Tokyo Damage Report

KOIWA DEATH FEST: Cataplexy, Deathscythe, FID, detirium, ethereal sin, defiled, deadly spawn



9 bands, 8 hours, 7 fatalities, 0 posers.


bassist had this pretty rockin’ Stray Cats haircut to go with his corpse-paint. So right away I knew to expect the unexpected. And the Dark Lord, but mostly the unexpected.

double headbang photo!

below, the singer plays a Hair Flute. Is that as sexy as it sounds– You be the judge:

Music was half simple black metal played with power chords, half death metal breakdowns and thrashy chugging.

The vocalist had the best metal clothes of the band, but seemed to be unused to his 5” platform heels –kept falling down. Also, his posture reminded me of. . . who was it, now. . .–

OH SCHNAPPSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Makiko conceals her profusely bleeding nose under a maelstrom of flopping hair.


The vocalist gave herself a bloody nose in the first song, smacking into the headstock of the bass guitar. Despite being the size of a closet,, with a 5 foot ceiling and the worst mural ever (an unholy melange of barbed wire and Australian aboriginal art!), the club actually has totally awesome, easy-to-hear sound. This is the first time I really could hear FID’s riffs, and it turns out they are not very good. It’s all AAAB, AAAB. Most of the time, the A part is 1,flat 3d, 4 th, flat 5 th. Meh.


Also FID could use more stop and start breaks, and squealies. That is one of the best things about metal. the squealies. You know who had great breaks– That barry manilow song, BANDSTAND BOOGIE. Those breaks were crazy — the break would start in the middle of one riff, and go for like a bar, and then it would pick up in the middle of the next riff. Seriously, that’s my favorite Barry song, (#2 is mandy, and #3 is Copacabana) (#4– Can’t smile without you) (the bridge to “New York City Rhythm” has the single best riff he’s ever written, but it only goes on for 8 bars, and the rest of the song is crap, so I don’t know where to put that song in the top 5).


Kyoko’s massive Tsunami of hair, above. Deeeyamn, how do i do it—-



These guys lost me before they even started to play — they took like 20 minutes to set up. the reason– The drummer had to disassemble the whole kit, ROTATE IT EXACTLY FIFTEEN DEGREES, and then reassemble it. this is a problem with metal in general — drummer divas that need like 15 toms or whatever. When I saw DIO, the drummer had like one tom and 2 cymbals and he seemed to be having more fun than any other guy in the band. I’m just saying. Detritium played some brutal death metal, which is not really my thing.

my favorite moment of the show: the American singer was all, EVERYONE, MAKE SOME FUCKIN’ NOISE! I WANNA HEAR YOU MOTHER FUCKERS SCREAM!! MAKE SOME FUCKIN’ MOTHERFUCKIN’ NOIIIISEE!!! And the Japanese guitarist was translating it like ,”Honorable customers, if you could be so kind as to deliver a little applause, it would be greatly appreciated.” To be fair to the band, though, the sound-man was fucking with them. Their songs sound much better on their myspace.



These guys were amazing — 6 people, cloaks, keyboards, opera vocals, the whole works. In spite of their epic, orchestral presentation, they were totally inept, though! They could barely play, but I like it that way. Bands that are really talented tend to write songs with like a million notes, and then play so fast you can’t hear anything because the club has a shit PA. but bands like ETHEREAL SIN play really simple stuff and it’s easy to understand, there’s no wasted notes. It was generic E-D-C melodic black metal, but the rawness made it OK. Nothing particularly cryptic or kvlt about it, but it is so rare to see this kind of music in Japan that it was enjoyable.

The drummer in particular was bizarre — his blank expression and robotic jerky motions was uncannily like one of those animatronic robots at Disneyland, the what’s-it-called, uh, the fuckin’, oh yeah, the Coutnry Bear Jamboree !



plus homeboy kept slowing down during the fast parts. I was cracking myself up saying, “someone needs to wind up the bear!”


the guitarist had a cloak, which was awesome. cloaks are just inappropriate anywhere. Like, you know how if you are embarrassed to give a speech in public, they say picture the audience in their underpants– Try picturing the audience all wearing hooded cloaks.

What if the country bear jamboree wore cloaks– How rad would that be——–



Singer kept making these really creepy gestures with his free hand. All grasping an invisible succhubus boob or something.





Woundeep played the kind of death metal where I go to the store and get some snacks.



More death metal. no cloaks. These guys probably had the most crowd-response of all the bands. They got love. If they had worn cloaks, people would have probably moshed so hard we all died. This is not my kind of music- this 100 notes-per-second squiggly metal – but I must have seen these dudes 4 times and this was the first time the sound was actually clean enough to hear all the notes, so I kind of hung around just out of shock. Then I took 100 photos of the bass player (between songs he does all these jazz-fusion bass fills that sound like Chick Corea or Return to Forever) — the bassist does the most wonderful headbangs, but none of the pictures turned out good, so fuck it. see, if he would just have worn a cloak, this whole problem would not have occurred.







They played old-school death metal, with lots of breaks and cymbal chokes. Their music got boring after 3 songs, but what made me really like this band was the fans. For some reason their fan-base was all under 5 feet tall — both men fans and women fans — and looked like they’d come straight from Akihabara. A lot of the other bands’ fans were all GRRR, you know how metalheads get, but DEADLY SPAWN’s fans were all chuckling and smiley.


The best fans were these 2 guys, like the Japanese beavis and butthead, who were in the very back of the club having their own private mosh pit in the corner, all headbanging like crazy and making devil horns at each other. No one around them was even moving. One of the guys was kind of chubby and had to hold on to the wall for support while he stationary-moshed. He had a t-shirt with big sans-serif letters that just said DEATH METAL. I just stared at them in utter fascination until they noticed me — then they demanded that I take a picture with them. Fucking adorable!!!!!!!!!!!




Inept grind. Another 20-minute setup time: Midi triggers for the kick drum. I don’t know why — dude’s kick drum was totally off-time. You’d think he would want to keep it inaudiable until he learned how. The only interesting things about this band was the singer’s crazy hunchback posture and his rapunzel-like tresses.

SERIOUSLY the microphone was like 2 feet off the ground.


fuck, what if the dude from ETHEREAL SIN had midi triggers on his CLOAK—— he wouldn’t even need the rest of the band – he could go SOLO. Just stand there cloakin’ and emitting midi sounds. I am picturing sort of a MORTIIS kind of vibe to it. Probably it would be a really hard cloak to play, though. it was kind of voluminous.




This is the band I had been waiting to see. I have been waiting 4 fuckin’ years, to be exact. I saw these dudes back in 2004 with SSORC and BELPHEGOR, er, excuse me, BELPHEGOTH (belphegor is from Australia!). anyway, cataplexy just destroyed everyone, they were so fucking good. It kills me that black metal has no fans in japan. Because Japanese BM bands are so much better than Japanese grind or DM bands. Cataplexy don’t have no fans, so they never come out to Tokyo to play. It sucks! In America, SIGH plays on the same bill as MAYHEM. In japan, sigh plays in a club the size of your sink.


Anyway, cataplexy were just as awesome as I expected. In fact, they were awesome before they even started to play: they set up their equipment while wearing 6 inch spikes covering all their arms. Even though they could barely reach anything or bend over.


During setup, the singer turned his back on the audience and stood motionless like this:

STRIKE A POSE, NOW VOGUE!!! It was utterly Madonna.


Musically, they (Cataplexy, not Madonna) are a mix of dyadic chord progressions, and evil-sounding trem-picked melodies. They are one of the few BM bands that picked up on the slow-chord-progressions-played-at-a-fast-pace vibe of early old-school Norwegian BM. Anyway their songs are great, catchy and scary, with good dynamics and balance.

Also, medical definition of cataplexy here– Sure, why not.


BTW, check out the bloodstains on my man’s jeans:

at least i hope it’s blood.

"At least i hope it’s blood". . . . .How many times have i said THAT–

On the way home, there was a passed-out salaryman across from me on the train, with his legs spread wide apart, offering a firm view of his crotch. It made me think, why do dogs have retractable lipstick-tube dicks and humans don’t??

It must be the fur. They don’t want to stick the furry part of the dick inside a vagina because it is too much friction, so they keep the boner part tucked away until it is time for sex.


And that made me think something that BLEW MY MIND: our caveman ancestors were furry. DID CAVEMEN HAVE LIPSTICK-TUBE RETRACTABLE DOG DICKS???!???

I mean, fossils only show the bones. We have no way of knowing for sure.


I was tripping on that so hard I missed my stop.


Ultimate metal band: cavemen with retractable dicks, wearing cloaks, and never re-adjusting their drum kits. LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN, PEOPLE.


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