Badgerfest 2021: Day 2 – The Bread Shed, Manchester – Saturday 16th October 2021

Badgerfest 2021 Poster

Badgerfest 2021: Day 2
The Bread Shed, Manchester
Saturday 16th October 2021
Review By Rob Sutton
Photography by Sheri Bicheno

Day 2 was here and it was time to head back to the Bread Shed, filled up with Maccies, to try and relieve the fuzzy head from the night before! Day 2, was the first day proper, where things really kicked off – 14 bands over 2 stages, and I decided that today would definitely require stamina!

Aside from a Maccies, a great way to get rid of a hangover is Telford based Metalcore heavyweights, Recall the Remains. These guys kicked the day off in perfect fashion with some old school metalcore. They use a fantastic blend of brutality and melody, not only in the guitars, but also vocally. The clean vocals provided by the guitarist are beautiful and look effortless as he sings and riffs simultaneously, backed by the familiar growls and screams from the lead vocalist. These guys have the genre covered to a tee, adding breakdowns which aren’t just chugs, and are refreshing from the majority of metalcore out these days. They had energy in abundance and a fantastic chemistry between the members on stage, this all led to them being marked as one of the bands of the festival and setting the benchmark for everyone else exceptionally high!

https://www.facebook.com/recalltheremains

Over to the second stage, and I will point out that it isn’t the biggest of stages and has a massive pillar in the middle, so probably isn’t the easiest stage to perform on. Opening this stage were Manchester based Metal/Rock band, Ashen Reach. These guys I have heard of before, but never actually had the chance to watch them. They don’t disappoint, as again they’re full of energy, and cleared up what was left of the hangover. Ashen Reach also utilise multiple vocalists, but using a singing style, as opposed to growls (although there were a couple of cheeky screams here and there). The harmonies were impressive and make your hairs stand on end, there was a lot of the rock influenced ‘oos’ which I think were perhaps a little overused within the set, but don’t let that take away from their phenomenal performance. Not only are they musically very engaging, but they really pump the crowd up and get them all singing along. A great way to open the second stage but I was left confused as to why the vocalist disappeared off stage for a whole section of a song?

https://www.facebook.com/ashenreach

From the upbeat of the second stage, to the eerie and horror themed antics of The Injester. These guys certainly brought something different to the festival, all wearing masks, covered in blood and with some creepy sounding keys in the background. Sadly this didn’t work for me, there was a lot less punch compared to the previous 2 bands, and it felt a little bit cobbled together and all over the place. This maybe the style they are going for, but it didn’t do anything for me, although it was an interesting watch.

The Injester live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/TheInjester

Callus is another band that I have heard a lot about but never actually seen. They brought their Stoner Metal to the second stage, with some absolutely belting riffs which got not only mine, but many heads in the crowd nodding. It’s much slower pace than the previous bands, but this is a welcomed change to the day. They performed a tight solid set, and I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre.

https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band

Today seemed to be a lot slower pace than Friday’s brutality. And to this end, back on the main stage were Netherhall. They brought a much calmer performance to the day, and while the crowd look to struggle to fully engage with their take on Progressive Metal, I personally enjoyed it. I loved the weird beats and the tone these guys have, not to mention the almost Tesseract style voice that overlays. While metal is mainly headbanging and mosh pits, I found myself closing my eyes and losing myself completely in the music. There was minimal crowd interaction here which is possibly why they didn’t seem to get much engagement back, I think the set is just about the music and it is simply gorgeous to listen to!

https://www.facebook.com/NetherhallUK

Sadly, with only 5 minutes between bands, there was always going to be the odd band I missed. From what I very briefly heard from Everest Queen, they sounded solid, but I can’t say much more, as I missed a lot of their set.

https://www.facebook.com/everestqueenband

A few weeks ago, I travelled up to Wolverhampton to watch Black Tongue, and supporting them was our next band, Ashen Crown. At that gig they didn’t quite fit the theme of the night, so didn’t end up with the reaction they deserved. No such problems for them this afternoon, as they drew the biggest crowd of the whole weekend, honestly you could barely move or even get in! This is what Ashen Crown is about, fast music, lots of pits, and heads banging! This set was crushing and even with some sound issues at the beginning, they pressed on with absolute precision and professionalism. They may have played the Sophie stage at Bloodstock this year, but after such domination of a stage, they are well on track to be headlining festivals like this, and easily becoming top of their genre! This was simply incredible and by far the best I’ve seen them play!

Ashen Crown live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk

Throughout the last few months, we have gotten used to band members having to miss gigs, but what has been fantastic to see is they way bands have adapted to the unusual circumstances. Ascaris were a drummer down, and using, as they described, the most expensive drummer – a laptop. I will say their drummer was beautifully in time! In fairness the remaining 2 were also both extremely tight. They bring a brutal mix of Black and Death Metal, without using the cheesy corpse paint or hail Satan phrase. These guys play fast, and their hands are blurs on the fret boards. It was a solid performance. If you like your Blackened Death Metal fast, relentless and incredibly polite, Ascaris have you covered!

Askaris live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/AscarisOfficial

Back for some more Stoner Metal next. As I’ve said, it isn’t my genre of choice, but King Goat brought another brilliant performance, all while allowing the smell of incense to fill the room. It was slow, great riffs, all performed fantastically. Again, I would recommend checking them out if this is your style.

https://www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

Next, and from across the border, was Godeater! I first heard about these guys when I saw them announced for Bloodstock. They were heavy then, and they were even heavier here! These Glaswegians have so much energy I’m not sure how they got through the set. Not one of them stopped moving for the full half hour, apart from the drummer because well… drummer! There is so much weight to their take on Deathcore, and they were by far the heaviest band of the day so far, and the pits show that! They were in full swing and mighty at that. 

Their tasteful use of samples adds just a little bit more to their overall sound and made them sound huge! It’s always a risk as a vocalist to go into a pit, more so if the mic is wired, but here he did (someone give this guy a wireless mic, as I’m pretty sure a few people tripped up). What impressed me about this was even though he was in the pit, he continued to deliver flawless vocals and this is all while being bashed from pillar to post! The only thing that let them down was the slightly flat cleans, but they did again add another layer, and along with the samples, really stand these guys out in the Deathcore scene. Honestly, these guys are a band to watch in the future, they’re brutally heavy, full of energy and perform to an exceptionally high standard. Godeater are the full package!

https://www.facebook.com/godeateruk

Continuing the theme of heavy were Blood Oath, and with their blood-soaked attire, I was expecting a strong Black Metal influence here. But I was wrong. What we were met with was a concoction of many extreme genres, predominantly Death Metal, and yes there was plenty to headbang to here. I don’t think there was a single head still in the crowd for these guys, as they drew one of the bigger crowds for the second stage. We were also blessed with some new material and boy does it sound HUGE. I really am excited to go and watch this when it’s released. Blood Oath are insanely tight, have some soaring riffs and solos, with some machine gun-esque drums, all with vocal styles from a catalogue of genres, did I hear a bree? These guys were fantastic, and for me my favourite of the second stage, and my find of the day!

Blood Oath live at Badgergest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/BloodOathUK

For many years my friends have been banging on about Red Method and how I really need to see them, well, now I have! All dressed in red, rather appropriately, they bring a mix of Nu-Metal and Djent, with a sound resembling that of old school Slipknot, albeit on ironing boards (8 string guitars). They performed with sheer aggression and passion; they are in your face heavy! I loved the addition of the keys and samples all played live, and not on backing tracks, though I was amazed the keyboard remained in one piece after seeing what AVD (keys) did to them when he was in The Defiled. One thing I love about watching heavy bands do breakdowns is all the members headbanging in sync, Red Method pulled this off fantastically and got the whole room bowing! While the cleans aren’t the best in the world, they were clear enough to get half the crowd singing along, and this was the first time I’d properly seen this crowd sing. Red Method sound so heavy that no amount of gym time would be able to pick them up, they have a new fan, and I can’t wait to see them again.

Red Method live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/RedMethodBand

More Sludgy music from the second stage was next, with King Witch. This Stoner band is fronted by a lady, and her voice is beautiful, almost like a Siren soaring over the down tuned heaviness provided by the guitars and bass. Again, it’s not my genre of choice, and does mean I can’t say too much on them, but they felt a bit different and they were enjoyable.

https://www.facebook.com/kingwitch

So, onto our headliners and they come with a serious reputation behind them. They have opened the main stage at Bloodstock a few years ago where a very, very hungover Rob attempted to stand and watch them but instead fell into a heap on the floor. Luckily, no such issues today though I am kicking myself for not watching them fully at Bloodstock… Krysthla destroyed it here! They are filled with incredible riffs that had me windmilling away, and pretending I had the faintest idea how to play guitar. Added to that were some incredibly consistent growls, and some nice cleans in the mix, too! They remind me of Divine Heresy, a band I used to absolutely love! There were blast beats, rapid guitars; just everything about this set was on point and tight. I’m not normally a person who ends up raving about a headliner but in this case they are by far one of the best headliners I have seen at a festival. I was left in awe, is there anything these guys don’t have? Massive pits? Check. Crowd surfing? Check. Taking Rob’s money as he heads to the merch table? Check. What a band, what a show and what a way to end day 2!

Krysthla live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/krysthla

I learnt a few things today, I can smoke a cigarette in less than 5 minutes, the quality of the bands at this festival is insane, and that I either needed to have taken someone who knows about Stoner bands, or learn more about the genre myself! Nevertheless day 2 was insane! 

Badgerfest Links:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. All photographic images the property of Sheri Bicheno. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Krysthla – Worldwide Negative

Worldwide Negative Cover

Krysthla – Worldwide Negative
PHD
Release Date: 16/08/2019
Running Time: 42:28
Review by Tammy Lomax
10/10

When I was given the opportunity to review Krysthla’s new album “Worldwide Negative” I was ecstatic. It was quite cosmic as at the time I was commuting and listening to ‘Luminosity’ from their debut album!
In my opinion Krysthla are by far one of the best extreme metal bands out there and their hard work has already proven to be a massive success for them.
There are many reasons why I appreciate Krysthla, mainly being how consistent they are with their delivery in everything they do, from live performances to mastering their albums and are genuinely lovely fellas; they literally are masters in perfection. When I was first introduced to Krysthla they were supporting Textures and they utterly smashed the hell out of the stage. They hammer with precision and they are persistent in whatever they convey.
“A War Of Souls And Desires” was released in 2015 and this was only the beginning of something beautiful. Two years later “Peace In Our Time” was released and, putting it lightly, blew your ears off and it hit a No.2 slot in Amazon’s Rock and Metal chart. Krysthla did not stop there, playing the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock Festival and then going on to tour with the mighty Decapitated. Just when you assume they cannot get any better they do and don’t do it lightly! Like a massive wallop in the face, if you aren’t awake yet then you will be after listening to “Worldwide Negative” It is going to be huge!
Recently released single ‘Zero Sum Game’ has had tremendous amounts of airplay on Kerrang, Primordial, and Bloodstock radio etc. along with their music video, DO go and check it out! It’s a massive tease into what to expect with the rest of the album. I am actually still recovering from the shock of it all because “Worldwide Negative” has reached out beyond all expectations.
When I plugged my headphones in, straight away bang!!
Krysthla have become more dynamic with their synth sounds, making the music flow. It is the foundation to their new sound and personally I cannot imagine them without these now.
The emotion you experience after listening to album opener ‘Negative’ is baffling, you’re almost unsure of how to feel and then ‘Reawaken’ slaps you hard in the face. You reach a pinnacle then are thrown back down vigorously and you end up like a pile of mashed potato! Then, out of nowhere, comes the wonderful chorus, how have they pulled this off? Your head is all over the place trying to comprehend what the hell is going on but it is absolute magic, art and science all at the same time.
‘Grief Is New Love’ is much faster with what seems like some heavy slam riffs. I have no space left in my brain to actually understand how they have managed to pull off fast thrash and slam together, it is heavy, mean and it is angry, its pure evil actually. You feel the passion in this track completely, it’s insanely good and you don’t want it to end. It is diverse with switching dynamics but also flows beautifully. I can accept that I have never heard anything so powerful before!
‘Zero Sum Game’ is definitely the big tease as mentioned earlier. Never assume with Krysthla because they will blow that out the water and then go ahead and set it on fire. In all seriousness picking a favourite track on this album is impossible. ‘White Castles’ is a little break from the hammering, but it’s done in such a way where you don’t want to relax. You can relate to the expression of pain is all I can say. It is beautifully done and you can really hear their message in this track… this is your moment to take a breather. For sure it pulls at your heart, thus much easier on the ears. Have you ever wanted to scream at the world? Then this track will get you. It is slower but massively needed.
‘Psalm Of Heartlessness’ is exactly what Krysthla are about, bringing you back into the album after absolute mayhem. One of my favourite things about their sound has to be the vocals, Adrian Mayes has an exceptionally powerful voice yet sounds exactly the same when performing live, how he maintains that growl, at that level, I do not know!
‘Aurea Mediocritas’ oh yes, here come those meaty bass riffs, Krysthla totally own it. Jesus, you can get into a serious rhythm with this track. This is definitely an alluring track and will open up a mosh pit for sure. If you are not pumped yet, you will be. There is a taste of everything here, their original sound with added extras but not too overwhelming. It is a little gentler on the ears due to the slower speed but no less powerful. Finally, how do you possibly end such a powerful album? with ‘The Gift’! It’s the bounciest track on “Worldwide Negative” and why not eh, leaving the listener on a slight high before the ‘what the heck just happened’ kicks in! Every single second has been thought about, every second. I had my arms up in the air at the end with nothing but complete respect. You really need this track to balance out the rest of the album and it works perfectly.
When you step out of your comfort zone and sprinkle some modern extras, you don’t always get the results you expect but Krysthla pulled me in immediately, got my attention and further excited the more I listened. It has left me on an absolute high and feeling I can literally take on the world. Every single track on this album is gold dust! It becomes overwhelming when the album finishes. Every single beat, riff, vocal, in fact everything has had a vast amount of time, effort and passion put into it and it’s massively better than their previous albums. I have sat here for ages to try and find a flaw but I just can’t. It’s musical evolution at its finest. From the moment you press play you are hitting another level of extreme metal.
“Worldwide Negative” will be released on 16th August so get yourself a copy and take note. If you can get your ass to Bloodstock Festival and watch them smash the Main Stage then do it! I have so much love and respect for them; they could not have done a better job at destroying my ears. A massive well done Krysthla, I am a happy Tammy.
TRACKLISTING:
01. Negative
02. Reawaken
03. Grief Is New Love
04. Zero Sum Game
05. White Castles
06. Psalm Of Heartlessness
07. Aurea Mediocritas
08. The Gift
LINKS:
http://www.krysthla.co.uk/
https://shor.by/krysthla
https://www.facebook.com/krysthla/

https://www.instagram.com/krysthla_band/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwjHzxNfTUqNaZ9wshfKQMQ
Promo Pic
 
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tammy Lomax and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.