WACKEN METAL BATTLE SOUTH AFRICA 2019
27 APRIL 2019
RUMOURS ROCK CITY, JOHANNESBURG
With deadly breakdowns and stage dives from all the best heavyweight metal acts that South Africa has to offer, the Wacken Metal Battle RSA finals took place on the 27th of April at Rumours Rock City and let me tell you, it was one for the books.
Coming from all over South Africa, local metal bands began battling it out earlier this year for a spot at the Wacken Metal Battle RSA Finals. Out of a total of 45 bands who entered, only 9 were chosen to go through to the ultimate shred-off which took place at Rumours Rock City.
From the get-go, the vibe was full of excitement and anticipation of what lay ahead. With a great alternative market selling a wide variety of goodies, great food on offer and an opening act busy with sound-check, everyone entering the venue knew that this was the place to be. The event kicked off at just after 4PM with self- proclaimed “Groovy Bone Crushing Romance” heavy metal band Resurrection of Fetal Remains who effectively warmed the crowd up for the slaughtering that was to come.
With insane energy and a clear passion for local metal, our MC for the night, Kunal Deepnarain, appeared on the stage to announce the judges and the start of the draw. One member from each band had to go on stage and draw a paper with a slot time on it. Some bands were clearly happy with their time and others, not so much.
After the draw it was time for the bands to gear up and hit the stage for only 20 minutes sets (20 minutes to put all they have out on stage!). Each band performed with brutal passion coursing through their veins in front of one of the biggest crowds Rumours Rock City has ever seen with an all local lineup. Some of my personal favourite highlights include stage dives from Facing the Gallows’ former vocalist Bryan Binneman, fully supporting the impeccable show that his old band was putting on, the blood covered Fallen Prophets who absolutely killed it, Bleeding Spawn’s insane pool noodle wall of death (yes, you heard that right, a POOL NOODLE wall of death!), and also the crazy mosh-pits during Riddlebreak’s incredible performance. Local legends, My Columbine, didn’t disappoint and ended off the night with some savagely neck-breaking music. The fans were visibly enjoying the performances and stayed to the end to hear the results.
As the midnight hour approached, the winner was about to be announced. When Kunal and all the judges stepped up on stage the entire venue felt electrified with anticipation as everybody rushed to the stage area. I was standing arm in arm with my brothers from Facing the Gallows as we were waiting eagerly to hear the results. “Your winner of Wacken battle RSA 2019…” the anticipation was so intense. It felt like hours when in reality it was only a few seconds, but then finally: “Facing the Gallows!” The crowd went absolutely crazy with nothing but support from all the other acts. After screaming my lungs out and finally settling down, vocalist Reegan du Buisson gave a short and heartfelt speech.
Facing the Gallows are now officially the winners of Wacken Metal Battle RSA 2019 and will be representing South Africa in Germany at the Wacken Open Air Festival 2019. The night ended the same way it started, with extreme excitement and great music. Well done to all the incredible bands that participated at this event as well as Sashquita Northey and Franki Jean from Emalyth and the Wacken Metal Battle SA Team for putting on such a stellar event.