So because of the previous night’s drinking, I was hanging like Michael Jackson’s child over a hotel balcony as I made my way in for night two of The Unleashed Festival. Again, Dublin Bus knew I had to be somewhere and decided against it for me – missed the first two bands.
So before I even touch on any of the bands that played on Saturday, I must first discuss the phenomenon that is hardcore moshing (not sure if that’s the correct term…don’t care). Similar to horses, you should never stand or walk behind any of these people taking part in this; as they are likely to rear up and strike you in the neck without any notice. Also, why is it necessary to practice karate or tumble (try to) in a confined space? Didn’t your mam ever tell you ‘horseplay ends in tears’….or death? I mean practice out in your back garden for fuck sake! And if you’re going to take part in this activity can you at least wash yourself beforehand? There was one person who smelt like a big mac that had been left out in the sun and when he initiated this aggressive interpretive dance, it resulted in some serious crop dusting – cheers! It is pretty funny to watch but once someone scissor kicks a pint of water in your face, it’s gone too far. Now, if it happened to be beer that would be a totally different story and I would not be making a list of people to maim/murder.
Moving on, Milestones was the first band I managed to catch on the night. I’ve never seen these guys play before and it wasn’t really my thing if I’m honest. The whole thing seemed a bit juvenile and nothing ever caused me to focus my full attention on the band. Nothing majorly wrong with them but nothing particularly memorable either.
Hollow Truth were next and I really enjoyed their set. They had people joining in, singing certain parts of song which a lot of bands did throughout the night. Their set is when the Karate really got going. Although I would call them a hardcore band, there is definitely enough going on in their music to gain them support from a wider range of metal fans. There’s a depth to what the band is presenting people with, making their music that but more accessible.
By Any Means continued getting the crowd involved by having audience members join in vocals. They came off the stage and into the crowd, wildly inhabiting as much of the venue as possible. Again, while By Any Means are a Hardcore band, they definitely have a grungier edge to them and a more rounded sound, and there are really appealing hooks in there! However, their set came to an abrupt end – rather dramatic! All in all not too shabby!
Gacy’s Threads did a great job of getting the crowd ready for Malevolence. This is another band that is classed as hardcore but look outside their genre definition and bring a little extra to their sound. They have a dark and gloomy side. In some slight ways they remind me of Revocation – I know we’re talking about two totally different genres but as I said Gacy’s Threads don’t tediously cling to one genre. Unfortunately, Gacy’s Threads are calling it quits and The Unleashed was their final gig for the foreseeable future which is pretty shit.
Then finally, Malevolence were on! I was really interested to see what this band would bring. Due to the fact they will soon be touring with Dying Fetus, Fallujah, and Goatwhore – some of my favourite bands, I was really eager to see these guys and what they had to offer. I had heard their material before and been a fan, but my knowledge of Malevolence was pretty limited besides that. Well, holy mother of Jayus they were bloody brilliant! It’s not that I was expecting them to be crap or anything, I just wasn’t prepared for the level of greatness. This was when I, along with a few others, was baptised with a pint of someone’s mouldy, post vomit (probably) water, so you can imagine the crowd were pretty excited at this point.
There’s a lot going on in their music but it never comes over as disorganised or too much. They’re groovy but permeating that is a constant barrage of turbulent sound, making for pretty hefty tracks. Intros to songs like Condemned to Misery are menacing (was going to say malevolent) and misleadingly delicate and then you’re hit with the full force of Malevolence. Also, put down your pens because these guys wrote the book on breakdowns; and no there isn’t one every five fucking seconds, which means they know what they’re doing and not just killing time with breakdowns. Such a great performance overall that I would recommend anyone not familiar with Malevolence to check them out. Although, this particular gig had a lot of hardcore bands on the bill, I wouldn’t really regard Malevolence as a hardcore band – they’re too intricate to be just that. Really heavy, really well structured songs with a healthy amount of unpredictability in there too. I actually can’t wait for their return to Dublin on 20th November with Dying Fetus!!!
A full gallery of images from the weekend by Down The Barrel Photography is available here: