|Between the Buried and Me. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
So by now we've seen so much of what the festival has to offer. It got Technical, it got melodic, it got instrumental and it got weird. The festival has been a blast from the word go and we're still not done yet. With Sunday's line up still to come I knew many were still excited and rearing to go, hair down and fists clenched. A mighty roar by the audience. We're fighting the banners of metal for another round.
Oh dear, we do have a hard slot. They take to the stage as hard as they can but at this point early on a Sunday they have a hard task and they certainly seem to be feeling it. A bit awkward they muster what little strength they can and this is what we see. Their music just doesn't hit home as much as it could have.
A bit more on point and giving a sense of accomplishment with their music Tardive Dyskonesia give a strong performance. It feels as if the festival is starting to wake up and we start to see a bigger crowd ad a bit more movement. They perform a great set that kicks up a bit of energy out of the wastes of midday Sunday festivals. Their melodies hit home for the right amount of Metal for this part of the day.
The Five Hundred
An energetic band, we certainly see this from the outset but what started at a just okay performance by the band only increases. By the end they were hitting us with powerful performances of good strong Metal. I guess they just needed to warm up. I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who saw their start and turned away as it got so much better by the end of it.
|Ghost Iris. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
Melodic and powerful, Ghost Iris were the band that tipped the scale from felt to really feeling it. The crowd, even for quite early on a Sunday, managed to rip it open. The performance really got the crowd going and it really felt like good strong Metal. With a good interaction with the audience it was hard not to feel the energy of the powerful musicians on stage coming together for a powerful punch straight to the ear.
Okay so far the bands had been fairly traditional. They were unique and sometimes strong but they were a Metal band giving a good but not necessarily special performance. Pravitas take to the stage with a shirt and tear it up like an epileptic fit. This didn't actually make the music chaotic or messy but it did give a sheer amount of energy that can only be seen. If other bands were performing this was something beyond performing. The vocalist of this band almost transforms before your very eyes and really leads the band through their raw energetic and brutal music. It was almost a shame they were on the smaller stage.
We're in bat country by this point and feeling the Metal energy as if it's within our very veins and for Invocation there was a strong groove that got into the necks of every headbanger. Strong and powerful music that just knows when to add the melody to some otherwise straightforward punches. Their energy and power wasn't quite up to their music but it hit home none-the-less and gave a very effective atmosphere for some good strong Metal fun.
Well timed and very precise, Zygoma are an effective force to be reckoned with on stage. But removing ourselves from the musical precision there is a lot of fun to be had with their music. It's hard hitting and energetic and knows when to relentlessly smash at you. You can feel the speed and aggression making for a great band to see live. Time signatures definitely a big part of their music and also their performances. Very impressive.
|We Are Carnivores. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
We Are Carnivores
Wait, is that right? We Are Carnivores? Very last minute the Metal Gods determined that We Are Carnivores would take the stage, the main stage, early. Way earlier than the planned after party slot they had. This last minute change in line up gave the band a worthy chance at it and they were a very impressively energetic band to see and it was clear they were having so much fun with it. Not so much the audience, who almost seemed confused at the line up change. Maybe it was their take on rock that just wasn't quite expected but there was a sense that they didn't quite hit home.
|Haken. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
Now these guys weren't even meant to be playing at all but they faired a bit better. As their Metal rang out and as they pulled no punches their music managed to find the audience and put it in front of them to break it through to them. Most impressive, especially for something so last minute.
From the depths of brutality to something a lot more melodic. Haken show a mature and refined approach to their music and feel very comfortable on stage. They are as much a part of the audience as they can be. Performing a very good but very melodic set, they certainly aren't the hard hitters but they gave some welcome music to the audience of brutal metallers.
|Novelists. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
It's all coming to a close now, the day, the festival, it's all ending. To finish off the second stage we have Novelists who offer some very middle road and melodic Metal. It's fairly strong and their perform it well but it just feels a bit underwhelming for such a slot. They're strong and they play well and even fairly energetic in their approach. Eventually the atmospheres take hold and you find yourself headbanging along to them but you don't quite get this impact straight from the start.
|Textures. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
So we're back to the main stage and what drove us through the festival, and mustered up all the energy to get through, is coming to a close. Sunday brought our battered bodies up for one final round of brutality. Easily does it, some melodic to brutal and back again. Textures give an impressive performance and proove themselves a wonderfully strong band. It's good and fun and we see that even through the tired moshpits of many of the audience members, we were still building. It's going to climax well and this band will have their say in that. Enjoy this while you can the music seems to scream at you. You're still alive.
Between the Buried and Me
The final band, three days (or four) lead to this. TechFest 2016 – The fifth anniversary. Between the Buried and Me were definitely a band that many were excited for and the tense air builds as eager audience members wait eagerly for them to take the stage. Fortunately they don't disappoint. They have some very unique sounds and they aren't afraid to show their technical guitar playing and wide range. They are a powerful band but also a lot of fun and one of the bigger bands of progressive Metal and certainly fitting for a headlining spot at TechFest. It was a great end to the festival as their guitars roar over the audience with cheeky guitar licks passing through it all and the band showing off their range of brutality and melody in such an effective mix. It's just pure fun. A hard hitting end to show that you can shout, scream and mosh once more.
With that TechFest 2016 comes to a close. It certainly saw some highs and lows and unexpected turns but ask anyone, the biggest thing that brings everyone together is each other. This is a community of Technical Metallers for Technical Metal. What is great to see is that we have new comers and old timers alike. This year definitely showed something new but was all through powerful and offering something you wouldn't always see but happy to variate before the impressive guitar playing was through. It's overwhelming to see such technical precision by so many of the new bands. Perhaps some of the smaller bands will be the next band of the day.
|Between the Buried and Me. Photo Credit: Ryan Winstanley|
Thanks goes to everyone who made it all happen, bands, labels, organisers, press and of course everyone who went. TechFest will only get better and bigger with all of you there. I apologise to all bands that we weren't able to cover, I just hope you enjoyed it all like we did. Do look out for the interviews with the bands we had the fortune of meeting whilst we were there – some of the things they said was amazing!
Look here for Parts One and Two.