Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hammer Sonic & Extreme the Dojo 2012 Live Report

The weekend of August 24 and 25 was definitely one of the most intense live show weekends I’ve ever had, with a mixed-genre metal festival on Friday, and a tour by the grind gods on Saturday.


On the evening of Friday, August 24, I went to Namba Rockets in Osaka for Hammer Sonic, a 2-day festival in a small/mid-size venue whose name plays off of the huge festival Summer Sonic that was a week or two before (featuring Green Day, Rihanna, bla bla etc.).


I gotta say, it was an insane show. Great crowd (of various nationalities) and great bands of various genres including doom metal, hardcore, thrash/death metal, post-rock/hardcore, and I’m not even sure what some of the genres were.


This show started at about 6 PM, and it went until maybe 4 or 5 in the morning. I’m not sure exactly, because I was pretty much dead by about 1 AM. Which is too bad because I missed all the bands after that that I’m sure were excellent, as well as the bands that played on Saturday.


I would have to say my favorite set of the night was Palm. I don’t often get into this kind of hardcore, but when I do, I do hard. It just felt so good to get in the pit and mosh around to the energy of the crowd and the band. Because I was so pumped to get in the pit I didn’t get a chance to get video of this band, but take a look at another video of theirs on Youtube.


The big surprise of the night was Envy. I would describe their music as sort of post-rock or post-hardcore or something, basically it’s the kind of music I never give a chance. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this band too much, but a few people were saying “Envy is playing next, they’re really great.” So I though I would just give them a listen. I just have to say wow. It just sounds really really good. I was just mesmerized by how the whole sound fit together and I couldn’t stop listening. The sound I captured with my camera turned out to be pretty good quality too, so give it a listen!

こ の夜に「Envy」というバンドが演奏していて、知らなかったから何も期待していなかったけど、曲が始まるとまあ驚いたな。本当に音がきれい、エネルギー がいっぱい、ジャンルがなんだかわからないが、とりあえず聞き入ってしまった。このバンドは海外からでもそこそこ注目集めてきているらしくて、一度聴いて みないと本当に損すると思う。カメラで撮った音もあまり悪くないので、下のビデオで聞いてみてください。

Another surprise of the night was the only band that night from abroad (that I know of), Black Breath, from Seattle in the US. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they are just the kind of metal that we all need! They look fucking metal, they sound fucking metal, they were just awesome. It seems that they were able to tour Japan thanks to Palm, seems like an unlikely match, but I’m really glad it happened! I hope they had a good tour and I hope to see them in Japan again!

このライブでもう一つ驚いたのはアメリカから来てくれた「Black Breath」というメタルバンド。みんな本当に似合ってる、メタルのかっこうは。そしてメタルの中でも俺好みのスラッシュ・デス的な感じ。めっちゃ楽しかったし、客もみんなめっちゃ楽しそうだった。

Another highlight of the night was Eternal Elysium, a Japanese doom metal band. Eternal Elysium is pretty popular and a great addition to Japan’s doom scene along with Church of Misery. I would say while Church of Misery is more on the dark, heavy side of doom metal, Eternal Elysium is more on the stoner side of things. The band had great synergy with the crowd that night and good times were had all around.

も う一つ注目になっていたバンドは、現在盛んになってきているジャパニーズ・ドゥームメタルの代表となる「Eternal Elysium」。ドゥームのなかでもどっちかと言えば「ストーナー」系かな?お客さんと一緒に盛り上がってて、メッチャしみる音楽を聴きながらすごい演 奏をしてくれた。

Acrostix & Disturd are both three-piece crust punk bands that are just full of energy, speed and ferocity. I don’t hear about punk shows much in Japan, but I’m glad to see that there are some amazing punk bands around. I would really like to see these bands again in even smaller venues along with other local punk bands like Framtid and Warhead!




Those are just a handful of the bands that played, here is a picture of the poster that lists the bands for both days. There are some amazing bands on that list (a band I’m sad missing on Saturday is thrash legend Abigail) so by all means check them out!


And on Saturday, I went to Extreme the Dojo! An annual set of shows from popular bands abroad, that, this year, featured the grind legends Pig Destroyer, Nasum, and Napalm Death! I saw them the day after the show above, in Nagoya on Saturday. They actually played in Osaka on Friday, and I met a few people left the Dojo show who came to Hammer Sonic after it finished.

さ らに土曜日に、毎年外国の人気メタルバンドを呼ぶ「Extreme the Dojo」に名古屋場に言ってきた!今回遠く来てくれたのはグラインドの参内バンド「Pig Destroyer」と「Nasum」と「Napalm Death」だった!全部いっきに見れて本当にラッキーだった!

I was really honored to see Nasum on their farewell tour! It was my first time seeing them, they were really intense and the guest vocalist was awesome. 

I tried to take some video of Nasum, but I was in the middle of the mosh pit, so it is super shaky. Just try to imagine your are in the mosh pit while watching the video.


And finally, here is some video of Napalm Death. I used to listen to them in high school, but this is my first time to see them live, and I was really surprised to see how they are such nice guys, with a passionate and powerful message. They have been around for a long time, but they really haven’t lost their flame. After this show, they performed charity shows in the tsunami-stricken areas of Japan, and toured elsewhere, even playing in Korea with Hydrophobia, who I mentioned in my last blog entry.

そしてNapalm Death!いや、感動した!暴れた!昔からいるこのバンドは今となってもパッションを失うことないみたい。Napalm Deathはこの後も東北の方に行って震災寄付のためのライブも行ったそう。

The guys from all three bands stuck around a bit after the show, drinking, talking, and taking pictures/signing autographs for fans. Super friendly guys.