UK Deathfest 2010 - Leeds, England, 2nd May 2010
|Event:||UK Deathfest 2010 - The Second Coming|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
UK Deathfest 2010 - Leeds, England, 2nd May 2010 by Baz Anderson (90)
The Leeds Student Union building once again acted as host for the second UK Deathfest, the extreme metal festival organised by the people who bring us the Damnation Festival.
Unfortunately the ticket sales were not as numerous as would have been desirable. This is thrown into question whether the UK Deathfest will continue in the future. It isn't a festival set up to make money, it is a festival to give us in the UK, especially those north of London, a chance to see some of the best death metal bands the UK and the world has to offer. The line-up might not have had as many well-known names on it as last year, but on average the quality of the festival and the bands was a lot better.
Introrectalgestation kicked things off on the second stage starting the ball rolling as the festival meaned to go on. Brutal death metal, and actually for the first band on, extremely good stuff. Cool vocals and great drums, this band weren't given justice by being put on first.
Over on the main stage Revokation kicked things off. These guys played a similar style of death metal to the previous band, but slightly less brutal. The sound from the main stage was not great at this point, and either there was too much bass or too much guitar. Enjoyable set nonetheless.
The Way Of Purity
What was next to come on the second stage was The Way Of Purity, a Christian extreme metal band whose musical style lingered around the death metal, with slight grind, metalcore and black metal influences. It has to be said, the band were not great, but the girl vocalist was fantastic. She had the enthusiasm and a great growling voice to go with it. She is the only reason why anyone would watch this band, which is quite ironic for a Christian band.
Dawn Of Chaos
On the main stage Dawn Of Chaos grabbed the audience and were the first band to get the crowd going properly. These death metallers had the confidence and maybe a slight edge of punk to the music, which went down extremely well. Musically ok, but Dawn Of Chaos were a real crowd pleaser.
Volition on the second stage provided a break from the death metal. This was doom metal with some slight drone and black metal influences, and mesmerised the audience standing before them. As my friend stated quite rightly; with bands like this it is the actual sound of the music you enjoy, rather than the music itself. It's difficult for some people to listen to, but Volition gave us something quite cool to listen to over a drink. The frontman's screaming vocals are something quite out of this world too, a good set.
On the main stage Infestation kicked their set off to a sparse audience and didn't have the same conviction as the stage's previous band, but the set soon picked up and turned out to be a real blast. This was solid death metal for all to enjoy, but it was the faster-paced parts where Infestation really shone. The rest wasn't anything particularly amazing, but up-tempo and this band were great.
Next on the main stage, Amputated took the festival by the scruff of it's neck and owned it. By far the best set of the festival up to this point, the band are such a great brutal death machine that just rattle out these repulsive songs to everyone's enjoyment. Insane vocals and fantastic drums, the hair was flying in the audience as well as a fair deal of groovy dancing to the typical brutal death style. A great band with an equally great sound. There was no effort required to get the audience moving, the music does the job with ease.
On the second stage Fukpig played to an equally enthusiastic audience in much more intimate settings. This was more grind-oriented music and much more straight forward. Just the kind of thing the increasingly drunken audience were craving to hear. Musically the band weren't amazing, but the atmosphere and energy of both band and audience made up for it.
Hour Of Penance
On the main stage the first foreign band were about to step up. Hour Of Penance have two amazing albums so expectations were high, but things didn't quite go that way. The audience was seriously thin for this band, and things weren't made any better by the fact that there were sound problems in the way that it was extremely hard to hear the bass drums and the guitar seemed to dominate everything. Also perhaps the music is just too fast and technical for it to come out properly in the live environment. The band put on an enjoyable set of songs from the last two albums and one from the second, but sound problems and a lack of audience and atmosphere somewhat dampened this set.
Over from Singapore, on the second stage Wormrot delivered their grindcore to an energetic audience who seemed to appreciate the effort. Wormrot sounded really great when playing the faster material, but lacked somewhat in the mid-tempo region. A punk-ish tone also set itself in the grind as the band tore through songs from their album. Entertaining but not groundbreaking.
Time for something completely different on the main stage. Negură Bunget finally made it over for a show that confused a number of people. A refreshing break from the extreme metal, this set was somewhat like the oasis in a desert. The band put on a set of mesmerising folkish black metal that put everyone in a trance. The band played mostly material from their new album, but did play a sneaky couple from "Om". The audience were eating out of their hands towards the end and clearly showed their respects for a magical set of well-needed original music. One of the best sets of the festival.
On the second stage Abgott were doing their usual show of black metal and, at times, almost blackened heavy metal. The band didn't produce anything particularly great or noteworthy, but the title track of their new album did sound pretty impressive. A good band, but on this day of fantastic bands, Abgott were a little overshadowed.
Time for the big guns. On the main stage Immolation showed their experience and totally owned the stage, the audience and the festival. Opening with their massive new album opener, Immolation were here to do the business. Highly impressive, this set had to be the best of the festival, the straight-forward death metal style proved to be unrelenting as the thundering bass drums as with the rest of the band sounded immaculate through the sound system. Absolutely epic, grand and monumental. Immolation destroyed everything in their path and left the audience having witnessed something quite special.
Last on the second stage, Ramesses played to a tired audience. This is was also something quite different and another welcome break to the barrage of death metal. It was hard to put your finger on just what this kind of music was, but whatever it was, it was slow, hard, heavy and also quite trance-inducing. Ramesses took everyone to their happy place as this strange set gave everyone a breather for the last band of the festival.
The Mexican pair of Brujeria were joined by Shane of Napalm Death and Jeff of Carcass on stage to complete the band's line-up. It has to be said that the band's studio albums lack in just about everything. In the live environment however, especially with two vocalists, Brujeria put on a heavy set of grindcore and death metal. Insisting on speaking to the audience mostly exclusively in their own language, the audience were a little alienated, but the universal language of music bridged most gaps here. The band were a great way of closing the festival, as a band with this kind of line-up only can. Brujeria were musically offensive but equally glad to have such an energetic audience as last band on, something last year's headliners didn't get.
Overall this year's UK Deathfest was a much more enjoyable encounter than the previous year. The festival didn't go without it's problems however. The main problem this year was the addition of security on stage. Whenever someone climbed the stage to dive off again, the security would be there waiting push the person back down. The security acted not so much heavy-handedly as they were just inappropriate. These audiences know what they are doing and will always help someone up off the floor out of danger, for example, and are trusted by the bands on stage to dive off again and have some fun. This sheer inappropriate behaviour from the security rubbed some people up the wrong way and during the Brujeria set this finally came to a head as someone climbed the stage and attacked one of the security to be swiftly surrounded themselves. Unpleasant stuff, but the Deathfest and the Damnation festival in the same room the previous year ran perfectly fine with no stage security. This put a dampener on the fun and the atmosphere, especially considering that type of behaviour is usually encouraged by the bands at these kinds of shows.
This aside, the UK Deathfest was once again a pleasure to behold and it would be an immense shame if this was to be the last. Come on Britain, if you get the chance next year you must stand up and support events like these - that we can all agree we are having a serious lack of outside of London. Let's hope there will be a UK Deathfest number three. If not, thanks for the two years of extreme metal pleasure.
Thanks to Graeme for the accreditation.
Written by Barry Anderson.
Photos by Barry Anderson.
||Written on 05.05.2010 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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