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The Ghost Inside

Devil Music for Skaters

by Devon Straticzuk / 06.06.2011

I’m at Revolution Skate Park in Kempton Park. It’s early evening. Facing the Gallows are the opening act, the traditionally shitty spot on the bill, and after watching them it’s easy to see why. Let’s face it, Facing the Gallows are not the best South African metal band on earth. Brian the Vocalist strains like a Fiat up a mountain most of the time. Too many choruses are just bad Idols auditions. Simon Cowell would say, “you’re absolutely rubbish piss off!” There’s a distinct lack of drive all round. You’d think after four years of this they would have improved.

The Dead Will Tell are on next. This is a band for getting kids, with enough angst to launch a thousand new Nirvana albums, to jump and shout. They rip into their set. Fast, energetic songs with enough complex riffage to rival Between the Buried and Me. Spencer the drummer is amazing. Deft and precise, he makes it look easy. I enjoy them but something feels amiss. The new guitarist? I mean he’s good but he isn’t Mike Harvey.

Truth and its Burden are a solid hard working band. Their European tour is testament to that. Vocalist Ashley De Beer makes full use of the stage and works up quite a sweat. Between songs though he goes on about faith and believing in yourself and standing up for what you think is right. A career in motivational speaking awaits if the whole band thing doesn’t pan out. You can feel the passion in Ashley’s words. I was lost in the music, smiling.

The Ghost Inside

Waiting for the headliners, The Ghost Inside, to set up I coudn’t help thinking how ridiculous slammers are. Kids in shirts two sizes too big for them and jeans eleven sizes too small. They jump, kick and punch no matter who gets in the way. I get it, okay, you’re angry at the world. But why ruin the vibe for other people?

The Ghost Inside get into high gear right off and the few people there rock out. Chaotic wonder and immersive fury finally visits the stage. A great set.

Most of the songs are off the new album, Returners. The singer, Jonathan Vigil, thanks everyone on the bill sweetly and seems genuinely into being here in South Africa. Ashley got a special mention for all his hard work. But the highest praise was the music. The Ghost Inside were borderline sublime. It was a live performance as good as the album, just with added sweat and bonus swearing. They were calculated and relentless tonight. A band bringing it. The perfect mix of hardcore melodics. A slap in the face in a good way.

Still if I told you I had the greatest time of my life, I’d be lying. The whole night was quiet. Silence between bands and songs. The show was too early at 6.30pm but that’s how all ages shows go. All ages shows are a brilliant way to grow live audiences locally. Esential to the future of music in this country. But not on a Wednesday when your demographic has to be at school the next morning.

The lack of that age old combination heavy music and beer put a dampener on things. The music was impressive, the atmosphere wasn’t. It was ghostly inside.

The Ghost Inside

*All images © Devon Straticzuk.

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  1. Haters G. Hate says:

    It’s funny how when shit like this shows up everyone is a critic. Yet most who complain haven’t done anything that the bands have, no matter how shit they might be.

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  2. Haters G. Hate says:

    And it’s also funny how it takes something like this for people to admit to not liking a band, when they’ll keep their poes mouths shut otherwise. And still do it under “Anonymous”. Real mature.

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  3. The Hole says:

    Ya Sarah… Surely the idea of a “review” implies something to be critiqued.. Which calls for an opinion.

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  4. Anonymous says:


    “Hey all. I was at the same show and I thought it was awesome.”

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  5. Anonymous says:

    jesus this shit got so fucking retarded that i’m going to youtube for more insightful comments

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  6. Sarah says:

    No need to diss each other anon. As far as I am aware, the review was on the event, not just the reputation of the bands. I am a reviews writer and trust me, reviews do not have to be opinionated. if the truth is that a band sucks, yes it must be said, but in the right way so as not to come accorss as an opinion. If the review is on the event, it should stick to that, not go off on a tangent on the abiliteis of the bands.

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  7. devon's mom says:

    Devon’s mom has more hits than his reviews

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  8. frankles says:

    That’s lank uncalled for

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  9. Unknown says:

    We are talking about bands who are called Facing the Gallows and Truth and It’s Burden. That’s enough for me to predetermine a high percentage of dickheadery going around. Then the promoter, in his professional capacity, decides to defend his own events honour through typing some long winded essay in MS Word in the process making himself look like a complete tool to everyone other than the fringed fan boys he has made through spreading his positive message to a bunch of upper to middle class rejects. I love this site.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Ah yes, the abilities of bands, when reviewing a gig, is an annoying tangent.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    fake and gay

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  12. Sarah says:

    I don’t appreciate the sarcasm anon. people can be so immature. If this was intended to be an opinion piece, then I apologise, if not, it is just poor writing.

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  13. homocore says:

    Wow 112 comments its like the whole ‘hardcore’ scene and 40 other guys. Jerkoffs.

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  14. Brendan says:

    Sarah it’s not the opinions we’re pissed off with, it’s the fact that he, and every other journalist on this site, attack the musicians, bands, promotors and fans on a personal level. . .Devon didn’t enjoy Facing The Gallows and that’s ok, I think everyone is pissed off that he had to go over the top and insult them. Very unprofessional and pretty pathetic

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  15. Jess says:

    haha, it’s like he structured this whole article around the urge to use that last line “it was ghostly inside”

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  16. SmokeSeemedLikeClouds says:

    I tottally dug your article dude.

    Imediately after reading your piece – besides that last line which I didn’t get – I thought to myself: 100%

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  17. TheGreatGazoo says:

    In my opinion, when you have a 19cm cock like Devon, it gives you the right to say what you want.

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  18. dudie says:

    @ brandan – personal would be coming to your house and fucking your mother. there is nothing personal about expressing your views about a band. but still, the guy cant write – he needs to read a few more books before he attempts another review.

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  19. jackson says:

    are all the other mahala writers on leave?

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  20. Anonymous says:

    i will admit i agree with all most all of this article except, zoran leaving tdwt changed it the most for the worse

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  21. blaaaah says:

    The comments made about devons mother were highly uncalled for …just shows how low you people are.so you don’t like the article big whoop,grow up and stop having a shit fit over a review!

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  22. Anonymous says:

    hahahahahaha sooooooo true. the writers bein honest. he aint suckin dick !!!!!!

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