It’s been a very long while since my last post here at Affordable Favorites as some who are actually reading all the stuff I’m leaving here for public consumption had noticed. Let’s just say that a lot of personal stuff got in the way during the Yuletide season and beyond which had admittedly slowed my blogging down (fun fact: I’m missing one show review from last December; still working on it). What’s important though is that I would like to believe that I am more than poised enough to return to blogging whenever moderate to relatively fast Internet connection speed allows me to do so.

Same with my unannounced hiatus from blogging, it had also been quite a while since the last metal show I’ve dragged my old man’s ass to so when I heard about a band called Fleshcrawl visiting the country, I immediately checked them out since I absolutely had zero idea about them and found out that aside from being death metal all the way from Germany (which marks the second time I’ve seen a German band, the very first one being Kreator), the band released a handful of albums on Metal Blade Records. Yep, THE very same Metal Blade those both old and new to the metal scene SHOULD be familiar with as it is one of the most well-known metal record labels out there. I was also quite surprised after listening to Fleshcrawl’s entire discography that their overall sound is driven by the very distinctive HM-2 buzzsaw guitar tone which I’m more used to hearing from the whole gang of old school Swedish death metal (Entombed, Dismember, Grave and Edge of Sanity, to name a few) so I knew right there and then that I had to be at Club Dredd Eastwood in Libis, Quezon City last Jan 28 or be square.

Set all controls to 11 and BUZZZZZZZZ!!!!

Just had to mention a few letdowns though:

Eastwood’s upper-class trappings, cosmopolitan vibe and numerous clubs catering to the socialite party crowd are pretty much the antithesis of metal culture. Might as well start holding a metal show over at BGC (Bonifacio Global City in Taguig) anytime soon, I suppose?

All those neon lights sure are metal af, lol

The show itself started rather late as well, two and a half hours beyond the advertised time. Very significant delay right there, I must say. Hoping the organizers of said event would work that out in future shows they’re gonna hold.

8pm, sure.

On to the bands who warmed the crowd up:

Legion opened the entire show and I was honestly quite surprised that they actually sound really good to me most likely as I got to focus more on the band itself performing this time unlike the very first time I’ve seen them when I got distracted by something I’d rather not recall anymore. Hoping I could get to watch them more often in the near future.

No muscle distractions this time, just massive death metal.

Resurrected then unleashed some manic thrash metal like only those who are actually part of the old guard can less than 30 minutes after, most likely to make up for lost time. Unable to comment about Resurrected’s performance that night though since it was admittedly the very first time I’ve seen them perform; maybe I could provide a few once I get to see them a handful of times more.

Resurrected vocalist Fin Santos. Seen him a few times in some metal gigs I’ve been to but this marked the very first time I’ve seen him perform.

Was actually expecting Pathogen to immediately open for Fleshcrawl as I can’t really help but gush about the former being highly and globally representative of what death metal in the Philippines should be. While KNK (Kabaong Ni Kamatayan)’s brand of technical death metal was more than well-appreciated, especially with sole original member Paul Magat smashing those skins like a crazed maniac, I just personally felt that they weren’t supposed to be the immediate opener for a German band playing in the vein of Svensk dödsmetall. Oh well…

Kabaong ni Kamatayan

… at least Fleshcrawl managed to wow us all who were there that Thursday night – so much so that given how heavy those buzzsaw tones emanating from two guitars sound that you just had to be there to feel the sheer weight of the whole thing (and without any bass at that as the band’s four-string axeman wasn’t able to make it to the country for reasons I do not know of at all), I would like to believe is totally metal open-air festival-worthy. Now if only all of us that night were actually moshing at some outdoor venue instead of inside a stuffy, humid indoor one that even a few I personally know who usually mosh and bang their heads from start to finish for the full duration of the show proper had to actually go out for a breather halfway through Fleshcrawl’s entire set.

An attempt at documenting just how stuffy and humid Club Dredd was that night.

No idea though if Pathogen, MHB and Tenebrion still performed after Fleshcrawl as I, my cousin and an activist friend who’s also into both hardcore punk and metal were physically exhausted and hungry from all the moshing. Fortunately for us three, my cousin knows his way around relatively affordable restaurants in general that he actually found one within Eastwood after the show, lol.

Good thing also that there’s another gig to look forward to this Saturday over at Selda Dos as Argentinean band Infernal Curse wreaks havoc and destruction (not the literal kind of course, can’t break stuff since we want more metal bands to visit the country) with their own brand of apocalyptic black metal. It will also mark the very first time I’ll be personally seeing a band whose recent records are currently released by Germany-based Iron Bonehead Productions, a personal favorite underground metal record label for quite a while now after having intently listened to Czech black metal band Cult of Fire’s “मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान” (English translation being “Ascetic Meditation of Death”) album and enjoying it a lot (shoutout to Patrick of IBP for sending those Bolzer and Infernal Curse 12″s to my trusted courier in New York).