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Anvil, Distorted 20 @ The King's Arms Tavern, Auckland, New Zealand

ANVIL / Invasion Of Privacy / Bad State / Static Era / Kulus / Malevolence / D.I.C / All The King’s Horses / Damn The Trend / Halo Of Ashes / Antares / Horusset / MudShark / Leathur Tattoo / Broken Season / Vendetta / Blood Buffalo / Incarnium / Shards of Sky / Brendon Thomas and the Vibes
in Sunday, 16 November 2014 at The King's Arms Tavern
by Rob Douglas and Rodrigo Hidalgo

 
Rob:

Welcome to the Distorted 20 festival. 20 bands, three stages, 12 hours of Metal, Rock and Hardcore. Pretty tempting isn’t it! The Kings Arms in Auckland is a pretty cosy venue for this type of festival but one that works perfectly, as anyone that knows the Kings Arms will agree; this place is legendary across New Zealand.
 




 
The first band to take to the back stage is SHARDS OF SKY, a Melodic Death Metal outfit that start the day off to an unbelievably heavy start. SHARDS OF SKY are tight and have some nice break downs, their quieter moments propel the louder, heavy moments skyward. A cracking way to get things started.
 




 
As the final notes from SHARDS OF SKY die, INCARNIUM fire up their Progressive Metalcore machine on the main stage. Vocalist Troy stalks the stage, trying to get the first pit of the day started. INCARNIUM have a ferocious live sound, and new guitarist Richard has obviously had his work cut out to master some of these songs, but he’s done well, bloody well. INCARNIUM have found a few new friends at Distorted 20 today, and they certainly deserve them.
 




 
BLOOD BUFFALO have the harsh task of being the first band to play outside on the garden stage this afternoon. Normally this would be pretty sweet gig, but the weather is atrocious with gale force winds and torrential rain, but BLOOD BUFFALO make the most of the moment. They are a young band still learning their trade, with instruments almost as is big as they are. But they play some good old fashioned Rock n’ Roll, and considering the conditions they play pretty it well.
 




 
VENDETTA continues the party back inside on the main stage. They are an 80’s influenced Metal and Thrash 3 piece, with a singer / guitar player who has a really powerful voice and plays the guitar very well. VENDETTA starts their set off at a manic pace, things claim down slightly with some quieter and more melodic tones before they stride off again. VENDETTA provides the first cover of the day, BLACK SABBATH’s “Paranoid”, not only do they nail it but they actually claim it as their own. VENDETTA can’t fail to get heads nodding.
 




 
BROKEN SEASON for me, are one of the day’s standout acts. They play on the back stage at 3pm, to only a handful of people which is a real shame. But right from start its clear BROKEN SEASON are here to have fun, they are a 5 or 500 type of band, the show is going to be the same high energy, bruising set regardless of how many people show up. They have a classic NY / LA Hardcore sound reminiscent of DOWNSET and BIOHAZARD, and I dread to think of the damage these three fellas could do if they played to a full house. This is the soundtrack to a riot, and their shouts of “Fuck the System” really drive home the excitement, they have got groove, grunt, balls and anger. In an age of Death and Technical Metal, BROKEN SEASON bring a fresh and energizing sound, Yeah Y’All.
 




 
It’s back out into the monsoon for LEATHUR TATTOO’s garden stage set. But these five glam dudes manage turn a wet Auckland arvo into a steamy night on Sunset Strip, and the Kings Arms into the Whiskey a go go for half an hour. LEATHUR TATTOO ooze sleeve and hairspray and play some mighty fine LA Influenced R’n’f’R. Unfortunately LEATHUR TATTOO do have some sound problems during their set, these sound issues are possible compounded by the 30 odd people crammed onto the deck with them to seek cover from the terrible atmospherics conditions outside. But never the less, LEATHUR TATTOO sound good, they look good, and they get the ladies’ dancing, which is also good, they deserve the bandanas they wear.
 




 
Next up is MUDSHARK, a band that inject some humour and a lot of entertainment into the afternoon. They play a cover of SUM 41’s “FAT LIP” which generally wouldn’t be an automatic choice to play at this type of gig, but it is received very well, and certainly reminds me that music is meant to be fun! MUDSHARK are a band that put a smile on the dial, they have got some good melodies and like their guitarists’ stage presence, MUDSHARK are solid. Their singer certainly has got some moves and these really add to the entertainment MUDSHARK provide. He shuffles around the stage with a Parkinson’s like grace, and seems to be fighting with an invisible wasp, it is great to watch. They are Thrash, heavy, groovy, and even at times have a little hardcore edge, the world needs more bands like MUDSHARK.
 




 
Rodrigo:

It was 4:20pm and that meant the mighty HORUSSET were due to play. HORUSSET are an epic Hard Metal/Rock outfit hailing from the lands of Napier, Hawkes bay. I had never actually listened to them before so my mind was as open as it could be as I had no idea what to expect. HORUSSET had just finished setting up and began speaking to the crowd. The very first thing that I had noticed is that they were very welcoming to us the crowd the kick drum began playing a rhythm and the Bass followed not yet climaxing to a song but it was almost like they were teasing us and I liked it then after a few bars without any time to waste they broke out into a song. The first thing that had my devoted attention was that INSANE guitar tone Charlie had. The tone was very Adam Jones-ish which is a very good thing in my books. Jevon the bassist had a sick plumbing bass tone that just fattened up the whole band from the start. A song I particularly liked was a song called "Instinctual Sacrifice" that is just a perfect representation of what the band is all about; which is solid, hard-hitting drums, heavy powerful guitar power chords, rumbling bass and scorching guitar solos. I did feel in the first half of their set they barely moved… but I particularly remember at one point in their set they started talk to the crowd about playing some old material and at that point i remember HORUSSET moving more and headbanging which essentially got the crowd moving. To be honest it got me dancing from the neck up too.
 




 
Next up was a band of 5 local Aucklanders the goes by the name of ANTARES. I've heard that name being thrown around in the metal/music scene a few times and I (once again) didn't really know what to expect apart from the fact they looked like they had just walked off The X-Factor or some sort of commercial music show… I'm not judging a book by its cover I'm just making a general observation. They started out with a song that had a sound that reminded me quite a lot of some very early KARNIVOOL, but less proggy and more easy listening which isn't a bad thing… I really liked that they had quite confidently switched between different genres including some Swing, Blues, Prog Metal and maybe even some elements of some commercial Hard Rock. Then ANTARES got to a point where they were playing some sort of breakdown and hitting overdrive there were some pretty nice, hard hitting moments that i never expected that actually sounded huge. This band is really fun and to be honest I spotted some really nice skill but as a whole I'm not sure how much of this band I can really take seriously, Sure it's always great to have a convivial atmosphere along with good musicians but I just couldn't really see truly feeling the music and playing with soul. I remember the boys playing a bluesy song at one point that had some pretty decent scales and chord-progressions then at another point in the same song they had broken out into a mean breakdown.


So When ANTARES had finished there was a bit of time before the next band started up. So i got myself a drink and set with some mates and I could only think of how well the show was doing. People were having fun, and the bands so far were great!, At this point it had started raining and people were started to move indoor with the exception of some people drunk-happy enough to dance in the rain, Why not? The environment of the King’s Arms has always been quite jovial regardless of which band is playing there.
 




 
I had heard a band begin to play and I rushed in to get a nice view to find out it with was west Auckland hopefuls HALO OF ASHES who I have seen several times before and every single time I get completely blown away by Luke Vesly's skills on the drums he's an absolute tank. Halo of ashes are a 4 piece garage rock/grunge band mostly based in West Auckland and have been filling people with their fix of some stoner rock/grunge for the last 5 years. They take heaps of influences from bands like CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, SCREAMING TREES, ALICE IN CHAINS but with a twist of some good old SEPULTURA-like thrash but I think that's mostly because of Luke's crazy rudiments on the drums. A song that stood out for me was a song called “Burn The River” they played. The reason I like it is because it just executes so much presence and groove and I noticed that the people feel it too as they were starting to move around and huddle up. One thing I really enjoyed about their set is that they had a few nicely delivered Rock'n'Roll songs that still have that rough, grunge feel to it. One thing I would change though is that their rhythm guitarist/vocalist Matt just takes of his shades when where in the middle of a metal festival in a bar; to me that seemed a little anti-social. Despite that fact I know them personally and they're all really humble about their work.
 




 
DAMN THE TREND is another band that I've heard of around the music scene and I've been told they're pretty decent. DAMN THE TREND is a 4-piece Melodic Thrash/Metalcore Auckland-based band that have been around for almost 2 years. DAMN THE TREND have a sick EP under their belt that was released last month called “Turn the Tide” that has only reinforced their great reputation for being a decent band. First thing that i had noticed is that they were going for that melodic-metal feel and to be honest they executed it really well, I mean their sound, attitude, music and everything was at a very professional level. I was actually quite nice to see them so into their music like when the Vocalist/Guitarist Noel did his solo you could tell we was right into what he was going. I had noticed that they have picked a number of different influences taken from some well-known bands like TRIVIUM, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, Metallica and maybe even some Machine head and collectively combined it into something perhaps a little heavier but still keeping it quiet commercial.

They played a copacetic song called "Sick'n'Twisted" and It was just refreshing to see how professional they were. Warren the drummer in particular reminded me heaps of Travis Smith (ex-TRIVIUM). I did like the fact they were the first band to actually get people moving around and that was solely because the band had a nice sense of communication with the crowd, On numerous occasions they'd encourage people to jump around and mosh with Noel announcing that the person who moshes the hardest wins a free CD. Well, this is the point where i have to admit that I had put my note pad and bag down and jumped 3in and pushed some people around; My hand was getting sore of writing anyway. After a few songs I had picked my pad up again and written what I could about the euphoric experience. Plus I had won a CD. The only thing I had a slight concern with is that their music despite being professional it almost sounded cliché at times; I would maybe even say that I've heard this music being played by many bands before. People seem to be liking this band so they are obviously doing something right.
 




 
After DAMN THE TREND There was a gap of about 2 minutes before I heard a band start ripping it up from across the bar, I had looked at my watch and it had hit around 6:40 so that had meant ALL THE KING'S HORSES were due to play. I could i forget them!? They were so good! ALL THE KING'S HORSES are a 5 piece band arising from Napier, Hawkes bay to take to the stage in Auckland. They've been delivering some pretty melodic, groove metal for about 2 years now. They had incredible stage-crowd interaction and musical skill with the vocalist was yelling so hard I caught his raw emotion just from listening to him. They were all so into it and executed a nice performance I even took of my hat at one point and started headbanging. Well I think they deserved it. The screaming, soulful guitar solos, and epic bass tone and the tight as drums. At one point All the king's horse had played a song called Blood Shed and the one thing i liked was that the musicians were getting so into it. This song actually reminded me of some of the heavier side of BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE but with a nice taste of some PANTERA and that's a good thing. Despite the fact they are a pretty decent band with some monster guitar riffs I felt as if they lacked a little bit of presence on stage; I'm not saying they were completely still but I just felt if they would have moved heaps and headbanged hard then the rest of the crowd would have done so more as well. I actually really liked this band because it was almost refreshing hearing something that hasn't really been done an awful lot lately but at the same time I didn't see something especially unique about them.
 


 
The time has come for D.I.C to take place on the main stage and they were just terrible, filthy, pathetic lowlifes, maybe they should actually start playing some music and not a load of S*#&.

This is most likely the reaction those guys want to hear since they sing about the most gruesome, brutal horrific things possible… Seth Putnam style, only that I don't really agree with my previous comments. D.I.C are a straight up grind core band that I'm quite a big fan of. The 4 come from the darker parts of Hamilton and terrorise one city at a time. The thing I love most about them is that they really don't care about sugar coating their themes and just inject us with pure and raw anger but in way that I can't take them seriously at all, actually it's brilliant but at the same time I can surely, most definitely see how someone not used to grind core could disregard this band's output. Their song titles get me every time with some of them being “Can't Cum”, “Nice Moped Asshole” and “90% Alcohol 10% Flesh” and the rest of them perhaps maybe too obscene a name to be written on here. One song I really liked was a song about Brian Tamaki with Sypho the Great executing some dirty vocals chanting “This is the killing of Brian Tamaki, this is the end of hypocrisy, this is the death to Christianity, this is the killing of Brian Tamaki” and to be honest the reason i remember it is because it's so raw and it's something I most definitely have never heard of. As far as I know D.I.C were the only band the in the whole day who wore costumes on stage; they all wore white surgeon’s pants but with fake blood all over them, Well i certainly hope it was fake blood. They certainly did pull a mean crowd and an even better performance. There was this one point in a song where they had gone completely out of time and it sounded ridiculous but then recovered really well. Sypho had made an apology after that stuff up then reminded us of the valuable point that they really don't care and I couldn't agree more, It adds to the whole 'We don't care' image. Overall I thought that they had produced quite a good performance but once again I don't think I'd ever be able to take them seriously and I'm at the point where I'm conflicted as to if their delivering that idea on purpose or not.
 




 
MALEVOLENCE were ready to mutilate the scene with their furious Blackened Grind/Metal and I was standing there in the front row ready for it. The first thing I had noticed before they had even begun is that they were actually the first band who had packed out that half of the bar. The crowd was made up metal heads of all types which immediately told me that MALEVOLENCE’S output is greatly appreciated throughout all over the metal scene. MALEVOLENCE are an Auckland-based outfit whose discography spans back to the early 90's. I really dig the drummer Ben, there’s such a nice element to his style that feels so punchy and so fluid yet so human Which is something i can also say about Julian's bass playing, whose tone was delicious; I usually like my bass a lot more round and warmer but his tone really makes his playing stick out amongst all of the mayhem going on with all the drums, guitars and growls and you kinda want to hear what he's playing; especially considering some of the lines he's playing. Daryl's brutal vocals consummates immense amounts of intensity and pure hatred with his guttural/throaty growls that definitely dispatches a the most evil amount of raw anger to the ears of everyone within hearing range. In between songs Daryl had a great sense of communication to the audience talking to us as we were a whole making the occasional humorous comment and revving up the crowd. A few songs I really like seeing them play live is “Digitize” and “Property of Satan””; they show-case so much powerful aggression and personality. What I like about these songs collectively is that they promote consistency with the nice flow of tracks. My only trouble was that at times I felt it was difficult to decipher what was actually being played but at least I felt what the rhythm was so I continued headbanging and by the look of a few more people behind me they did too.
 




 
Rob:

BAD STATE have a classic rock sound with touch of CLUTCH and a dash of CHICKENFOOT about them. They have massive solos, raspy voices and get even meanest looking Metal Head in the crowd nodding. BAD STATE turn the party dial up by playing a mix of originals and covers and even play a storming version of “I am the Walrus” which, thank god, sounds nothing like the original.
 




 
Distorted 20 just keeps getting better with INVASION OF PIRACY taking to the main stage in the penultimate slot before ANVIL. INVASION OF PIRACY sound quite unlike anything on the bill today. Musically part AC/DC, vocally part MINSTRY, and performance wise part drug addled monster. INVASION OF PIRACY get hands in the air with ease clapping along to their MOTLEY CRUE-esque brand of Rock n’ Roll. Singer Mazza moves to the side of the stage when he’s not on vocal duty to allow the spotlight to fall on the other members. But when Mazza is on stage it’s all eyes on him, he twists and contorts as he performs, using the mike stand as a crutch and leans backwards off of the drum riser almost bent over double. Mazza is one of the beautiful minds behind Distorted 20, and at this point in the evening I’m surprised he can stand up at all, as he’s been working like a bastard all day. INVASION OF PIRACY play with all the Rock n’ Roll trimmings, behind the head guitar solos, thundering drums and good driving bass lines, they are fitting band to play the main stage prior to ANVIL.
 




 
ANVIL take to the Distorted 20 stage a little late. But as they are their own roadies, and perform their own sound check, we can forgive them the lateness.
 
 
We all know the story of ANVIL the band that time forgot, but they never gave up on the Rock n’ Roll dream. You can see the look of delight on Lips face as his band hit the stage and he launches into a blazing guitar solo. Rob Reiner’s drums are amazing, and Lips is a great guitar player, even if the guitar sounds are a little light tonight.
 
 
They blast into opening song “666” which is a thrash masterpiece, how did ANVIL get forgotten for all that time? In between songs Lips is constantly interacting with the crowd, whether he’s talking about how long they had to travel to get Aotearoa, doing his impression of Ozzy, or talking about how Chuck Berry inspired him to pick up the guitar, it’s obvious they are happy to be here. ANVIL are performers, it’s their business and their business is good, they are a well-oiled machine as you would expect after doing it for 30 years.
 
 
“Winged Assassin” is the first time we really get hear the third member of ANVIL, bass player Chris Robertson, and what a bass player he is; he slaps, he spins and basses within an inch of his life. ANVIL, a band well into their 50’s leap around the stage as well as any of the bands on today’s bill, many of whom are half their age. But the show is turned up to 11 when ANVIL play “Mothra” from the classic 1982 album “Metal on Metal”.
 
 
“Mothra” comes complete with a brilliant guitar solo from Lips which is played using a vibrator to buzz the notes out of the strings; he even gets the crowd chanting in time with its multi speed setting. ANVIL plough through “Thumb Hang” with a thundering Rob Reiner drum solo, new single “Hope in Hell” and of course the song that started it all, the mighty “Metal On Metal”.
 
 
What a way to finish, Lips and Rob thank the Distorted 20 crowd by saying “We have had the time of lives” we can see that, and to be fair, so have we. It took ANVIL 30 years to get here but damned, it was worth waiting for. Distorted 20 has been a fantastic and a very well-run day. But the one thing that has really shone through during this magical metal extravaganza, is that New Zealand has an unbelievably strong, talented and almost unstoppable heavy music scene. To Distorted 20, hats off to you fellas, well done on a great job and to the rest of the world, you better get down here soon and check this shit out; you really don’t know what you’re missing.

Rodrigo:

The time has come! For the almighty ANVIL to take the main stage as if it were their own. I had just walked into the room and I was so fortunate enough to bump into Chris Robertson & Robb Reiner who are the meat and bones of the band playing bass and drums and I thought I might fan-girl a bit, so I had told them how it was an honour to meet them. I had at that point noticed that they were quite stressed out so I didn't bother them much longer. I spoke to the manager who I was personal friends with and they said that ANVIL had sound checked and come to the conclusion that they really, really didn't like the tone coming from the amps they had got from the music store; so they were stressing out. I can totally relate to being frustrated from gear related issues before a show so I didn't ask more. I decided to be a little cheeky so I moved through the crowd to the best place to stand so I get the prime/evenly balanced sound spot which was about 5 rows back and right in the middle. For those of you who have been deprived of knowing this band; ANVIL are a thrash metal trio hailing from the lands of Toronto, Canada. Anvil was formed in 1978 by 'Lips' (Guitars/Vocals) and Robb Reiner and have been a huge influence in metal all around the world since their first album, "Hard 'n' Heavy" back in 1981 and are still going hard after 34 years. In 2008 ANVIL released a documentary called 'Anvil! The Story Of Anvil' and it really put their name out there for the people who don't really know a lot about them. ANVIL were meant to be one of the big 4 (Well, Big 5 if they were included) but for some reason never became such, surely due to bad management issues.

The show was starting and my mates and I were there waiting in the audience and Lips jumped up on stage, picked up his guitar and instead of speaking into the microphone like everyone other band has ever done (that or started playing) Lips lifts his guitar up and starts speaking to the crowd through his Guitar pickups (H-Drive Humbucker for neck and bridge) and it sounded awesome! It almost sounded like a megaphone which is something I absolutely have never even heard of which obviously made an impression on me. Lips then welcomed the crowd with a huge smile and open arms greeting us as Aucklanders then adding in that he has an 'Oktober' hollowbody flying V guitar Custom and he likes to refer to his custom guitar as "Lips-O-Matic"… Why not?

They kicked off the highly anticipated show with and instrumental song called “March Of The Crabs” which appeared on their 1982 album “Metal On Metal” and the cheerful crowd instantly threw their Devil horns in the air and started moving around. It was refreshing to see so many people moving for these Godfathers of thrash.
 
 
The next song that they played was just as heavy and was another song from “Metal On Metal” called “666” and was a true Thrash Metal song chanting out '6-6-6' for the chorus which is what a metal head like me always feel comfort in hearing. ANVIL were talking to the crowd quite a lot and were all so friendly, I thought that for a moment they were maybe speaking too much? Maybe it was just me but I wanted to rock out. ANVIL started playing a song that Robb Reiner had written called “School Love” which is a song I knew people had been waiting for by the amount of cheering I heard coming from people in the assemblage.
 
 
I'm not a Thrash expert, nor do I pretend to be but at this point ANVIL'S show was just as enjoyable as any other Thrash show i've been to simply because of that lively vibe the crowd collectively had; of course that overwhelming dose of pure sonic testosterone, because when I hear some true Thrash Metal being played (especially live) I want to go and punch stuff, run around, I want to climb on things and blow things up, you know? All of the Thrashy things Thrashy people do but I didn't because I kind of wanted to stay at the show and not be kicked out. One thing I like about ANVIL is that they also had a sense of balladry. But unfortunately after the first half of the show I have to be honest here… I got really bored! I initially thought it was just me but I started witnessing people going out of their smokes or drinks and I understood why. What I had realized is that ANVIL were super high energy because the audience was high energy, but it was up until about half-way through the show that I had noticed no one was moshing or really moving at all for that matter.
 
 
Lips being the vocalist spoke to the crowd quite a lot and because my excitement/attention had gone down I came to the conclusion that he has really been speaking to much. Sorry Lips, but leave the life stories for the interviews, mate. Lips spoke to the crowd about his beautiful custom guitar and how he got an image of it tattooed on his left arm, which is understandable, but I was there wanting to rock out, Thrash-style.
 
 
One of the highlights for me was when they played a song called “Swing Thing” that essentially a rock'n'roll style song with elements of blues but that wasn't the peak; Robb Reiner’s awe-inspiring, massive drum solo was probably the most mesmorising moment for me. I stood beside the stage with 6 of my mates who are all drummers too and our eyes were glued to Robb and his kit! There was no way that out attention was going anywhere else. Until that moment I didn't actually realize how much groove and pure skill he had and I liked that He played with a 'French grip' on the snare hand which is something not so common in metal. I'm not sure what other people thought but throughout the set I really didn't like the guitar tone Lips had; I do acknowledge the fact that they had didn't have their desired tone they wanted but really I'm sure that after 34 years of being a band they would have been able to get any good tone from a tube amp by fiddling with it.
 
 
Overall I really enjoyed ANVIL; I really enjoyed their set but I got bored and ended taking my drink outside for a bit. I think that 90 minutes of that was just too much for me and don't get me wrong, they are still one of the Godfathers of metal for me but I'm not really excited about seeing them again. After the show I managed to meet all of them and have a bit of a talk. I asked Lips what he had thought of NZ and I'm not sure if he was just tired or pissed off that I was just another fan but he gave me a bit of an abrupt answer saying "Aaah, Good.” I still had a bit of a conversation with them but generally they were quite nice guys but I think at the time they were more interested in the New Zealand cannabis they somehow managed to acquire.

After ANVIL I had sat down and took a break, and had a chat to a few of my fellow metalhead and it turns out that quite a few people had agreed with me that the energy dissipated. But the bar was still open so people were still drinking and having a good time, some of which were waiting for the last two bands to play. The environment at the King’s Arms was still really nice and the people were happy with the day as a whole which is always a great sign.

I had never STATIC ERA play before yet I've heard so much about them. The time had crossed over to 11.30 and they were all ready to play by the time ANVIL had finished. STATIC ERA are a 4 piece pop-like gothic-ish metal/hard rock band that sound along the lines of bands like LACUNA COIL, NIGHTWISH and EVANESCENCE. The band was formed in late 2010 by the absolutely gorgeous Emma G and was then joined by Victor (bass), Chris (guitars) and by the looks of it the incredible Mr. Nick Kissel on drums and they definitely work well together. When STATIC ERA started playing I couldn't help but think of how commercial and easy listening they sound; It was so uplifting and you could tell STATIC ERA were having fun by the huge smiles on their faces. Chris's guitar tone was sick! It was just so heavy, thick and juicy as he played those power chords. I was also just as impressed (as always) listening to Kissel's drums; He is so tight and snapped to the time signature, not a single split second out of time. The spot light for me was Emma G and her soulful, incredible voice and her movements around that stage in a way that you could definitely see that she was into her music. I think that watching this was all kinds of amazing for a while but after the 4th song I started feeling a little bored. Every song had unique and beautiful elements in them but they started sounding the same. STATIC ERA are a great band of professional level but It's unfortunate that most of their songs seemed to be made up of the same elements; in a way, that makes me feel that if you've heard one song you've probably heard most of them.
 




 
The end of the night had come but not for KULUS and fans. KULUS are an alternative rock/Nu Metal West Auckland based outfit that has been around for the last 8 years, they started out as a covers/party band then later began focusing on their original Nu Metal type music. Is Nu Metal actually still around? I’ve really heard local bands play Nu metal before so it was interesting. KULUS are a really professional band and I'm not the only one who's said that about them. Unfortunately most of the people had left at this point since Anvil had finished but I was happy to see a few people sticking around to support KULUS and the local music scene and it's easy to see why people could like KULUS not that it's really the kind of music I’d usually listen to but I do admit they are very professional and all really great musicians. I noticed that the vocalist Callan has a style that crosses between David Draiman and Fred Durst, not only in the way he sings but also in the movements he does on stage; he's giving us a performance. Most of the band actually had really good stage presence and reminded me a bit of some very early SYSTEM OF A DOWN, which isn't a bad thing really only that I feel as if I have heard KULUS's music before played by countless other bands in the big scene, 10 years ago. I have to hand it to the guitarist Grant though for writing some really cool riffs that seem so damn simple but effective and the bassist B-Sey for his meaty, grunty as hell bass tone. Overall I would definitely recommend listening to these guys if you're into SLIPKNOT, DISTURBED, SOAD and other Nu Metal bands comparable because these guys are really professional but I would just advise some more dynamic songwriting for their future songs to come.
 




 
By the end of the whole night, all of the bands collectively put on one hell of a show with great vibes, sweet crowd, and nice people at an awesome bar filled with laughter and drinks. I honestly can't wait till next year to see some of these great bands come back and some new ones come forth.

Photography courtesy of:

Sam Little Photography
Lycan Photography

Ticket Price: 60 NZD


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Edited 22 September 2017
 

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