Results tagged “fearless” from Andy Best

Chaos Mind in Japan / Fearless EP

chaos japan
Metal news. Two long running Shanghai metal bands:

... have some major news between them. 

Fearless have an EP out that collects all their original material that you have heard at the shows of the past couple of years. It includes the excellent track Lord of Twilight. Go to the band page linked above and scroll down to the mp3 player.

Chaos Mind have recently been to Japan to play in the Summer Sonic festival there. You can now go to their Douban blog and read a full account of the trip with loads of pictures - here it is - it's all in Mandarin though, of course. Looking at the festival map and seeing the 'Seaside Village' campsite, is a harsh reminder of the state of festivals here still. Anyway check it out. 

Moon Tyrant, Loudspeaker live @ Yuyintang

Friday night was this show featuring bands that play loud and only charge 25 RMB for the show also. Great.

In order of appearance:

Fearless are still missing a drummer and played their set acoustically. What was interesting is that they really played the exact same songs and notes (usually melodic death metal) but instrumental with no drums and on acoustics. 

Loudspeaker have been playing for over ten years in Shanghai and have modified their style a couple of times. Right now they are metal-core and play hard and fast. They have an EP knocking around you can get called "I will be back". Drummer Wang Lei has a high reputation on the scene and he showed up tonight driving the set with his frenetic and yet effortless looking beats. An interesting aside, Brad Ferguson is currently working at Yuyintang and the first time I saw Loudspeaker was when he put them on at Harley's Bar a few years ago. Deja Vu.

Moon Tyrant were the organisers of the event and got on a little late as Loudspeaker did a full set. They play modern metal sprinkled with some diverse interests that individual members bring to the music. All the familiar songs from Future Superhuman were on display but I was really taken with a newer track "Galactus, My Heart." Not only did it have a memorable bass intro and good dynamics ... it's about Galactus. Did I mention it's about Galactus? You don't know Galactus? Sliver Surfer? Galactus? No? Then, seriously, f**k you. That is all.

More news, shows and blog stuff

smokingcat flyer
The end of this post has a blog policy announcement so go read all the way please.

First up, check that flyer. That's right Moon Tyrant, fresh off the Mongolia tour, are heading up a show at Yuyintang, where you will be able to hear them clearly. Shanghai hardcore/metalcore stalwarts Loudspeaker provide the support and Fearless will do an acoustic set. 

And at 25 RMB that's a huge bowl of awesome.

Talking of shows, I'll be at the Trash-a-go-go feat. Duck Fight Goose show tonight ... which comes with the news that it will be The Beat Bandit's last show. Check out the full story here at SH24-7. With the Instigation's future in doubt too, and newer bands just getting off the blocks, the Trash people are in trouble. They don't just promote shows, they specifically want to foster garage style music in Shanghai. 

So - if you play and want to get a garage band together, get on that and go see those guys.

And finally. The blog stuff. I just had to make an edit to a post by request - something I'm always happy to do - but it was ridiculous and I want to clear up a few things. Let's start with the facts so far.

*In over three years of the blog I have never posted up stuff against anyone's will, have always honoured requests for secrecy/non-reporting and have always dealt with accidents promptly and with minimum fuss.

*In case of concern, there is a blog e-mail (in the about page) where anyone can drop me a quick mail or request - themselves. I answer all of them promptly.

It's easy. And the implication of this:

*There is absolutely no need or justification for anyone, in general, to make dick-ish comments to me on this subject. 

*There is absolutely NO REASON why anyone should be making emergency calls to me at hours where I may be sleeping about it.

*Drop me a mail and,  AS USUAL, any requests will be honoured with minimum fuss.

And finally. If the problem comes from a third party and you yourself don't see a problem - then perhaps you should talk to them, not me. 

All In Black metal night @ Yuyintang

Friday night and another packed out metal show organised by the guys from Fearless and friends.

The theme of this one was All In Black. There was a line up change that included one band not playing and Fearless themselves having to round out the night with an acoustic unplugged set due to drummer issues. So here are the bands that I saw in full:

By the way, while reading this you should go to Puppets of Distortion's page and listen to this demo there:商品 the others are rehearsal tapes so don't be lazy, find that track.

First of all, again, the venue was packed out and the bands got a full mosh pit of dedicated headbangers. It was awesome. Puppets of Distortion were a real surprise, they mixed metal, noise, modern rock and goth stylings. The set was heavy and energetic but there were interesting breaks and dynamics in there. Their frontwoman was really versatile too. Of course, you'd know this if you were listening to the demo like I told you to. Do it. 

RIP also brought their own spin on the genre. They had a large line up that included a flautist. They made good use of the flute and synth with epic sounding instrumental passages in the black metal - folk metal hybrid style. The crowd were loving all the bands and the pit energy did not let up.

In fact it got more intense for Screaming Christ. They play straight black metal and I found them a little plain in the past. But I'll judge by the audience. The band came out and played their tightest performance to date and they really fed off the crowd energy. Also, the vocalist came on in full hooded robe and spiked gauntlets - and drew shouts of Niu Bi throughout the whole set. The mosh went on unabated to the last note of the last track. Metal fans just need their metal.

So, there was something for everyone and it was a good night in general. Another win for the metallers. 

Frosty Eve & Fearless live @ Yuyintang

faction.jpgPhoto from 41shoots on Douban.

Saturday night was the 17-live Summer Metal Festival show at Yuyintang. It featured these three bands:

Frosty Eve (Beijing)

I almost didn't go. I got off work late, was pretty sick and tired. But then I got texts from three separate friends already there saying that there was already over 400 people through the door and it was all going off. So I promptly got my ass there.

This hasn't happened for ages it seems. All local bands and packed to the rafters with mainly local fans too. I was surprised I could get in at all and haven't seen that many people in there since Reflector last came down. It seems that Beijing's Frosty Eve are a big draw as 90% of the audience were Chinese metal fans in full gear.

I arrived as Shanghai's Fearless were a couple of songs into their set and they were killing. The floor was crammed and heaving with headbangers and fans crowded along the stairs and sides. Fearless give the full metal/axe hero performance and the fans ate it up. At the end of their set there were cries for their The Trooper cover, it came and much moshing was done, again. This was an all time best performance from the guys.

By the time Frosty Eve got on, the park out back was full of sweaty shirtless bodies and also an equal amount of rock ladies too. It's metal all round in Shanghai. I thought people would be too tired and hot to go again but obviously a lot of people were here for the Beijing band. The majority of the crowd were able to sing along for pretty much every song they played. I felt they lacked the energy and presence that Fearless showed but they were good and they were playing to fans. 

The festival continued with an after party at the new metal bar on Yongjia Road, Inferno.

Youtube Youku: Fearless Lords of Twilight

Here's an older video, well, from the end of June, showing Shanghai metal band Fearless playing their newest track Lords of Twilight. The song has replaced their cover of The Trooper by Maiden as their strongest live song and the band have come along way. I love the chorus, especially when they transition to it from the dual guitar hook at around the 4.00 mark.

Metal night @ Yuyintang

Image: Rakasasa

The weekend of 22nd October featured a single must see show from a visiting band who brought star power and a blistering hot live set that took the breath away.

I am, of course, talking about Hefei's Rakasasa. The show was The Descent into Darkness and here was the full line up:

血色沉沦 (xuelun)
Rakasasa (罗刹)

Yes ... three bands of genuine quality with genuine fans (Chaos Mind, Fearless and Rakasasa) in one night.

The turnout was old school amazing and the place was full of younger local fans, genuine metal heads and the coolest members of other bands out to support. It was mercifully hipster free, although it made me remember how people who claim to be interested in local youth or local culture spend more time dictating what it is than actually experiencing it.

Xuelun and Screaming Christ were the opening acts and each played a set of melodic metal that was boosted by the high turnout. Rakasasa were the first of the big acts to go in what was really the prime time slot. They were nothing short of amazing. Great, loud sound, committed and professional performance, they rocked the place to the rafters. The band play fast modern metal/thrash and fully embody the style. Punters were mesmerized by front woman 惠子 (Huizi) whose aggression and guttural vocals were of the highest skill level.

Fearless were good as usual but needed a couple of songs to really hit their mark. It all came together for the strongest track, the awesome Lords of Twilight which showcases all their strengths, especially the dual guitar leads. Unfortunately, it was 12.30 by the time Fearless got done and a large part of the crowd went home before Chaos Mind got on. Including me (work at 8 a.m. and not so young any more). Perhaps just four or three bands next time?

Experience some local steel on Friday

decent flyer
After a summer where the breakthrough younger local acts all but disappeared from regular Yuyintang shows, to be replaced with Expo bands and double price tickets, the younger local audience has largely gone too. Even the free entry Genohmang Jaeger promotions over at Mao are not exactly setting the place on fire.

2007-9 already feels like a lost golden age to be looked back on with nostalgia. 

Luckily there is still one event you can go to with a decent atmosphere that is not populated solely by hipster ad-people and the party crowd - the Playful Warrior/Hell United metal shows.

This Friday's line up:

Rakasasa (Heifei)

Chaos Mind are enough by themselves to justify the trip and the price, a reasonable 40 RMB. They are a real headlining act and this is the show of the weekend and they are the band to see. Non metal enthusiasts don't be put off, Chaos Mind are an accomplished modern band who play an accessible show. 

In other news. Breakout local emocore acts FAF and Double Control Where have been quiet for a while. DCW have just added a new demo at their page here. They have a complete new line up too. To be honest though, I still listen to the first two demos there Say Goodbye and Some Just Want Everything and remember those amazing early shows where both bands conjured up instant audiences of lyric singing devotees. 

China metal mania - the rejoinder

metal horns yuyintang
After commenting on a previous post about metal bands from other Chinese cities, and after my call out, Erik has come up with the goods, so check these out.

Everything after this line comes courtesy of Erik, thanks man.

Chaotic Aeon: very influenced by Morbid Angel, but still incredibly exciting on their own right. Should be even better with a live drummer. Would desperately like to see them live in Shanghai sometime this year.

Zuriaake: like a cross between Burzum and Summoning "with Chinese characteristics". Good music to relax to. 

Varuna: same guys as Zuriaake. Going towards a more spacey direction reminiscent of Arcturus and maybe Oxiplegatz but they definitely have a sound of their own. 

Hellward: yet another Zuriaake side project (at least I belive Zuriaake to be the main band). This is pure 80s black metal like Bathory. Some songs are a bit off but there are a few real headbangers on that album. 

Be Persecuted: they play suicidal black metal, not a favourite sub-genre of mine but they do it well enough and are actually pretty big in that scene. 

Explosicum: sounds like your standard throwback thrash metal mixing Kreator with the bay area influences. These guys have serious skill though and the debut hints at greatness, much like Japanese Fastkill. 

I have to mention some of my favourite bands from Beijing as well. Beijing might, next to Singapore, be the most exciting scene for Asian underground metal outside Japan right now. 

Ritual Day: the kings. So what if they sound a bit Swedish (Dissection, Sacramentum and Necrophobic come to mind), they are too damn good to write off as copycats. Don't know if they're touring or anything, would be amazing to see live. 

Tengger Cavalry: mongol folk music meets black metal, a totally unique concept. Sometimes folk metal sounds way too tacky but this totally works. 

The Metaphor: evil and super heavy thrash inspired by the very darkest American bands, like Morbid Saint. Their theme is a bit juvenile ("Evil rulz!") but it's easy enough to ignore. 

Skeletal Augury: black/thrash with a heavy horror theme. It feels like half the album is taken up by horror movie samples but when they actually play they're tight and vicious. Did a gig together with Chaotic Aeon in Beijing last December. If you're interested in picking any of this up the main labels to seek out are Pest Productions and Areadeath.

Youtube Youku: Fearless live at Yuyintang

Here's a an excellent vid of Fearless playing their new track at Yuyintang last Friday. It's complete with vocals this time and at about 3.10 you can hear some awesome dual guitar work.

I'm a bit annoyed with some comments after the last Fearless vid though. Check them out here. It's a bit much to write off a band completely just because they are not 100% groundbreaking and clearly original. By that logic you'd have to hate on 90% of all bands in the world. People seem to do that more easily with Chinese bands, like it's a superiority thing. Then Erik goes on to name some bands he considers examples of better bands - the implication being that they are strikingly original. But doesn't rejoin to link any of them.

Where's the vid or track to show us what you mean? Watch this vid, Fearless are clearly a great band, their gigs are rocking and this is definitely a side of Chinese cultural activity you won't find on a tour group. I spent my teen years hardcore in metal and, like in Shanghai, it's a solid community with no haters. 

Youtube Youku: Fearless rehearsal vid

Lets kick off the month with some metal.

Shanghai melodic death metal / speed metal band Fearless have just released a video of their latest track in rehearsal. The quality is good and it's worth a watch if you like the style. This version is instrumental. 

Death to false metal, of course.

Date with the devil metal night @ Harley's

date with the devil
Wow, a blast from the past - Harley's Bar. A great night but one a little bit spoiled by an unwanted aspect of gigs back in 2003-4.

Metal night tonight. The bands:

Broken Promises

First thing - Harley's have a new PA and when we arrived, in the middle of Six Shot's set, the sound was the best I've heard in months at any gig in Shanghai. The unbelievable clarity of the sound at good volumes made Six Shot's set even more awesome than usual. They are the kings of grind. A good turn out considering the 50 kuai ticket. It did include a drink though.

Next up were Lalaying who played the best set they've ever played. This was helped greatly by the sound quality at that point. The bassist was (again) inspiring with her metal get up and face mask. The night was going great ...

... and then out of the blue, at the end of their set, the Lalaying singer addresses the crowd and says (loose wording, but confirmed by native speaker) "remember the crimes against China by the Japanese in World War Two, we are true patriots." Groan.

Again, hello 2003-4. Hello, ugly nationalism/borderline racism/right-wing rock.

But next came Fearless. They wowed the crowd with their tight riffing, fast drums and virtuoso shredding. Then they ripped into their famous cover of The Trooper (if I need to tell you whose song that is, then you should burn in hades for all eternity) ... and ... the PA blew. It took a couple of fits and starts to get it back again and there could be any number of reasons but for me the real reason it blew was obvious - 

- Fearless were so metal and awesome that they blew their speakers with rock and roll -

Chaos Mind closed the night in style. The sound was still good but the perfection of before was lost after the accident. The highlight of the set was definitely frontman Sam Dust's performance. He rules. Harley's is still a great place to see a rock gig, but - and I won't go into details here - the staff and management are still very much themselves. So we'll see.

Note to other styles of music in Shanghai - the metal crowd have got their shit together and the bands are tight and professional. Some catching up may be required.

Saturday night four-way

fearless mao mao
Please keep in mind that whenever we recommend a gig or talk about a show face off or whatever, there are always other shows on too. Yang Pu/Hong Kou (North East) has several bars/venues and a collective or two. Like Live Bar, 021 and ... err ... Live Bar.

So, this week is almost as action packed as the last but with no podcast to sum it up for you.

Yuguo play YYT on Friday but Saturday night, the 27th, has the big clash. Here it is:

Yuyintang: Caffeine (J-rock style) supported notably by Dragon Pizza. 

Mao Livehouse: Jue Festival presents Olafur Arnalds

Dream Factory: Rock Shanghai night including Joker, 5 Pointed Star and French band Inofis.

Harley's: Metal night with Chaos Mind, Six Shot and Fearless (pictured)

It's all a matter of taste of course with quite different styles on display at the different venues. But, well, errr ... Fearless at Harleys. Harley's is a cool basement bar with a proper area for rock bands to play, but there are reasons it's not used often both in front of and behind the scenes. I just like speed metal in the old school style.

Surfin' around: Guai Li and other newish stuff on Douban

guiali d22
Having seen Guai Li at the third Maybe Mars Shanghai showcase on Saturday night, I was inspired to pop back to their Douban page. They don't seem to pay much attention to it but I was happy to see the recent addition of a high quality recorded track there.

It's great and represents the band well so go there and listen now

In other news, Hedgehog are rolling back into town on the 18th supporting USA's The Thermals. That's at Yuyintang.

Were you a one time big fan of Bare Naked Ladies? Do you like indie rock that is funny and at the same time musically rewarding/infectious? Shanghai based rockers Stegosaurus? Are on the verge of finishing their first CD and bringing the genre back into style. Check out four demos at their page here.

Melodic death metal legends Fearless are still my favourite Shanghai metallers. They now have a label listed on their Douban page 17 studio so look out for additions to the two instrumental demos already there. Here's their new logo too.

OK, I'm done for now.

Christmas metal and anti-greetings

chaos mind bw
I'm not really religious or anything and on top of that I also find the commercial aspect of Xmas annoying, so I'm going post about satanic heavy metal music on Christmas Eve.

And before we get there, after all that talk about the Expo and music, Adam Minter comes on Shanghaiist with possibly the most ignorant remarks on the subject ever written. It's number two on his list. 


I have often blogged about the Shanghai metal scene, most recently about the Hell United collective whose flagship act are Chaos Mind. Another favourite of mine are Fearless.

Chaos Mind now have seven quality tracks available at their Douban page. The news is that they have made a version of Scream available for free download. They also have this CD available about town (also called Scream). 

So go there now - here's the page - and check the MP3 player at the side of their page. The track you want to check out is Scream. I prefer the 4:33 version, but that's just me.

Photos: Fearless live @ Mao Shanghai

So, well, errr .... I wasn't at this show. I wasn't at the Sunday Yuyintang show either. I'm sure this has happened to other people. Saturday, got back from work late at 9, felt very tired and fell asleep early - only to then wake up at 2 am feeling wide awake. Next, I thought "at least I can catch the Sunday gig". Of course, having been awake since 2 AM I got home from work on Sunday at 6.30 PM and promptly fell asleep for the entire night again. Weak.

So, anyway, here are some photos of Fearless playing Mao on the Hell United metal night. They come from here.

fearless mao mao

fearless at mao live

Bands are back on at Harley's

fealress flyer
A couple of weeks ago I spotted a flyer over at SmartShanghai that seemed to indicate that Harley's was up for putting bands on again.

But was it an indicator that Harley's were coming back to the scene or was it the work of an intrepid new promoter, blissfully unaware of the history there? 

Well, it turned out that the band The Rainbow Danger Club is the new band from once frontman of the now defunct The Living Thin. I heard, from the, ahem, grapevine, that the promoter / DJ didn't turn up until the very end, to collect the door money. The night may now relocate to Logo. But hey, it happened. And ...

Now floating around douban is the pictured flyer. The Yangpu death metal massive is putting on a show there soon. It features Fearless, who are well good. 

They play melodic death metal and their set features an amazing cover of Iron Maiden's The Trooper. I have to admit being a metal fanboy, by the way. You'll notice that this show clashes with 24 Hours over at Yuyintang, the latest Beijing based hot band to be brought down by STD. But. If you are going to see Fearless then you probably think that bands like 24 Hours are only fit to be your eternal slaves in Valhalla. 

Fearless live @ Yuyintang

fearless maomao
Thursday night at YYT was Metal Night this week. It's not a regular thing, that was the name of the show. I went to see Fearless. Here was the full line up:

Chaos Mind
Death River

From those bands, Chaos Mind are the most experienced and have a quality page up:

I arrived to catch the tail end of a last minute addition band. I know, adding bands to the bill at the last minute in Shanghai gigs ... surely not. Never the less, they were solid thrash metal and I was pleasantly surprised to see a good turn out of the metal faithful. Next up were Orange, who turned out to be a one-off Oasis cover band formed just for the gig cos it's was Dan Dan's (YYT staff) birthday. 

So. Finally the show got going proper. Fearless took the stage and singer/guitar virtuoso Mao Mao (Evilmao on Douban) led us off into an amazing set of fast, hard melodic death metal. There was an impressive first row of hardcore head bangers and when Fearless went into their barnstorming cover of Iron Maiden's The Trooper a proper metal slam and mosh broke out. Great sound, great gig. Fearless are much tighter than the last time I saw them and they are well loved by the metal crowd here. 

Alas, I had to leave after their set and couldn't stick around for heavyweights Chaos Mind and Death River.

Full disclosure: I spent ages 13-19 as a full blown metalhead with long hair and everything. I've seen Slayer live more than once. I'm a long term follower of the Yangpu university district metal scene. Death to false metal!

Winter Madness @ Yuyintang: Special Metal Edition


flyer winterBusy day today. I just got back from an afternoon show and then it's Hedgehog later on back at the same venue. Including last night, by midnight, I'll have seen nine bands in 24 hours. Just like my own private festival.

Today was a special treat. I hadn't really looked into the show much. It was during the day, Candy Shop were headlining and the other bands' names sounded like metal bands. I got there and was suprised to see a good hundred or so people inside of which I was completely alone in two categories (everyone else being Chinese and under the age of 22). Well, if you don't include the staff.

So, the university scene metal fans were down for the day. I must say, they were hardcore and made the regular scene feel full of party obsessed posers by comparison. I met some people from Douban, took a while to sort out IDs mind you as most people on Douban use aliases, cartoon avatars and have no indication of their real details on their profiles. I was pretty easy to spot though so it worked out just fine. Cool to meet 'Challe', 'Datou Junjun' and the guys from Fearless (who share my appreciation of early Sepultura).

The bands:

Mo Xie (Suzhou)
Hai Gu Si
Jing Jiao Ji Du
Tianping Dian (Candy Shop)

Only Candy shop have a page and they were musically the odd one out on the bill.

So, the first four bands were relentlessly hard death metal bands whose super tight songs were peppered with gothic keyboard riffs that mimicked church organs and some haunting half-time riffing. The ultra fans soon made a front row headbanging zone and even whipped off their shirts to do so. Guitars were shredding and the singers all used the gargling/screaming style very well. I don't want to paint too broad a male metal sterotype here, it must be mentioned that a good half the people here were female and just as into it. Challe's Douban pics are of her made up as a corpse. 

The metal highlights were, firstly, the entirety of Suzhou band Mo Xie's set and then when Fearless ripped through an amazing cover of Iron Maiden's The Trooper (made my weekend). Tianping Dian have gotten really good. They were last and completely different to the other bands so they lost about half the crowd before they'd even taken the stage. This didn't bother them at all. They ripped through their now well known surefire hits and got the remaining people jumping away. Saw a couple of other foreigners (2) wander in for the Candy Shop set and all who were there got treated to a new track. Melody and MC YKE showed how far they'd developed their act/talent. The first half of the new song was a half rapped half sung battle between the two, intermittently changing roles. Neither of them missed a syllable. Everyone loved it. Great day.  Death to false metal.


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