Tech Fest 2016: what’s good?
Back for its fifth manifestation, UK Tech Fest looms on the horizon and I’m not afraid to admit that perhaps I’m a little excited.
For those of you who don’t know, Tech Fest is a festival dedicated solely to tech metal, progm and everything in between, and returns to the same place that housed it last year: Newark Showground.
Newark-On-Trent has become the spiritual home for this not so fledgling festival, which is nice to see as it was something of a wandering sideshow in its infancy. Now in its adolescence so to speak, it’s taken root, and I hope it isn’t uprooted for a long time to come
Featuring the likes of Animals As Leaders, Between The Buried & Me, Textures, and Protest The Hero, this year promises the same amount of meat as previous years, if not more. But what about those bands which are under the radar? As well as those aforementioned bands, there a few who people will most certainly know the name of once all is said and done.
Playing: Friday, 3:00pm – Hands On Printing Stage
A delightfully heavy band from the north of England, Osiah are last minute additions to the line up. With Humanity’s Last Breath unfortunately pulling out, someone equally heavy was needed to fill the void.
That’s definitely where these guys come in. Arguably one of the heaviest bands at last year’s Tech Fest, who else better to fill the spot, right?
If you’ve played Street Fighter at any point of your life, you’ll be aware of a rather large portly gentleman that goes by the name of E.Honda. You’ll also be aware of his devastating special move, The Hundred Hand Slap. Now imagine what that would be like if it was transcribed into musical form, and you’ve pretty much got Osiah.
No gimmicks, just an unrelenting assault to the senses, it’s brutality in its purest of forms. Fans of the heavies are not going to want to miss this!
FFO: Thy Art Is Murder, Aversion’s Crown, Infant Annihilator
The Dali Thundering Concept
Playing: Friday, 4:00pm – Hands On Printing Stage
Back again for their 2nd appearance in a row, and not such a secret anymore, The Dali Thundering Concept are one of the flag bearers for a thriving tech scene in France.
Seriously, the French have this tech game down to a tee, and with the likes of Uneven Structure and Kadinja about to drop new albums you’ve got to believe Dali aren’t too far behind.
Granted they released a remake to their debut effort When X met Y, but people are greedy and are clamouring for more. Still though, Eyes Wide Opium still holds up to this day, so there’s that.
If you’ve never heard of them before, Dali are, in a nutshell, a band who do dj*nt (I’m not saying for fear of genre Nazis) right. It has grooves and dirty tones galore, if that floats your boat, then make sure you get amongst it. Last year, they came hard and heavy, so expect the same form this year.
Question is though, will we see some new material? This little camper certainly hopes so.
FFO: Monuments, Circles, Uneven Structure
Cold Night For Alligators
Playing: Friday, 4:30pm – Carillion Guitars Stage
At the turn of the year, this rambunctious group of Danes released Course Of Events, one of the best albums of the year so far. Who’d have thought it?
I thought there were laying dormant in some cave somewhere. They were barely heard from since their appearance at the second incarnation of Tech Fest back in 2013, so talk about a triumphant return. Welcome back boys, we missed you.
CNFA will bring the party, huge riffs, dazzling shapes and some of the finest waistcats you’ve ever seen. If anything, they’ll be one of the sharpest dressed bands of the weekend, but beneath their fun exterior lies one of the most diverse bands tech has to offer. You want heavy? They got it. You want ambience with that? They got it. You want a side of presence with that? Sure thing. Believe me when I say these guys are the total package.
FFO: Periphery, No Consequence, Protest The Hero
Playing: Friday, 7:00pm – Hands On Printing Stage
Two years ago, DispersE stole the show at Tech Fest’s maiden voyage upon the seas of its new home, Newark. Fast forward to the present day, Jakub Zytecki and his trusted band of minstrels have a rather tasty ace in the hole: Mike Malyan, formerly of Monuments. Very intriguing, right? With the bands being so contrasting in styles, it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.
If you’ve never heard of them before, the best way I can put it is imagine the best night of your life condensed into a thirty-minute window. Outside of the tech bubble they’re horrifically underrated, and should in all seriousness be spoken in the same breath as other modern prog beasts like Between The Buried And Me (who are also playing don’t you know). If they’re even half as good as they were a couple of years ago, be prepared to be brought to your knees.
FFO: Between The Buried & Me, Karnivool, Skyharbor
From Sorrow To Serenity
Playing: Saturday, 1:30pm – Carillion Guitars Stage
It’s been a busy year for From Sorrow To Serenity; first they release their new album Remnant Of Humanity to widespread acclaim, and then hire Gaz King for vocal duties. They’re a band who continue to go from strength to strength, and that acquisition is kind of a big deal; a true statement of intent going forward, as they try to claim 2016 as their year.
With a brand of heaviness that can slice through granite like a lightsaber, the Glasgow natives don’t fuck around. Expect a pile of bodies left in their wake; a few years ago they were one of the highlights for this very reason. This time however, they’re a different beast entirely, they’ve evolved into a form which is heavier and angrier than their previous incarnation. Prepare for war, as this is going to get bloody, Robocop levels of bloody.
FFO: Black Tongue, Tony Danza’s Tapdance Extravaganza, Ion Dissonance
The stage times have just been released, so take a gander for the full line-up including the latest changes: