All Dayer featuring all the bands reviewed below.
March 20 1999
Having barely recovered from the last all dayer, which of course was on the day of that wonderful 33-34 Wales victory over France, and itís time for another. So, without further ado...
The first impression of Sub-Form is that they make a good noise, and have a capable vocalist, but one who goes through about 6 different vocalists in their set. Thereís Korn, Rap, Pantera, Pitchshifter. Ok, so that was four. The problem is, that although this shows diversity, itís doesnít show his own character. Theyíre faithful reproductions rather than originals. If they can sort that out, then thereís promise. Iíve also got the demo so Iíll give it a few listens soon and we can go from there.
Killswitch were next, and suffer from a poor mix which makes the rhythm section too dominant, the guitars too muted and the vocals too high in the mix. And itís in the vocals that thereís the main problem. They go for the aggression and the hardcore approach almost, but it just doesnít seem to work. Itís a bit clumsy. Musically itís straight to the Machine Head / Pantera with a dash of Slayer and is competant. But let down by a poor mix and the vocals. But, Iíve got the demo of them as well, so weíll see what I think when Iíve had time to listen to that a few times.
Lysis are next, and coming from the extreme school of metal again, they tend to emphasise the problem Killswitch had with the vocals. Zaq goes for the extreme as well, but is able to control things and mix it up, going from a death metal growl to a more spoken approach. Theyíve also got a song in Arabic, which is a different slant on things, and new tracks such as Fracture seem to show that theyíre honing theyíre style, along with demo highlight Dark Mind Rise. Zaq at one point lifts his hand to rest on the roof beam. And promptly pulls it down. "Sorry about that" he apologises at the end. So Iíve seen them twice now. First time they blew up the PA, second time they brought down the roof. And you thought it was just One Minute Silence that wreaked havoc wherever they went.
And now we move in to the Belgian selection to the days festivities, as the next three bands have made the trek across the channel. First are Oil, who take to the stage in matching black shirts that immediately sets Rocket From The Crypt in the mind. Musically itís more hardcore but melodic, and it sees the hardcore kids that have come along start dancing, pointy to the sky and taking stage diving and crowd surfing to a new concept by carrying the person around instead of passing them along. It makes a nice change musically, itís almost like the intermission within the heaviness of the day. But that would sound as it was doing a diservice to Oil. They announce that they have shirts but have sold out of the singles, which is a shame as I wouldíve been buying one.
But buy one is what I did for the next band, PN. Coming across as a metallic hardcore outfit with elements of Slayer to the sound, they were a revelation to me. Opening with what turns out to be the opening track of their latest album, Message Of Hope, the big dreadlocked guy who allowed me to put some zines on his stall is suddenly conducting things from in front of the stage. Thereís also an air of intelligence about the guy, and they remain philosophical despite their car having been broken into while theyíre over here. Great, pick on the foreign cars to break into. Show what a great country the UK is. Fuckers. I still wanna go with the treatement I thought up when my car got nicked a few years ago. Catch the fuckers, then let me crucify them Ďtill they pass out. When they wake up again, drip sulphuric acid onto their genitals. Ok, so that may be seen as extreme, but itís not as extreme as wiring the car so it blows up if they nick it. But what gives people the right to break into other peopleís property. You want to try it, you should be allowed to try the consequences if you get caught. Trendsetter is about the Belgium scene that is apparently "divided if you donít wear the right clothes or listen to different music." Exactly, you should get along, as today partly proved. Great set.
Victims of Society are up next, and things are begining to run seriously behind schedule, so set length is begining to be compromised. Which is a problem with these events. Itís great value, but there comes a point where you can outdo yourself. Anyway, VoS finish a fine representation of Belgium, though the vocalist did suffer from having the highest vocals of the day, and sounding to me like he was from Spain rather than Belgium. And a guitarist resplendant in his Manowar t-shirt.
Itís back to the UK now, with the fourth Nottingham representative of the day in 3rd Stone. Mixing up a metallised hardcore to my mind musically, they also have the variation of two vocalists who spend no time on stage. As a result the first few songs are marred by virtually inaudible vocals from both, but thatís rectified and the highlight of a short set was I, or is it Eye? I donít know, but it was. Good stuff. And thereís a very metal, guitars to the sky ending. Oooh yeah baby.
Iím begining to flag now, and it looks like a few others are. Some appear to have left, maybe the "pure" hardcore is over, and itís left to the remaining bands, Freebase and Stampiní Ground to turn in their metallised brand. Freebase suffer possibly the shortest set of the day in order to give SG a fair chance. And thereís the "entertainment" of the man that appears to be known as Mad Frank. Another metallic style, thereís also a sense of humour about the band. Iíve only heard a couple of their songs via the Household Name UKHC compilation, so canít give you names. And the set was too short to describe. The only thing to say really is that Iíll be getting the album when itís out.
And so itís Stampin Ground who have the short straw of finishing things up after the previous 8 bands. An example of where headlining isnít necessarily an advantage. Iíve maintained my record of not having danced at a gig since December Ď97, and even Iím knackered. But from somewhere people manage to find reserves of energy, and SG are at least afford something approaching the reaction they deserve. If youíve not heard it by now, then the latest album, from which the highlights of the set are taken, is a must get. Itís as good an example of the metal / hardcore crossover as youíll get. Not so new vocalist Adam really does seem to be at home now, and theyíve established a consistency and a level of performance second to none. The music is held together onstage by Mobs and a more animated than Iíve seen before Ian and Scott, with Ade providing the variations in speed on the drums that many forsake. The Death You Deserve, Shapshifter, Emasculate. Theyíre becoming classics of the scene, and there plenty of metal cries and signs tonight. Itís over too soon in many respects, but it encapsulates on of the positive elements of the HC scene in that the sets are compromised without fuss, complain or ego. They work together and ultimately it wins through. And as at the end, the stage is swamped by various people from different bands and those that found the energy down the front, itís my time to slip out quietly after 7 hours or so.
And time to go home, go through all the CDs and demos I picked up. But thatíll come later. Tomorrow. First I need to watch the recording of the rugby and see if England failed where Wales so gloriously triumphed. Bugger off, donít tell me the result ....
Damn, England won. Ah well, at least Wales had another magnificent victory as well.
Itchy Bum zine #5
Bought this at the above gig, so time to review. Short but sweet little thing really, featuring interviews with Stampin Ground, Tribute To Nothing (which says nothing really, though does highlight the Derby Vic roof problem) and more. Itís kinda fun to read, cut and paste style, but the interviews could maybe be a bit more insightful.