If you’re a fan of Metal in Malta, chances are you soak up and indulge in every major event that takes place – and rightfully so! That also means, you without a doubt attended Xtreme Metal Assault in the Garage, our trusty dungeon for hard riffs and jumpy beats alike. Wait, you…you didn’t? What do you mean you didn’t go? Alright. Let me fill you in on what happened, because as you probably already know – Underground Sound has made an appearance and we can tell you, we’re still recovering from “chronic-headbang-disease”. You ready? Let’s roll.

Xtreme Metal Assault 2018

We make our way to the bar and let our trusty picture-taking sidekick do his work for a bit, while we get ourselves some cool refreshments. The bar is crowded, people have to shout at each other to ironically be heard over the bearded dude on-stage shouting back at them, which doesn’t cover up the laughter and carpet of sounds that make up the genuinely good time everyone is having. It’s funny how lyrics that depict sometimes gruesome and depressing themes can make everyone so happy.

The Garage – A Much-Loved Underground Venue

Anyone who has ever attended a gig in The Garage in Zebbug will tell you of its intimate atmosphere. This, coupled with familiar faces from Malta’s Metal scene, make this location one of a kind. While you do see the same faces a lot, there is just enough diversity for things to feel fresh and energetic. For this event, Edward Tagliaferro has really gone out of his way to create a line-up that offers a little something for every metal fan out there.

Love more traditional, in your face metalcore? Goldstein will definitely itch that scratch. Want to positively feel like murdering every sumbitch that ever did you wrong? Bound to Prevail has got you covered.  Bring your friends, have a beer and have that beer consecutively spilt all over you by the next guy or gal frantically jumping around to the show. The stage isn’t the biggest, but that just lends itself to the intimate location – suitably dark and gloomy as it should be.

Xtreme Metal Assault 2018

Joe Grech, vocalist of Angelcrypt loves playing The Garage. He told us that the crowd is always up for going crazy. We’ve spoken to a few die-hard fans too, and the image Joe painted is pretty accurate. Some of the guys and girls we spoke to have been following certain bands for years at times and continue to have a fantastic experience – which we can definitely agree on. The atmosphere is sick and everyone is enjoying themselves to thumpy beats and neat riffs, no matter which band you’re listening to.

Headbanging, Dancing and Serious Riffs

We watch on as A Nail Through The Urethra, a self-described Slamming Brutal Death Metal trio from Italy take the stage. Their album “ScrotHUMANiacs” came out in 2017 and is as obscene and bizarre as the name suggests. The writer of these lines also never thought he would use the word Urethra in anything other than a medical paper, but ladies and gentlemen – this is Metal for ya, what do you expect? These guys really hold no punches, with insane blast beats and breakdowns straight out of hell. Our heads immediately went into the all too familiar motion of rocking back and forth – and by rocking we mean nearly slamming since these guys are fast, hard and relentless. Underground Sound absolutely approves!

After listening to these behemoths of metal, navigating the crowd is the expected mess of people dancing, headbanging, jumping and having the time of their lives – and we bump into our friend John of Malta’s very own Decline the Fall for a quick chat. These guys also attend Xtreme Metal Assault on the following Saturday, so if you missed them – be sure to check them out the next time they play, you won’t be disappointed.

Xtreme Metal Assault 2018

Overall the whole event can only be described as messy and energetic but crafted with absolute love for the genre. While Malta has a relatively small scene, people like promoter Edward Tagliaferro really make sure you’ll only get the best of what this Mediterranean rock has to offer.

Until Next Year’s Event

Our evening at Xtreme Metal Assault has come to an end and with the music slowly going back to lower than 140dB, our ears are still ringing – but we are happy and positively fulfilled with what has conveyed over the past few hours of straightforward metal-goodness. One thing is crystal clear, however; the metal scene in Malta is here to stay, and Xtreme Metal Assault better come back next year. If so, you can trust Underground Sound to be back too – this time with earplugs.

Words by: Ced Schulte

Photos by: Underground Sound