Quick review of some of the bands we caught on the early-bird Thursday at UK Tech-Metal Fest last week!
Kicking off our post-UK Tech-Metal Fest coverage proper (after the wee quickie on Monday), Angel reviews a couple of the sets he caught on the early-bird Thursday. Although there were eight bands in all, the usual tent set-up, sustenance issues and lateness of arrival meant we weren’t able to cover everything.
Being the opening band of a festival is a great responsibility for any band, but Exeter lads Cambion carried out the onerous task with ease. Their brand of completely unclassifiable metal seemed to go over a treat with the crowd, considering how quickly the tent filled as their half-hour progressed. The band seamlessly blended together elements of melodeath, alternative and groove metal, and while not the most active of people onstage, theirs was an enjoyable set to watch. The dreadlocked frontman’s vocals erred mostly on the harsh side, but was unafraid to break out the singing in a track or two as well, to great effect. The guitar playing was tight, particularly the tapping sections from both guitarists, and the final track featured both tapping and screams from the same guy simultaneously, which was most impressive. A great way to kick off the festival; mission accomplished!
One of the many bands to make a triumphant return to Tech-Fest after last year, London symphonic-djentlemen Subversion had one hell of a show planned this time round.
The main focus was a vocal tour de force: Chaz Barnes, whose last show it was, Spencer Haynes, who had left between Fests, and Felix Lawrie of Brutai (EP reviewed here) were all in,a as well as mainstay clean vocalist Kai Giritli who also played guitar. Phew!
Needless to say, the tag-teaming was a little confusing, but the band took it in their stride and all four vocalists were top-notch (once Felix’s mic had been fixed). Musically, the keyboard elements were less prominent than before, making the set a lot heavier and groovier, with guitarist Sean Moxom rocking out in spectacular style. The new material played, including single “Novation”, sounded very promising – although naturally older tracks like “Treason” got more of a headbang out of the crowd. Definitely one of the more enjoyable sets of the festival for me, and one of the most interesting bands in the djent movement.
Keep your eyes peeled for reviews of the rest of the weekend’s set, in addition to some larger features with some of the bands we interviewed, including Dan Tompkins of Skyharbor later this afternoon!