Can’t adjust myself very well to a festival’s last grasp. Sundays, particularly, are absolutely nefarious. My hangovered encephalic mass puts everything in a lethargic perspective, ending up moving through the motions all day, almost shedding a tear trying to recap how good Skitsystem made me feel. Mate, that was great.
But then I lol’d when someone told me Sunn O))) beat the shit out of the main stage’s sound system. Delays, delays. Then again, you can’t just invite a V-2 missile to play without expecting some detritus. Good thing I caught OHHMS rocking their new EP like fucking madmen. Have to admit the UK have been lately producing some meaningful acts of heavy and these blokes from Kent gave me impetus to start pouring beer onto my belly. Aye! Up next,Monarch. Obfuscating. A drone diatribe of dark, precisely what is needed for a slow motion Sunday. Tangled up in the crowd. People moving in and out as minimalist ghosts of red and black. Emilie’s piercing screeches as laments of a never-ending hallucination in hell. Sailing in it back and forth. Back and forth. DROOOOOOOOONE. DROOOOOOOOOONE. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. DROOOOOOOOOOOOONE. Rinse. Repeat. The chosen few. No friends. All foes. No comfort. Just entropy. Pitch black. GMC
Sometimes non-main stages are seen as some kind of second-grade playground or the place where all those unknown underground bands end up playing. Whoever chose the bands playing the third stage (or the «cowshed» as Vallenfyre‘s ownGregor Mackintosh described it) was really trying to play with those bias, especially when booking bands like cult-thrashersVoïvod. And, indeed, the venue became too modest for such greatness as many were left outside only to dream of what we were experiencing.
The King Is Blind might have nothing but EPs and demos released so far but they proved that sometimes experience does more for the gig that an assorted setlist. With Cradle Of Filth, The Blood Divine, Extreme Noise Terror and Entwined on their CVs, these Essex fellows sure showed us that old-school doom-scented death metal is as fashionable as any other genre while presenting their last year EP “The Deficiencies Of Man”.
Contrasting with all the old-school praise, punk sensibilities and unpolished looks of their stage colleagues, Tribulation were drama and mischievous stares all over. Many may describe them as goth but we may argue that the term romanticist may be the most appropriate. There is almost nothing of 80s goth here besides some black eyeliner/make-up; here you have a Watain, Entombed andKing Diamond bastard son in love with Dani Filth‘s lyrical work. Chaos, drama and darkness as good old Byron would have wanted it. “Strange Gateways Beckon” from their latest press-acclaimed “The Children Of The Night” had to be the first song, as that intro is really asking for a major stage entrance. “The Vampyre”, “Rånda” and “When The Sky Is Black With Devils” followed, helping to make it a memorable gig, with plenty to be praised. ES
No intention of belittling Year Of No Light, but their French mates in Monarch rattled me up grotesquely. Acknowledging their greatness, I just kept spending quids in alcohol trying to get myself out of the spell they put on me, waiting for Ghold. Last time I was London for Desertfest, everyone just kept talking about these folks, giving me a plethora of reasons to listen to them. Two blokes plotting a tribal maze. Doom-suspense, sludge paranoia, psychologically nodding to a banished god. I enjoyed it and now I understand why Ritual praises these guys so much.
And then… the recently unemployed lads in KEN mode. Shifting to noise rock, “Success” is an agglomeration of everything one should love in heaviness, hurling us forth into a massive human deboning. Fuck, man, they just keep being intense. I could easily engage in a threesome with them Matthewson brothers just by looking to them playing. Deal it. What? You’re going to bash me? Aren’t you using a rainbow-filtered Facebook photo? Live and let live, bro! «I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO KILL THE NICEST MAN IN THE WORLD…», PRRURUUREMEEMEME. Damn. That’s how you fucking tune your guitar, that’s how you use your gear. Maximum dividends come from maximum rawness. The opposite of an orchiectomy is what KEN mode are. BALLS. GMC
Do you remember the first time you got to see Paradise Lost‘sGreg Mackintosh as Vallenfyre‘s frontman (if ever)? We sure do. We actually wish he was given a microphone earlier as he happens to have the same effects as THC. It was insane: we moshed, we laughed, we screamed our lungs out. And then we did it all over again. At Temples Festival he was «living the dream», playing in a «cowshed» for all of us «wankers». Sarcasm, dark humour and roaring vocals aplenty and even some pleasantry exchange with their friends Goatwhore, truth is we will never grow tired of watching “Scabs”, “Cathedrals Of Dread” and “Savages Arise” played live. Pure savagery.
Talking about savagery and a unique frontman… Goatwhore were exactly what we needed after getting crustified by Vallenfyre. Black thrashers spiked to their bones holding the Devil’s (invisible) guts right up in the air! Probably the most extreme audience response of the day, we could smell the fear coming from the security guards as they tried to keep everyone safe. Not much to say about the setlist as it hasn’t changed much since “Constricting Rage Of The Merciless”’s presentation tour in Europe, but it’s always good to remember that whatever they play is always done with the same prowess and all-round smiles. By the end of the gig, as vocalist Ben Falgoust rushed to the merch table breathless and still covered in sweat, the buyers’ waiting line was already blocking the door. That sure means something.
As Sunn O))) did the night before, Voïvod left a fully packed room unable to describe what had just happened there. Fans filled most of the pauses with chants leaving Snake speechless, taking the award for most loving audience. Chanting each one of their names (with special focus on birthday boy Away), going berserk over the words “Killing Technology” and “Dimension Hatröss” and crying during Piggy‘s tribute, the emotional rollercoaster got into each and everyone of us, leaving no one indifferent. Even Rob Miller (ex-Amebix, Tau Cross) was seen in the middle of the mosh pit.
Probably at their top form since the mournful and tragic death of one of their core members, it’s inspiring to see them playing with the same joy as in their early days. As we wait for the new album, nothing like a treat from the recently released split with At The Gates, “We Are Connected”. And talking about news, let’s not forget new bass player Rocky, who proved to be another worthy choice of substitute for Blacky. As the last song to be played on the third stage, we got a Pink Floyd cover, “Astronomy Domine”. An epic ending to an epic day. ES
As much as I would like to stay for my sixth time seeing Pallbearer, I got caught in Voïvod’s web as well. Watch you gonna do? Legends are legends, you have to pay your dues. While on the subject, I don’t befriend people for two main reasons, essentially: they support Glasgow Rangers and/or they do not like Earth. If they haven’t heard of them, hm, that’s okay, I can tolerate it. But if they know Earth and have the guts to not enjoy… That would be a worthless friendship I can tell you. Dylan is Dylan. Anti-indoctrination, beyond any futility and cultural norm. When people were craving for lousy pop rock, he just calibrated his guitar to let loose a vicious wall of noise. And now that many are turning their heads back to heavy music, Dylan is streaming an endless millennium of melody. That’s what we got in Bristol. Gazing wistfully to “Primitive And Deadly” coming out of the speakers, I just turned myself into Louis Armstrong. What a wonderful world indeed, body and soul symmetrically intertwining until the very end of Temples… Ah. GMC