The Hammersonic Festival in Jakarta was an absolute blast this year. Hanging out with our friends in Onslaught and Suffer in Rot and having the pleasure of seeing play and meeting such legends as Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, Darkest Hour, Gorgoroth and Drowning Pool was incredible. Got to see some awesome Indo extreme metal acts too, Burgerkill, Dead Vertical, Jasad, Noxa, Hellcrust and Social Black Yelling too name just a few.
Four stages in total, two main stages of varied, top notch international metal acts, one good size indoor stage. the Soul of Steel stage, which was also decked out with big screens and a killer lighting rig and the ‘Extreme Moshpit’ stage, a smaller outdoor stage showcasing a wide range of local bands.
The highlights of the day for me were Onslaught, Suffer in Rot and Burgerkill. The boys in Onslaught were not coping with the heat and humidity very well before they went on. They were scheduled to play around 2pm and it was the hottest part of day. Lead singer Sy Keeler had also injured his foot which wasn't helping matters either. They still pulled out an excellent performance and belted out the likes of 66Fucking6, Let There be Death, Killing peace and Metal Forces in fine style. Closing their set with a tribute to Lemmy, the cover they recorded with Phil Campbell and Tom Angelripper of Sodom, Motorhead classic Bomber. Burgerkill played the indoor stage later in the afternoon and completely blew me away. These guys are huge in the Indonesian metal scene and their set was amazing. A huge circle pit developed and the crowd went off big time! I bought a copy of their album 'Venomous' as soon as I got back home and it's been on pretty heavy rotation ever since, superb stuff.
The Indonesian people are very welcoming and it was great to have some time to have a look around some record stores and sample some local food and drink in and around Jakarta. I would definitely recommend a trip to this festival. Everything is pretty cheap once you are there and though I’m not sure about international flight prices, I do know that flights from Australia are very reasonably priced.
The organisation of this festival puts many other larger festivals to shame, even a downpour of monsoon proportions in the late afternoon which did cause a few audio and visual glitches and had the crowds running for cover, couldn’t dampen spirits and once the rains subsided the crowds emerged from their various places of shelter, the main stages fired up again and proceedings picked up right where they left off.
From the right: Chris Rankin, me, Stew Bags and various members of Suffocation, Onslaught, Internal Bleeding, Darkest Hour, Suffer in Rot, Killer 7 (Second from left, Hendro Wibowo, Indo Promoter and general local legend) and Contrive (The Metal Bros, Paul and Andrew Haug of AndrewHaug.com) backstage at Hammersonic 2016.
Hope to see you there in 2017! Mike