t do enough research, to which I say “what fucking research? I’m well-versed enough in metal cultural trope to have discharged my thesis here in a few simple sentences. All the rest is evidence to buttress my claim, and remains undisputed in the comment thread. Or b) this concert took a lot of effort to put on. Did I claim it didn’t? Did I say the concert shouldn’t be repeated in future?

    Go take some mescaline, suffer some ego-death, and then come back and stop being so petty. Actually, don’t come back – this thread was nicely concluded by Pat a good couple of weeks ago.

    [read this part in ascending scale, as Alex deLarge would sign off]” Bye-bye-bye!

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  41. Anonymous says:

    “Go take some mescaline, suffer some ego-death”
    From the mouths of babes…

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