Saturday 27th April
I set off on the walk back from the rooms we stayed at about 11:30 am. A car drives past me and swerves to travel through a large puddle, soaking me from head to toe. Feeling completely broken, we stop at a cafe to regather with a full English breakfast. It doesn’t work, so we make our way back to the venue in obligation and because I didn’t have a gun to shoot myself in the head. Slumped against a wall trying to prop myself up, I reluctantly await an onslaught of death metal. After getting back to the jam rooms the night before I found a corner in which I tried in vain to sleep. I watched the ceiling swim around while four un-intelligible Geordies had a snoring competition and occasionally tried to wake their friend for ketamine. I did not feel good, but one must persevere, and I was safe in the knowledge others were in the same boat.
Never the less, there’s a decent crowd assembled for the first band Masochist, who break the reluctant atmosphere with straight up death metal. It’s nothing new but there’s a good old school element to it and some good groove to get into. The frontman attempts to bring some animation to the gray faced crowd; “turn to the person on your right and shake their hand”, I cautiously eye my neighbour and take a step away, “now is not the time for the affection of strangers, now is the time for the proper observation on personal space”, I’m sure he understood. Masochist finish their assault and although people retreat to various dark corners, the day is starting to look promising with a steady stream of arrivals and the emergence of some yellow heat giving foreign object in the sky.
There is no remorse for those still feeling sensitive as Nu, Pogodi! take to the stage. This band should be predominantly credited first of all for remembering all their lyrics. Mid barrage, they must be going at least 1000 words per second. Utilizing an intense duel vocal barrage, the three piece bash out simplistic crusty riffs while the savaging beast occasionally turns into a very Sabbathian creature, slow and menacing, which mixes it up well. The lyrical content and stance of the band (explained between tracks) is cliché but correctly highlights some misogynistic views within the metal scene. How ironic it would be for the track ‘Fuck my Womb’ to be taken as anything but symbolic.
I walk outside and buy some cans of Stella from the commendably priced bar; gruelling work to get it down, but if there was any hope of feeling reasonable again, the answer’s somewhere at the bottom of one of these things. As I get back to the venue I’m greeted by series of strange electronic loops with bizarrely out of context monologue, seemingly powered by a sonic teapot; it’s time for things to get weird with Sloth Hammer. The band’s faces are all concealed, most wearing balaclavas with the exception of one member, wearing a gory pig mask and overalls. This porcine individual walked out into the crowd holding various pieces of drum kit, which he proceeded to hit as hard as he could with other pieces of unfortunate drum kit, as people around him looked apprehensively and flinched. There’s rattling bass that growls over harsh teapot noise picking up into evil doom rhythms, then accentuated by a double percussive assault, plus our piggy friend. I can honestly say I’ve never been subjected to such an odd musically orientated spectacle, made all the more surreal by the naked drummers who made visual contributions by putting socks on their nobs.
Time to soak in the heavy grooves of the BongCauldron. Massive Iron Monkey style throw downs punch out of more THC stewed lethargies or upbeat tight rock outs. The large hairy man at the front of the stage occasionally bellows about getting pissed and what not. It’s very satisfying and tightly executed, heavy but fun. Everyone in the crowd nods their heads enthusiastically safe in the knowledge that the next riff will be just as fucking catchy and large, I expect that you will see a great deal more of these riff demons in the near future.
Uplifted by the sounds of Bongcauldron and feeling better for guzzling, we’re thrown back into a pit of spikes with Prolefeed. Wide eyed crust punk relentlessly mauls any complacency giving us a good dose of thought crime. Leaning towards old school crust punk Doom vibes, its evidence that melody can work in true aggressive music; a great set and something that’s not done as much at the moment.
After soaking sun to help with the ongoing healing process its back into the cave for Regurgitate Life. The one man effort entails an endless string of breakneck widdlies and “ORGHHH”, to the drum machines obscure timings coming through the PA. Very impressive musicianship with absolute berzerkery, which didn’t honestly come that easy to listen to.
There’s a large crowd assembled for thrash-infused death metallers Cancerous Womb from Scotland, and there’s the first taste of good spirited violence in the crowd that sets precedent for the rest of the night. Chaos is fun and Cancerous Womb have got it as well as quality tracks. Who wouldn’t be charmed by such lovely titles as ‘Torn from Gunt to Cunt’?
Whilst plying myself with vodka outside some malignant noise spills from the stage (This noise belongs to Ishmael – PC). Notes linger with cavernous openings before striking again in discontent, with the precision of a giant cog fitting its next groove in some monolithic despicable machine. The pace is slow, titanicly hellish with harsh screams as a constant and bleak background. Absorbed in negativity, the crowd gaze on and sink into the floor. In a good way, probably.
Flayed Disciple is a tirade of palm muted thrashy death, energetic palm muted riffs with guttural vocals about killing people and jizzing on them, the kind of thing exclusive to this quaint genre. They actually sound to me like a death metal version of early Megadeth.
Rickenbacker and Flares in tow Asomvel wear their influences on their sleeves and keep it light hearted. Bass lines from somewhere in Motörhead’s back catalogue are as punchy and in your face as you’d hope while there’s almost a constant wah wah blues solo coming from the flares in the corner. A great deal of fun to watch and different to the rest of the bill. “We’ve got one more before you dullards get back to your grindcore or whatever it is you listen to now”. ‘Ace of Spades’ was requested for this finale.
“I looked up, and there before me was a Pale Horse, its rider was named Death and Hades was following close behind him”. If death didn’t like Johnny Cash and wanted to announce the arrival of the apocalypse less subtly, Palehorse would be suitable. Ground shaking low end provided by the two bassists is accompanied by the ominous drones of an organ synth, the player of which occasionally looks upwards and screams into a microphone. While the crowd collide viciously with each other a man with a bald spherical head and glasses attempts to keep upright in the middle as he shrieks and nasally preaches anxiety and despair as though from a blasphemous pulpit. An all around ugly experience, with fat rolling vibrations.
Alkerdeel bring harsh, minimalistic and bleak atmospheres with frantic vocalised desperation and the occasional Darkthrone esque groove dropped in. Unfortunately the sound was way off and it was difficult to make out any of the guitar, from outside I initially thought a doom band was on stage, the low end was so prominent. I’d like to catch this lot again for that reason.
I’m a fan of any band that have a track called ‘Can I Have 20p For a Cup of Tea’?, regardless of what they sound like, but as it happens The Afternoon Gentlemen, are one of the best grind bands around. The Leeds based pissheads combine blastery with groove that you’ll likely be spitting blood to. Tonight’s no exception; punk fuelled razor sharp power violence nastiness.
For a short break I decide to take a short walk in the moonlight, take in the beautiful sights, smells and sounds of the Templeworks car parks and have three, yes fucking three double vodkas spilt by various clumsy cunts that polluted my vicinity. During my anguish, the horrific sounds of a man drowning in tar reached my ears, upon further investigation I realised the noise was in fact, Rompeprop. Guttural simplistic grind and a good deal of banter make this band lots of fucking fun in between sustaining injuries and finding yourself on the floor. It must be said that at this point, the night takes a certain nostalgic haze for some reason or another, but I do remember the crowd bouncing to the jiggery like lunatics.
My night ended here with me having to leg it for the train at this point whilst simultaneously trying to keep a large quantity of liquid inside my body and realising I’m horribly unfit, so unfortunately Acoustic Womb, were missed, although I’m assured it was beautiful.
I’ll bet by this point Paul Priest hears people saying thanks in his sleep but it’s certainly deserved with effort gone through to make ‘Kin Hell Fest number II such a success, and creating a proper festival vibe at the well suited Templeworks. Well played all who contributed.