When the machine was silenced
On the evening of Sunday April 27, fans and friends of the bands started arriving at the Zetter at about 4.45pm for Silencing the Machine, probably the most extreme gig the venue has seen yet as it began to fill up excessively after 5pm and at exactly 6pm, Funeral in Heaven (FIH) took to the stage.
These guys are something for the country to be proud of. They began by following pretty much the same themes followed by most other black metal bands. Now however, the boys of FIH (www.myspace.com/funeralinheaven) have started composing music based on Sri Lankan history, which we all know is rather dark.
The "Hela" Black Metallers as they like to call themselves opened the show with one of their first originals titled, "Origin of Evil." FIH, who have managed to grab themselves quite a fan base, got the crowd going immediately. Then they moved into a classic by Venom titled "In league with Satan," which also got the black metal fans going wild. Other covers included a song by Mayhem and Marduk.
They then played a new original of theirs, which was played without lyrics. The full song, which is supposed to be about King Elara and King Dutugemunu and their battle, was promised to be delivered to the fans soon. They ended with another new song titled, "The Winds of Uva," which also highlights an important moment in Sri Lankan history. All in all, Funeral in Heaven played a brilliant set and set the mood for the extreme ambience that was building up in the place.
Next was Fallen Grace (FG) (www.myspace.com/fallengracesl). Well what can I say? This band has been a favourite of mine as well as a lot of others from the time I first saw them. The melodic death metallers started with an original titled, "Putrid Remains," which managed to pump me up to a great degree and looking around, I saw the same thing happening to a lot of people. The two covers they played also were extremely tight and very fitting tributes. "Slaughter" by At the Gates and "Enemy within" by Arch Enemy were done brilliantly. My personal favourite by FG was their original, "Grace for the Fallen." The song has a weird but trippy intro and the vocals and the music, which I find to be quite a trip. They ended their set with the fan favourite, "The Illusionist," which was a perfect ending for a near perfect set. Kudos to Fallen Grace for once again, heightening my expectations for the Sri Lankan Metal Scene.
Last but not least the Stiggies (www.myspace.com/stigmatasrilanka) got on stage. Starting with their "Silent Chaos Serpentine," and "Swinemaker," the Stigs moved to provide the crowd with a full metal assault. What's interesting was that Tenny, the multicoloured-hair-man fractured his hand three weeks before the show and was told by doctors it'll be at least a couple of months for his hand to heal.
Despite his injury, the axeman amazed everyone with his crazy riffs. He played a solo in their newest song titled, "Nothing," which I must say is a masterpiece. The Stigs also played "Andura" and "Extinction" from their first album 'Hollow Dreams.' For their first cover, the Stigs chose to pay tribute to the band Decapitated. And if you do know this band, you should know that this is no easy task. "Day 69" was as brutal as the original and the drumming, which I think would have been the most challenging aspect of this song, was tackled brilliantly by Jackson. Their other cover, "The Grand Conjuration" by Opeth, which was also like everything else they perform, was a pleasure to watch. The new songs, "Spiral Coma," "The Summoning Cry of Aries" and more importantly their latest "Nothing" shows that this band is moving forward musically, faster than any other band currently in Sri Lanka.
A memorable moment after the Stigs played their last song – "Extinction" from 'Hollow Dreams,' was when the crowd started pleading for an encore and the Stigs, exhausted after a full set, repeated "Day 69" by Decapitated by popular demand... It sounded as good, if not better as the first time they played it.
All in all it was an awesome gig. All three bands played amazingly well and further proved that Sri Lankan Metal music is here to make a mark on the world map despite what any critic says.
To put it very simply, the "machine" was silenced.