For the general public, Saturday August 25th in Dublin was all about gawking at the flagships but for the metal lover, Saturday was all about CARNAGEFEST 2012. So, while the rest of Dublin was down by George’s Dock, admiring the flagships and (let’s be honest) the sailors there was one small part of the quays cordoned off for the metal .Hosted by Dan Flynn (Poison nightclub) and Dave Coyne (Guttrench), this all day metal marathon took place in The Pint in Eden Quay, which has become the unofficial home of metal in Dublin of late. One of the reasons for the Pint acquiring all these metal bands is down to the quality of the sound that comes with playing there, sound that is pretty much unmatched by any other venue. At gigs like Carnagefest with such a great line-up it’s a good idea to have a strong bowel and not being prone to nose bleeds is best – that’s a lot of metal for one day.
In total ten bands played on Saturday . First to take the stage were four – piece, Dublin thrashers, Edenfire. They were a great way to start the evening delivery all the things we love about thrash. These guys recently recorded a self-entitled E.P.
Next it was the turn of death metal band Aesect. They performed a tight set with impressive energy. The front man has a style similar to Randy Blythe in the way he manically utilises his space and the bit of crowd abuse never hurt anyone. It is death metal with a touch of thrash and some serious vocals. Songs like ‘Bong’ demonstrate that this is a band that knows when to use a breakdown (not every 12 seconds) and know how to keep it interesting and creative. Last song ‘God Delusion’ was a great end to their set and with this band due to release and e.p as well as support Decapitated you know they’ve got something to offer the scene.
Next up were thrashers Psykosis and the name is suitable in so many ways. If anthrax were the first to have their music blared on mars I cans see these guys being the first to blare theirs on Jupiter or Venus (where the ladies are at) and with them due to finally record an album this is an ever growing possibility. These guys are everything you love about thrash metal. Front man Grant Walsh is Billy (chuck) without the belly but with the hair, and vocally he comes under the web of people like Overkill’s Bobby Blitz. The whole band plays like they’ve just gotten off the bus on day release which is how it should be. Their set was tight and full of energy, a seriously talented band. With songs like ‘ha your dead’ about killing zombies, you know what you’re getting yourself in for!
Then it was the turn of the elusive technical death metallers, Dichotomy. These guys don’t play as regularly as some of the other bands on the bill but they always draw a crowd and when you see them play you’ll understand why. This band is where the strong sphincter muscle comes in handy. Dichotomy’s set was tight as usual with all the members demonstrating their impressive abilities when it comes to their instruments. There’s a lot of creativity in the music with guitar solos that would blow the sugar off your doughnut and technicality that would make bands like Gorod and Decapitated sweat a bit. Front man Kevin O’Connor is like a preacher spreading the word of satan on stage. There is a lot of buzz around this band at the moment as they’ve recently just recorded and there’s high demand to hear what they’ve done. Hopefully it means we’ll see them more regularly now, well worth watching these guys.
After a short break, Killface took the stage. Their sounds is a combination of death and thrash metal. This is probably as close of an example of what would happen if Corpsegrinder and Cavelera decided to have a family together – the result being – Killface. With songs like ‘hacked to death’ they convey their ability to bring brutality to their music which is what we all want in death metal, Right? Their guitar riffs and solos give substance to their style and make their music distinguishable from others in the genre. The vocalist has some great range too, taking it from low growling then giving us a good screech here and there. Really heavy, they were a great choice to re-start the night after the break.
Atrax Mantis followed the Killface guys. Atrax Mantis are different and in the best way. They’re experimental in the way they play while being death to the core. They have some serious control as a band. There were moments in their set when they were giving it all, really heavy and they completly slowed it down and have almost jazz interludes. I know ‘jazz’ can be considered a dirty word when it comes to metal so maybe ‘melodic’ would be the better word to use. They can take it from brutal to soft in a second. At one point in their set for of their songs they were playing, going ninety and then complete silence and straight back in again – that’s serious control and tightness as a band in play.
Dublin Death/thrash band, Xenocide followed Atrax Mantis. Xenocide have been around for awhile and have a solid place in the metal community in Ireland. It was an important gig for them as it was to be last one for vocalist Dave and guitarist Kris. The band is still going to keep going despite the changes. When you see these guys on stage you might fear for your life and then when you hear what they have to say, there’ll be no doubt in your mind that you might actually die. Crowd abuse is included in their set – and let’s face it, we love it! Xenocide are comparable to bands like Cruciamentum and Bastard Priest. It will be interesting to see what the band does now with the changes to come. I think it’s likely that we’ll continue to see them.
Skewered then played their set. Having recently brought out their album, these guys have gotten a lot of attention. They’ve been through a lot of line-up changes over the last few years but this five piece death metal band is still going strong. You can definitely see they play under the influences of other death metal bands like Suffocation, Severe Torture and even Cannibal Corpse. They’ve managed to branch out and get out of Ireland and spread the skewered word. I recommend checking out the guys’ material if you get the chance.
Vile Regression is a band that always manages to draw a crowd. Having recently supported Fleshgod Apocalypse on the Irish leg of their UK ‘Agony’ tour, this band has a great reputation. Even with a recent change to their line-up (the band recently added drummer Damien Dziennik to their line-up) they still managed to perform a great set. Melodic Death metal, it’s fair to say that their sound has been influenced by bands like Death and to some extent Lamb of God. The vocal abilities of front man Danny Keogh are something to be admired; his voice is most definitely his instrument. They performed a lot of tracks from their E.P The pattern Evolves, which hugely popular and well worth checking out. Guitarist Barry Christie is one of the best around and when you hear what he has come up with you won’t argue. Vile Regression is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Headliners ‘Guttrench’ closed Carnagefest and with them probably came some relief as we could start to pick up our melted faces from the ground. Think Dying Fetus and cattle Decapitation. If that’s not enough for you then I should probably mention that these guys recently supported Belgian Death metal band Aborted on Irish date of their Global Flat line tour. Yeah, think about it. Pig squeals galore, when you see this band live you will get a better idea of their music ability. Their sound is definitely brutal death metal with slams and guttural vocals all adding to the heaviness. Guttrench were a great way to end the night and what a night it was.
Bottom line: there are some serious talents in the scene and Carnagefest was a complete success! What a great night. Thanks Dan Flynn!