Live Review: Upsurge Festival Day #3!

After yesterday’s switch to Merch tables downstairs and from glasses to plastic cups for beer, day #3 promises a fine selection of talent and fortunately no Grime…

Pressure [7.5/10] from Norwich open up with some straight up hardcore, complete with politically charged and socially aware messages. A couple of short speeches about the scene and cancer are spot on and we’ll received by a small but hungry crowd early doors. Fellow Norwich band Road Mutant [8/10] play their first ever show and are as tight as it gets with a crossover thrash EPs worth of material that is fun and heavy! The TBA secret act is a second set from xServitudex [8.5/10], having played the Sheer Terror warm up show. They are better the second time around, perhaps less pressure being lower down on the bill. The floor opens up for the likes of “Temple” and the round house kickers are in full effect. Watchcries [7/10] Sumon demons and cause techtonic plates to move with their throat shredding vocals while the band deliver slab after slab of unapologetic bludgeoning riffage. Terrible Love [6.5/10] deliver some post-hardcore tinged material but seem a bit flat today. God Complex [8/10] from Liverpool on the other hand deliver some bowl tremblingly heavy bass rumbles during a feedback soaked set that sees members of Lotus Eater take to the pit before the close to rapturous applause. Rough Hands [6/10] deliver an eclectic mix of hardcore and metal including tracks from their new EP “Mortal Terror” but they have some eerie space effect going on over some of the vocals which is just a bit weird. Glaswegians Lotus Eater [9/10] have a lot of hype around them at the minute having signed to Hopeless Records and deliver a skull smashing set including both new songs “Break It” and “Branded”. I, The Mapmaker frontman Ash Emery joins in the fun for a verse. Renounced [8/10] blast through a set rich in material from “Theories of Despair” and as ever manage to squeeze an extra 20% more eneeen out of their post-hardcore tinged Metalcore material than they do on the recordings. The crowd loses it completely and roundhouse kickers take over a huge pit. Sanction [9/10] deliver so many breakdowns that someone needs to call Green Flag. The pit takes up most of the floor space at this point and someone even backflips off the stage. Stepping in at the last minute as replacements for Asteriod Boys are hard rock trio Puppy [7/10] who are about to head off on tour with Grove Street Families. They are very much the odd ones out this weekend, the only band to use clean singing and vocal harmonies and there is very little doubt that they will be at far bigger venues in the future. Tonight they are very much a pallet cleaning band to calm things some what before the final band. What they do, they do well, it’s smart and shinny, tight and honed. Harms Way [10/10] bring the house down as the final act. The impressive drum work of “Posthuman” is on display as the band are on blistering form. Industrial drum loops between songs and momentum only briefly broken for a few short words before another slab after mortuary slab of bludgeoning riffage and pummelling kit work. “Temptation” and “Become A Machine” and huge highlights in a high energy set.

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