As Blood Runs Black in KK: Listening to Maria Campbell

Maria Campbell, metal band from Cebu, Philippines. Supporting As Blood Runs Black performing in Kota KInabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

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I’m listening to “Robert Love Rebecca XXX” by Maria Campbell. This metal / hardcore band from the Philippines is supporting As Blood Runs Black, when they come to Kota Kinabalu on July 9th, 2012. The concert is at Razz Ma Tazz.

Nuk and Amos introduced this culture to me a year ago – metal, moshing, Walls of Death… it does my head in. I want to know more, hear more, see more, meet more.

Why? Because I gel with it? No! I think: what the hell IS this? The guy is growling, I can’t hear the lyrics. Is it singing? It’s so goddamn scary.

I hear other things too. Frenetic guitars; Maria Campbell is SO tight. In “Robert Love Rebecca XXX” there’s a slow build before the singer launches in with his madness:

“…started over again,” he growls, like a demon from Hell.

They start, they stop, they build and build, the pulse changes one way, another way, faster and faster – drums and guitars so together. They punish their instruments, tearing up a phrase again and again, chopping the rhythms, then STOP. Then they build up a new phrase, again and again to finally crescendo out.

It’s so skilled. You cannot play this music if you cannot really play. As a metal band member once said: “We don’t want to play lame, no-skills music.”

Above all, there is Passion. Everything about this music, this culture, is Passion.

Passion for the scene. Nobody is in this by accident. They’ve found this space in the world. They don’t have money but they damned well find it to buy all the RM180 “Meet and Greet” passes, get to a Monday night concert and be totally stoked about it.

They appreciate what Shockwave and their partners are doing. My inbox is flooded with hundreds of comments from the “As Blood Runs Black Live in KK” Facebook page. There is nothing blasé about metal supporters. They want this concert to happen.

Passion for the music. Yes, it really is about the music. At a metal concert there are no girls sighing, “Oh, he’s so gorgeous!” because up on stage it’s sweating, thrashing, snarling musical insanity unleashed. No-one cares what they look like and Gorgeous does not belong.

The blokes up front worship the lead guitarist, or slam into their mates, or climb on the growling singer who is eating his mic. Time is precious. The gig is here. Live it now.

“Robert Love Rebecca XXX” just stopped playing, for the twentieth time, while I write this. And you know what? The world just went…pale. Quiet. Insipid. It went from high-definition colour to black-and-white analog; from JBL Vertec to supermarket speaker; from intense, frenzied metal to…well, every other kind of music.

So I’ll play it again as I post this up. If someone sends me the lyrics for “Robert Love Rebecca XXX”, well, I think I will be in Heaven. Or maybe I should say Hell.

See you on July 9th, 2012, when As Blood Runs Black and Maria Campbell come to KK.



  1. Lyrics:

    So everything started over again
    what we used to be and still strong as it is
    lets forget all about the past
    move forward and incinerate everything that moves
    and there’s nothing we can do

    Rush now to the oblivious sky
    casting down a never ending catastrophe
    what we thought is real
    a wall of never ending dellusion
    is this the end?

    This is thy fear itself
    detorioration of once mind
    never been and never was
    So where now to begin?
    This long hatred is breaking loose

    Who did it?who did it?
    everything that cant be answered
    One book, One source
    A stand to our morality

    Worship the stones
    source of misinformation
    tools that conducted for greed and chaos
    atonement to all individuality

    This is goodbye to the truce which didn’t last
    This is the start of a truce that will never end

    O’ Hell is breaking loose
    Angels and demons within a chaotic throne
    whispers and answers will be revealed
    a new world damnation
    a leaders eyes
    a code of the beast planted within our embroinic cells
    demented in time which we dwells on
    forgotten, fragmented, erased knowledge which we possessed

    Demented in time which possessed
    Demented in time which we dwells on

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