Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Metalsphere 4 Festival

Yesterday a little after noon I left my visiting grandparents behind, hopped into the car with some friends and made my way to my first outdoor festival of the season. Metalsphere was an exciting little festival featuring twelve top notch bands (I'll only be covering 8 I think) and got me out doing a bunch of interviews, meeting a lot of cool people, and banging my head for hours on end. As I sit here the morning after, (Well more like several hours after, I got home just before 2) my ears are ringing and my neck hurts. In other words, Metalsphere 4 was most definitely worth attending.

The first band I saw was Ianwill, a groovy death metal act who weren't afraid to bring in touches of hardcore to a very tight and exciting sound. Obviously being the first band of the afternoon on the smaller stage (There were 2) is always a challenge, but Ianwill seem to have gotten a good grasp on it. They had a great attack and a healthy amount of energy on stage. By the end of their set a mosh pit had broken out and they were really starting to do some good things. Ianwill seem to have a clear sense of their musical direction, and if the last song of yesterdays set is any indication, they will continue to evolve and dominate, perhaps one day becoming true metal masters.

Next up was When Reasons Collapse. Now, I've heard a lot about this band as one of the movers and shakers on the local scene, however, asides from reviewing their record I'd never really gotten a chance to see them life. Well now the time had come and I was immediately stunned by the incredible energy they bring to the stage. Be it in their vocalist, Cristina's vicious whirlwinds or the guitarists and bassists incredible hardcore derived stomp, these guys roared out as a death metal band who will not be quashed. They bring the mosh with a destructive, oftentimes misanthropic, attack that comes out of nowhere and leaves the listener feeling beat over the head and covered in blood.

The next band I really enjoyed was Acyl, now, I'd seen them back in the summer at a smaller venue, so seeing them play in the open air environment with their traditional Algerian instruments was a pleasure. These guys are true innovators and I love watching them do their thing. The entire crowd seemed into it, bodies moving and dancing with the music. It's always cool to watch people clapping in unison, inspired by something far older than metal, or really any other form of popular music. They were a highlight of my day, speaking to the eternal power of the music of their homeland, but also the beauty of their unique fusion of genres.

The Walking Dead Orchestra were a new band for me, and by god did I find them incredible. Their deathcore sound reminded me of my adolescence, listening to Suicide Silence with friends in middle school. These guys bring a lot of energy to the stage and they really know how to rage. The bands vocalist brings an attack that should not be trifled with, his vocals alternating between pig squeals and huge bottom end filled death growls. These guys will rip your head off your body as you are forced into windmilling, body thrashing to the might of a true deathcore sound. These guys have a great grasp of their own sound and will capture the heart of any deathcore fan.

Awakening Sun were another great discovery, this band of young Lithuanians (and one Dutch dude) none of whom were older than 22, brought an exciting genre spanning death metal set to the smaller Moat Stage and certainly got the crowd going. Their melodic guitar lines and tasty riffs showed the power of the band as a musical force. Their is something a little deeper going on in the Awakening Sun sound, they have a certain understanding of death metal and its core concepts that few of their peers can touch on, and this is what will make them rise to the top. Ferociously dedicated, Lithuanias biggest death metal band is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

The sixth band that I'll cover was Svart Crown, a band I've wanted to see for a good long while. These French blackened death metal heroes put on an awesome show, getting bodies to fly and heads to bang, this is the sort of heavy metal good time for all involved. These guys have a great sense of bombast, in some ways the dynamic live show almost reminded me of Iron Maiden. The synchronized whirlwind headbanging of the guitarists and bassist brought a memorable attack filled with roaring growls, explosive screams and guitar riffs that are simply to die for. These guys get what it means to bring a heavy metal attack and I think that is going to help them get huge.

Now we arrive at the penultimate band of the festival, the almighty Regarde Les Hommes Tomber. Their doom inflected black metal was utterly transcendent, especially under the starry skies of the festival. These guys were loud, vicious, and very tight. The vocals, replete with all sorts of cool effects, had a sort of incredibly evil might behind them, something that showed a band who would not give in to the bone grinding crunch of modern life. Regarde Les Hommes Tomber are a veritable musical force, seeing them takes you to another world and it really turned me on to the further magic of French black metal, if you don't know it already this is a scene you need to check out!

Finally we have Trepalium, a band who have essentially become French death metal legends. Their jazz inspired groove metal attack is fronted by a deranged dreaded crusty who has a voice that can only be called unholy. As opposed to their records, I found that in this performance they were all about the groove. I definitely got a heavy Pantera vibe on a lot of these songs and one or two where even reminiscent of Lamb of God. When the dudes in Trepalium want to bring it hard, they do, and I'm still reeling from a set that was loud and proud, heavy metal for the masses, groovy enough to engage the casual fan, heavy enough to keep elitists satisfied.

As we walked out of the festival, me having utterly destroyed my curfew by this point, I started to reflect a bit on the magic I had witnessed, the cool people I had met (Especially the dudes in When Reasons Collapse, Awakening Sun and Acyl all of whom I had interviewed during the day) and the gallons of beer drunk. This is the sort of thing that makes heavy metal worth it, even if you are standing in the sun for 12 hours. As my drunk friend went around, asking people to kiss him 'properly' on the cheek I thought to myself "Kissing drunk dudes at one in the morning, miles from home, this sounds about right".

Find the bands on Facebook!


When Reasons Collapse:


Awakening Sun:

The Walking Dead Orchestra:

Svart Crown:

Regarde Les Hommes Tomber:


No comments:

Post a Comment