Following on from the first day of ArcTanGent 2019 – we’ve got the pick of the bunch from day two’s bands, courtesy of Sam Savigny. If you’ve not yet seen our highlights from day one of this year’s ArcTanGent, you can check them out on this link.
Building from a whisper to a glorious, melancholy crescendo, the dynamism of A.A. Williams’ set beggars belief. For an act so early in the day to pull such a sizeable crowd speaks wonders to the quality of her passionate music, as well as the ability of Williams and the supporting band. Her rich and velvety vocals full the main stage tent to bursting, and the quiet loud dynamic shakes the rafters of the area, making for a genuinely jaw dropping performance. How on earth Williams et al can be so low down on the bill is a mystery, and rest assured in years to come she will be given a far grander time slot befitting of the musical beauty.
Perhaps no band is quite as deserving of a greater amount of love and respect than Palm Reader. The perennially underrated heroes of hardcore smash through a set mostly comprised of material from their third album, Braille, with some older rarities to boot, and just bearing witness to their greatness leaves you scratching your head as to how the band aren’t significantly bigger. They are today, hugely beloved as the PX3 tent struggles to hold the overflowing crowd of fervent onlookers, and it is so heartening to see a band get what they deserve. The set is raucous and powerful, with barely a second’s reprieve, and closer, A Lover, A Shadow leaves the mighty crowd left with jaws agape.
Illness is a tragic circumstance that could threaten to overshadow Black Peaks featuring Jamie Lenman, but fortunately we are witness to one of the greatest bands out there with one of the most charismatic frontmen in the game. The set is a greatest hits of Black Peaks’ two albums with a couple of Reuben songs thrown in for good measure, and every single track played is an absolute facemelter. At last the sound sorts itself out on the Yokhai stage and every intricacy of Peaks’ sound is not lost to a muddy mix, with the shimmering leads ringing out loud into the tent. They ate the future of this festival and by far the high point of the weekend so far.
The hypnotic spell cast by Russian Circles is a long lasting one. Through their spellbinding post metal they captivate the Arc stage crowd from the opening notes of Arluck, never ceasing in their relentlessly loud assault save for a technical malfunction with an amplifier. Every song segues into the next and the dynamism and flow of the setlist is truly glorious. Building from simple riffs into bass heavy thunder, ever song goes down a storm, with Afrika being a particular highlight. One of the more entrancing sets of ArcTanGent 2019 so far, it’s not hard to see why this band are so beloved and revered in their genre.
Inflicting violence is something most people try and avoid, but there is a masochistic charm to Frontierer you can’t get away from. Mainly they are inescapable because of the imprisoning intensity of their music, like a cross between Car Bomb and Meshuggah with all the bile that such a crossover would imply. As the sub drops and blinding strobe lights attack the ArcTanGent audience, with Gower St. being a particular highlight for such brutality, there’s an overwhelming sense that the set is almost too much for some. It is hard work but reaps venerable rewards for sticking through it. As the set comes to a close, a collective gasp for the last push through the wall of horrors is taken and the final assault relinquishes control over the captive crowd. One of the most incredible things to witness, if not a touch tiring, Frontierer decimate the Bixler stage without a care in the world.