Dubstep Duo Mellodeath Blows Armory Away


Photos by Joey Dunst

The twin cities headbangers were served up a delicious platter of neck-breaking niceties this past Saturday as goliath dubstep duo MELLODEATH shook the very foundations of Minneapolis’ Armory to its core. Marshmello’s finesse meeting Svdden Death’s seasoned knack for rattling, aggressive dubstep is a combination that doesn’t necessarily make sense on paper, but one listen to this year’s MELLODEATH Mixtapes Vol 1. is all it takes for the project’s inception to appear perfectly understandable.

Opening support for the night came in the form of Munk and YVM3 (Yume). Munk got the crowd moving with some more pulse-pounding, techno-inspired music and what would come to be a bit of a pattern for the night with an obscured appearance and a striking, claw-hand oriented visual design. YVM3 came next – a heavily hardcore/punk inspired tearout performance featuring no one on stage as the moniker as an anonymous project in the scene currently. Flashing animations of a giant 8-bit female DJ vibing to the semi-narrative audio-visual presentation created an ominous contrast as the crowd bounced along.

Germany-born, Minneapolis-based Virtual Riot took the stage for pre-MELLODEATH vibings. Virtual Riot is a regular in the Minneapolis EDM area since moving here, and his unique style and flair for enthusiastic DJing set him apart. Riot brought a visuals coordinator on stage with him (unfortunately it was difficult to catch the name) who spun the audience through a series of lucid, vibrant and psychadelic images that perfectly complemented Brunn’s spastic, geeky/game oriented approach to riddim, with a particularly excellent visual-audio combination to the tune of the battle music of Super Smash Bros – incredible!

Mellodeath were up last, and I was in for quite a surprise when, with a bang and an incredibly bright flash of light, the two DJs ascended to their elevated DJ deck suspended 15 feet above the air. Svdden Death wasted no time getting the crowd amped as jets of pyrotechnics cascaded into the air and the 4 tier strobe setup lit the huge event space up as bright as day. What followed was an hour and a half of the lowest, crunchiest meandering dubstep that Minneapolis has seen in some time, beautifully and scarily elevated by the dynamic visual presentation that the elevating platform brought. Explosions of lasers synced up to enormous beat drops meant that there wasn’t a single un-banged head to be found in the crowd. Mello & Svdden would make their way up and down that platform several times, sometimes DJing on bottom but sometimes on top, keeping the crowd guessing with what they were going to play next (though prominently featuring material from their latest mixtape). A massive, unforgettable experience that won’t soon be matched!