Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Thirty Days Of Night Records 5 Year Anniversary Fest - Day 1

So, this was it, the day I had been looking forward to with much apprehension and excitement had finally come. Here lies a description of most of the bands and my overall experience that day. Enjoy, or go eat some pies or something.

This review is a long on so I suggest you go get some Tea if you're intending to read it.

I arrived kind of late to this, with it already having started so I missed Breaking Point and Closure, neither of which I'm too fussed about as it happens. Upon arrival I learned that the set times and order for the day had been changed due to the hellish weather conditions that plague and completely bring the UK to a grinding halt each year, this being the Devils of brand of SNOW.

The first band that divulged themselves upon my senses were Belgium signings Oathbreaker who in my view started off the day in the best possible way, they play progressive Hardcore akin to such bands as Rise & Fall and other Deathwish Inc contemporaries of that vein. Now admittedly I shall be biased and say this is the kind of Hardcore I completely love so it was never going to be an upset in these terms, although I must say due to this love it meant there were no suprises in the way of sound and content. The Female fronted vocalist carries the band well and it is plain to see all other Musicians in the Band have a considerable amounts of talent but they all too calmly trudged through their set with no viewable excitement, this may be down to the fact the crowd just did not want to move (this unfortunately being a factor I witnessed all too often). In short, a band whose reception didn't justify their set.

After going outside for as shorter time period as possible as the weather was enough to make Jack Frost shiver I came back in time to see the next band, by the name of Lonewolves. Now i've seen these before and wasn't too impressed but from the onset they completely erased all memory of that. The band were physically fizzing with an energy that carried throughout their songs which mixed a metallic hard edged sound not too unlike Oathbreakers with a Singer who was properly determined to smash a whole in the stage by the time he was through with the crowd. He had a wonderful mad glint in his eye from time to time which was good to see, it's always nice when bands seem to wage war against the crowd they're playing to. I was suitably impressed by the time they'd finished and this was compounded by a quick notice of that fact the lead singer had an American Nightmare tattoo on the back of his leg.

Next band up (if memory serves me correctly) were veterans of the scene Deal With It who made me smile even before they'd begun by the fact one of the Guitarists checked his sound by playing an Electric Wizard riff which I shouted out to him with the return of a smile and a thumbs up. They had got halfway through the first song before I had realised that they were infact playing (and well I might add, although this doesn't sound so great when you compare the fact they have been compared endlessly to this band) 'World Peace' by the fabled Cro-Mags, so I rushed my brain to remember the lyrics as at this time I was just happy watching the complete (and I mean COMPLETE) carnage that had descended on the venue and sang along, albeit from a safe distance. Apparently they played 'In My Eyes' By Minor Threat next but by that time I really was too engrossed in the Amp smashing that was taking place to notice.
I talked before about Bands waging war against crowds, this Band took that to another level, the lead singer practically held a hate rally against the evils of Guarantees for Bands & how Hardcore should stay D.I.Y which agreed with the crowd in a big way. Although my friend did make the point of saying all the bigging up of how his Band were so very DIY made him sound a bit of wanker which hadn't entered my mind, but a good point nonetheless. There is a fine line between belief in a subject and arrogance which luckily he tread carefully most of the time but stupidly completely lost sight of apparently by saying "next up is a band who aren't as good as us" before leaving the Stage...late, after deciding to play 'World Peace'...again.

This Band who seemingly had a lot to live upto in the views of DWI were current UK Deathcore pack leaders Martyr Defiled. Now I was always careful of this band, again I've seem them before and that time all I could think of was how ironic it was that the long haired Guitarist was wearing a Whitechapel T-shirt which only cemented further in my mind how Deathcore (including MD) has really just dissolved into that one monolithic Band and Suicide Silence sound wise. A later listening (about a week ago) proved to me they are actually worth their salt Martyr Defiled and there really can no disputing why they are as big as they are becoming (/ already are? I dunno, my Deathcore knowledge practically perished along with the genre in 2007). I was disappointed though, they didn't sound quite as threatening as they do on record and I unfortunately picked out that worn-out thrown around easily cliche that some of their songs really do sound the same. But what did make me chuckle was the reply the Singer gave to DWI's attack with the response "this song is dedicated to Bands with egos" so props to them on that. I was standing at the back for them though, so to gain any trustworthy reference to how they sounded you'll really have to ask someone else. But from the flailing limbs I saw from a distance the crowd enjoyed it, so it can't have been that bad. Sorry chaps!

Memory of the lineup from now on has completely vanised, so i'll just write words about what I rememberz...'n that.

Now here is the Band I really wanted to talk about, current UKHC up-and-comers More Than Life. Here is another Band I've seen before and here is another Band I hated before, when I saw them with Killing The Dream / The Carrier a while ago they pretty much ticked every single sorry-for-myself style Hardcore box and it annoyed me, it's been done to Death a million times before by a million better Bands. It's like when someone you know winges about a Breakup, first its interesting but after that you pretty much just want to throw them into a pit of Lions and shout "MAN UP FAGGOT".
But saying that this time they really impressed me. Not a lot I can say in the way of anything spectacular, no Fireworks or dancing Bears or Dictator style rants a la DWI but still a very good, solid show which the crowd fucking loved and at the same time completely reminded me why I love HC shows above all other. They manage to take Melodic Hardcore and make it SUPER emotional with some very nice riffs and sometimes all too heartfelt lyrics (which isn't a gripe on the Singers part). I'm not a fan of the lyrics myself as I've burned myself out on the misanthropy self-hating stuff, Killing The Dreams last release signalled the end I think, I needed no more as that was fine. But I can see why they're attractive, 2 Years ago they probably would of taken over my life with one listen of the phenomenal 'FEAR' which can be found on their Myspace. I really just wish the Singer didn't have such a high voice, it irritates me but I did admire his 'lovely Cup of Tea' Tattoo. I really did enjoy their set though and I can tell they're a Band who will definitely grow on me a lot.

Didn't EaststrikeWest but Lower Than Atlantis were far more talented and far more original with their eclectic Genre mixing than the slimming crowd appreciated.

TRC intrigued me a lot, they get a lot of flack for their style of Hardcore so I was looking forward to seeing how they actually were live. They were humble in thanking everyone for actually listening and didn't at all come across as the cocky talentless twats I have heard them portrayed as but I do have to say despite all this their performance didn't grab me. Maybe I just don't get it, maybe they are good, but to me they were just 'meh'. But I shall back down and say much further listening is required in order to fully come to an opinion on what I think of them. So, watch this space.

Right, now onto to really the only reason I bothered to traverse the Snow drifts to attend this. Motherfucking original line-up ETERNAL LORD ooohhh sweet baby Jesus i'd waited a long time for this. I'd literally watched this bands progress from the first Video they posted on a Myspace account a few years back to their very last incarnation. In my view after 'upon Thy Icy Waves' appeared, everybody started writing songs about the Sea and it pretty much changed the scene with the first few CRUSHING notes of the intro. Then came the point where Sam Rickett's voice got taken to another level and became fucking insane with undoubtedly the bands best material 'Destiny' and the beautiful 'Harp and Hellfire' which featured the ex-keyboardist from Abigail Williams. Those songs really were incredible, I remember seeing them play 'Destiny' as a new song in strangely the exact same venue in 2006 on the Suicide Silence tour which was at the time the heaviest fucking Gig i'd ever been to so it's quite fitting I see them out at the same place.
The excitement in the crowd was palpable, it really felt that special.
The songs played were these:
Winter Flesh Dance
Deeds To The Throne
Something Higher Awaits
Upon Thy Icy Waves

Now upon the last song the crowd just went fucking nuts, must have been about 4 stage-dives at one point and several more people on the stage. It was a pleasure to be there during a single moment in 'Upon Thy Icy Waves' where the chaos just seemed to stop and their was a chorus of 'MY ANGEL, I WILL DREAM OF YOU' which visibly relieved Sam as you could tell he was wondering whether anybody was going to stop moshing for just that one second and remember the lines to the song that everyone had come to hear. It was really good to see the Band making the point of trying to get everyone to shut up so that they could announce that this really was the last song and that it genuinely was quite scarily the last time they may ever play it. And with that they broke into 'upon Thy Icy Waves' and the whole spectacle just exploded.

Dead Swans who were up next played well, not even two songs in the Singer was already bleeding. They had a tough act to follow in my opinion but they matched up perfectly. Very fucking aggro onstage which I didn't expect at all and the old favourites from the E.P molded the crowd into a limb-swinging heap of bodies of suitable proportion. I have yet to hear the new album though and to be honest I have also yet to hear good things about it from anyone I know but on the basis of their performance I shall get it.

Thankyou to everyone involved in organising and putting together this day, TDON do get a lot of flack but as the lead singer of DWI said mid-rant they are still doing good things for the Scene in this country by just existing and promoting Bands, whatever goes on behind the curtains.

I didn't attend Day Two, literally about 2 Bands I wanted to see. FTCOH and Brutality Will Prevail.

This has taken me fucking hours to write, I have cold Fish Pie by the side of me that has been there for God knows how long which I'm now going to devour then pass out in.