LIVE REVIEW: Wacken Metal Battle – Cape Town heats

If you’re from South Africa and you’ve heard of Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) there’s a few things you will know;

  1. W:O:A is a heavy metal festival that takes place in Germany every year in their Summer (our Winter)
  2. The festival usually sees up to 75,000.00 attendees (tickets are already sold out for 2016)
  3. Metal bands from all over the world play this show
  4. South African bands are currently battling it out to see who’ll get to play at this year’s show, taking place at the beginning of August.

Thursday, 28 April – Saturday, 30 April saw the Cape Town leg of the battle taking place. Each night there were five bands playing their hearts out, trying to win a spot in the finals.
Not only did they each have to compete against four other amazing bands, but they all also had to challenge themselves to play their best show and to stand out above all the rest as there could ultimately only be three bands progressing to the finals in Gauteng.

R.O.A.R hosted the first show on Thursday night and despite the less than desirable weather there was still a great turnout. The night started off with the draw for the order of the bands playing and as per the numbers selected the line-up was as follows:

  1. Atlantic South
  2. Nebula Disrupt
  3. Bulletscript
  4. With Dawn
  5. Red Tape Rebellion.

The bands all put in great effort but, unfortunately, there can only ever be one winner. Congratulations to Bulletscript on winning the first Cape Town heat.
Photo by Iggy

Friday night saw Cape Town’s metal heads all gathering at Rabbit Hole for the second night of bands trying their best to win a spot in the finals. Once again, numbers were drawn and the line-up announced as follows:

  1. DevilSpeak
  2. The Alpha Sequence
  3. The Fallen Prophets
  4. Zombies ate my girlfriend
  5. A Price On The King’s Head

Many people were excited for Friday’s bands, so I wasn’t at all surprised when I rocked up to find a pretty full venue.  As soon as DevilSpeak started playing, the whole crowd was on the floor head banging, going nuts and just generally having a good time. This continued throughout all five bands’ sets and then it was done and it was time to announce the winners. There was silence as the entire venue waited with bated breath for the lovely Sashquita Northey to announce the winner. All five bands had brought their A-game and everyone was guessing as to who the winning band would be. Once again there could only be one winner and Cape Town’s second win went to Zombies Ate My Girlfriend. Well done boys – you played incredibly well, you got the crowd excited and you deserved the win.
Photo by Iggy

After two nights of amazing performances, we arrived at the final night of the Cape Town leg of the Wacken Metal Battle. The crowd gathered at Aandklas with high expectations and certainly weren’t disappointed. The line-up for the night was as follows:

  1. Thread of Omen
  2. Beeldenstorm
  3. Subject to Slaughter
  4. Junkyard Lipstick
  5. Fuera

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Photo by Peter Manion of The The Metalist za

By the time we all arrived at Aandklas, most people (including the bands) knew what to expect of the show which certainly aided in the night running smoothly. Bands were quick to set up, the sound guys at the venue did a fantastic job and every single band put their best efforts in to their sets and all sounded absolutely amazing. The boys from Beeldenstorm entertained the crowd with their usual antics and their alcohol filled water gun. The crowd responded incredibly well to all bands and must have made the judges’ job incredibly difficult. The incredibly humble boys of Fuera won the final leg of the Cape Town heat but unfortunately had to pull out just days later. You guys were phenomenal and we’re all sad to hear that you will not be partaking in the final but we are also incredibly excited to see Subject to Slaughter getting a chance as they played just as well.
Photo by Iggy

The beautiful thing about the metal community is that we treat each other as if we’re all part of one big family. After each heat you could see not only the public, but also the members of the other performing bands all congratulating the winners. The sour grapes were kept to a bare minimum and the sense of camaraderie between all who attended/ played at the shows reminded me, once again, of why I love being a part of this fantastic community of passionate people.
A special thank you has to go out to the amazing judges; Nathan, Peter, Sonja, Wouter, Zain and mediator Sashquita.  I don’t think anyone realizes what a tough job they had in judging these three shows. There was a set criteria they had to judge each band according to and the crowd was not afraid to voice their opinion of their decisions to their faces. They all remained un-biased and did an amazing job.

Congratulations to Bulletscript, Zombies Ate My Girlfriend and Subject to Slaughter for making it to the finals. I wish you all the best and am confident you’ll make Cape Town proud.

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