Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, October 25, 2013

Warm Up Festival Day One, with Still Creep, Fractal Gates, and Pitbulls in the Nursery.

So today I tramped out to Vernouillet, a small suburb of Paris, to go to the first day of the Warm Up festival. I left with high hopes of seeing destructive metal bands, crushing riffs, and mosh pits that broke bones and I left largely satisfied. The venue, L'amandier is normally a sports complex, but worked very well as a metal venue. There was plenty of room and stage diving was easy and practical. In short, a wonderful venue that can cram in quite a few people (Over 800 at maximum capacity, or so I'm told). The four bands I got to see before I had to leave were all great, save one, which I decided not to review.

So, as I mentioned, the first band on the night was the extremely energetic Still Creep. Now these guys impressed me for one main reason. They were playing in front of a dozen people, and still made sure they put out a show worth remembering. Sure there was almost no one in the crowd, but the bands charismatic frontman organized us in circle pits, walls of death, and general moshing madness. As he asked individual audience members their names I got a sense that this was really something special. A sort of private concert, for the few, the dedicated, or, as the band put it, the 'brave'. In short, Still Creep are a band I would love to see again, simply because of their dedication to rock and roll madness.

After a disappointing second band, Fractal Gates came on to the stage and blew me away with their unique progressive metal sound. These guys are one of the fastest rising bands on the French scene and for good reason. Their live sound is tight and powerful. Sure they could have engaged a bit more with the audience but as is I was very impressed. The way they played was oftentimes incredible and definitely wowed a lot of audience members. As one of the biggest bands on the bill (in terms of Facebook likes at least) they did a good job of pulling in fans, and the newbies, like me, also very much enjoyed the groups unique approach to metal. I for one would like to go see them put on another show of melodic prog destruction.

The final band I got to see was Pitbulls in the Nursery, a Death inspired metal band who do not shy away from putting in some progressive elements to their sound. The end result was some crushing tech death that is often mosh happy, but also prone to acoustic breaks. It creates a very interesting end sound that keeps the listener engaged for the entirety of the set. I really dug the guitar work, especially in the way it interacted with some of the bass lines. These guys know how to put out a tight show live and I was definitely impressed by. Suffice to say, they have a great mix of progressive elements with more 'classic' metal ideas (think Cynic fused with Pantera). In other words, this is a band who deserve to have an hour and a half long set every time they play, they are simply that good.

In conclusion, tonight was a most excellent evening indeed with metal bands galore and a ton of great headbanging action. Sure the pits weren't as violent as they could have been, but hey, its the first day of a festival, relax. To reiterate, the three bands that really impressed me tonight were all great for very different reasons. Still Creep triumphed because of their excellent delivery and unashamed dedication to metal. Fractal Gates unique melodic progressive death metal sound captured my heart simply because it reflected so much of the joy I take in progressive music. Finally, Pitbulls in the Nursery blew me away with a sound that is simply inspired, the kind of thing I could listen too for hours on end. Check these bands out, and if you can, come to day two of Warm Up Festival tomorrow!

Find the bands on Facebook!
Still Creep:
Fractal Gates:
Pitbulls in the Nursery:

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