Following on from debut EP ‘From Day One’, Hungarian metal band Harmed have dropped their newest single Jester.
Commenting on the release, Levi (vocals) explains “Jester” is a song about hate for those who ridiculed us in the past. It serves as a source of revenge.” The groups brutal take on their music shows a definite improvement in their musical abilities, despite the song being shorter than usual. Make sure to check out the video below!
Download Festival has unleashed a new set of bands for this year’s stacked lineup.
The variety ranges from larger bands such as Beartooth, Halestorm and Clutch, to smaller artists such as Parting Gift and Crystal Lake.
Check out the full list of new bands below!
(Elliot Hughes – @hugeelfphotography)
If there is any band starting to rise from Manchester, Chainsaw Castration (7.5) are the band to watch. Quite a mismatched band from a quick glance, but unexpectedly, one of the most entertaining bands to watch. A noticable aspect of the set was the timing did fall off track at points. Too quick, slow or musicality not quite aligning to a perfect standard. Feedback also caused a rupture in their set, with microphone feedback tainting their songs at parts. Yet, what Chainsaw couldn’t quite achieve perfectly in their musical performance, they made up for in their stage presence. Energy from all points of the stage reflected into the audience and pits, and not once did this drop for the full 30 minutes of their time. A band that can incorperate humour into their set, capturing and holding an audiences attention. A solid band with only timing/tech issues bringing them down.
Clawhammer (8), the Scottish slamdown band who most likely the most well known band of the night. Despite Chrissy Jones (vocals) clearly on the Bucky, their set was actually rather enjoyable. Hyping the crowd with some singalong tunes and a rowdy fufulling set, energy is no issue to be combatted. Gaining an insane crowd response only brought up the set and its clear that Clawhammer know what they’re playing. Even through Jones’ intoxicated antics, their performance was timed well and performed to a pretty good standard, with guest vocalists included in the lineup. One critisism is their between song commentary. At times boring, but they can’t entirely be to blame. Running out of water is hard to commentate, but possibly sobered up the poor guys on stage.
Finally, headliners Gunishment (4.5). Coming on 20 minutes late and only performing a 25 minute set, even less than the other supports let alone the hour scheduled. On a positive note, the beatdown band did a good job musically. Tight on timing, with impressive vocals and musicality. Even in terms of energy, their unrestrained, disorderly ways created a mass eruption in the audience.
Bands don’t always have to be 100% professional. In cases it’s more enjoyable to watch when they joke around and have fun, but there’s a line between funny memes and being annoying. Some jokes landed but the majority were babble to fill between songs. Also, when some of the only jokes you can make are about ‘girls with their asses out’ in the crowd, maybe its time for a new idea. Air horn sound effects, a fun technique to get a laugh – not when overused many times in a set. Silly non-hurtful comments about Old Wharf? Amusing – not when overused. Its okay to be a jokey band, but the way they do this can be improved.
Two shows in one city in a row. One sold out night down, one more to go. After selling out the original Manchester date for the UK/Europe album tour, a second night was on the list, on the verge of selling out. Can the groups still put on a energetic show for another night?
Beartooth (7) have been a name on the scene since 2012, leading up across many tours and releases. Stage-audience interaction was average, simple lyric repetition and speeches – on the more negative side. In perspective, it’s understand where Caleb comes from in his speech. Mental health issues never being overcome, but to state it will always be stuck in you is a little negative because it isn’t. Perhaps a poor word choice, but a nice message of accepting who you are. In terms of performance, they haven’t shown too much improvement. In terms of reciprocating recorded material live, the group do an impressive job. The issue is, there is little to separate them live from any other band. Besides the flag logo, Beartooth have little to separate them from the average metal band. An improvement that will come with time.
Architects (9) are no strangers to putting on incredible performances. Whether jumping on the Architects bandwagon before or after ‘Holy Hell‘, their popularity as a band has increased tenfold. Opening with the venue anthem Death Is Not Defeat an instant aura took over the Mancunian crowd. ‘Holy Hell’ has pushed Architects to new heights and this first track is a snippet of this peak.
Sam Carter is a entertaining frontman, both as a vocalist and in connection with the audience. Interestingly, even Dan Searle (drums) has a word for the audience, related to not chugging wine but a word either way. Also any band quoting the Scottish ‘Disgusting’ vine after whisperings within the in-ear monitors have clear interpersonal relationships with each other. Even in the crowd, people are encouraged to take part in the pits and sing alone with encouragement from Sam himself. Audiences make gigs as much as a band can. Any audience that stops the middle of a show pretending to row as pirates helps entertain quite a large majority of people to say the least.
Yet, an important part of the show revolved around the passing of bandmate Tom Searle. Emotional connections in a true form are hard to make work, but from a perspective hearing 4000 people clap and shout ‘Tom’, the emotional impact on the band was more than visible. From unscripted memories to the visual tribute following ‘Gone With The Wind’, Architects have developed an incredible connection with the audience. Something not expected On such a level.
On a lighter note, visuals were a surprising impact to the show. Adding small references to ‘Modern Misery’ and rarer setlist appearance ‘Momento Mori’ created a perfect balance of visual storytelling to the tracks. Dramatic use of pyrotechnics and Co2 cannons also added a kick to tracks such as ‘Mortal After All’, lifting the energy in quick succession. However, of the setlist is an aspect to improve. ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ being the oldest track following tracks ‘Broken Cross’ and ‘Naysayer’ from ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’. Crafting a set list is difficult, but perhaps a bit more variation of older tracks could be a move forward
Of the night, the best performance comes in the form of single ‘Royal Beggars’. Proving Sam Carter’s ability to transition from brutal highs to low harsh vocals, its clear why this band are so respected. For a finale, ‘Doomsday’ sounds like a good form of closure. While loud and well executed in a musical sense, for a finale the performance sadly wasn’t as extravagant as expected. Still, not a negative ending, one that was rather enjoyable.
Consistently improving since 2004, Architects are reaching new heights of performance and audiences. A strong show musically with an honest appreciation for those around them.
Christmas is over and Of Virtue are already hitting the ground running for the year ahead. Signing to Sharptone Records also comes the release of ‘Suffer’, a new step ahead for the group, but where does it hold up in the ratings?
Well, Of Virtue are undoubtly throwing the heavy punches to the track. Combining harsh and clean vocals perhaps takes the track to different tones, but as a whole the bands usual heavy influence still remains. Verses are heavy, gritty with a hardcore depth emerging juxtaposed by the melodic choruses where emotional depth is concieved. This is a contrast that works in the bands favour, with the balance almost right for the style of music Of Virtue are working to create. In terms of the tracks length, the breakdown is slightly underwhelming. Pehaps better fitting as a track intro, the breakdown leaves you wanting more. Something solidified, something to really impact listeners.
Of Virtue are still putting out good tracks. Trial and error is a factor all bands must embrace from time to time. ‘Suffer’ is still a great track with the potential still shining through from the band, its just the polishing that is the next stage.
A staggering 33 bands have been announced for this years 2000 Trees festival!
After rumours and a suspicious leak yesterday evening, the current lineup has now been released with You Me At Six fronting the bill. Alongside britpop headliners come heavier additions While She Sleeps and Everytime I Die, giving a heavier output to the weekend. Make sure to check out the full lineup for the Cheltenham festival below!
Hands Like Houses
The Drew Thompson Foundation
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam