After an early night due to travelling and working the day before, I woke up on the Friday of Hammerfest feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Determined to catch everyone, the first band of the day were Stone Broken. The room was still only half full, perhaps due to punters either not arriving until later due to it only being the Friday or those that did come early unfortunately nursing hangovers from the night before. Stone Broken did
the best that they could despite the turnout, getting those that did attend all amped up and ready for the day of music ahead. Like yesterday’s opening band, those that did manage to catch the first band of the Hammerfest stage were greatly rewarded for their efforts.
By 3pm, the room started to fill a little more for Xerath’s proggy set. A bigger name on the underground scene – amassing 32 thousand followers of Facebook. These boys pulled together an impressive set, serenading a room of somehow already-drunk people with brute force. Xerath deserve every piece of good press, every billing they receive on festival lineups and every crowd they pull – because it is clear to see that they have a passion for what they do – and they’re good at it. A little too techy sounding for me personally, but their performance was to be faulted by nobody.
Def Con One were not to be faulted in any way. A really tight set, which went down nicely with the audience, with faithful fans screaming the words back at the band. It’s bands like Def Con One that make me sure that I am at home with the metal community. Their fans are a collection of oddballs, no two people looking alike, but it is the music that brings everyone together. If it were possible to have multiple Bands of The Day, Def Con One would take joint 2nd with Fleshgod Apocalypse. A brilliant energy, arguably only brought to an audience by an unsigned band who NEED their fans to get places. Stellar show, boys. Keep it up.
Having never heard of Finnish band Battle Beast, I really didn’t know what to expect in the slightest – can you imagine my surprise when Noora Louhimo stepped onto the stage in all her glory? You hi girl! Completely not what I expected to witness midway through Friday’s bands, but they were a nice, light relief before the carnage of the evening’s sets from Fleshgod Apocalypse, Turisas and Cradle of Filth. They had me singing along to songs I didn’t know, and brought an infectious smile across the whole room, as more dedicated fans swooned at the feet of their beautiful front woman.
Unfortunately, due to an accident on the motorway, Acid Reign weren’t able to make their set in time – they released the following statement via Facebook:
“It is with great sadness that we have to announce that we have been told by Hammerfest organisers to turn around as they cannot find a slot for us despite their best efforts.
We left London at 10am and we’ve been on the road for the last seven hours. We will be on the road for another three hours to get home.
To say we are unhappy would be an understatement but in the grand scheme of things. It could be worse. The pic below was the accident that scuppered our journey.
Have a good one everyone, stay safe and hopefully we’ll see you next year!”
Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse took to the stage after mind blowing set from Battle Beast before. If you have never seen Fleshgod Apocalypse live, I sincerely urge you to. They have never disappointed me before and their classical twist on the death metal genre is something to behold. They are to me one of those bands that I could take or leave when hearing their studio recorded albums – but live? Live they are fantastic. Jaw-dropping lay amazing with I do have a message to pass on from the front row crowd to the lighting techs, however: easy on the strobe lights!
Turisas stole the title of Band of The Day from the clutches of Def Con One and Fleshgod Apocalypse – with their awe-inspiring, dance-inducing battle metal. With an impressive energy, dominating stage presence and the heart of the crowd in their hands, they tore through their set of firm favourites and lesser-known songs, blowing away every single member of the crowd. They were seamless. A true delight to watch as they rallied the crowd to unite in their warmongering cause. They were a clear fan favourite, with many of the audience sporting their signature red and black war paint to honour the Finns – who last played a UK date on their “We Ride Together” tour in February of 2014. This visit to the UK was much needed, and with the promise of a tour and a new album in the near future, it seems we will have the pleasure of seeing them a lot sooner than last.
Cradle of Filth, as much of a spectacle as they are live – are a band I simply do not ‘get’. Sure, they put on a great set, but in my opinion, Turisas should have been billed higher. Cradle of Filth, to me are a spectacle – and not much more than that. The band put on an impressively polished show, but something felt lacking – and in my humble opinion, that was the music. CoF have been going for a long time now, they’ve amassed an army of fans, and I truly respect them for what they have done for extreme metal globally…but yeah, not to my taste . 10/10 for effort though.
Band of the Day: Turisas[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157665963311046″ size=”z” count=”100″]