Results tagged “metal” from Andy Best

Goushen demo - Poor in Field

Shanghai's Goushen 狗神 (lit. Dog God) were formed from the ashes of two bands Androsace and Bigong BiJing and combine the best elements of both.

Mian Mian (pictured) and guitarist Lao Bi bring the early metal and hardcore riffing to Dario and Lenz's power and ear for songwriting. Lenz has kept the punch of her original vocal style and also developed the melodies. They have the essential ingredient for all good bands - memorable songs. 

Listen to the new demos here, the first track Poor In Field has it all.

While most heavy bands get caught up in the genre trappings of modern metal/grind/hardcore sounds, Goushen have being steadily gigging and developing their old-school material. I have to admit a love for early Maiden and Black Sabbath et al. but watching a show or hearing those demos should confirm my love for them. Check it out.

Chaos Mind full album on their Douban page

Picture: The band onstage with fans at Yuyintang earlier this year.

Shanghai metal mainstay Chaos Mind recently released their first full length album called This Is Our Moment.

They call it an EP so a more accurate description may be a nine-track EP. If you go to the band page link above and scroll down the page, you will find the whole thing available for listening. Here is the track listing:

01.Roll Out
02.The Chaos
04.Let's Fight
05.This is Our Moment
06.I'm Sorry,You Are Not Mine
07.Fk Me Hard
08.Just Waiting For
09.My First Shanghaihua HC Song【COVER】

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.

Knife Party live @ Yuyintang

Friday night at Yuyintang and time for promoter Playful Warrior's latest hard rock/metal night. This time they opted to let newer and lesser known bands fill the bill.

The line up:

Good turn out for semi-unknown bands on a rainy night and The Knife Party stood out for me. They are young guys, they introduced one of their guitarists as being 15, and played solid metal with speed and good technique. They list their style as metalcore officially. Where they don't yet have the mature presence of performers in bands like Chaos Mind or Rakasasa, they have power in the music. Frontman Dennis really got the fans going and I hope to see them at bigger events soon. 

And the back of Dennis's shirt said "Christians to the lions." Nice.

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?

Rock In China Wiki dishes the metal

Thumbnail image for metal horns yuyintang
I've written before about China, and Shanghai's, metal scene but Max of the Rock in China Wiki is the true defender in the blogosphere.

The Rock In China Wiki Blog has been busy posting recently and it comes as no surprise to find the majority of the new posts covering metal.

Here are three videos and an updated list of Wiki goodness. Keep up the good work.

Video: 641 (Tianjin)

The video links contain Chinese characters so if your system doesn't support them just go to the blog and have a look.

Zhenjiang Midi announce all-metal headliners

Midi have announced the headliners for the Zhenjiang festival.

News courtesy of Max at the Rock In China Wiki blog here:

These are the bands:

Midi are already famous for being hard-rock/metal oriented, in part because it came out of a rock school that produces technical guitarists and musicians' musicians. This happens all over the world. With this announcement though they have kind of painted the festival with the metal brush. In some ways this is good as there's so many wishy-washy festivals this year and this gives them a clear identity. On the other hand, despite all the tall tales, not that many people go and these bands surely put off non metal people. I guess I'm wondering if there are enough hardcore metal fans to support a festival of this kind in China. Midi have already done one festival this year, with a similar flavor and didn't do so well out of it.

Are you a metal person? Do you know that Soulfly is Max Cavalera's band that he formed after leaving legendary Brazilian outfit Sepultura? Does listening to Inner Space take you back to the classic days? No? Then you're not really a metal person. If you are then this is good news for sure.

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.

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

Hell United in Shanghai

hellu old flyer
Sometimes I blog about metal shows. There are a few metal bands in town but they are not a coherent group and cover many styles. However, the Hell United collective want to change all that.

Let me paraphrase from the Chinese language home page (thanks David).

Hell United is the union of three metal bands based in Shanghai / Southern China:

Their aim is to form a powerful union of metal bands and attract more fans and artists alike. Hell United have had two successful shows already, in Shanghai and Hangzhou. This led to their opportunity to open for Suidakra at Dream Factory. A third show will take place in Suzhou soon. The ultimate goal of Hell United is to be able to stage China's first true metal festival.

Here's an amazing gallery of their Hangzhou show.
Here's the flyer for the upcoming Suzhou Show.

I for one would love to see a fledgling metal festival held in Shanghai, even a smaller one featuring the Shanghai bands. This kind of commitment to a genre and culture you love is exactly what we need. So for all of you metal fans out there, here's something to sink your teeth into. 

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!

Youtube: Qi Ri live at Yuyintang

Qi Ri (Seventh Day) are one of the tightest bands in Shanghai's melodic death metal scene. They played Yuyintang on Friday night opening for Screaming Christ and Tu Bian (Mutate). Qi Ri have their own spin on the genre as their singer often utilizes operatic vocals. So sit back and enjoy the stylings of tight riffs and gothic organs. 

Death to false metal! Death to Daft Punk fans!

Metal night @ Yuyintang (Feb 2009)

Death to false metal !!! And death to people who would queue to pay 500 rmb to see Daft Punk in the first place !!!

Yes, tonight's show at Yuyintang was actually called Metal Night. Having been a huge metal fan once upon a time, I appreciate it mightily. The Shanghai metal scene has a few genres. This show was put on by a very specific group that play modern death metal. 

The interesting side of this show, from the scene perspective, is that there is a lot of talent and potential in these bands but magazines, promoters, hipsters and scene-activists tend to think metal doesn't count. Of course, true metal fans know that thrash bands like Slayer were filling arenas and going platinum when top ten pop hits were making the charts based on dubious airplay and high school appearances. We shall conquer! 

The first band on was Qi Ri (Seventh Day) who do not have any online demos that I'm aware of. They had the classic modern death metal line up complete with Gothic-organ keyboard stylings to compliment the melodic riffing breaks. They differ from some of the others in that they employ female opera style vocals. They were tight and they rocked. There's a video here. Next up was Screaming Christ who, unsurprisingly, sing in the Carcass style. They did a crowd pleasing set and you can hear their demos at their Douban page.

Last on were newish band Tu Bian 突变乐队. And here was my diamond in the rough. They were much more ambitious than the other bands and their singer was the stand out talent of the night. She mixed singing, rapping and also gurgling that would make Bill Steer proud. As usual, I hope they stick with it and get tight and confident because the potential is there. No pages or details for them yet though. The name means Mutate.

Yuyintang were handing out surveys all night and Sun Lu mentioned they were tossing the idea of opening a daytime coffee hangout around. It would be upstairs. If it's in the same style and played indie rock in the background then I'm there.

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.

Metal Night @ Yuyintang (December 4th)

andy in beanie
Hardcore metal band Corrupt Absolute were in town tonight which meant it was time for a metal night. I'm not sure why but metal nights generally go down at Live Bar. Tonight it was Yuyintang's turn. 

Just want to start by saying that's a photo of me and Yuyintang founder Zhang Hai Sheng holding the new SH Mag. The light makes it look like we both have black eyes but we weren't slugging it out earlier. 

So, aside from Corrupt Absolute, the rest of the line up was as follows:

Wu Jiao Xing (Five Pointed Star)

Great turnout for a Thursday and loads of metal people in the house. Great to see Yuyintang's high turnouts just keep going and going. My wife had arranged to say hi to Levi Wang from Mortal Fools and we ended up bumping into a bunch of people including members of Rogue Transmission, Pinkberry and the MOFOs themselves. Without delay, Wu Jiao Xing took the stage and got going.

Wu Jiao Xing are a nu-metal band who rap their way through the verses and grind their way through the choruses. When I last saw them a few months back, they had their one famous song that got everyone going and the rest seemed to be just average. This time they had several standout tracks with good arrangements and hooks. The crowd of metal fans were up for it but as the first of four bands their sound wasn't quite up to the challenge. These guys have improved a lot and you can check out the video on the channel.

There was a bizarre moment in the break. I was hanging out near the door and was vaguely aware of some kind of commotion outside. Next thing I know there's the sound of a bottle smashing against the door and I look round to see the girl doing tickets holding the door shut. It turns out there was, and i'm serious about this and not mocking, a homeless schizophrenic guy out front in the middle of an episode. Anyway, at the height of it all he broke the bottle against the doors then hit the doors again, but with a running headbutt and then tried chewing some of the glass. The sad thing is there's no official help available.

Distraction over and Chaos Mind took the stage and played a crowd pleasing set of their own brand of metal. They kept it short but finished on their popular track "Amanda" which I got footage of too. That's a good quality vid from closer in than usual, watch it all the way as it has a protracted intro with darkness and other such stuff. Next up was Loudspeaker who have been around for years and used to be skate-punk. I was a bit perplexed at their inclusion in the metal bill but everyone I asked assured me that their newer material was more hardcore. It was. After a couple of solid openers they riped into the signature track "Loudspeaker" and the audience got to moshing. 

Interesting end note. I saw the Rock SH people coming in, including monopod guy. After getting a positive ID on Douban I left a message about the relentless view blocking. After a ... err ... heated exchange about the Subs show he stayed completely to the sides this time. Could be coincidence though. 


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