By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida–May 7, 2017
Okay, not literally, my research found this definition: “AAAA” is the primal call to the Absolute in all religions as the sound resonance of “AAAA” in the divine names of God- Allah, Jehova, Rama, Siva. “RAA” is the energy of the Sun, the energy within fire, the energy of life force- prana. “KAA” is the grounding of energy, that of Divine Earth. ARAKARA is the aligning of Source with our human reality where thoughts are empowered into manifestation. That’s a bit too woo-ish for me, I prefer my definition: Aggressive, Original, Uncompromising Thrash Metal!
Arakara was the first band I saw opening for Evergrey’s “The Storm Within” Tour, and though uncredited – meaning they are likely only playing the Florida leg – they served well giving notice that Central Florida is still a vibrant metal scene as it was in the 1980s.
Their influences include the heavyweights of classic metal: Pantera, Exodus, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Kreator, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Damageplan, Death, and more. The band’s member’s are: Vocals and Bass, Brandon Lee; Guitar, Zack Donovan; Guitar, Vince Van Berkum; and Drums, Shawn Vanderlaan. Brandon’s 5-string bass and Zack and Vince’s double leads are reinforced by Shawn’s driving drums for a sonic symphony of pulse-pounding metal madness that shouldn’t be missed!
To borrow from their biography: “Arakara’s music is aggressive, fast, and majestic, commenting on everything from religion to politics to personal experiences. Technical yet brutal, these Floridians haven’t forgotten the way metal used to be, and they’re following suit perfectly, all while inspiring others and shredding face.”
Find out more at: Arakara
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.