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The Next Fest - 66 Livehouse, Tianjin China

Live Reviews Tuesday, 01 December 2020 23:40
The Next Fest - 66 Livehouse, Tianjin China

The Next Fest

 

66 Livehouse, Nov 1, Tianjin China

 

During the months spent isolated during the coronavirus outbreak, it seems promoters and bands have been busy. This new festival, entitled The Next Fest, is just one of the newer multi-band festivals popping up in China in the latter months of 2020. Each festival is fairly broad in a musical sense and has bands of different genres, which goes a long way in bringing in a larger group of fans. The Next Fest featured nine bands and took place at the 66 Livehouse in Tianjin, which is quickly becoming the go-to place for larger, but not stadium-sized, touring bands.

The first to perform was death metal act Bergrisar, who started off with an atomic blast in one of the heaviest sets of the night. These corpse painted fiends handed out blackened blastbeats like leftover Halloween candy.

Wearing Madball shirts, Six Four One embodied the spirit of NY hardcore with a set resembling a Bronx street fight. They demanded early walls of deaths as people still piled in the venue and then piled into themselves in a scene which was a crude contrast to the social distancing still going on in most of the world.

The one band I would say was the odd one out on this night was Cosmos. Dressed in loose robes and standing rather still on the stage, their prog soundscapes mixed with metalcore vocals was interesting but not very rousing for the audience. Still, their musicianship was appreciated with a rousing applause at the end of their set.

The Will On Kill is a band of strapping young lads who brought a contemporary deathcore pizzazz to the night. The name of the band bugs me every time I see it - shouldn’t it be The Will To Kill? Regardless, they brought a sublime, youthful aggression to the stage with demonic growls and well placed clean choruses.

Known for being the premier Chinese folk metal band, Dream Spirit arrived on stage in full costume ready to spellbind the audience. Since the last time I saw them there seems to have been a few lineup changes, but the classic sound of high quality folk metal was as clear as ever, which had the crowd celebrating like it was Chinese New Year.

Who said nu metal is dead? I didn’t know what to expect from Mega Soul, and when I heard they were nu metal, set my expectations a little low, but this band was truly punishing in a live sense and their new nu aesthetic was anything but hokey. True, they did have a few cliches like tormented vocals, and even did a tease for Korn’s “Blind”, but then tore into one of their original tracks which was like Mudvayne at their heaviest - the bass sound almost jumping out of the speakers and possessing the people in the pit.

Continuing with the nu bands of the night, a lethal dose of Chinese rap metal was what we got with Liquid Oxygen Can. Starting off with a freestyle rap, which led into a brutal breakdown, the band, with a skull logo surrounded by two bottles of what I imagine to be vodka (but could be baijiu) were equal parts street and sawmill. At the conclusion of their set, they had the hottest girls in the place (and a lone guy who wanted to boogie) get up on stage to dance to a final sickening outro.

A microphone stand decorated with horns and animal skulls was set up on the stage for the emergence of China’s oldest black metal band, Ritual Day. Introduced to the western world through Sam Dunn’s Global Metal, the band has been at it for 20 years now, ever evolving their craft with added traditional instrumentation, blackened atmosphere and on stage theatrics. The band, wearing their now iconic corpse paint, played their half symphonic, half thrash barrage set to an audience who looked on in astonishment.

The most break-neck breakdowns were reserved for the final band of the night, Awake Mountains. Another youthful deathcore ensemble who utilize clean vocals in areas, the band and especially the singer channeled western genre staples like Suicide Silence into their look and sound, while bringing some elements of originality such as spoken word sampling. The audience had been there for a long time, but I had to give it to these guys - their sheer energy woke everyone up like an adrenaline injection to the heart for one last showing in the pit.

 

-Ryan Dyer

Written by  Ira Hunter
Ira Hunter

Ira Hunter

Ira's bio coming online shortly!

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