Napalm Death. An old high school favorite. One of the first bands that I ever listened to, and thought "what the fuck is happening." Back in '89/'90, right before "Harmony Corruption" was released (introducing Barney Greenway as singer), I picked up "From Enslavement to Obliteration" at a Dallas metal record store called Underground Records. At the time, I was aware of the hype surrounding Earache Records. The kind of hype that Southern Lord Records was getting this past decade. (I also want to add that Earache, like Southern Lord, was getting a lot of crossover fans from other genres.) So, one day, with my pennies rattling around in my pocket, I made it to the mysterious Underground Records over in, I think, Plano. I bought the Napalm Death lp, and I believe Bolt Thrower's second album (which I never understood until about 5 years ago when I started listening to them non-stop), and Death's third. Death was already a favorite, but Napalm Death was the band that I made tapes for for the 5 other kids in school that liked metal/hardcore/punk. Obviously, everyone was fascinated. Up to that point, we all thought D.R.I.'s first 2 albums were the fastest things going, only to be blown away by the hypnotic blur of Napalm Death. These days, I can hear more of their crust influences in the guitar riffs, and I think it's safe to say that I understand their influences more, and what it has influenced (a lot).
The poster above has the lineup (which has some mistakes), and I'll go through my thoughts about the various metals that happened. First of all, because of traffic, I got there late, so I missed TerrorMight. The second band was a band from Taiwan with a North American singer dude called Revilement. This band kinda defined what would mostly be heard during the whole fest: Metal Core. Bands that exclusively worship at the alter of Pantera, and Roots era Sepultura (and thrash). Revilement were the worst of the bunch. Generic to the core, the singer at one point said, "This next song is about our two favorite things: sex and VIOLENCE!" I'm not even kidding. This is the reason why people think metal heads are stupid. Terrible.
Next was a Korean band called Ishtar. Symphonic power metal, but with lots of old school metal riffs. I think they may have been the best band of the night (besides Napalm). The (hot) lady singer sang, very, "operatic." Maybe it'll be funny to a lot of folks, but it was fucking good, and the only real change of pace during the whole show. I really don't know much about the genre to really give much reference except Queensryche has to be a big influence on them. The video down below (there's a picture, too) just happened to be their best song. Really great old school metal riffs on that one.
Mahatma, also from Korea, was next. Old school thrash (or "metal core") is what they do best. Not particulary memorable, but powerful, and fun. Here's a video of 'em from that night:
The next two Korean metal bands, Sacrifice and Method, are definitely from that Pantera/mid-90s Sepultura category. I missed Sacrifice because I had seen them before, and I really didn't give a shit. Below is a shot of Method. Method had some ripping guitar solos...I think. Or maybe that was Mahatma. Okay, Asia Metal Fest. Gimme something different.
Oathean. I'm really starting to get the impression that they just go through the motions. However, they were still great because we had just experienced 3 almost identical bands in a row. Here's a shot of them below. I had been having problems with my camera until Napalm Death so that's why the pictures look shitty.
Next, was a super powerful, but another worshipper of that early to mid 90s form of metal called Survive from Japan. I think I got some pictures, but I'm not going to post them. You will never hear about that band again, and I've already forgotten about 'em. Am I being too harsh and cynical? Yes, and you would be too if you had heard 5 bands playing within the same sub-genre.
Last: Napalm Death. They're looking older, but they ran through their entire recording career. Below is some "From Enslavement..." favorites that I filmed, so I wouldn't have to describe much. Great stuff. I'm glad I finally got to see them. Here's also a picture from when I moved closer so I could feel the power better.