Fit For A King reigns supreme on metalcore throne

Bryan Binneman of Facing The Gallows joins Ryan Kirby on stage for "Dead Memory"

Fit For A King showed their metalcore supremacy with scepter swinging performance to end their SA tour at a full house at Sundowners in Alberton on Saturday, 30 June.

If they are the kings of their genre then their throne was undoubtedly the stage where they created one of the most intense displays of musical power ever witnessed in South Africa.

Tuck O' Leary of Fit For A King gives the crowd some love.

Tuck O’ Leary of Fit For A King gives the crowd some love.

Brad Morrison and Ryan Daly of A Fate Like Yours during their smashing set.

Brad Morrison and Ryan Daly of A Fate Like Yours during their smashing set.

This tour was part of organisers, Jam Packed Productions’, on-going efforts to aid in rhino conservation with Rocking For Rhinos. SA metal heavyweights, Facing the Gallows, A Fate Like Yours, Riddlebreak, Truth and Its Burden and OneDaySky supported Fit For A King who left no stone unturned during a glorious night of quality music.

The guys from Dallas Texas put on one of the craziest shows in living memory, with an energetic and pumped up crowd adding to the mania. Stage dives, mosh pits and everything but the kitchen sink was thrown in during Fit For A King’s set which included crowd favourites “Dead Memory”, “Shadows and Echoes”, “Deathgrip” and “Hollow King (Sound of the End)” to name but a few. Fit For A King’s vocalist, Ryan Kirby, was on top form as he effortlessly let loose some of his signature growls and screams to an appreciative crowd. Bassist, Tuck O’Leary, drummer, Jared Easterling and guitarist, Bobby Lynge also were on point during the set and showcased their effortless musicianship on stage.

Bryan Binneman of Facing The Gallows joins Ryan Kirby on stage for “Dead Memory”

Other highlights during their set included a rousing rendition of new single “Tower of Pain” and new song “Shattered Glass” which both created an avalanche of moshing. The best was left for last as the band played “Pissed Off” to give the crowd one last chance to get rid of any unspent energy that they still had.

Apart from the majestic international act, fans were also treated to some of SA’s finest who in turn must be commended for getting the crowd into the zone from the onset. A Fate Like Yours was up first and they once again gave a top-notch performance filled with enough guitar riffs, aggressive screams and passion to fire up the crowd on a bitterly cold night. “Vader Hater” and “The Mindless Are Easily Led” were two favourites that got everyone moving . They are truly one of the most exciting acts to watch in the genre and this show was no different.

The experienced, Truth And Its Burden was up next and Ashley de Beer and company put in another passionate performance with heartfelt, truthful lyrics and crushing hardcore anthems. Highlights during the set included “Dead To The World”, “Iron and Fire” as well as “Weightless” that ended off their set in the best way possible. De Beer is one of the best frontmen and his interaction with the crowd and positive messages were a welcome addition.

It was also a special and somewhat sad night for Facing The Gallows as their lead vocalist, Bryan Binneman, played his final gig with the band. Binneman and company definitely ended it with a bang as they once again delivered in all aspects. They opened with “Pessimist” and ended their set with “Filth” – a truly crushing and brutal way to finish things. Duncan Bentley of Vulvodynia  also joined the stage together with Binneman as they performed “Time Keeper,” which was one of the best parts of the night. Wildness ensued with both vocalists putting on a clinic with some filthy growls to the delight of everyone in attendance. It was a truly fitting final show for one of SA’s best metal vocalists, who will be missed on stage with Facing The Gallows.

OneDaySky also delivered with an energetic set where headbanging and moshing was all part of their 30 minute musical party. It is always one massive jol when these guys hit the stage with heavy riffs and heartfelt harmonies intertwining. Since altering their sound, the band has grown in leaps and bounds and they definitely always bring their A-game when live on stage.

Julian Vosloo of Riddlebreak lets his guitar do the talking.

Riddlebreak had the task of setting the stage for Fit For A King and this six-piece progressive metal band did just that and even more as a psyched up crowd gobbled up every nasty growl from Jade Ozner, magical solos from Julian Vosloo and inventive beats from Gordon Bosma . Time signatures do not apply to Riddlebreak whose music hits you like a slap in the face, waking you up for more. Roushan van Niekerk on bass, Laura Atkinson on violin and Gareth Reed on rhythm guitar adds the extra unique elements to truly produce something special and chemistry filled.  “Something Sick” with its violin and lead guitar melody was the main highlight of their set which showcased the talent in SA and why Riddlebreak is a SAMMA award winning band for a reason.

“Award winning” might also just be the correct term for the entire night. If gigs could win awards then this show at Sunnies would have walked away with the show of the year award. A fitting way to end one of the craziest tours in living memory.

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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