Heavy metal music and head-banging was the commotion last Friday night at the popular city watering hole, Dylan’s.
The evening proved one that would be remembered for a long time as the heavy metal bands “As Night Fades” and “Tripping on Cables” entranced revelers into head banging with their extreme subgenre of metal music. A first time witness to this spectacle would not know if these bands are moshing like gods or if the whiplashing crowds were trying to gain the ability to beat people up with their hair.
The music employs sometimes heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals and screams, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick or blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes and chromatic chord progressions.
Before the metal music volcano erupted, Savannah gently opened the proceedings with her grungy voice and flawless guitar playing by delivering new original songs and choice covers; anything from the bands Creed to White Stripes and Golden Earing in her glamrock style. After a simmering hot performance by the young Namibian star who is going into the studios soon in Cape Town to record her debut 12-track album “Be Free,” the stage was set for Tripping on Cables with the punky rhythms and screeching guitar of front man Shaun Mitchell.
The origin of the term “head-banging” is contested. Lemmy from the band Motörhead said in an interview that the term “head-banger” may have originated in the band’s name, as in “Motor head-banger”.
That besides, Windhoek’s dedicated head-bangers arrived in droves demonstrating whiplash techniques to the sounds of As Night Fades and the monstrous voice of frontman Steven Slabbert who screamed and growled his way well into the night.
The lyrical themes of melodic heavy metal may invoke slasher film-stylised religion, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, all belted out in a unique fashion. Since the 1990s, heavy metal has diversified, spawning several subgenres. Technical melodic heavy metal is a complex style, with uncommon time signatures, atypical rhythms and unusual harmonies and melodies, and no band does it better than the four-member lineup of As Night Fades. The deep growled vocals and double-kick drumming of their heavy metal is combined with the slow tempos and melancholic atmosphere of “doom metal, another subgenre” of heavy metal.
Apart from Steven’s growled vocals, guitar player Juan Phillip Viljoen had the huge crowd head-banging to his distorted, but well-tuned guitar riffs with elements of the 1970s hard rock and heavy metal. Those who attended, will never forget the band performing The Cranberries’ song “Zombie.”
Owner of Dylan’s Tony Fourie says last weekend’s live performance by Savannah, As Night Fades and Tripping on Cables was just the start of big things to come.
“We have to bring back the thrill and splendor of live music and that is just what we are going do at the revamped Dylan’s,” he told New Era.