2010-12-27

Let there be light.

The lady and I took a trip up the mountain to see the Illumination at Lake Haruna.

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The town and part of the lake atop the mountain was turned into a magical illuminated wonderland of LEDs and snow… more after the jump ;)

2010-12-26

The Clutch and the Master

So the shifting on my new car had been getting progressively harder. I first got me some badass (and pricy) Motul tranny oil but it didn’t fix it, just stopped the grinding. I decided before I go spending TOO much getting it overhauled or replaced, to replace the clutch Master and slave cylinders. Contacted a buddy and he ordered the parts and helped with the install this past weekend.

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The result………

2010-12-25

Omlette Cake

No shit… that's what it was called. Needless to say I was a little skeptical.IMG_0700

Upon closer inspection it was just a foldover cake of sorts. had nothing to do with omlettes aside from maybe the shape. It could just as easily have been a Calzone cake.

IMG_0701 IMG_0702
IMG_0704 IMG_0705

2010-12-21

Mad Metal Misdemeanors [2010-12-11] A live report of sorts

Last year around this time I went to a live show at a University in IIdabashi. I went through again this year to have an epic time partying to epic music with epic people. This year was no different. I just took waaay more pictures.
demonicwin
Hit the jump for the full report!

2010-12-20

Shots #33 One for the home country.

eish I must say. It still looks as scummy as I remember it being ;) Oh the lulz.

2010-12-16

Shots #32 Salute

horns
This is more of a test than anything else. Finally got me a windows virtual machine running on the mac. Basically now I can use Windows Live blog writer which is more powerful than any of the sorry mac blog writers. and most importantly. Its free!

The pic is also awesome!

Its also a preview of the next big post. Stay tuned.

2010-12-11

Shots #31 This is how we roll.

 

The ALT Chapter of the Gunma Hi-Octane Club.

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left to right:

Jeevy (Subaru Vivio RX-R), Me (Nissan Silvia S14 K’s Zenki), Li (Nissan Silvia S14 Q’s Kouki), Mike (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution II), Allen (Mazda Roadster NA6)

2010-12-09

Black and beautiful by the lake.

No... not what you may have imagined. if I got your hopes up, I apologize. Let me make it up with these pictures instead.

After shooting footage for the next episode of Shin Yamato Damacy, Allen and I rolled over to Haruna-ko to have a little bit of a shoot with our sexy beasts.


2010-12-08

Tearing up the Touge ~5 hit combo~ No.4

 tougetouge2 touge3touge4touge5

Gunma’s Nocturnal Wildlife

If you go up to the mountains at night you’re in for a big surprise…

If you go up to the mountains at night  you better have extra tires…

‘cos every drifter that ever there was, will gather there for certain because…

THEY CAN!

2010-12-07

LOUD PARK 2010 ~ Part 4

Yeah
I haven’t forgotten… but it takes a long time to write up all this awesome.
If you haven’t read the rest, DO IT!!!!

Alexisonfire

Would have been more interesting if Alexis was actually on fire… whoever Alexis actually is. The band sounded like a conversation with the manager of the Pearl Drums stand and tasted like a Lotteria Supper. Hey. Since I discovered the wonders of one handed moshing to Turisas before this, I needed to pack in the power to continue the fight.
I heard them once on YouTube… didn’t care much for them. and after a power act like Turisas. It wasn’t worth the effort.

Kuni

With a full belly I returned to the seating area to watch some metal in comfort (I may be getting old, but I really like having comfy seating between moshes)
Kuni was, and for that matter, still is an anomaly to me. He is one of those monster Japanese metal legends from back in the day. and I DO mean LEGEND. He is a guitarist that gets a bunch of other awesome names in metal to occasionally form a band and perform.

“You could say he was

a metal Santana.”

Great metal. a bit too old school for me but it was enjoyable (since I had a comfy chair) I liked the act better than I liked Alexisonfire… but it wasn’t mind-blowing. Having said that… A few thousand fans did disagree with me. The stage was packed and the audience was generating some epic energy. Its possible that that's the reason I found watching them so enjoyable. Because honestly. They really are not my style.

Spiritual Beggars.

Wait WHAT??? Blasted hippies in bellbottoms singing about love. hehehe.
Yeah basically they were hippies that make metal. Its proper metal. just not my style.

Angra

IMG_0312 What is it about Brazil and steel. They pump out power metal like a Thai hooker pumps out ping pong balls! And its damn good stuff! Ok so like the old school power puritans would probably call it crap but then ALL puritans (even metal ones) need to wake up and realise the world is turning.

“…long flowing hair blown around by stage fans”

Angra was power. Proper power. They even had the Stratovarius like power stance and long flowing hair blown around by stage fans. There was one member who didn’t have hair though. It would have gotten caught in his instrument. Yup they had a Violin. While violins in metal are not new I have never seen one so effectively used in power metal before. These guys were unreal. and they fed of the crowd more voraciously than any band at the festival… up to that point anyway..

MOTÖRHEAD

IMG_0315

I  saw MOTÖRHEAD!!!!!!

When I think about this I wonder if it was real or if I was having some weird ass dream. I mean. On stage. Right there. Was THE MOTÖRHEAD. and they sounded excellent. When you see an artist with that reputation you expect top quality. Halford didn’t cut it. These guys flayed it! It was intense. They played a few new tracks but for me it was hearing all those classics that made them the legendary band that they they are.
I will be the first to admit that they are not nearly my favourite metal act. but they are quality.
Besides seeing Metal grannies screaming for Lemmy like high school girls was priceless.

Avenged Sevenfold

IMG_0317 The last mosh of Loud Park 2010. While not the last mosh of the year I am going to be hard-pressed to find one on this scale the rest of this year so I had to give it my all. Sadly Avenged sevenfold lacks the power of some of the other bands that played but they were by no means weak. They got the circles going good.
The tone of their show was tempered by the loss of their drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan but the crowd fuelled their energy and it was a mix of power and remembrance.
They played a fair amount from their latest album ‘Nightmare’ which was known by the crowd but had skipped my attention while I have been here. It was impressive stuff. I feel it sounds a little more (for lack of a better word) mature than the earlier stuff. In the end it is up to you whether you like it or not… Me? I was 60/40 toward like but Loud Park being Loud Park I tended to gravitate toward genki over maturity.

“Avenged sevenfold lacks the power… but they were

by no means weak.”

Its ok. They played plenty of their classics.
I attempted to get the figure 8 pit going again but the fans were not as intense as the ones in 3 inches of blood. very few got the idea. even though it seemed like the only logical thing to do given the proximity of the two circles. I may have needed another usher to help guide the flow. It may have been the fact that A7X fans lack the will to break out of their comfort zones. Maybe they just aren’t insane. In the end I still had a great time.a and i kept the gap from clogging up with spectators with the occasional well placed charge…

Ozzy Ozbourne

Rob Halford may be the (self proclaimed) god of metal. But Ozzy IS the prince of darkness (and his new music is actually good).
ozzy What would be a synonym for Ozzy Osbourne?
I can’t think of just one. In fact I needed help from the web to make a list of enough words that mean Ozzy Osbourne.
alarming, astonishing, awe-inspiring, awful,beautiful, breathtaking, exalted,  fearsome, formidable, frantic, frightening, grand,  impressive, intimidating, magnificent,majestic, mind-blowing*, moving, overwhelming, shocking, something else, striking, stunning, stupefying, terrible,terrifying, wonderful, wondrous…   You get the idea.
You will get those who say ‘Oh I saw Ozzy at this and this festival and he was alright I suppose’ or things along those lines. In fact a number of people, when I asked them to come to loud park, said things just like that.

“…seeing someone as old as my dad on stage just having the time of his life was in itself worth the effort and money.”

ozzy2
They have many reasons why Ozzy is in some way not anything special. And to be fair, metal is such that he actually isn’t anything special. So he did a lot for the music but times change and I am all for the changing and evolving of metal as a musical force (yes I am growing up). But wow. He was amazing. and seeing someone as old as my dad on stage just having the time of his life was in itself worth the effort and money. Yeah ‘Iron Man’, ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Mr Crowly’ live did help some. Just a bit ;P
But yeah. People have said he is old and a bit of a fool. Which is true. His reality show didn’t really paint him in the best light (or rather just told the truth). But wow. I have never seen someone (aside from me :P ) having so much fun before. He was almost like a child in his delight.
He will never stop performing. He can never stop performing. He will likely die on stage to a packed house. I am honoured to have seen him and before he does. To have felt his energy. To have tasted the legend that he has built up. It was truly a spectacular experience.

<Part 1>  <Part 2>  <Part 3>  <Part 4>

2010-12-03

I am still alive

but have been very very busy...

I have not forgotten about you

just a little more.


2010-11-23

Shots #29 Daiso Filter

IMG_0474

The world as seen through Y100 sunglasses from The Daiso.

2010-11-19

Shots #28 Badass doesn't get old

Father of the owner of the gym. 70 years old. Hardcore Badass.

Samurai Tinkies

The 4th installment of the loudpark 2010 live report is about 35% done. In the mean time, enjoy this:

Among the many many free snacks... that I consume at school on a daily basis, I found this here gem.

Its basically a downsized Tinkie with a citrus jam like centre. Ok so its not really anything like a Tinkie but its the best analogy I can find that you guys would understand. It was that or a sweet spring roll, and 'Samurai Tinkie' sounds so much more epic than 'Sweet Samurai Spring Roll' でしょ!

As for the taste. It lacked the sickly sweetness that plagues the Tinkie and thus satisfies me a whole lot more. I daresay though, I would have liked it better with 餡子(anko - Azuki Bean jam) inside. but then ALL things sweet would taste better with 餡子 inside :D 

2010-11-16

Shots #27 A Dog’s Life

driving-dog
Dogs will do anything for their masters. Even if that means driving them to the konbini.

Shots #26 …shit bricks.

police_RX7
Police issue Mazda RX7 FD3S. See this guy in your rear view mirror and you will shit bricks.

2010-11-15

KitKat ~ Cheese

 

KitKat-Cheese-01

I have been meaning to blog up some of the  tasty bizarreness (bizarre tastiness?) that Japan has to offer. From sweets to unsavouries and everything else I manage to take photos of BEFORE I eat them.

First up KitKat. Cheese Flavour.

No shits.

CHEESE!!!!!

KitKat-Cheese-02

Japan takes KitKat to new levels of bizarro with the various limited edition flavour runs and such but this has to officially be the bizzarroest of all that I have seen to date.KitKat-Cheese-03

Ok so it did taste good. It always tastes good. It also tasted like cheese. Not cheese cake, not Cream cheese.. actual cheese. Gouda blended with white chocolate. I must say this though. The marketing plan is solid. By releasing all these crazy flavours they guarantee that people WILL be buying a whole lot of KitKat. And paying a rather large amount for it to (This box was R40) But I mean, how could I not buy it!?

2010-11-09

LOUD PARK 2010 ~ Part 3

2010-10-17

3 Inches of Blood


“WAIT!!!!

CANADA MAKES

GOOD METAL!!??!!”

I actually made it to the arena on time despite having had almost no sleep and being terribly tired from the previous day’s shenanigans. I kinda went all out the day before without realising it. I had not regretted it…YET.
IMG_0308
3 Inches of Blood was always going to be an epic kickoff I had heard their stuff before and was suitably impressed. The kicker was when they announced themselves and said that they were from Canada… WAIT!!!! CANADA MAKES GOOD METAL!!??!! And then I realised that just because every Canadian (well save a certain badass bar owner) I have met is a pussy in the music department (sorry Li, I love you but its true) it doesn’t mean that all of Canada is comprised of musical pussies. 
Clearly out there, somewhere brothers of steel reside in the soft cushy Canadian snows.
The band was epic. they got the circles teeming within 2 songs and they were big circles. so big that at the small choke point between the two sections in front of the stage was separated by only a small group of people. I saw opportunity for a smashing time. I linked up with another massive foreign guy and we double teamed the gap creating a small breach. we then funnelled the one half’s circle into the other and vive versa.
Moshpit engineering

WE MADE A FIGURE 8 PIT!

No joke. Thanks to the bizarre setup of barriers in front of the stage that prevented HUGE circles like last year, we managed to create a new form of pit.
You all missed it.
Yes.
It WAS EPIC!
but it took its toll…

Trash Talk

I messed up my already messed up elbow up.
It was not in good shape the day before but I actually pushed it to a point where the original injury couldn’t compare pain wise. It was dizzying. I could not move it. I thought I may have properly torn the ligaments this time. A sprain of note.
I couldn’t take it. I went to look for the medics to give me something to ease the hellfire. All I can say is that its was good thing that nothing serious happened in the way of injuries at Loud Park. They were WOEFULLY UNDERPREPARED for a medical emergency. It would be illegal in most other places to have something that big without proper paramedics on call. Usually there would be quite a few and an ambulance on call.

“the staff didn’t even know where the medical facilities were”

F@CKALL!!! NOT A SINGLE PARAMEDIC IN SIGHT! I was horrified. If someone had say, had an allergic reaction, Asthma attack, or something along those lines, they would have died. most of the staff didn’t even know where the medical facilities were let alone whether there were any. In the end they had to run to the bloody entrance to ask someone then get them on a radio then they took me there (getting lost 2 times). don 2 flights of stairs around countless corners in the bowels of the stadium before they took me to a tiny room with 1 doctor to average looking assistants and a dodgy bed. Admittedly all I wanted was a medical grade painkiller, and the magic patches that make muscle pain go away but what a mission.
I missed Trash Talk.
I didn’t care though, because they were rather too monotonous for my liking.

Halestorm

Lzzy Hale is HOT!!!!
now that I got that out of the way, on with the write up.
Think Jo Day. That's Halestorm. there was nothing really separating them and Jo Day musically, I prefer Halestorm just because Lzzy is my age and is hot (i may have mentioned that before)
Interesting fact, The drummer is her brother (hence the band name) they make good music to sit down and ease away the pain in my arm. Assisted by painkillers, magic patches and strawberry tapioca milkshake. In the end though the one thing that really stood out about them was the fact that Lzzy Hale is HOT! I will listen to them ,but they are nowhere on my lets buy their music list. Take a listen. Many of you will like them I’m sure.

Reckless Love

Hair metal from the 80s is awesome Hair metal from now is not so much. especially when the band in question hasn’t actually done anything new. Sure they play their own songs and have many a fan in Japan, but really. Hair metal is dead. It had its heyday, and we all love it, we just don’t need and don’t want any more.
I must say though they did have the VK boygirl thing down pat and as a result the front of their stage was teeming with hyena but honestly musically, VK has waaaay more to offer.
I was still in pain though so I fired up the electronic copy of The latest Honorverse novel and got me some real entertainment… and another Strawberry Tapioca milkshake (It was good milkshake, They used real full cream cow juice.)
Yeah
I was not particularly phased by them.

Turisas

IMG_0310 Still not really able to use the arm, moved to the seating area closest to the stage for Turisas. the band I was looking forward to the most. The band who’s shirt I bought and was wearing. The fans were chanting long before the sound checks were over. They walked onto the stage to a thunderous roar that I was surprised to hear. Flaming testicles on a sick!!! they are popular in Japan!!!
They began with ‘To holmgard and beyond’. The circles were up and spinning before the first verse was through. I watched. I craved. I headbanged and by the 2nd chorus I couldn’t take it any more. How the hell could I sit on the side for this? Screw sanity and screw the certain injury I was about to cause… I stormed up the stairs around and back down through the crowd of stragglers at the back forcing my way to the front all before the 3rd verse was done.
HOLMGARD AND BEYOND! I entered the fray in time for the last chorus.
The one handed stance was developed. The festival held promise once more. I was charged up with a fury that Bryan would have been proud of. With one hand I not only enjoyed but also dominated the pit I was in. The inevitable ego boost only made the pit better.
Turisas played brilliant music but they also fed of the massive support they had. They got better and so did the atmosphere. I know I can only say “They were so damn good” so many times but they truly were. They made all of the first day look like a warm-up. Even Dir en grey with their home turf advantage didn’t hit this hard. In addition to the feeding of the crown they actually interacted. they got us participating and more importantly, they explicitly asked for a wall of death… and gave us good time to prepare it.

“I was charged up with a fury that Bryan would have been proud of”

There was this skinny white boy in a slipknot shirt who took it upon himself to tell people what to do. he had the nerve to push me and tell ME to get back like he was the king of the pit. he clearly wasn’t in the preceding circles (or any of the pits the day before) because he should have known better (as a number of moshers there did). On the hallowed grounds of the (Saitama Super) Arena I exemplified his stupidity and showed him why he was 100 years too early to take on seasoned veteran. Sadly however it was not a clean battle. He never openly challenged me nor did he have the balls to come straight at me. in the end the result was the same but I prefer proper charges (like the one that sent me flying onto my arse the day before) He didn’t respect his place in the hallowed arena and I didn’t respect him.
I felt a lot Like Crixus did when Spartacus didn’t know his place. Lets hope that one day he too manages to take on Theocles and slay him (Like Crixus.. I tried the day before and was found wanting) IMG_0311
The skinny boy aside, Turisas fans are a brotherhood (some chicks too but they are honorary brothers) We were all warriors of steel together. Paying tribute to the leaders of our clan. Shouting. Chanting. BATTLE!!!!
We also got one of their new songs. First time it was ever played live. Unfortunately I was enjoying it so much that I forgot what they called it. We will find out soon enough when they release their new album.
It was not all so epic sadly…
The beer song was a bit of a disappointment because we couldn’t take beer to the stage but its ok because I tanked up afterwards to make up for it. Turisas made Japanese beer taste good. Very good.

Possibly the best beer I’ve had here.

All through out the day There were many more legendary bands and amazing acts but none so thoroughly epic as Turisas.

The heart of Turisas was forged by four winds

In a smithy high up in the skies

On an anvil honour, with a hammer of blood

The Four Winds pounded

Battle Metal!


<Part 1>  <Part 2>  <Part 3>  <Part 4>

2010-11-07

Shots #25 Halloweenie

So like.. I haven’t forgotten.. I have just been busy…

while i finish up the loudpark review… enjoy this:

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2010-11-01

2010-10-29

Shin Yamato Damacy ep.08 Tokyo Anime Fair 2010



Episode 8 is alive...
We hit up the Tokyo Anime fair in march and asked the Otaku about Otaku stuff.

a bit late compared to when we filmed it, but as they say...Better late than pregnant!

2010-10-28

Shots #24 Heavy Metal

The horns! What can I say. I teach the truly important aspects of life to my students.
steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel

2010-10-25

LOUD PARK 2010 ~ Part 2

continued from here

HELLYEAH!

“Great music to eat a

KFC rounder to.”

Cowboy redneck hillbilly metal supergroup from the arse end of nowhere otherwise known as Texas. Yeah. They were awesome  because they gave me a much needed break after the brutality Dir en grey hit me with before. Great music to eat a KFC rounder to. Ok look… They are pretty good. One does not simply get to an event this big by sucking. but there is metal and then there is METAL and there are times when one has to pass on some things to prepare fro the slaughter to come…Even when your Drummer is Vinnie Paul (ex Pantera) and your Vocalist is Chad Gray (Mudvayne)
hellyeah

 

RATT

Another one of those legendary bands that have been around since the west was won. But not my style. I did meet two members of that university metal club I saw last time… one of them was a massive RATT fan. She was over the moon to see them as were a few thousand others. I watched from the stands digesting and recouping lost strength. It was good to see a band that has been around that long though… and I LOVE the way they spell ‘rat’.
ratt

Accept

Another legendary band. This time however. I was there like a Bear! Accept is a band that is directly responsible for the modern developments in power metal. Of all the old school sounding bands out there, they sounded the most like the power that I prefer to listen to.
ok.. I think I can pretty much sum up Accept’s set in one line that anyone who knows metal can understand, appreciate and be suitably jealous of:

I SAW “METAL HEART” LIVE!

I can go on about the rest of the show. I must mention that of all the old timers that performed, Accept are the most healthy looking. I do mean healthy. they are ripped and toned and look better than the manservice in Top Gun.
The guitarist was buff. When I am 666 years old I want to look like him. In the end however. Accept came down “Metal Heart” and hearing one of the anthems of metal performed live was better than words could truly explain.
accept

Stone Sour

‘Corey Taylor shaved off his beard!!!!!’ was the first thing I thought when he walked on the stage. He looked like an All American soldier boy. The pretty image died there though the set was good. They are no Slipknot. They are a side project to explore the lighter side of their music and so you can expect that brutality was never going to be the driving force.
That aside however there was no shortage of emotion, passion and sheer skill. They are damn good live! I had only ever heard their first full album back in the Vaal Triangle days and I’ll be the first to admit that I needed to grow up a whole lot before I was able to accept their music.

“there was no shortage of emotion, passion and sheer skill”

I clearly have because I truly do like their new album, Audio Secrecy, and enjoyed their set immensely. Definitely not the band for brutalising people to (even though there were a number of fairly intense pits) but powerful.
stone_sour

Halford

Yes. The front man from Judas Priest. His side project anyway. Not my thing. I was never the hugest fan of the Priest us much as I was a fan of the music that was influenced by them. No doubt, Children of Bodom would not sound as they do if it were not for Halford and the Priest. So yes. He is a metal god. I didn't know if I really like or really hate the fact that he calls himself ‘the metal god’ either way. I got to see him. That counts for something. But I watched from the floor in front of the KoRn stage… 
halford

 KoRn

Saturday night headlining act. I think there was only one KoRN song I truly liked going into this set and to be fair Its still the only one I like now. Though the other tracks did get pits going. which was reason enough for me to be up front.
If you are expecting a passionate last write up for this part of the report like i did in the last one I’m afraid you will need to wait till parts 3 and 4. I loved ripping peeps up to “falling away from me” and I always love hardcore pits. I don’t like KoRn. so I left before their encore ended so I could get my bag and head out before the swarm departed.
korn
After all… there was a whole day to follow.
Continued to be…

<Part 1>  <Part 2>  <Part 3>  <Part 4>

2010-10-21

LOUD PARK 2010 ~ Part 1

IMG_0286Metal on a scale South Africans who have never left home can only dream of. For me this was round 2. Having hit LOUD PARK like an asteroid last year I had expectations. I knew there would be no Children of Bodom this time around so it could never have been the best live of my life. Yes. I have bias like that. Regardless it was mind-raping and body breaking. What metal is supposed to be.
This year was a year for legends and side projects. I saw some of the greatest names in the history of the genre. It was as much of an honour as it was a blast.

 

 

2010-10-16:

IMG_0282 IMG_0283
IMG_0284 IMG_0285
Upon arriving at the Saitama Super Arena, I bought myself a TURISAS T-shirt and  the queue was a bit of a beast so I skipped out on the first bit of Holy Grail. I heard some of Engel as well but to be honest apart for the appreciation of the amazing sound quality, I decided it was time to put some fuel in the furnace prior to the first act that I wanted to see…

Chthonic

Taiwanese black metal. Dark and powerful. Fusing the brutality of the frozen north with the sounds and spirit of a small island in the far east. I heard them for the first time when checking out the line-up for the festival many months ago and I was hooked. The traditional Taiwanese vibe and the brutality of black metal as well as their very proud Taiwanese spirit was appealing.

“A unique sound that still

got the blood pumping.”

It suited the idea of the genre as it was conceived back in the church burning days and gave it an Asian flavour. A unique sound that still got the blood pumping. Their bassist is also pretty good looking. She is no Angela Gossow but any metal babe is in for the win. The live was the perfect start to my LOUD PARK. It set the tone for my weekend. Moshpit madness and of course my dominance thereof.
IMG_0288

Amon Amarth

IMG_0289
Warriors of Viking metal. Amon Amarth were the first of the bands I’d known from way back when and probably the first band I could claim any real fan loyalty to. Death metal about warriors and steel.
What more does one need?
Not much to be honest. They opened with “Twilight of the Thunder God” and as is to be expected, kept it up through the entirety of their set.
I moshed like a Viking berserker set free to destroy all in my path. But I met my match.
For the first time since I took on Anton from Architecture of Aggression when I was still a teen. I got taken out properly. I know in pits I go down a lot. Everybody does. You can’t see 360 degrees and when someone blindsides you and there is no body in front of you onto which you can transfer the power to the result is inevitable.IMG_0293
But to go down in a face to face head on wall of death charge was something I honestly didn’t expect would ever happen to me again. His size should have made me more cautious than I was but I honestly expected it to be a little less one sided.  
I flew backward like a ragdoll and landed with such a resounding crash that the entire pit stopped and let out a collective “woooooo”  enough to make it seem like the band even skipped a note.
I got an adrenaline surge so rough that I nearly passed out (it may have been pain/shock induced but I didn’t feel it.)
I was brutalised. I don’t think what I did to James at Motherfudd to …and Chaos all those years ago came close to this impact. Jupiter charged the sun and the result was as one would expect. To Amon Amarth and later Stone Sour, I had to concede that I could only be the 2nd most deadly object in the pit. After I recovered my senses however, We joined forces. and brutalised the locals. When he stood in the centre of the seething circle, it felt like he actually had his own gravity field. But bugger me sideways. what a mosh… And it wasn’t even the best one of the day!

Edguy

Another band that I have been listening to for a few years at least was Edguy. Power Metal from Germany. They fit somewhere in between the classic and modern power sound and as a result they were never at the top of my list in the genre. I do prefer to listen to the newer sounding stuff. Having said that seeing anything live on a stage as big as the two at LOUD PARK with such amazing quality sound changes one’s perspective. Metal is and always will be a live genre and no matter how good a recording is. Nothing (I will touch on this later when I talk about Ozzy Osbourne) can beat it live.

“Metal is and always

will be a live genre”

Edguy made me wish I still had hair. While I have gotten used to the lack of momentum generated when I head bang these days. Power metal needs long flowing hair. The below (my personal) average headbanging coupled with my intense drive to nosh however left Edguy feeling a little too chilled a little too soon. No fault of the band’s I just get so little chance to truly cut loose at lives that I wanted to mosh as much as I possibly could.
IMG_0294

Dir en grey

The biggest band for me on the day. A band that I have been listening to since the beginnings of my J-music discovery. I still remember the first time I heard them. I liked Ayumi Hamasaki but I was dying to get hold of some good and proper hard Japanese rock. I can’t remember who it was at Omega, Brett, Karlien or maybe RIaan that found me the first 2 tracks which started a mad fury to dig up more and more of their music which ultimately drove me to discovering Visual Kei and well a lot of the rest of the story is recent enough that many of you know it (and are a part of it).
Needless to say. while I have not been following them of late. These legends of VK will always have a special place in my brain. I called them metal in the past. I have stood by that in many arguments with many who would say otherwise. The band themselves proved me right by playing the mother of all Japanese metal festivals.

Holy science!!!

They blew my skull in!!!

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I love Deluhi. I maintain they are on a stratospheric rise to become the best metal band in Japan.. but they are not there yet. Wow.
I felt a bit of trepidation going into their set. I found a spot roughly  1 4th the total distance of the front standing area. that area where moshpits generally develop. my natural habitat, but much to mu dismay there were many skinny’s with poofy hair and of course large pack of the dreaded hyenas. There were no big guys anywhere. In fact there was only one other foreign guy who looked worth the two between his legs.
The band came on.. there was squealing and hand hearts. Kyo came on… in jeans, a T-shirt and a very manly hairdo. I was suitably pleased with his 'f@ck you' to the visual style that got them into the halls of fame in the first place.
They let rip. This army of brutal guys charged out of nowhere and a massive typhoon of a circle scattered the hyenas and their skinny boys off to the side like vermin.

“Many couldn’t take it

and got far away from the

seething circle of fury ”

I too made my presence known. We moshed up a storm. I had 2 years of frustration for not being able to truly go wild at VK lives to let out. I was not the only one. It appears all those dark horses, off in the corners of VK lives, in their metal Shirts wanted it just as badly as I did. I put aside some of my mosh manners this one time and dragged as many skinny boys in as I could knowing the fate that awaited them. Whenever the more ambitious hyenas filtered through to the centre of the circle i took great pride in shattering that core with a cannonball.
The tables were turned. They were in MY domain and I had many lessons to teach on how to properly appreciate music of this calibre. Many couldn’t take it and got far away from the seething circle of fury but those that stayed learnt both their place and their true potential. We made moshers out of Hyenas and the ones that could cut it were as much fun and as brutally insane as any Tokyo Hate crew member.
As for the music. Its Dir en grey. for intercourse's sake. It goes without saying that they were perfect and poured their souls into the performance. that alone fuelled the savagery in the pit. Japan was on show with the best in the world. not on a small side stage but in the forefront. It was battle and victory. All who engaged were rewarded with the spoils thereof. One of the best pits of my life and the best pit of the day.
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to be continued…

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