UK TECH-FEST 2017

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Lives - SO­PHIE MAUGHAN/JAKE OWENS

FRI­DAY Leg­end has it that three months of rain fell within 60 min­utes just hours ear­lier, but by some weird me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal sleight of hand, to­day the hal­lowed Show­ground turf is bone dry and pos­i­tively bak­ing in the molten sun­shine. It’s been four years since death met­allers DYSCARNATE [8] un­leashed their blitzkrieg live show upon the Tech-Fest masses, and the trio waste no time in an­ni­hi­lat­ing the thrash­ing bod­ies be­neath them to reaf­firm their sta­tus as lu­mi­nar­ies of pre­cise death metal bru­tal­ity. The in­tri­cate am­bi­ence that prog in­stru­men­tal­ists TOSKA [7] bring to the stage couldn’t be any more dis­sim­i­lar, but the Brighton three-piece quickly en­gage on­look­ers with a beau­ti­fully dis­parate blend of hulk­ing riffs and rich melodies. Any re­sound­ing calm is mer­ci­lessly shat­tered dur­ing MARTYR DEFILED’S

[8] seething on­slaught, in which tal­is­man Matt Jones paces back and forth roar­ing like an un­tamed beast; the thun­der­ous break­downs that ac­com­pany his pri­mal vo­cal hooks pos­i­tively teem with vir­u­lent, con­ta­gious filth. Vis­ceral car­nage is the name of the game for Slove­nian slam­mers WITHIN DE­STRUC­TION [8], whose sub­lime tech­ni­cal­ity and pro­lapse-in­duc­ing squeals al­most force genre-ben­ders ROLO

TOMASSI [7] into the prover­bial shade. Al­most. A mes­meris­ing mix of per­plex­ing riffs and brood­ing sound­scapes com­bined with hell­catin-an­gel-form Eva Spence’s snarling fer­vour is enough to con­vince a de­pleted crowd to im­merse them­selves in the vi­o­lent rhythms.

You don’t need to read be­tween the lines to recog­nise the ob­scene ex­u­ber­ance pow­er­ing grime-djents HACKTIVIST [9] tonight. New co-vo­cal­ist Jot Maxi spits and swag­gers as an­thems like El­e­vate and Taken get the writhing pits lit amongst dev­as­tat­ing grooves. Un­sur­pris­ingly, most of the per­spir­ing horde head for the exit after­wards, so OCEANS ATE

ALASKA [7] end up play­ing to a half-empty hangar – it’s un­for­tu­nate as the Brum na­tives’ in­fec­tious blend of prog and clas­sic met­al­core is noth­ing to be sneered at. ABORTED’S [8] gory and punchy death metal works well af­ter a load of beers, and they take to the stage as one of the more revered bands in their scene. Not only do they prove that they’re at the top of their game, but their experience re­ally makes them stand out tonight. Col­lec­tive “Oh Jeremy Cor-byn!” chants pre­cede Fri­day’s late-run­ning head­liner before ev­ery­one’s dev­as­tated by THE BLACK

DAHLIA MUR­DER [8], who rip fe­ro­ciously through a set burst­ing with uber-tight pre­ci­sion and black­ened blast­beats. Mi­asma is no longer just a song, it’s an event.

SATURDAY

Com­bin­ing old-school clas­sic rock with ul­tra­mod­ern prog makes con­cep­tual three-piece THE

PARALLAX METHOD [7] a gen­uinely in­ter­est­ing propo­si­tion; melodic over­tones pro­vide rich depth and an im­promptu in-crowd Macarena fur­ther cel­e­brates the in­stru­men­tal­ists’ di­ver­sity. EX­IST IM­MOR­TAL [9] are stun­ning to­day. Meyrick de la Fuente’s sear­ing cleans have the emo­tional propen­sity to re­duce grown men to tears whilst the un­du­lat­ing riffage of In Hind­sight and that last drop dur­ing a beau­ti­fully bel­liger­ent Fol­low Alone le­git­i­mately stirs the soul. When a band de­scribes their sound as metal-meets-fu­sion-meets-post-rock, it

NORTH­LANE SERVE A GI­ANT

MID­DLE FIN­GER TO THE DISBELIEVERS

au­to­mat­i­cally prompts cu­rios­ity, but Dutch quar­tet EXIVIOUS [7] ex­tin­guish such scep­ti­cism, weav­ing an or­ganic and co­her­ent sound uni­fied by en­er­getic rhythms, melan­cholic noodling and fear­less ex­per­i­men­ta­tion. Math­core in­no­va­tors

THE COLOUR LINE [9] waste no time in rip­ping the place apart. Spin­ning cir­clepits erupt as Sam rud­der­forth im­me­di­ately chucks him­self into the sea of out­stretched arms. Pum­melling drums never miss a beat as remi Gal­lego, aka

THE AL­GO­RITHM [8], flits seam­lessly be­tween in­stru­ments. Stam­ped­ing riffs give way to hyp­notic syn­th­wave while djent-laden break­downs sit along­side dub-spliced beats.

It’s the per­fect jux­ta­po­si­tion of melodic lu­nacy and brute force. On the strength of their per­for­mance, it’s un­likely that RED SEAS FIRE [7] will stay un­signed. The el­e­ments of tech­ni­cal prow­ess are present, but it’s the gar­gan­tuan riffs and ear­worm hooks that get bod­ies mov­ing. The elab­o­rate, bru­tal as­sault of UN­EVEN

STRUC­TURE [8] har­nesses the com­plex and fore­bod­ing with mind­bend­ing polyrhythms that veer wildly from haunt­ing at­mo­spher­ics to enamel-peel­ing bel­lows.

PERSEFONE [7] bring a more melodic edge to the week­end’s pop­u­lar tech-death sound. Sound grem­lins make for a stop/start set, but they’re lucky in hav­ing an ex­tremely charis­matic front­man in Marc Martins, who does a top job of get­ting a de­cent-sized crowd into the party spirit. Ger­man prog-death ti­tans OBSCURA [8] clearly re­turned to th­ese shores to com­mand and con­quer as they quickly demon­strate a sonic knack for merg­ing re­fined fury and vir­tu­osic mu­si­cian­ship. Not even a mid-set T-rex vs Flamingo in­flat­able duel can eclipse

TEX­TURES’ [9] bit­ter­sweet farewell tonight. Dizzy­ing, djent-fu­elled so­los and am­bi­ent in­ter­ludes re­ver­ber­ate around the packed-out house as Daniel de Jongh’s vo­ra­cious screams meta­mor­phose into plain­tive cleans dur­ing an emo­tive Awake.

SUN­DAY

The back-to-back blis­ter­ing grooves of A TRUST

UNCLEAN [7] and BORDERS [7] are the ideal way to blow the cob­webs away, and if that doesn’t work, the sight of a bloke smash­ing a xy­lo­phone-cum­synth with unadul­ter­ated vigour dur­ing ONI’S [8] multi-faceted set cer­tainly will. Dis­so­nant lead lines and at­mo­spheric pas­sages trans­port those watch­ing GHOST IRIS [7] to a eu­phoric state, but CARCER CITY’S [8] in­ten­sity and humility prove they’re truly a force to be reck­oned with. A heart­felt ren­di­tion of call-to-arms an­them Sov­er­eign sends fists fly­ing sky­wards. The bar­rage of triplets and low-fret noodling cours­ing through the black heart of HU­MAN­ITY’S LAST BREATH [7] en­sures pulses gal­lop un­til

PANZERBALLET’S [7] eight-string ac­tion and jazz-metal funk takes cen­tre stage. Split­ting opin­ions firmly down the mid­dle with an (un)holy union of spliced death metal, opera and Vene­tian Snares-es­que break­core, IGORRR

[9] eas­ily se­cure the ti­tle of the week­end’s most bat­shit band, mak­ing the tech-death in­no­va­tion of BE­YOND CRE­ATION [7] sound un­der­stated by com­par­i­son. INGESTED [9] might not be the most in­tel­lec­tual of the bands play­ing this week­end, but they’re one of the heav­i­est. They just sound meaner and heav­ier than al­most any­one else play­ing all week­end, and the crowd re­ac­tion re­flects that with a con­stant pit through­out their mod­est 35-minute set. Their new al­bum can’t come quickly enough. With mas­sive tracks like Paragon and Quan­tum Flux in an ar­se­nal al­ready over­flow­ing with mes­meris­ing grooves, soar­ing vo­cals and prog ex­u­ber­ance, NORTH­LANE

[9] can bask in the ce­les­tial glow; tonight’s out­ing will serve as a gi­ant mid­dle fin­ger to any disbelievers, clos­ing an­other thrilling Tech-Fest in ab­so­lute tri­umph.

TEX­TURES

ENCORE Hacktivist: and gr ime

pun­ish­ment Tex­tures: Daniël de Jongh puts

the ‘vic­tory’into ‘vale­dic­tory’ Drive

Re­ge­n­e­sis

Storm Warn­ing

New Hori­zons Shap­ing

Reach­ing Home

The Trail Il­lu­mi­nate

Awake Trans­gres­sion Sin­gu­lar­ity Zman

Time­less

SOC

An Icarus La­ments Of

rolo Tomassi’s Eva

Spence: dressed to de­stroy North­lane con­duct a thrilling

end to UK Tech-Fest Igorrr: tech-met

an­other solar

Obscura: a Teu­tonic take on tech-death

re­defin­ing Ingested:

‘gas­tric band’ the term

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