ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday February 24, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 39

MBV – Valentines gig to remember

By Cupids Enforcer

It was a quiet Sunday evening. I arrived at the Zetter to find the usual pre-gig thing happening. Some members of the bands scattered around along with other people involved with the gig and a few people who had come extra early like myself.

The event was also the launch of Stigmata's video of their song "My malice," which was given to everyone on VCD, along with a song from their performance in Delhi. A very exclusive number (15 to be exact) got a special Paranoid Earthling CD titled "Playtime music" which was a collection of live tracks by PE.

The show began with the guys of Sword of the Spirit walking up on stage and taking control of the mood of the evening. Playing as session musicians for SOS were Javeen Soysa and Arjun Dhas who played bass and guitars respectively. They started with their first-ever composition, a song titled "Doorway to the other side," a personal favourite of mine – even though it is not the most complex song in the world.

As I heard the rest of their set, it amazed me to see how far this band has come from the days they began. Their stage act was also something to marvel about. All five members were on their own different zones but they fitted so well together that the end result was something mind boggling.

Apart from the originals, SOS did a brilliant rendition of "This love" by Pantera and they did amazing justice to it. The guitar solo especially is something to comment about. As Tony came to the end of the solo, I was one of the people applauding him along with other Dimebag Darrel fans in the audience. Kudos to Hasyth for an electrifying vocal performance and kudos to the rest of SOS for an amazing delivery.

The next band to take the stage was Paranoid Earthling. The guys from Kandy came down upon the awed onlookers with an awesome energy that seemed to make everyone want to start going crazy. Their song "High Way" was my favourite part of the set and it took me to another place. Other songs like "In Black and White" and "Gods Gone Postal" were also to die for. As an added surprise, they covered "Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson. All in all, the Earthlings played a heart felt set ending with their own song titled "Deaf, Blind, Dumb."

All was silent again, but obviously not for long. Stigmata came took the stage starting off with "Forgiven, Forgotten," off their second record "Silent Chaos Serpentine." The Stiggies then proceeded to stir up the entire venue to a very good degree. The crowd was very loud. "Jazz theory," "Lucid," "Wingless," "Solitude" and "My Malice" were the songs they played off the 'Serpentine' album, and boy did they get everyone going. The newer songs showed that the Stigs are a band that would always experiment with their sound.

Like the SCS album was completely different to their first album titled 'Hollow Dreams,' the new material is completely different to the songs on SCS. The earlier songs seem so simple compared to the newer stuff, which in technicality and even lyrical content, are on a different level from the songs of the earlier two albums. "The Summoning Cry of Aries" is a beautiful masterpiece that makes your hair stand on end from the starting chant harmonized by Suresh and Andrew.

For me however, nothing felt more brilliant than when they started "Spiral Coma." A nerve-wrecking piece of progressive metal magic that is not suitable for those of you who enjoy a monotonous verse, chorus structure in a song. Words cannot explain what the song is like though, you have to hear it yourselves. They also played that all-time favourite off 'Hollow Dreams,' "Andura" which really got the whole crowd motivated. Their contribution to the valentine spirit came in the form of a heavier, version Alice Cooper's classic "Poison." And what a cover that was.

The stiggies ended with a medley which consisted of a new instrumental titled "If Alpha meets Omega" and another new song that has fast become a live Stigs' favourite titled "March of the Saints." Suresh also told the onlookers that a new album is to be expected this year if all goes well. So let's hope all goes well for Stigmata. An amazing climax to an amazing show. What a way for all three bands to start the year. Seriously, they should be proud of themselves.

The bands would like to thank the Zetter for letting this show happen at their venue. They would also like to say a big thank you to all the sponsors, which were Wishroom Inc. (, Gabbana Exclusive Men's Designer Store, 891, official Radio Sponsors E fm and official Print Media Sponsors The Sunday Times. And a special mention to Rock Company.

What a way for all three bands to start the year. The awesome gig ended with the last words of Suresh De Silva, "Spread the word, spread the plague, heavy metal is here and its here to stay."

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