Tag Archive: Scorpions Death Rock

[Electrock on steroids] Oh Lordy. Featuring super heavy loud sound projects Scorpions Death Rock and Akira Death, along with heavy industrial rock units Sino Re-Build Projects and Destruct System, this promises to be a big night for extreme sound! Also included are Japanese Babies and Amp Char War, whom I would guess like it loud too.

機械爆裂 -Machine Explosion 02
When: February 3 (Sunday)
Where: Shibuya Cyclone
Address: Kokusai Bldg. B2F Udagawa-cho13-16 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo :: 150-0042 東京都渋谷区宇多川町13-16
国際ビルA館B2 :: Map
Tel: 03-3463-0069
Live: Destruct System, Sino Re-build Projects, Japanese Babies, Scorpions Death Rock, Akira Death and Amp Char War
Open: 18:00 :: Start 18:30
Price: 1,500 yen Advance or with flyer :: 1,800 yen @ Door

Two words describe this event… totally bitchin’. Brain Scan Laboratory’s inaugural Junk Children event was an awesome night of hot-core industrial sounds on stage and in the DJ box. This is just the beginning of something special.

I know I bluster. I w00t! with an abandon that could shame Molly Meldrum (nah, he ain’t got no shame), but hells bells, there’s some stuff out there that takes all my hyperbola and beats it to death against the amps, and Junk Children is just such an event. This event lived up to my expectations and more and I think all who turned up that night will agree it kicked ass with army boots.

Tight Focus
Anyone who has met the main players of the night know that they are all focused on building the total package. It’s an exceptional attribute in Japan’s underground live scene, where compromising with a general act or splitting the night between underground and general indy is tempting for getting the numbers. BSL went balls out to bring a total dark industrial night to the people and they won with an incredible show and quite a big turnout. In a nutshell, BSL went for gold and they got it.

Marz is a great little split-level space and nicely placed in Shinjuku area. Anyone over six feet should take care at the back of the bottom level, but otherwise there’s good space. Capacity-wise, I guess it could squeeze in around 100, so it worked nicely with the approx 80 people who joined in. The top level is kind of cute offering a full view of the floor below where most of the craziness takes place. The bar ran on tokens, which was a bit of an inconvenience for those of us who didn’t think to bring change for the token machine, but overall it worked pretty well. The deadly drinks were fun-tasting little concoctions, but I lacked the horse-kick I was hoping for. It’s a small quibble, but next time I hope the bar tender is a bit more generous with the shots.

The industrialists and the Goths were out in force. These guys and gals were dressed in line with Tokyo Dark Castle standards. From the dark lords and ladies to the goth-loli swooping across the dance floor it was pure eye-candy. There were a few street-cloven people tonight, but they were in the minority (yes, yes, Igor’s in the minority, but I’m a state-of-mind dreg).


Scorpions Death Rock
I saw these guys back in 2004 and they had an awesome power-metal performance with amps going up to eleven (report here). It was brutality incarnate with some of the hardest stuff I have ever heard in Japan, and it was great! This time they had totally changed to an incredibly sexy rock-industrial set in perfect sync with the night’s vibe. There is no mistaking it, these guys know how to deliver exactly what the crowd want. The lead vocalist had total control at the front had the crowd eating out of his hand. Great songs and great delivery, these guys are quality. Definitely a band worth checking at any event.

Demonoid 13
The Nagoyan live component showed that hard Goth rock is alive in central Japan. It was also fucking loud! Doom Spider has a powerful, guttural voice and took the central role onstage. The straight Goth-rock direction of the set was a bit different from the other acts during the night, but Doom Spider’s aggressive delivery and energy got most of the punters jumping. It would have been nice to see more of the other players getting into the fray at the front, but it was not a bad set at all and showed that the Nagoyan Goths have a lot of madness to deliver.

BAAL :: Baal on MySpace.com
What can I say – great delivery of some fantastic new hard industrial-rock sounds. Baal doesn’t hold back its performance and all the players know the craft well, making them a band you want to catch over and over again. U-Tarou’s femme vocals are powerful, splitting the anger with the sorrow and seeing her tear through the set is a sight to behold. Mikito’s calmly focused throughout the set with his axe and mixing the synth deck to pull the sound-scape together. Then there’s Chihiro on the drums (YES!), who’s got controlled madness in getting the percussion heard. It’s a grand mix of talents pulling off an aural attack that will excite anyone who likes industrial or tripping the darker side of rock.

Despair :: Despair on MySpace.com
Utter madness with an industrial sound assault delivered with the precision of a master craftsmen. Every time I see this band on stage (or off), I see a leading force in Tokyo’s industrial scene. The band is raw energy with Seiji on ax-synth tearing apart the air with an orgy of sound, and Rieu and Ana fighting back with vocalizations that will raise the dead. The sound drills right through you and the visuals are just as exciting with all three members getting lots of front time. Totally mind-blowing, totally exhausting, totally… just freakin’ TOTALLY!

A special mention goes to the DJs for mixing some great stuff. DJs Doom Spider (Stigmatic in Nagoya), 666Fox, Undermine (Despair’s Rieu), all kept the spirit of the night going between sets with their different flavors of sound.

Totally kicking. It knocked me out. It will know you out. Despair, Baal & company have pulled together a fine night of hot-core industrial event and rest-assured the Brain Scan Laboratory promotion is here to stay. Welcome to the start of the next-age…

Baal and Despair will both be appearing in October 29th’s Halloween edition of Tokyo Dark Castle.

Links to more information:

Brain Scan Laboratory

Despair’s site
Despair on MySpace.com (samples!)

Baal’s site
Baal on MySpace.com (samples!)

Demonoid 13

Scorpion’s Death Rock (HELP! I can’t find them!!)

Stigmatic (DJ Doom Spider’s event in Nagoya)

Pineal returns to AREA this weekend with another night of of grand darkness (Sat. June 4 2005)! Igor has pulled out his report of the original Pagan event from the archives so you can get a first-hand account of Pagan Portrait. Pagan Portrait 2 is on a Saturday, which is when it should be! And on top of the core bands from Pagan 1, Pineal has managed to get 101A – very cool heavy retro sound with strong femme lead. Anyway, on with the report on the original event…

It was a chill night on November 5, when Igor and his partner in darkness took off for Takadanobaba AREA, to bear witness to Pineal Presents Pagan Portrait. The event started at an early 6:30 p.m. on a Friday, meaning Igor missed the opening act and only caught the last parts of the second, but there were three other bands lying in wait as the tardy night crawlers sluiced in from their day jobs. Walking down to the basement I was surprised to be among the oldest of the crowd. Goth seems to be a young person’s game in Japan with society reabsorbing the dark youth somewhere around their mid-20s. Locating the actual stage area was a bit of a challenge, with all doors painted in the same matte black and all looking like emergency exits to hell. Opening the door emitting the greatest noise, Igor and co. stepped inside to discover J-Goth….

What can I say, all the players had pretty polished performances and blew me away. The four bands seen each brought their own style to the party for a multifaceted journey through Japanese Goth music. From the dark Buddhist chants of Candy Spook Theater, to the death screams of Scorpions Death Rock, to the seductive shock-rock of Mushi and finally the dark theatrics of Pineal, the horned one himself, it was a very entertaining night.

First though, lets talk a bit about why I chose this event. It comes down to Pineal’s flyer and Web site, both stylish pieces of art in themselves. Obviously, this guy takes his stuff damned seriously – I couldn’t go wrong. Well, I posted a note on his site (in my terribly Japanese) talking about how great the site was, and Pineal/TAQV posts back in English saying We play on NOV 5th. Come our Live show, if you like….. Alright! So I swooped down to the local Lawson and picked up a couple of tickets from the convenience store’s Loppi station (convenient ticket pickup is a big plus) and got prepped for the show.

Now the location of the show is suitable for avant guarde events, located in the basement of the building sporting dark decor throughout. The arena is decked with black ceiling to floor curtains, a black and while vinyl tile floor and a rush-hour capacity of around 150 people. Finding the bar was a bit harder than expected located just behind arena entrance. Being our first time there we also had problems finding the event-area’s entrance. Our first choice was the biggest door in the foyer, where my partner in crime found herself backstage. No groupies before performances…. We adjusted our senses and sought the door that led to the loudest noise and viola, there we were. We turned up too late for the first act (sorry to Radiostrip) and missed most of the second, but there were three more to go.

So we after discovering the event space we slid up to the bar, collected our drinks and went into the arena just in time to watch the end of Candy Spook Theater. Now these guys have taken Buddhist chanting and turned it into punk-metal fusion. The lead, in his white mad scientist outfit, was punking it out quite well, interspersed with the obligatory screams (we cannot forget the screams). Towards the end of the set the keyboardist, dressed in a china-doll costume and a white mime mask, stepped up to do her prayer moves, which looked dangerously like a Gothic rendition of La Macarena (trust me, it was kind of cool to see). There were actually quite a few people in the audience, with neon cylumes in hand, mimicking her moves – evidently this band has quite a loyal fang-base.

Then it was time for a break before the death metallers of Scorpions Death Rock came out. Scorpion Death Rock are three guys dressed in black leather with a penchant for LOUD. I swear, these guys had hiked Spinal Tap’s amps (you know… the ones that go up to 11), and jacked them up to max. Good hard sound delivered with a flourish, Scorpion Death Rock knew how to play loud. The only thing I might suggest is bringing your earplugs – don’t worry, you will still be able to hear them very clearly. They had a CD (Chemical Invaders) for sale at the end of the concert that I didn’t buy because I was running out of cash after picking up Pineal’s and Mushi’s CDs, but I felt like a heel when my partner later told me the CDs were only 300 yen. I’ll pick a CD up next time, I promise.

Third beer in and Mushi comes out for his set, sporting a cane a la Alice Cooper and a demeanor akin to Marilyn Manson. This was a refined performance by a seasoned veteran. The whole performance showed Mushi was a man who loves his art. The guitarists weren’t just playing, they were grinding their axes. Even when Mushi went a step too far backwards, bumping the taller guitarist, the guy didn’t miss a thing.

The last set was Pineal, armed with his orchestral baton and horned headpiece, leading the audience on a final performance. His deep, at times, guttural voice, along with the dark undertones of the music and well-choreographed moves showed this guy invested a lot in the total experience. It paid off, imbibing the performance with a sense of being at some pagan celebration, except the druids had discovered electric guitars and had better costumes – ;-) . There was a tall female guitarist in Pineal’s crew who was doing a fine job throughout, and then she started doing some backing vocals that totally knocked my socks off!

All-in-all, this was a very satisfying experience. After having the television bombard me with J-Pop, which varies from tolerable generic to ungodly cute, it was very refreshing to go out and see what is being brewed outside the mainstream in Japan. There is a lot of good stuff going on in and around the major cities that will go under the mass-media radar, alas. Step outside the box and discover something special.