Live Review: UK Tech-Fest Day #3: Saturday

After last night’s two people crowd surfing on an inflatable sofa going over the barrier and fortunately not getting broken during Black Tongue’s set, In Fear They Follow [7/10] bring a stuccato riff filled Metalcore bounce to open day #3 of UK Tech-Fest and attract a decent crowd. “Solace” is a decent cut though during the set some of the backing vocals are a bit strained. Armed For Apocalypse [8/10] have come a long way for an early slot today but also played an after party slot on Thursday of entirely different songs. The trio from Chico California bring the sludge metal and have spread their disease by word of mouth while delivering an epic slow crushing sound. “This Road Will End” the title track of the album of the same name is masterful. Melodic Deathcore quintet
Unseen Faith [8/10] from Aarhus Denmark took 6 years to reach their debut full length “Waver” in 2017 and they include a new song in their set. Getting the horns up for the brutal “S.O.S.” it’s a pulverising display.
22 [3/10] are the melodic break before some of the heavier bands later on and produce some operatic warblings with the sound they want to fill arenas. It takes all sorts. Moving swiftly on, female fronted Vexed [8/10] are one of the more intriguing bands to appear on the line-up here, with just a pair of singles out, even if “Elite” does feature a guest vocal appearance from CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder. Wearing sportswear rather than band attire the bring slab after slab of Deathcore grooves from a pair of 8 string guitars and some phenomenal vocal range. The rap scream rant of “Narsacist” accompanied by some brutal breakdown bounce demonstrates the band are worth the hype currently surrounding them as does “Epiphany”. Which can only mean one thing. They’re sitting on an albums worth of material.
Faces Of Eve [8/10] are simply unquestionably good. Melodic emotive clean vocals from Benjamin Black against a backdrop for flying Tech-Metal guitars is exactly what the doctor ordered for a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon. Including both new singles “Sleeper” and “Lower Than She” as well as cuts from both albums, that sample in “Feed” is as hilarious as ever. People maybe critical about the lack of unclean vocals but for us, those Jonny Craig esq vocals are sublime and the point of difference that makes the band.
Deity’s Muse [4/10] have toured to Tech-Fest with Monuments but sadly come across quite flat on a hot afternoon. The South African Progressive Rockers have a bit reputation and a new EP in “Lungs Full” but sadly aren’t able to match the hype. Shokran [9/10] are exactly what UK Tech-Fest are about. Masterminded by multi instrumentalist Dimitri Demyanenko they play as a trio without bassist Rodion Shevchenko. They hammer out a set of blistering Progressive Tech-Metal to a packed out Line 6 stage. All the lead guitar intricacies are very much in place as Demyanenko plays the work of a pair of 8 string guitarists in one. Time, The Valuator [7/10] may have had a line up change but it doesn’t seem to have stopped them. New song “Vibrant” showcases those newer talents and surely it won’t be long before they return with a sophomore album. Headlining the Fireball stage tonight are Palm Reader [7/10] and a longer set from them brings out some deeper cuts with “Spineless” getting a circle pit. The Nottingham Progressive Post-hardcore group are at their best when their short bursts of odd time signatured riffs are in full effect. Third album “Braille” maybe a slight departure but it still goes down a treat. Having travelled from Tasmania Australia to Europe for a run of shows around their sixth critically acclaimed studio album “As The Kingdom Drowns” Psycroptic [8/10] waste no time in setting the crowd on fire with some Extreme Metal, technically impressive and groove laiden with a brutal delivery. “Frozen Gaze” is a real set highlight as frontman Jason Peppiatt tells a banana with an inflatable hammer to start a circle pit… Having announced the departure of frontman Chris Barretto on 1st July due to personal reasons and Andy Cizek of Makari as a fill-in for all forthcoming shows including the run that brought Monuments [10/10] to Tech-Fest it’s possible that the majority of the packed audience at the Line 6 Main Stage aren’t aware. After shots earlier today Faces of Eve assure the new vocalist is nothing short of phenomenal. Well… They were right. Cizek has the cleans down but his unclean range is greater. From the very start of “AWOL” though “Mirror Image” the vocals are on point, not to mention the rest of the band who are equally impressive in a set full of Progressive Tech-Metal and DJent bounce. Even former drummer Mike Malyan gets a turn on the kit for classic “Regenerate”. This could be the start of a new chapter.

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