Mammothfest 2016 – Day 3
The Prince Albert, Brighton
Sunday 2nd October 2016
After two incredible days previous, it was now time for the last day of Mammothfest. The Saturday was all about the growth of the festival, booking more established acts to bring more punters in; the Sunday was more grass roots and niche. Back to two stages, The Green Door Store stage, was all about the stoner/doom brand of Metal, whereas The Prince Albert was a lot more diverse. It was a stage for emerging artists to express themselves and try to hook in new fans. The stage was named RIKSTOCK after a friend close to the organisers who sadly passed away.
BloodYard kicked off the day with an array of Death influenced Thrash Metal; think Metallica-style riffs fronted by Angela Gossow style savagery on vocals. It was awesomely heavy. It’s just a shame it was so early on in the day that next to nobody other than press and staff was there to see the band perform. A few people turned up to bang their heads and have a dance around, but you almost couldn’t help but feel sorry for the band in the end. It was still a great performance, though.
From something brutally old school to something a lot more modern and fun; Spreading The Disease brought a much bouncier sound to the mix. I Came back into the room to industrial style beats and crunchy riffs, really pushing that nu-metal/early 2000s vibe. Vocalist Adam May pranced about with a smile on his face while producing aggressive shouts, trying to ignite some kind of energy in the room, though it was still too early for most people. May managed to get some clap alongs and arm swaying motions from the crowd still. Clearly, everyone was still feeling the after effects from the night before. It was still a more entertaining set to witness.
The diversity in subgenres kept shifting as technical wizards Vrona hit the stage to provide The Prince Albert with some awesome instrumental prog metal. It was heavy, yet brilliantly melodic. The previous couple of sets didn’t really bring in a crowd, suddenly the local lads managed to fill the venue for the first time all day with friends and fans. The intricate musician was incredible to witness and the crowd absolutely loved it; huge cheers and applause after each song, Vrona set the bar for the afternoon.
Another last minute replacement for Mammothfest was Terraborn; coming in with their post-apocalyptic look, wearing “protective” masks and looking very grubby. The london band delivered a nice blend of groove metal and NWOAHM; meaning a fuck load of killer riffs to bang your head to. You would have thought after the crowd that Vrona had, maybe the same buzz might stay; sadly it was back to being mostly timid reactions. A couple of energetic crowd members got rough with each other but any other efforts to cause some carnage fell flat. Performance wise, Terraborn were spot on, though.
Kinasis followed up with some erratic technical metal. The Bridgewater band presented an arrangement of very deep sounding riffs, topped off with some awesome fretwork. It was by far the darkest sounds heard on the day at this point. Vocalist Tom Harris provided some rather fierce high-pitched vocals to the semi-full Prince Albert. Much like the previous set, the crowd was mostly static, yet still enthusiastic after each song. Mid-way through the set, Kinasis were joined on stage by Xerosun‘s vocalist, Martyna Halas-Yeates, to collaborate with a song. Musically it was brilliant, but not the most memorable set I saw all day.
Hey look it’s Pantera, well it might as well have been. Hostile was obviously heavily influenced by that 90’s groove metal era, unleashing Dimebag-esque riffs and Anselmo-like gruntish vocals. If you aren’t knowledgeable with Pantera songs, you could have easily mistaken Hostile for a covers band. The Black Country band were treated to mass headbangs to the ferocious music they delivered. While there wasn’t a lot of movement, frontman Jay Mills wanted to crowd interaction; he made people stick middle fingers in the air while shouting “I don’t give a fuck”. It was cheesy but people were happy to go along with it.
Where do I even start with Bleed Again? The Worthing metallers were one of our favourite bands at Mammothfest last year, and they seem to have done it again. To build hype for their forthcoming album ‘Momentum’, Bleed Again performed a fair amount of new material from that album. For the first time all day, the venue was absolutely rammed, yet somehow there was room for mass headbanging at the front and a few mosh pits. there was even a wall of death. It was pure carnage.
That carnage was topped off with mass singalongs to songs like ‘Walk Through The Fire’ and more importantly, ‘Through My Eyes’. The “Owweeeoooooo” chants and three claps to the beat rang through The Prince Albert in a manner the band had never seen before. By far this was one of the best reactions from a crowd that I saw all weekend, only Venom Inc had a better reaction.
Bleed Again were the toughest act to follow all weekend, yet Chaos Trigger pulled their thumbs out of their asses to give it a go in matching them. While the reaction from the crowd was nowhere near as prolific, the beastly music that the Welshmen delivered was certainly on par. Chaos Trigger were far more vicious and brutal in their approach; heavier guitars and vocals more ghastly. It was a pure violent sound, which was truly kick ass. It should have ignited as much chaos as the previous set, but it seemed the crowd was wiped out.
Those who caught Basement Torture Killings without checking them out beforehand might have wondered what the hell they were watching. The snuff grind act was by far the scariest thing I saw all weekend. Their gimmick looked like it was from the Hostel film series; as if torture porn and slasher films suddenly transferred to making music.
What stood out was the costumes and messed up mannerisms, a drummer wearing a Leatherface-like mask, a bassist dressed up like a maniacal scientist, a guitarist who had tights on his head and a bloody shirt and a rather short female, grinning sadistically with bloody clothing, like a gothed up version of one of the little girls from The Shining. I think at one point she even cut up a cuddly toy as if she was murdering someone
Musically it was fucking evil too, the short girl produced ridiculously deep growls that you wouldn’t have ever expected. That placed on to off mass chaotic guitaring, erratic drumming, deeply heavy basslines and a barrage of industrial sound effects. The crowd was packed to see this incredible sight on stage, you were terrified but too fascinated to leave. You wouldn’t forget watching this band in a hurry.
The gimmicks continued as satanic metallers, The Heretic Order, followed with their industrial influence heavy metal. Dressed like spare characters from the band Ghost, a hooded frontman with a painted face spoke of witches and werewolves between songs of evil nature. It was cool, just nowhere near as captivating as the previous few acts. This was a mutual feeling in the audience as the crowd had thinned for the first time since before Hostile. It felt like a shame for The Heretic Order in the end. It was a solid performance, just apparently not enough.
It was down to our last band of the weekend. Sadly I couldn’t stick around for Here There Be Monsters due to rubbish public transport, but Magna Carta was a hell of a way to end the festival on a high. For anyone who remembers Electronica-metallers, Collisions, then this is essentially the same band with a new frontman, James Hayball. We were treated to the same kind of party metal vibes, heavy as fuck riffs, harsh shouting vocals with blasts of dubstep sound effects, wooshes and awesome synth melodies.
The Prince Albert was rammed again and it went off in a similar way to Bleed Again; chaotic at the front, people rocking out and having fun. It was a reminder to Seething Akira‘s set the previous year, positive vibes and high energy, making the room really hot and sweaty. It was a beautiful atmosphere to witness before I had to rush off.
Once again Mammothfest smashed all expectations, the festival was an absolute blast. A huge shout out goes to the now twenty-five member team behind the festival. All the street team, technicians and more, they don’t get paid a penny to put the festival on. It’s for the love of underground metal, pushing the right artists, building the brand of Mammothfest and bringing metal to Brighton.
As said throughout this review, the festival shows massive growth, while also remembering the grass roots atmosphere. Catering to those who want to see bigger and better acts, while still giving the chances for other bands to hit those same heights and gain new fans. Every band I saw put on a great performance, some just had incredible responses. Bleed Again continued to wow, King Leviathan made me excited to hear their new album, Sworn Amongst wowed me even if their crowd was lame. Magna Carta were really fucking fun. And I can’t get over the impeccable voice of the One Machine frontman. All in all, it was a killer weekend.
For more of the bands that played