“Made of Metal II” was certainly a successful metal event, from Freak Show‘s organizing to the numerous draw prizes and free munchkins in the parking lot before the show to the bands’ impressive performances. Extra credit goes to Roland Azar for handling the sound and for surviving the intoxicating and oxygen-less environment of Nova throughout the whole show.
- Frozen Flames were first up on stage and they managed to sustain a good level of energy throughout the show with their Iron Maiden playlist and charismatic vocalist Gerard Gulgulian who might just be a clone of Bruce Dickinson himself. I enjoyed their stage performance/theatrical impersonation from Gerard’s use of the feathered opera mask to the guitarists’ accurate tapping exchange. Good luck for the band and I hope they pull off different playlists on their future shows, just for the sake of freshness.
- Kult were next and this band does progress with each time they hit the stage. Again I have to give credits to their drummer Rudy Fares for his furious blasts and fills, he’s one of those notable drummers in the scene today. The crowd surely loved their setlist which can be considered as the most ‘brutal’ of the night, along with their original song which I personally enjoyed. Waiting for more Kult originals in late 2011!
- December Dies Alone is a talented young band who’s capturing everyone’s attention this year with their solid performances and promising original work. It was my first encounter with DDA and I gotta say that although I’m not a particular fan of the style they’re playing, I found them to be musically tight. And while their double screaming vocal approach might not have appealed to me, simply because I couldn’t understand a word from the lyrics but they were definitely spot on with that modern style. The band also released an EP which was being sold at the event, so good luck with that as well.
- V.O.T.S had a short set due to time difficulties but they made those minutes count. The crowd enjoyed both of their Rage Against the Machine covers, giving the finger to “The Man” and singing “F*** you I won’t do what you tell me!” Their vocalist Serj Panossian brought the RATM energy to the crowd with his aggressive hardcore vocals, bassist Maher Mardini played those funky basslines with the occasional distortion effect, lefty drummer Kevin Assaf made it worthwhile for the stage technicians to change the drumset to his orientation and guitarists Alain Abi Sleiman and Fadi Bou Khalik both nailed the vibe of the songs they played. Just have a bigger playlist ready by next time 😉
- The final band to hit the stage was Ataxia and to my surprise the band has really gotten better since the last I saw them. Regardless of the initial technical issues with the sound, the band pulled a heavy show with their low-tuned guitars and aggressive Lamb of God-oriented vocalist. Again the issue that comes to mind is how long will the bands keep playing the same playlist? A little variety might make a bigger impact!
- Finally, Freak Show are keeping the local metal flame alive with these small-scale events and the obvious question remains: after several small-scale events, what’s Freak Show’s next big move? I’ll leave that answer to Freak Show organizers but until then, the local bands better be preparing for GBOB, it’s just around the corner!