Russian Heavy Metal band "METKA" Official Website

The very first concert of "Metka" (Club Front, 2002)

The first concert of the group "Black Label" (old Metka name)

Club appeared quite local, the interior was done with the claim of the work of a qualified designer. But main qualification of this designer, in my opinion, was his ability to absorb the alcohol. Actually club was located in the building (if it is appropriate to say so) of an abandoned air-raid shelter, a sample of some old soviet times. For this reason, the door to the club has been carefully camouflaged. Perhaps bacause of this secrecy there was the lack of billboards and ad stickers near the club or elsewhere in the city. Despite of these difficulties, me and my friends rather quickly identified the club because of the sound mixer: wicked irony placed it on the very roof of the club (I mean air-raid shelter). As we approached closer, misunderstanding had evaporated. This was not a mixing console, but a grill for "shashlik" and some people on a picnic around it.

We determined to enter the door, but in the meantime, people from nearby benches, who were dringing beer in a peaceful manner, moved directly to us and told that the entrance "to the group" (it sounded that way), costs 50 rubles. But that did not stop us, and in response, instead of ticket we heard a phrase "Please, you can take place in our wonderful club". Yes, that's how it sounded like. Wll, so we did.

Upon entering the room I looked around. Concrete floor, walls too, random club scenery. The bar width was about a meter-twenty. What really missed on it - is the sign "No beer." In each of the two sitting rooms there was one visitor, each of which due to the specific illumination seemed to be indeterminate sex, and slightly reminded the staute of wax figures museum. (I was even about to say a phrase "Wow. Looks like natural!").

As for the beer, there was some, and besides, it is necessary to pay tribute to the club, it was of a good quality. Having bought 0.5 beer for a person, we came back to the surface. The bench was now unoccupied. People who were sitting there perhaps had fallen a pray to their greed instinct. Weather was wonderful. On a bench with beer, it was quite comfortable. The only thing is that we still saw no people going to the concert. Yet it was not nine, but it was already more than eight o'clock. In the meantime I saw some concert comrades invited by me. Bench at the entrance has become more popular. Soon there appeared the musicians. First came "our" band "Black Label". The "Jam" band was going to play on the same day, but apparently they went on a military trick and decided to come a bit later to take over the best time on the stage. This, I believe, was not so important, and the life will put them in the correct order. And as the musicians play in different styles, then time does not play a role. In addition there was a significant advantage: having played, the group "Black Label" was able to enjoy beer and celebrate its premiere, and not be afraid to miss the last subway train.

So Black Label played first. Adjusting the sound took a short time. We met with our friends at this time above, on the bench, not hurrying to descend down to the club. When we went into the room in front of the stage, that looked like a big cell for smoking-and-drinking monks, all seats were already gone. Having got another beer, we settled in the second "cell". The only difference between two was that the first "cell" included a stage and another one - a bar. I have not had time to drink another beer as I heard Vladimir's voice in real-Petersburg cultural polite form, interrupting the noisy chatter in both halls and announcing that the concert is about to begin...

First came intrumental "Night". Vladimir, announcing its name, very quickly disappeared from the stage, cleaning a lot of space for the other musicians. After repeated listening to their demo disc "Night" in the "Front" seemed a bit "blurry", but here we felt the present energy and drive. Note that this is a very critical attitude. I wondered how the public reacted in the second hall-cell.. and found them dwelling in irresolute alertness. It seems they expected a rather weak perfomance from the debuting metal band. The things that you can find faulty was simply not consistent with this local level of the stage, and so it was nonsense to critisize them. And no one tried to.

And after the gig there were people willing to take an autograph, and for the first gig this is very innovative and encouraging. The second song - called "Black label" - is a "capital song" of the band. Now Vladimir had shown his presence. Fat overdriven rythm filled the "cell" and spilled to the other rooms. The remaining space was filled with incomparable vocal of Vladimir. "Metal press" pressed to the wall and the ears of those who listened. Resonant drive flooded and completely consumed the drummer - Kirill. But bassist Pavel didn't get drowned, he kept on the surface where Zack and Alexander glided..

As for me, a common listener, I had to find a life jacket: at the end of the song I needed a refreshment and got another beer. But continuation of the concert didn't made me wait too long. Vladimir moved through the darkness and smoke of the stage singing "Bla-a-a-ck La-a-bel 's my life ...!!!" - and there is no doubt that this is the case. It should be added that the song has nothing to do with the well-known manufacturer of whiskey. This was easy to guess if you look on Vladimir's serious face. As for the legibility of text in the underground club, well... the designers of the Civil Defense of the cold war made the acoustics of the ex-bombshelter in a way to prevent the maximum legibility of any phrases (apparently in order the spies could not listen to the secret meetings of civil defenders). Not being a great connoisseur of room acoustics, I managed to find a weakness in construction by my own experience. And it's a very simple way, accessible virtually to everyone. For those who want to deal accurately with lyrics, performed in such clubs "a la" Front", you surely should visit the toilet. Close the door to prevent the noise and interference and you can hear a clear voice of a loved singer. So you can enjoy high-quality sound in this surprisingly affordable part of the club. I listened to the music with rapt attention so even almost forgot to go out. But other people also desired to join the high-quality sound. So I decided to let them in and returned to the hall.

Rhythm of "Come out of the shadows" was simply fantastic, the band has to cope with the joyous excitement of its premiere performance, and played even more clearly and coherently. This slightly suppressed the public, that did not expected such a high level of performance.

Concert passed almost instantly, at least it seemed to me so. I like plunged into the space-time continuum and came back in the same place but a few tens of minutes later - and now our musicians were changing place with guys from "Jam" band, who respectfully skahed their hands.

What conclusions can be drawn? First of all and the foremost is the idea that it is not necessary to make any conclusions. We should just do the job not waiting for anything and then the result will come by itself... and - in the words of the classics - there will be no frustration and pain for aimlessly lived years. The second message indicates that there is the lack of such music on the stage and there are people, good people, who likes that much and they will listen to it.

Well, everything was cool, guys! There is talent, there is a drive, there is a voice! Six months of a hard work and there is something that is not shameful to show on the stage.
Good luck! And patience!

Author: T.O
Date: 14.06.2002

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