It’s that time of year again! Post tent pitching and first beer after a 160 mile (ish) journey it’s a sweaty affair at the Fireball Whiskey stage for the first band of our annual pilgrimage that is UK Tech-Fest!
Opening the 2019 incarnation with some insane instrumental Progressive Tech-Metal, Pulse of Nature [7/10] are exactly that with a virtuoso 8 string guitar display followed by what looks like a dual necked 16 string backed by programmed synths. Very much the classical music side of Metal. Getting a bigger audience Alternative Metal trio Profiler [7/10] throw in some vinyl scratch sounds to introduce “Burn” with a Nu-Metal inspired note which continues throughout. At times like watching a DJent version of Incubus, there couldn’t be much more contrast between the opening pair! Danish symphonic Deathcore six piece Hanging The Nihilist [7/10] are a battering ram of a band who pile breakdown upon breakdown for a set that is absolutely brutal. Vocals that either summon or banish demons are accompanied by some Downtempo grooves. Manchester’s The Human Veil [8/10] have racked up a wealth of live experience with the likes of Borders and it shows. Their infectious grooves infuse Nu-Metalcore with DJent giving them a sound that at its heaviest sound like Alpha Wolf and at its more melodic mean that they have a full time career on front of them. They’re just waiting for that one song that blows up. The Mechanist [7/10] have been unjustly slated by Metal Hammer Magazine (everyone is entitled to their opinion, our opinion is that they are wrong!) and then batter through a set hat combines clean and unclean vocals to get effect, seamlessly blending Metalcore and Tech-Metal with each blistering tune. Post cinder toffee ice cream, Karybdis [7.5/10] are one one those bands that you think should play more than they actually do. A blistering performance, especially from Mitch McGugan on the kit and Rich O’Donnell vocally are sublime. It’s those slam esq vocals and cathedral classic metal guitars that bring the house down on their set.
Jonestown [8/10] announced themselves with their sophomore album “Dyatlov” and get an unannounced mid-set conga and row boat from an appreciative audience. The Brighton DJentlemen promised to be one of the festival highlights and that they are! The first band on the Line 6 main stage are Voices From The Fuselage [7/10] who bring an emotive feel to the day. Yes they have a big post-hardcore element within their sound but the Progressive side wins out. It’s the fourth time we’ve seen Australian natives Polaris [9/10] in the last couple of years and they smash through an hour of tunes from “The Mortal Coil” including the ever impressive “Remedy” and personal favourite “Consume”. We enjoy some pre and post banter with the gentleman who remain tight lipped about their next album. Tonight’s headliner Jon Gomm [8/10] is a melodic one and most of the audience are seated infront of the stage from the start. His impressive display sees him play every inch of the acoustic guitar, creating a wide variety of sounds, ranging from drums, to guitar and bass to accompany some effeminate vocals. There are a few surprises to with “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush making an appearance! It’s a mesmerising display.