Capital Punishment 2, Bar Medusa, Wellington, 28 may 2011
Twelve hours, twelve bands, Heavy Metal heaven if you can handle it. Bar Medusa's Capital Punishment 2 featuring twelve Kiwi Metal bands is in its second year and what a line up. Bands in the line up have come from Auckland, Wellington, Hawkes Bay and even Christchurch. Having only previously seen about 5 of the bands I was very excited about heading down to Wellington to Bar Medusa for this highly anticipated onslaught of pure Metal. Bar Medusa is a small venue but was perfect for an event of this type.
Red Dawn opened up proceedings with an awesome set of what I would describe as old school Metal in the vein of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Twin guitar leads these guys got the show off to a great start. They have just finished recording an EP and I canít wait to get my hands on that when itís released.
Suppression were up next and these guys amped it up another notch with a strong set of Heavy Metal. These guys seem to be quite heavily influenced by bands like Lamb of God but have their own flavour. I had seen these guys once before and they impressed me even more at this show I think that came down a lot to better sound at this venue. They had a very cool guitar player who pulled out some mean solos bringing to mind Dimebag at some points. These guys rocked out and played an impressive set.
Horrendous Disfigurement was up next. Hailing from the Hawkes Bay these guys ripped peopleís heads off. They were the first of the Death Metal bands to play and they stepped it up a notch. They were a three piece with no bass player but there was no need for a bass player as the drummer provided all the bass needed. The drummer was probably my favourite of the show with the fattest blast beats I have seen he was like a demon and their guitar player thrilled the crowd with huge fuck off riffs. Death Metal Hawkes Bay style very very cool, I canít wait to see these guys lay some tracks down.
Slave Cadaver stepped up to the plate next. I have seen these guys a few times, once when they opened for Carcass and a few times supporting other bands at Bar Medusa and they always impress me. Very much in the Grind core style and very much influenced by Carcass they always deliver. Their singer is very animated and quite often reminds me of Jello Biafra from the Dead Kennedys. They delivered another solid set not letting any of the growing crowd down. Thereís a small rumour of some possible recordings in the future so will keep me ears open for that one.
Bulletbelt were one of the bands I was most excited about seeing and were the first of the Black Metal bands. Their singer appeared to be quite young and as a front man was outstanding. He really captured the spirit of the music and this came through in his performance. They were only a four piece but were incredibly tight and had some really mean guitar riffs. I love Black Metal without the keyboards and these guys delivered the goods in truckloads. They have an EP out and I canít wait to get my hot little hands on. Their singer was probably my favourite front man for the day.
Elephant Of The Ocean have been creating a bit of a storm with some of their shows recently and so I was keen to finally get to see them. I wasnít really aware of what type of Metal they were and they were a very pleasant surprise. These guys appeared to be hugely influenced by Mike Patton and his various incarnations. I myself am a huge Patton fan so loved their Noise Metal. Iím not sure whether it was the Fantomas t-shirt the guitar player was wearing, the keyboard contraption that the singer was using or the odd beats of the drummer but this seemed to be all the best bits of Faith No More, Tomahawk, Fantomas and Mr Bungle all wrapped up into one. These guys also provided a welcome relief from the Metal that kept on getting heavier and heavier as we went. This is a definitely a band to watch out for in the future.
Half way the show with still 6 bands to come this was turning into a monster event with plenty of variety and talent on show.
Sekht hailing from Anti Christchurch gave us some more Death Metal sounding a lot like Morbid Angel. They had a very polished set and were very energetic in their performance. The singer had an impressive growl which would have turned David Vincentís head. This was an extremely tight and brutal set from these guys. It was awesome to see all the long hair flying and the crowd going wild for this band.
Carnal are a full on Death Metal band with a Hardcore flavour. Their guitar player was very impressive with some huge riffs and providing some brutal backing vocals. Their singer had a mean growl and had great banter with the crowd. Hats off to this guy for most crowd interaction. Their old singer joined them onstage for their last two songs.
Anabyss from Auckland brought it down a notch with a strong set of Metal reminding me a lot of Soulfly and Cavalera conspiracy. Although mostly quite heavy and fast quite often it was brought down to a slower pace and some quieter guitar solos. Thrash with stoner metal leanings.
Vixen Execution were a full on Metal assault. This was a Grind core band with hardcore overtones. Another band hailing from Anti Christchurch these guys got the crowd pumped. They had an energetic performance and ripped up the stage. They also shared the same singer as Carnal who was pulling double duties for this show. He pulled this off in style not missing a note right up till the end.
Rad-x was the highlight for me when it came to guitar prowess. These guys were tight and the duelling guitar work was unbelievable. More of a technical metal with thrash leanings they were mind blowing. Watching the two guitar players weaving between each other was a sight to behold.
Aethea finished up the night with their first show in two years and a lot of the crowd had waited around for their set. These guys are Death Metal with a little bit of noise thrown in just to mess you up. These guys ended the show in style. By this time my brain was turning to mush after all 12 hours of metal will do that too ya. Itís only so long ya can just stand and watch before the head starts banging and youíre getting into it thus shorter reviews of some of the bands at the end because I was too busy getting into it. Thatís what itís all about any ways.
I left Bar Medusa with one thought on my mind and that was that the state of Kiwi Metal is pretty damn good. After 12 hours and 12 bands I was completely annihilated but hell it was well worth it. I was worried that American hardcore was taking over and gone were the lessons of old school but thankfully the Metal was strong in all these bands and they were true to the Metal and true to themselves all showing their own unique take on the genre. Metal is strong in NZ and we are creating our own flavour and sound and this show gave us a glimpse of the impressive talent and future we have ahead. I canít wait for next yearís Capital Punishment.