It’s been just 7 days since we left Newark Showgrounds after another triumphant incarnation of Tech-Fest, thanks to Simon Garrod and the team. The Festival that inspired the creation of Metal Noise back in August 2017 has completed its 8th year and remains the King of the Underground Metal Scene, the UK’s equivalent of Euroblast. This year’s outstanding successes were plentiful as well there being a number of surprises. The possibility of Heart of a Coward and InVisions returning following 2018’s successes and subsequent new albums made them both seem odds on to return, but not so…
Vexed were the intriguing prospect with just a pair of singles out and they set fire to the Fireball Whiskey Stage with a set that confirmed they have consistency in their unheard material. We were lucky enough to chat with frontwoman Megan Targett afterwards and get some of their thoughts for an interview. Likewise Keepsake, formerly known as Perception played a blinder and we had the pleasure of speaking to Bassist Al Harper and Guitarist Paddy Kildonan about the style shift that led to their name change. As with 2018 which saw Liverpool YouTuber and Reaction video King Truant in attendance, 2019 saw Kmac2021 join the party, sans PartyCannon gear. The major surprise was Project MishraM. Hailing from Bangalore India, the 7 piece put on an outstanding main stage performance of Progressive Carnathic fusion music, crossing Metal with Jazz, Reggae and electronics in what can only be described as an epic way. It should, on paper, sound like a car crash. But it’s instead the polar opposite!
We also met up with Faces of Eve for shots of the sponsors finest after a blinding set from Shokran. We should also shout out Lincoln Tech-Metallers Borders who are on the rise and rise. They’ve been on our radar for a long time now and having seen them tear up Camden Underworld on the final tour from Martyr Defiled only to have Metal Hammer Magazine not agree with our view of their outstanding set, we can only suggest that Borders keep up the good work and ignore the naysayers! Debut full length album “Purify” is a triumph as was their set. Absolutely class. The moment everyone was left talking about was Andy Cizek of Makari stepping in as the frontman for Monuments with Chris Barretto exiting officially just a week before their appearance. Their set was played to perfection and the new man proved that he has the skills to take the job full time!
So, why should you sign up for Tech-Fest 2020? Even without the prior knowledge of the line-up, here are a few reasons… …a fantastic friendly vibe with bands checking out each others sets and mingling with the fans! Stages being inside joined hangers meaning rain isn’t an issue on the rare occasion it should happen! You can see every bands full set should you desire, the set timings are bang on, the sound quality is bang on and there have rarely been any technical issues! On the camping side, the site is right in front of the staging area so you’re only ever a short walk from the bands. Showers are decent and there are plenty of food and drink offerings each year, this year more than most! All of which brings us onto our final point – some predictions for next year. Arcaeon and Hacktivist are both working on new albums, both have played the event before and would go down a storm again. If it was possible, Veil of Maya and After The Burial would be spot on!