I had intended to wake up in time for true metallers Crowning Glory, but a very late night kept me in my tent till I couldn’t delay any longer. The overcast weather and wind and rain was a major factor – no braising in a polyester sauna for me today. But duty calls, and Alestorm beckons!
The turnout for the Scottish buccaneers was huge, and more than a few people were in full pirate regalia in anticipation of Alestorm. They put on a rip-snorting show with singer Chris Bowes in full flight as self appointed comic master. Taking to the stage rapping along to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air soundtrack was just the very thing to lift some moods, but going on a hate-filled rant about ninjas? Classic!
Terrible sound problems ranging from guitarist Tim Shaw (“dreadlocks of steel”) stepping on his lead and yanking it out, to inaudible bass – but they ride through the problems like seasoned pros. Indeed, they could have put on silly accents and sung about pirates and beer, and the crowd would still have loved them…oh wait.
All the favourites were given an airing: ‘Nancy The Tavern Wench’, ‘Wenches and Mead’, ‘The Huntmaster’ etc. Closing out with ‘Captain Morgan’s Revenge’, Tim leapt off the stage to shake hands with the front row. Good show, and worth it for the Fresh Prince rap alone!
Over the Seas
Death Before the Mast
Nancy the Tavern Wench
Set Sail & Conquer
Terror on the High Seas
Wenches and Mead
Captain Morgan’s Revenge
Having no interest in Mob Rules whatsoever, and even less in Grand Magus (ugh), now was the time to chill out backstage with the crazy Aussie gang and my mates. But 3 hours goes by in a flash when you’re having fun, and soon it was time for Kataklysm.
Holy fucking christ! This gig was LOUD and I do mean loud. That wasn’t an amp that Jean-Francois (JF) Dagenais was hooked up to, that was a volcano that had just had loud sweaty sex with three nuclear reactors in his volcanic harem. With the sad demise of Cryptopsy, it now falls on Kataklysmic shoulders to carry the flag for Canadian death metal. Northern hyperblast sounds like a faint fart in the wind when you’re confronted with the brutality, power, and sheer force of this band live.
Kataklysm were supposed to open for Behemoth on their tour here in February, but pulled out to concentrate on their new album PREVAIL (released midyear on Nuclear Blast), and to recuperate from tour fatigue. I’m not fucking surprised, the way they perform. Max Duhamel bashes those drums like there’s no tomorrow, and vocalist Maurizio Iacono barks, growls, rants and sneers as befits a man possessed.
After leaving the photo pit, I made my way into the crowd, to see the circle pits in action. Even though not very much in size, the participants – spurred on by the grinding rhythms and Maurizio’s violent exhortations – went all out to inflict some pain on each other. This was one of the best death metal gigs I’ve ever seen, on every level, in every way conceivable. No question.
Chronicles Of The Damned
Like Angels Weeping (The Dark)
The Chains Of Power
As I Slither
Taking The World By Storm
Crippled And Broken
Shadows And Dust
The Road To Devastation
Day 3 continues –>