Words by Sam Dignon, Photos by Fran Dignon.
After a hugely eventful and jam packed first main day of Hevy Fest 2015 Team Rock Sins was raring to go for another round for the second full day festival. Anyone who missed our review of Friday can grab that here, along with our extensive and exclusive photo gallery from the first day. Now, onto Saturday’s bands!
Kicking off day 2 of Hevy Fest are The Colour Line (8) on the third stage, the band waste no time before they’re throwing equipment around the stage and front man Sam Rudderforth is over the barrier and waking up this moderately hungover crowd. They fire through their 30 minute set of punk tinged mathcore and leave the crowd extremely impressed, it’s hard to believe this is the first set of the day.
Opening the main stage, Trash Boat (6.5) were nursing the crowds hangovers with some summery pop-punk tunes. The crowd might be sparse and the music was a little bit by the numbers but Trash Boat were still enjoyable due to their high energy performance and some genuinely catchy choruses.
Over on the second stage, Vales (8) turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the weekend. Vales masterfully blend softer soundscapes with crushing brutality to deliver a constantly varied and engaging set. Vocalist Chlo Edwards is particularly brilliant as she dances around the stage gracefully one moment and then starts screaming in peoples faces a minute later.
Back on the main stage Milk Teeth (4) were struggling with some terrible sound problems. The band themselves eventually had enough of these issues and trashed their gear, which was sadly the most memorable part of their set. Perhaps it was just a bad day for them but this certainly won’t go down as the best set Milk Teeth have played.
Following this, Blood Youth (8) were busying proving why they are one of the more exciting new bands in the UK right now. With only an EP out they already have several killer tunes with closing song “Failure” in particular being a massive highlight. They also play a brand new song which sounds very promising. This combined with their high energy live show sums up why Blood Youth have been getting so much attention recently.
Prior to the festival Fort Hope (8) seemed like an odd addition to this line up, being one of the far lighter bands of the weekend but this wasn’t the case. The band really beefed up their sound today, especially with an outstanding vocal performance from vocalist Jon Gaskin. Although they started with a small crowd, it grew considerably throughout their set and it’s safe to say that Fort Hope are destined to be on stages bigger than this.
As It Is (5) are just a bit too nice for Hevy Fest today. They certainly have some big choruses but and the energy and passion behind their performance cannot be faulted. Unfortunately their pop-punk tunes drift too far into pop territory meaning people just don’t seem very interested in them. Poor sound and an inconsistent vocal performance from frontman Patty Walters make As It Is fairly forgettable today.
Hang The Bastard (8.5) are much heavier. Packing out the third stage, Hang The Bastard put on easily the heaviest set of the weekend so far. Firing out riff after riff, they deliver 30 minutes of brilliant metal. They keep crowd interaction to a minimum and instead just focusing on keeping the intensity of their set up. Hang The Bastard deliver easily the best set of the day so far.
Arcane Roots (8) pull the biggest crowd of the day so far on the main stage and it’s not hard to see why. Their soaring prog-rock seems absolutely perfect for a stage this size. Andrew Groves never misses a note and the music is constantly interesting whilst never getting too complex for a drunk festival crowd. Unfortunately midway through their set the sound completely cuts out leading an awkward break. Still the band handle this like professionals and keep the fans entertained meaning it doesn’t completely derail the set. Once the sound is working again the band power through what is left of their set ending it on a high note.
Playing both a reunion show and an album in full show, everything seemed to point at The Fall Of Troy’s (9) UK return being a disappointment but this could not be further from the truth. Playing Doppelganger in full worked brilliantly as it just felt like the band playing all their best songs. “I Just Got This Symphony Goin” kicked things off brilliantly with Thomas Erak’s amazing guitar work taking centre stage. Still it’s “F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X.” that provides the real early highlight, with the crowds energy picking up during this song. The band clearly seem happy to be back on stage and it never feels like they are phoning in their performance. This was a great way for them to celebrate the albums 10th anniversary.
Initially it seemed like Monuments (8.5) might have had a difficult slot this weekend playing during The Fall Of Troy but its nice to see how wrong this was as the band come out to packed tent and many outside just trying to squeeze in. Monuments play 40 minutes of simply excellent tech metal, but what really makes their live show this good is how incredibly charismatic the entire band are and how they create such an intense but fun live show.
Headlining the third stage tonight, Carnifex (8.5) claim to be the heaviest band of the festival and based on the next 40 minutes it’s hard to argue with them. Celebrating their 10th year as a band they blast through a career spanning set of heavy as balls death metal. The circle pits and headbanging don’t stop for the entire set and Carnifex feed off of this reaction. Of course it’s closing song “Hell Chose Me” that gets the best reception tonight, with that final breakdown threatening to bring the entire tent down.
Playing to one of the smallest crowds of the entire festival, it’s hard to believe that Judge (7) are headlining the second stage tonight. Still the NYHC veterans power through their set of no frills hardcore. The crowd might not be huge but near enough everyone in the tent came to mosh, and Judge provide the perfect soundtrack to this. With this being such a rare UK appearence from Judge it’s a shame to see that more people aren’t watching them.
Finally it was time for Thrice (9.5) to close out the festival. With this being their first UK show since they went on hiatus in 2012 it felt like genuinely special way to end the weekend. Thrice play a set completely stripped of all gimmicks, instead they just treat the crowd to an hour and a half of amazing music. The lack of a stage show might be a problem for some but with a performance like this it would almost distract from the music. The likes of “Stare At The Sun”, “The Artist In The Ambulance” and “Deadbolt” all sound incredible tonight. Thrice don’t just choose to play the hits either, finding plenty of time for some of their later material as well. They also seem happy to be back on stage and there is genuine passion behind their performance. After a short encore of “Anthology” they promise they’ll be back soon and with that Hevy Fest 2015 was all over and I don’t think anyone there could have asked for a better way to finish the festival.