Metal Meetup is a long-running staple of Small World events. Most of the events have broad appeal. Partying to meet new people, testing your knowledge with trivia, and cleaning up the streets of your town are all things that a wide demographic can relate to.
Metal, on the other hand, is a niche interest.
That is why Metal Meetup is perhaps the greatest underdog of our events. Even though it takes a specific type of individual with a hardened musical taste to appreciate metal, it is a good representation of the dedicated live music scene which thrives in the underground of Nagoya’s nightlife. Perhaps that is why even casual listeners who attend the event continuously ask when it will return every time we quietly phase it out. Newcomers can satisfy their curiosity about diverse Nagoya bands and initiated fans can get their fix of headbanging fun.
Over the course of its existence, we have had eight Metal Meetups. Every time we have asked a new band to play the event, and eleven have participated in total. These include Turning the Sea into Monsters, TROYL, Lostnote, Crocodile Bambie, MaRS VIOLET LOVE, Eyeblow, Double-Tap Kill, Blasting Rod (as well as Studio Sessions with Acrobat Shonen, The Tapetumz and Wapperin)… and our latest additions, Jealous Wild, Dethfast, and Lords of the Trident.
Having been discontinued for a while and constantly having to face the question, “When are you bringing back those live rock shows”, we knew our first return to Metal Meetup would have to be a big one… and it was. While we didn’t plan on bringing it back at this exact time, a strange combination of circumstance and fate made for the perfect opportunity.
Lords of the Trident, a well-established power metal band from Wisconsin, USA, embarked on a US tour when one of their Nagoya dates had to be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances regarding the venue and booking agent. After posting a request for help on Reddit, we offered to help organize a show for the band, who was happy to oblige. We booked Lords of the Trident at the same venue we have always faithfully held live shows, Shelter Rock Bar. Unfortunately, Shelter was forced to close immediately after our confirmation of the show. After conversations with many other local venues, we decided to hold the event at Red Dragon, a very familiar spot to goers of local rock, metal, punk, and hardcore shows.
The first bands we wanted to round out the support slots were Jealous Wild and Dethfast, who both agreed. As luck had it, we got the exact show we intended to orchestrate.
It was a Tuesday night, so we weren’t sure what the turnout would be. By the time Jealous Wild hit the stage, though, the venue was already filling up. From the moment they hit their first note everyone was impressed. A comment I kept hearing throughout the night was that Jealous Wild really surprised them with how talented, precise, and fun their set was. There were smiles all throughout the room. Something anyone can take away from a Jealous Wild set is how endearing their brand of metal sounds. A job well done.
Dethfast was next to hit the stage. I would describe Jealous Wild’s purpose is to sing like angels and shred like demons. While they take a more melodic approach, Dethfast just designs music to kick ass. It’s fast, heavy, and raw. You can tell from their outfits that they’re here to thrash and that’s what they do. Their singer and guitar-player, Shinichi, had some hilarious banter on stage as well. When their set ended someone loudly said in the audience “Very Slayer. Verrrrrry Slayer”. Being compared to one of the greatest metal bands of all time is a compliment in my book.
Now, it was time for the first international act we’ve ever had to grace the stage. Lords of the Trident entered the stage in full costumes. There was armor, victorian attire, robes, and even weapons. They played an hour of pure excellent mastery of instruments. And that’s really not an exaggeration. The singer, Ty, has an unbelievable range that cleanly soared without any bumps or hiccups. He takes his craft seriously as during rehearsal he was practicing scales with a straw, and after performing he was nice enough to talk to fans by typing on his phone but saved his real voice for the next day. The guitars completely rip. There are Dragonforce levels of soloing you will hear in a LotT set. The bassist was fantastic as well and the drummer was S-tier. Their medieval theme suited them well as they completely slayed Red Dragon and…
What’s this… there was even magic?!
That’s right! Ty lit his microphone on fire and continued to use it. How did he do that?! Who knows. It’s probably real magic… Oh, and he spoke fluent Japanese between every song. They even performed a number by the legendary Japanese band, Anthem, perfectly. A very fast and… well, Japanese song. With Japanese lyrics. Is there anything he can’t do?
Not only did Trident bring their mighty tunes to grace us with… they also brought their most diehard fans. Yes, you read that right. Around 20 loyal fans flew all the way from Wisconsin to watch them play every night of their tour in Japan and enjoy the sight-seeing along the way. We’d like to thank them all for delivering on the stereotype of mid-west kindness and goodness. Thank you for accepting Japanese metalheads and expats into the New Wave of Nice Metal Buds.
For a band that has had the opportunity to play with legendary acts like Helloween, Steel Panther, 3 Inches of Blood, Mushroomhead, Skeletonwitch, and Unleash the Archers, we would like to thank LotT so much for taking the time to play one of our little events and melt our lucky faces off. As for Dethfast and Jealous Wild, we can’t wait to see them again at another event. Please come check them out when you have a chance.
Lords of the Trident is on tour supporting their latest release The Offering, which is available on all streaming platforms and for purchase from their website.
Photography by James Mackinson