Metal Chick of the Month – Dr. Mikannibal

mikannibal01

I Live You Die… Your Life Is Mine.

If you have never, ever in your entire life heard or seen anything about the jaw-dropping, unusual and skillful Japanese goddess Dr. Mikannibal, the saxophonist and also one of the lead singers of Japanese Black/Avant-garde Metal band Sigh, you have no idea of what you’re missing. Furthermore, nothing that you will read here is fake or made-up: Dr. Mikannibal is indeed a unique performer, and I dare you to find another woman so off-the-wall in music, even in the weird realms of Industrial, Gothic and especially Black Metal. For instance, she loves to record topless, has the odd habit of eating bugs and also enjoys drinking blood. Do I need to say more?

Our electrifying Asian bombshell, whose real name is Mika, was born on January 23 in the city of Sendai-shi (also known as “The City of Trees”) in Miyagi, Japan, located around 350km from the capital Tokyo. Dr. Mikannibal is in a long-term relationship with Sigh’s multi-instrumentalist Mirai Kawashima, and although she suffered a miscarriage three months into pregnancy in 2013, in April 2014 she took the stage of Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo, Norway with “Baby’s In Here” written on her belly. I wasn’t able to find anything online about her pregnancy after that, so let’s hope that Mika and Mirai had a beautiful and healthy baby together (which is probably what happened) and are now enjoying their parenthood to the sound of heavy music.

Named one of the “Sexiest Women in Metal” by Revolver Magazine, the title of Doctor added to her stage moniker is far from being jest, as she actually has a Ph.D. in Physics and still finds time to work as a scientist at her home in Florida, where she has been living for the past few years. Moreover, as expected from any person that’s at the same time a scientist and a black metaller, Dr. Mikannibal is an atheist (as well as Mirai) and whenever the band sings about hell she said in one of her interviews there’s no religious meaning behind it. It’s simply a representation of human beings going through hell, describing those scenes through their music.

In regards to her music career, Dr. Mikannibal has been playing saxophone since she was 12, being able to play the alto, tenor and baritone sax. She mentioned all are basically the same and she does that to add more power to her music, although it’s more difficult than playing just the alto sax, of course. However, it wasn’t until she joined Sigh that she took her saxophone skills to the studio and on stage at a professional level. Before joining Sigh she only did vocals for different metal bands, starting with indie Japanese Melodic Death Metal band 29Jaguar, with whom she recorded the demo 29Anger in 2005, and Japanese Melodic Thrash/Death Metal band Providence.

Dr. Mikannibal joined Sigh back in 2007, having already recorded with the band the following albums: A Tribute to Venom EP (2008), Scenes from Hell (2010), The Curse of Izanagi EP (2010), the split album Swine of Hades (2011), and more recently In Somniphobia (2012) and Graveward (2015). From all those releases, the only one where our metal goddess did not play her wicked saxophone was A Tribute to Venom EP, but anyway you can enjoy her devilish vocals in their cover versions for the Black Metal classics Countess Bathory, Black Metal and Witching Hour. If you want to take a listen at her skills as both the vocalist and saxophonist of Sigh, a few suggested songs are The Transfiguration Fear and Far Beneath The In-Between and Kaedit Nos Pestis. Lastly, after joining Sigh, she recorded sax and vocals in the 2012 album Worms in the Keys by international Avant-garde Rock/Metal project Self Spiller, and was also a guest saxophonist on track Boiled In Hell Broth & Grave Dust (Intro), from the 2010 album The Murder of Jesus the Jew by British Experimental Black Metal band The Meads of Asphodel, and on A Hollow Bridge, from the album Mapping the Moment with the Logic of Dreams by Romanian Progressive Black Metal band Bloodway. Apart from her career as a musician, Dr. Mikannibal has also ventured in the world of journalism, as for example her interview with At The Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg in Tokyo, Japan on August 5, 2013 for the Metal Moment podcast.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nonetheless, it’s on stage that our sexy doctor really stands out with her lunatic vocals and ferocious saxophone playing, her skimpy lingerie, skirts and dresses, and of course her infamous hot wax bath. Yes, that’s exactly what you have in your mind right now: a provocative Asian girl dripping hot wax from candles all over her attractive body. Check these two videos on YouTube where you’ll be able to see how wild she’s when performing live, the first playing the song The Soul Grave at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands in 2013, and the second showing you her hot wax bath in Taipei, Taiwan in 2012. Isn’t she adorable?

But wait, there’s still a lot more to talk about our fearless diva: because she loves her pet lizards (or geckos) and was really curious as to what they eat, she started to gather more details on bug eating, attended a “bug eating party”, learned how to cook roaches and other bugs properly and voilà! There you have a sexy bug-eater woman! Oddly enough, Dr. Mikannibal explained everything she does is not meant to attract the attention of anyone. “Some people in Japan traditionally eat grasshoppers. In the north part of Japan, they eat bugs. Eating roaches is not common in Japan, but it’s not a made-up story to get attention. It’s just something I do.”, she said in one of her interviews.

Obviously, a woman like that who wears such revealing see-through outfits in front of thousands of people has to be very comfortable with her body and appearance. She accepts and embraces the idea of being a sex symbol, although such distinction is not one of her main goals in her career. Not only that, when our gorgeous Nipponese lady is about to record anything new at home or in the studio, she does that topless (yes, topless!), simply due to the fact that she feels a lot more comfortable that way as she hates sweating a lot. She mentioned once the first thing she does when she arrives home is taking off her clothes, saying that’s something very natural and pleasant for her. Well, I guess there are lots of people who would love to attend the recording sessions by Sigh and be face-to-face in the studio with Dr. Mikannibal, one of the most remarkable women in contemporary Extreme Metal.

Dr. Mikannibal’s Official Facebook page
Dr. Mikannibal’s Official Twitter
Sigh’s Official Facebook page
Sigh’s Official Twitter 

“I do wear sexy costumes, and I wear less clothes than other metal chicks do in other bands. It’s not intentional. I don’t do it to try and get attention from men. I just wear what I wear because I like it. I love myself, my looks and my body, and I like to show it off on stage. That’s the whole idea.”  – Dr. Mikannibal

Home Video Review – Slayer / Live Intrusion (1995)

Are you looking for a creepy horror movie for Halloween? How about Slayer’s extremely “soft” first home video instead?

Rating2

Slayer_Live IntrusionContinuing with the countdown to Slayer live in Toronto next month, I would like to give my opinion about one of the first VHS of my life. Back in the 90’s, MTV was growing and becoming more and more important, making almost all bands care a lot more about their videos rather than their own music. Fortunately, when we talk about Slayer the words “MTV” or “commercial” are rarely used, unless we add the prefix “non” in front of them, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in their debut home video called Live Intrusion: a high quality concert, full of heavy riffs and classic songs and that has almost zero commercial appeal to regular people, but for the band’s diehard fans it’s close to perfection.

Filmed at the Mesa Amphitheater in Mesa, Arizona on March 12, 1995 during Slayer’s “Divine Intourvention” around the US, and launched later that same year (there’s also a DVD version released in 2010), Live Intrusion is pure devastation, starting with the insane duo of Raining Blood and Killing Fields until the apocalyptic ending with Chemical Warfare. In fact, before the concert actually starts the video presents us that infamous footage of a guy having his arm scarified with the word SLAYER, then adding alcohol to it and setting it on fire, which in my opinion is the best “intro” of all time to a Thrash Metal concert. If this doesn’t pump you up for the rest of the video, maybe you should press stop and start watching the new One Direction movie instead, because for me this means you’re a total pussy!

Slayer_Live Intrusion02Regarding the setlist, there are many long-forgotten songs from this concert that I would love to see slayer playing again live such as Killing Fields, Sex. Murder. Art. And 213. By the Way, I think they should reintroduce some songs from Divine Intervention, Diabolus in Musica and God Hates Us All in their current setlist, especially now that the band has Paul Bostaph back on drums, and I’m pretty sure Gary Holt would be able to play any of them easily. The fans would love to have even more power added to the mosh pits with some of the fastest songs from those albums.

One of the top moments of the entire show is when guitar/singer Robb Flynn (Machine Head) and drummer Chris Kontos (ex-Machine Head) join Slayer on stage to perform an incredibly heavy version of the song Witching Hour, from Black Metal pioneers Venom. The reaction from the crowd is absolutely insane! Speaking of which, the fans are crazy from start to finish, and instead of morons wasting their time filming the concert what we see are true metalheads screaming, bleeding and banging their heads non-stop in the middle of monstrous circle pits. Good times!

To sum up, Live Intrusion is an excellent opportunity to see Tom, Kerry, Jeff (R.I.P.) and Paul in top form executing perfectly many all-time classics from Slayer’s unparalleled career (what they do in War Ensemble and Angel of Death, for example, is beyond brutal) as well as some great unusual songs, complemented by an amazing crowd and some hilarious footage between some of the songs. So forget about pussies like Freddy Krueger, Jason or Michael Myers, and spend this Halloween enjoying some beers with your friends while watching one of the most bestial videos in the History of Heavy Metal.

Best moments of the video: Raining Blood/Killing Fields, At Dawn They Sleep, Dittohead and Witching Hour.

Worst moments of the video: Absolutely none.

Released in 1995 American Recordings

Track listing
1. Raining Blood 4:23
2. Killing Fields 3:56
3. War Ensemble 4:51
4. At Dawn They Sleep 5:03
5. Divine Intervention 5:33
6. Dittohead 2:50
7. Captor of Sin 3:21
8. 213 4:51
9. South of Heaven 4:58
10. Sex. Murder. Art.  1:50
11. Mandatory Suicide 4:03
12. Angel of Death 4:50
13. Hell Awaits 4:53
14. Witching Hour (Venom cover) 2:54
15. Chemical Warfare 5:17

Band members
Tom Araya – bass, vocals
Jeff Hanneman – guitar
Kerry King – guitar
Paul Bostaph – drums