Extra! Extra! Get your UKTMF lowdown here!
In the run-up to UK Tech-Metal Fest this weekend, we’re spending the week running down the bands on the bill day-by-day. Check out some bands you might not have thought about seeing, or see what you’re going to miss by not being there!
Here’s Friday’s listing; catch Thursday’s in the link below!
Karybdis – 12pm
Londoners Karybdis open up the first full day of proceedings with some brutish, fairly simplistic, good-old fist-pumping heavy metal. If this doesn’t get a pit going I’ll be surprised, and whilst there are a lot of more ‘cerebral’ bands on the bill, this is exactly what you need to get things going.
Linked – 1pm
Linked are currently on tour with highly-billed Saturday band No Consequence. Hailing from Israel, I believe they used to have two vocalists and recalled the former style of Monuments in that sense, but only one remains billed on their Facebook page, so this may have changed.
There’s not a huge amount remarkable here, but again, it’s energetic and that’s just what an opening band needs to be.
Beyond The Dust – 2pm
Parisians Beyond The Dust have something about them. They’re techy, they’re groovy, and their songs are well constructed. A guest spot from ex-Aliases vocalist Jay Berast on single “Reality Deformed” was a highlight, and could be another sleeper hit of the festival for
Exist Immortal – 3pm
South-coasters Exist Immortal have been making a name for themselves with their recently-released album Dream Sequence. Vocalist Meyrick de la Fuente has an impressive voice, in both cleans and harshes, and leads the music well. Whilst not hugely inspired on the surface, there’s a lot enjoyable about this group, so it depends on your propensity for techy-djent (and why else would you be going?!) as to whether you’ll enjoy these chaps.
Meta-Stasis – 4:15pm
Describing themselves as “Psycho-Tech-Death-Neg Beat-Industrial-Lunatics” – a description that pretty much hits the nail on the head – the six members of Meta-Stasis refer to themselves by patient numbers rather than names, and their psychotic death/grind style is perfect for headlining a second stage. There’s not a lot else like them on Friday’s bill for sure (or even the rest of the festival) and it promises to at least be an interesting set!
Invocation – 12:30pm
Main stage debutants Invocation have unfortunately not grabbed my attention on record. Fairly standard all round, there’s nothing particularly offensive here, but the likes of “The Veil” will hopefully work better live (as these things tend to). Stabbing, djenty riffs and bright, spangly leads are all well and good, but there’s something of a spark lacking here for me.
The Colour Line – 1:30pm
Five seconds into The Colour Line’s video for “Ewoks Don’t Play Nice” and I’m already a fan. Brisk, referencing Star Wars and all over the audience performance-wise, this is what I love from live music. If The Dillinger Escape Plan can play what they do whilst hanging from rafters, I don’t see the main stage at UKTMF intimidating the Hull quintet at all.
It may be my personal preference for mathcore, but this is one looks like it will be damn good fun.
Cold Night For Alligators – 2:30pm
Cold Night For Alligators play out somewhere between a djenty Scale The Summit, fairly bog-standard deathcore and some guy with quite a nice singing voice.
The heavier parts might actually be the weak link for this band, which is a shame for a metal band; the stabbing, one-chord chugging is a bit of a bore. Still, there’s not a complete lack of interest here, so give it a few songs at least.
Damned Spring Fragrantia – 3:30pm
Neotenic recently said DSF “have an ear for a brutal riff that packs a mean groove” and are ”enjoyable on an almost primal level”, which I’m willing to take as endorsement enough for this kind of set-up. The Italians aren’t travelling from the furthest away, but they’re probably due a rousing welcome for making the trek!
Destiny Potato – 5pm
Ever wondered what Devin Townsend might sound like if he did djentier stuff? Enter Destiny Potato.
Guitarist/keyboardist David Maxim Micic appears solo elsewhere in the festival, and his 2012 EP Bilo 2.0 is fucking amazing. Destiny Potato continue that good work, with vocalist Aleksandra Djelmas being incredibly strong too (comparisons to Anneke van Giersbergen abound). There’s a lot to their music, including poppier bits, and I’m actually super looking forward to these guys.
They’re also coming all the way from Belgrade, so give them a big welcome!
No Consequence – 6:30pm
Currently on tour with fellow billed bands Invocation and Linked, No Consequence are the definition of gentle giants; big, meaty riffs and techyness, but with a vocalist who can both sing and roar with the best of them.
I had the pleasure of seeing them last year and thoroughly enjoyed the set. They’re very no frills, no fucks given, and as such there’s no pretense about them.
Cilice – 8pm
Dutch math metallers Cilice appear to have taken the place of Sybreed, but we won’t hold that against them!
The quartet will fit right in with this crowd, sounding like in places like Meshuggah. There’s a lot to like here, and I can’t quite place my finger on why, but as main support for Friday, you’ve got to expect a certain level of showmanship, right?
Scar Symmetry – 9:30pm
In what is a pretty major coup for UKTMF, Scar Symmetry will headline Friday. The Swedish veterans are awesome, very highly regarded, and likely to really bring the house down before the after-party kicks off. 2011′s The Unseen Empire, whilst a little tin-foilt-hatty in concept, sounded pretty damn good.
Everyone will be watching this one, so don’t miss out!
Taking things in a different direction are Seething Akira, a hardcore/hip-hop/dubstep quartet who sound VERY east-London (despite being from Portsmouth) and actually sound pretty fun.
Another Neotenic special (again, high praise for them at Takedown), Collisions mesh metal and drum & bass in an infectious, energetic way, “these guys are an ideal festival band”. Right then; get on it!
Drewsif Stalin’s Musical Endeavours
We’re not sure what he’s doing for the after-party (he’ll be performing on Saturday on the main stage as well), but here’s what I know: Drewsif’s djent cover of Katy Perry‘s “E.T.” shouldn’t work, but by god it does, and it’s one of my favourite prog metal covers ever. There’s not much evidence for DSME as a live band, but as he’s coming all the way from Maryland, you should definitely all stay up past your bedtimes for this one.
His cover of Sunday headliners TesseracT‘s “Concealing Fate Part 4: Perfection” is also pretty damn good:
The Algorithm (+DJ set)
After picking up a Golden God for best underground band, you should be under no doubt that The Algorithm are shit hot. Every time I’ve seen them live they’ve just got better and better, mixing djent, dubstep and all manner of sample wizardry into truly dance-worthy metal, and with Monuments‘ Mike Malyan and even a new guitarist on board, this will be pretty cool.
You can bet Remy knows a thing or two about DJing too, so the DJ set will likely keep quite a few up late.