By Cedric Kirchner
Expectations were running high on this chilly winter evening in the capital of Namibia, Windhoek. It had been nearly 5 years since the last metal festival had taken place in this sparsely populated semi-desert country in South Western Africa. The Windhoek Metal Fest had a reputation to live up to. In previous years bands from Angola, Botswana, South Africa and even the USA had taken part. Major festival sites often gave the WMF a mention as a worthy festival for a metalhead to attend.
The excitements levels were revving in the red, and a good crowd turnout ensured that everyone was ready to rock out! This year it was decided to keep it local, due to financial restraints and to gauge interest in the event. And the bands didn't disappoint! First up was KVLTVK. A side project of metallers We Stand Alone, they did a nice job of warming up the crowd. Next up was ShotgunLemming, a new band, but with members that are veterans in the Namibian music scene. Their catchy punk tunes, some in German, and their slower metal songs, notably a cover of Manowar, were very well received. The Namibian metal community is looking forward to hearing more of them!
Next up was We Stand Alone. The well known youthful band blew the crowd away with their special brand of Death Metal / Metalcore. Their drummer's precise frenetic rhythms had jaws dropping, coupled with amazing guitar riffs and awesome vocals. Francois 'Flapper' Pretorius from the South African band Mind Assault gave the crowd a good indication of why his band had been chosen to open for Lamb of God! Another highlight was the guys from the band The Hunt for Higher Ground. A three piece instrumental band, each member showed their amazing skills on their instruments. Each song told a story, without the aid of words. Astonishing sweep picking, melodic bass accompaniments and intricate stick work had the crowd enthralled.
To round off the evening, Melodic Death Metal outfit Within Madness took to the stage. This brought the amazing crowd spirit, seldom seen in this part of the dark continent, to an amazing crescendo! Their catchy, energetic and powerful riffs and deep melodic growling took the crowd by storm. A seldom seen circle pit was started up. A few crazier fans from the crowd jumped up onto the stage and started headbanging with the band. Someone (we won't say who) even flashed the crowd and shook it along to the rhythm. Crowd members eagerly grabbed T-shirts and stickers thrown out by the band. Long since had such an amazing vibe grabbed the metal community by the balls and shaken Windhoek to it's very foundations! Most agreed that it was one of the most enjoyable Metalfests to date and that the event could only grow from strength to strength. Long live metal in Africa!
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