HAMMERFEST VII – Metal Marauders Festival Review

Those formidable American power metal-workers Kamelot could not have chosen a better name for their next album: HAVEN.

Yes, the album will be out on May 5 and will be a conceptual re-telling of the poetic account of their exploits and battles fought during days spent at the Haven Holiday Camp  in Pwllheli, North Wales. (No, not really … but it is a disturbing coincidence isn’t it?)

Anyway— Kamelot may have been researching their new album title this weekend (as well as playing a wonderful headline show at Haven for Hammerfest 7 )— but here’s a run-down of some of the other highlights from this exciting HRH Metal Marauders weekend:

A fiery red-hot impromptu dance pit was created by fans for the epic Swedish Doom-lords ‘Candlemass’ … as folks worked their way into super-excited states of frenzied lust just in time for the closing party with ‘Evil Scarecrow.’

RSJ - fiercely barbaric metalcore...

RSJ – fiercely barbaric metalcore…

Those wonderful suppliers of good old authentic thrash ‘Xentrix’ premiered their new release ‘There Will be Consequences’ at Hammerfest — this was a butcher’s skillet-load of savaged muscle and meaty gristle. A mighty fine show!

Orange Goblin’ always put on a great live show and can be fully relied upon, as can the proper get-down-and-get heavy ‘Angel Witch.’ Both were bruising, honest and ear-bleedingly awesome.

In terms of sheer amazement and brain-shattering audio annihilation — our main selections must include: RSJ — They are our favourite fiercely barbaric metalcore outfit (by a long mile.) But these guys are beautiful too! (Note: The new album ‘Giant Glenn’ is out soon]

And also, the Oxfordshire post-rock mob ‘October File’ were in good shape — as were ‘Raging Speedhorn’ whose full-frontal assault on our ear-lugs was violently savage.

Red Rum - Pirates of the East Midlands...

Red Rum – Pirates of the East Midlands…

Of course, we loved ‘Red Rum‘ — and even if these pirates of the East Midlands will never quite supplant Alestorm in our hearts — they still managed to shiver our timbers at Hammerfest. Jolly Roger — they were good!

We also enjoyed the pseudo-punk razor sharp intensity of ‘States of Panic.’ And the rabid fervour of the London-based doom band ‘Dysteria’.

Dysteria - Rabid fervour...

Dysteria – Rabid fervour…

One of the most eagerly anticipated acts of the weekend was ‘Devilment‘.

And, naturally, their show was a marmite moment. Love them or hate them though, we must admit that their show was intelligent and theatrical.

Danni Filth was full of jokes and as carefree as can be. (He didn’t even know the running order of the set-list.) The numbers they played were bold, ambitious and ridiculously self-aware. And why not? Whilst some audience members might have hissed and booed — others were over-heard exclaiming that they would definitely buy the album. And that’s what this is all about.

Devilment - Bold, ambitious and ridiculously self-aware...

Devilment – Bold, ambitious and ridiculously self-aware…

So, thanks, once again, to all the HRH organizers and The Haven staff for their hard work, their patience, and their good humour.

The organization wasn’t always perfect (there were big problems with the mains water, so toilets were out of action, and it was reported that there were still quite a few sound problems on the smaller stage, plus there was no wi-fi to speak of around the camp) but lest we forget… Hammerfest is mammoth undertaking. And everyone works tremendously hard to please us.

Most importantly of all — thanks to all our fellow metal-devotees — You all did yourself proud!

You feasted and you wassailed together — drinking hard and dancing long into the night. But there was never a trace of malice, prejudice or antagonism. And, for this, you should be For Ever admired, esteemed, blessed and honoured.

 

Link: http://www.hammerfest.co.uk/

 

Words & Images: @neilmach

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