Article by Tim King
Leviathan is perhaps the most promising metal band coming up in the Xi’an music scene, and their debut, The First Blade, has been making a lot of noise (literally), including being named the top local music of 2016 in our December issue. Anyone reading our music columns probably wishes we would shut up about these local metalheads, but those people are ones who’ve never seen what they can do.
I first saw them a few months ago when one of the many locations Aperture tried to set up shop in had a last-minute show to shut the place down, one time for all time. I’d never seen them, or heard of them, and there they were, jammed into the middle of a five-band line up, comprised of some of the biggest names in local metal, like Nude Injection. Nothing would have prepared me for what followed: a performance equal parts precision assault and charisma, a perfect showcase for the maximalist onslaught of electrifying mosh riffs, double-bass kicks and avalanching breakdowns found on their recordings.
Since then they’ve been on practically every big metal show in town that’s worth a damn, and those shows are better for it. No matter how timid the openers or how sloppy the headliners, Leviathan is always on. If you’re a metal aficionado, these guys might be one of your new favorite bands; if you’re not much into metal you won’t be converted, but you might be surprised at the confidence and some of the nuances of their songwriting.
They’ll be playing Imagine 16 Club the 7th of January. If you’re reading this a bit later, then…sorry? But don’t despair, these guys play out a lot and they’re also working on their sophomore album, which means even more shows. Just make sure you see these guys at some point before they blow up.