Aggressive rock and glam metal band Harsh Reality brought a theatrical
metal performance to the Rox Friday night with a bondage and fetish theme to
gather the crowd.
Other metal acts like Ripsnorter, Flat Atom and the sexily animated Apocalypse Theatre added to the mix.
Harsh Reality managed to create a night of in-your-face metal and theatrical animation not for the faint of heart.
Tempest, founder and band leader of Harsh Reality said the theatrical approach for the night was in some ways for Halloween, with a little twist of metal.
She said the band has a raw, aggressive sound which is angry, emotional and real.
Tempest reformed Harsh Reality in 2006 after "finding her true self" with a gender transition and leaving her old band, All the Pretty Horses (ATPH). She added that her fellow band member from ATPH, Jendeen, is also involved with the current Harsh Reality line-up.
"Our band has a sound of Sepultra meets Marilyn Manson," Tempest said.
The first band that performed was Ripsnorter, who brought their hard core punk and horror punk to the show.
Lead singer JME said their music is combining melodic music with scary things.
Their performance was a mix of hard drums and guitar mixes. They were cohesive, loose and confident throughout their performance.
Flat Atom followed with maniacal solos from guitarist and programmer The Thump.
Flat Atom lead singer Nick Seward said their sound was industrial metal which is a blending of aggressive rifts and electronics.
Their performance was cerebral with a flurry of diminished rifts and elaborate high-hitting interplay.
The highlight of the night for fans was the collaborated performance of Apocalypse Theatre and Harsh Reality.
Together, they brought a harmonic soaked march that sounded like an unholy marriage between an atheist and a morbid angel.
Mad Kat, one of the singers for Apocalypse Theatre, said both bands have performed together in the past.
The chaotic performance was overwhelming for audience members, who stood in awe.
The instrumental paroxysm was incomprehensible, but the showmanship and theatrical performance was elegantly animated and looked dauntingly complex with a wide array of costumes varying from tight leather corsets to angel wings.
Apocalypse Theatre's lead singer, Sunshine, who was filling in for the absence of Harsh Reality's lead singer Odi, said he likes the bands pain fixed and crazy expression on stage, but believes the music always comes first.
"It's just an extension," Sunshine said.
Sunshine said the bondage, leather and fetish theme was good for the night and was good for the commercial focus.
"Everything is cool if it's open," Sunshine said.
Tempest said that it is a look and a lifestyle, a section of personality.
Harvey Strats, 32, from St. Cloud, said that fashion in metal has influenced a "hotch-potch" of punk, funk and military fashion, even to various historical fashions.
Tempest said before the show that she wanted to give something special and larger than life for the Rox gig.
A performance that was armed to the teeth with rock and a creative stage show that was epic, but through all the mayhem and high octane affairs, Sunshine went from metal rumblings to high pitched screams, almost sounding like Axl Rose plastered to a windshield at 120 miles per hour.
Willie Snyder, who was in attendance that night, said it was a great show and a little chaotic at times.
"They did an admirable job missing their lead singer. They have always brought a lot of energy and today was no exception," Snyder said
Nate Pagel, also in attendance, said it was a really well done concert for Halloween and it went well.
Carlos Everyn said it was a courageous performance for a band like Harsh Reality. He said he has seen them perform before, but this time it was something special.
"(It was an) in your face performance for the ages," Everyn said.
Everyn said St. Cloud's metal scene may not be very large but bands like Harsh Reality, and Apocalypse Theatre make these rare shows really worthwhile.