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Reflecting on Pulp Summer Slam’s last hurrah |


Reflecting on Pulp Summer Slam’s last hurrah

OMG - Gracie Go - The Philippine Star
Reflecting on Pulp Summer Slamâs last hurrah
Pulp CEO Vernon Go and his children, Winter and London Go, with Parkway Drive: (from left) Ben Gordon, Winston McCall, Jia O’Connor, and Luke Kilpatrick
Photos by JOEL H. GARCIA

Pulp Summer Slam XX: Worlds Collide – The End” marked a special moment in Southeast Asia’s heavy metal scene, leaving an indelible mark on fans of the genre. Held on March 23, 2024, at the iconic Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City, the festival’s final iteration featured an all-international lineup.

The festival began and ended with a bang. Japan’s Prompts brought their unique flavor to the stage, while Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse enthralled the crowd with their blend of symphonic and technical death metal. Brazil’s Crypta and South Korea’s Rolling Quartz delivered fierce performances that underscored the power of all-female metal bands.

Story of the Year’s Dan Marsala delivers a powerhouse performance, solidifying their status as a league of their own.

From the United States, bands like Fit For An Autopsy, La Dispute, and Of Virtue each contributed to the Slam’s dynamic atmosphere. Co-headliners Story Of The Year exceeded expectations with their set. Vocalist Dan Marsala and his bandmates really got the crowd going with their iconic anthems. Their final number, Until The Day I Die, had everyone, from those in the Royalty section all the way to General Admission, losing their minds. Even I couldn’t keep myself from bobbing my head in time to the song.

Metal queens Crypta reign supreme, leaving the crowd in awe of their fierce energy.

The evening’s headliners, Parkway Drive from Australia, didn’t disappoint. They eschewed fancy gimmicks in favor of a good, old-fashioned stage show marked by compelling stage presence, tight playing, and well-timed lighting. From my vantage point near the tech booth, I saw fans of all ages, colors, shapes, and sizes moshing in time to Parkway Drive’s Dedicated, Wild Eyes, and more. After the show, I talked to some of them, and they all said the band’s set was a testament to how far they’ve come since their first show in Manila 13 years ago.

Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall delivers a performance that shakes the ground and ignites the hearts of all Slammeros.

Pulp Summer Slam has been a cornerstone of the Filipino heavy metal scene for decades. Since its inception in 2000, it grew into an annual event that drew metalheads from across the nation and around the world. The festival has not only been a platform for showcasing talented metal bands but also a space where fans could come together to celebrate their shared love for the genre.

The festival has played a crucial role in fostering a sense of belonging and community among metal fans in the Philippines and beyond. Its impact on the heavy metal culture in Southeast Asia will be remembered for years to come. But is this really the end? Who knows? —Julian Mauricio

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