Friday, 14 September 2012

Finally! Days Two and Three of Beermageddon

Firstly, my apologies for taking so long to follow up day one of this incredible festival.

I've managed to forget the order of the bands, so bear with me here.

The day started with a set from Exeter's Sanguine. A pretty decent crowd for the first band of the day, they whack through a fantastic set, including a new song which has a pre-chorus with a striking resemblance to that god-awful Adele song 'Rolling in the Deep'. Though that is not to say that this Sanguine track is bad, it is in fact very good indeed, as I can tell from the reaction of the audience. Their female fronted setup deliver a set that you are never quite sure if you should be headbanging or dancing to.

Diementia have travelled all the way from Scotland for this show, and make it worth their while by crushing everything in their path, their death metal has every neck snapping and every head banging, powering through a cracking set combining new and old tracks, prompting myself to go and buy both of their albums immediately after their set. Well, an album and an EP anyway. I'd highly recommend their Forgotten Dead EP, some fantastic work on that CD.

Twilight's Embrace are the first of two bands I missed on the Saturday, the other being Bloodshot Dawn, which I was very angry with myself about. Having seen them destroy the Sophie stage at Bloodstock a couple of weeks before, I had been really looking forward to them at Beermageddon. Unfortunately I thought they started at 8.20, when in fact that was their finishing time. Words can not describe my guttedness.

BUT. The day was made for me personally by The Furious Horde. Seriously good symphonic black metal, think Dimmu Borgir's Enthrone Darkness Triumphant album but with a harsher edge. It was my first time seeing the Horde so I was a little confused when in amongst the corpse painted band members was a keyboard player in a shiny pink onesie. Which is more than welcome, you don't have to be grim and kvlt to be in a black metal band.

Next, Warlord UK. They put on an impressive display of thrash metal, with an air of absolute confidence in themselves and their music, but not forgetting to have some fun whilst they are doing it. Excellent stuff from them, they're certainly deserving of wider recognition.

After Warlord, comes the disappointment of missing Bloodshot Dawn. I'm a big metal pillock for missing them, and got all sulky at myself for the rest of the night, meaning I miss out on Imperial Vengance altogether and don't enjoy Fallen Fate nearly as much as I should have done until I get home and listen to them. Saying that, they're bloody good.

Sunday on the other hand, the final day of the festival starts in unconventional style. A wedding. The festival organiser, Jim Beerman got himself specially ordained to marry the couple in the main room of the pub, and a decent amount of people turn out for it. There is something surreal about seeing a wedding without all the pompous crap that goes with it, but this is truly heartwarming. Jim, a man that normally pisses confidence is shaking like a leaf as he reads out his part in the ceremony, which is concluded with a huge round of applause for the bride and groom. It is something I will probably never see again at a festival, but something I was happy to be there for and I feel everyone else was too. A great start to the day which put everyone in a very good mood.

So, onto the bands! First up are Kent based thrashers and personal highlight of the weekend, Wretched Soul. Working hard on their debut album with Chris Tsangarides, the guy who produced Painkiller for Judas Priest, these guys get better every time you see them. They pound through Undying War, Dash To Destruction, When Shadows Ride, Wounded Illusion and Veronica in a mindblowing performance, despite singer Chris Simmons splitting his jeans early on in the set and attempting to keep his balls from falling through the hole. Fantastic stuff from a band that are definitely going places very soon.

Next are Karhu, the band are young, relatively unknown and only started playing live in the previous couple of weeks. You wouldn't know it. They have all the confidence of a band with years of experience, and their growls. Well they are just terrifying. Think Lamb of God, but think heavy Lamb of God. These guys are probably categorized as melodic death metal, but in reality they are death metal, with bits of melodic metal thrown in. Listen to them and you'll see what I mean. I've grown to love this band, it will be interesting to see them progress.

Allerjen unfortunately have to be missed as I haven't had a chance to eat anything yet, but I'm back in the room for Rezinwolf. I hadn't heard of these guys before the weekend, but went along to see what they were all about. SWEET JESUS. LISTEN TO THIS BAND. Technically gifted, vocally brilliant, these guys have everything a thrash metal band should have. Apparantly their singer had been throwing up beforehand with stagefright, but again, you wouldn't have thought it. There are a lot of very exciting bands at Beermageddon 2012, these are right up there with the best of the bunch though. The only downside is that they didn't bring any merch with them, so I couldn't buy a shirt at the end of their set.

Seregon bring the thrash back, but Rezinwolf were a tough act to follow. Big Metal Bastard went to the bar half way through, and stayed until most of Illflower's set was done. In hindsight, I regret not seeing all of both of those bands, but it can't be helped now.

Talking of stealing the show, Worcester's Fury bring their blend of thrash and power metal to the party in spectacular fashion. They play pretty much every song from their two E.P's, and throw in a cover of Pantera's Fucking Hostile to finish things off. An astounding set that left me wanting more of Fury. If you don't know them, check them out. (They aren't to be confused with Fury UK or Fury On)

Fury's show is fantastic and by the end of it I am far too tired to stick around for all of  Def Con One. They are very good indeed, but the heat of the hall and the ache of the neck gets to be too much. I catch most of their set from the back of the room, but Fury absolutely stole the show tonight.

Beermageddon really has that community feel to it. All for one and one for all. And all for underground heavy metal. The work of the organisers is fantastic and has been recognised by everyone there this year, most of whom will be returning next year for the second festival, albeit at a different site, but there is a real feeling that this could become the next Bloodstock. See you there next year.