Concert Review: UK Tech Metal Fest 2013 part 3 – TesseracT, Nexilva, Stiff Bizkit, Mask of Judas


For a general review of the festival and the bands from the first and second day, check out part 1 and part 2. I didn’t include all the bands playing, not even all of the ones I ended up watching; I’ve only chosen the ones I liked the best.


Cutest moment: The main stage crowd in a massive group hug on the last day of the festival.

Cutest moment: The main stage crowd in a massive group hug on the last day of the festival.


imagesMask of Judas

For being the first band to play on a Sunday morning, Mask Of Judas drew a very big crowd. Since they played in the same tent where breakfast was served, I couldn’t avoid hearing what was going on on stage and it didn’t take long before I realized it was something good. Their groovy, technical music had a nice rhythm with interesting, powerful riffs and the singer could perform vicious Angela Gossow-growls as well as really good clean vocals reminding me of Christina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I was impressed and decided to stay to experience more of this catchy but complex music. Mask of Judas’ music sounds like a mix between energetic mathcore and chugging djent, with melodic choruses and lots of aggressive growling. It’s creative and a bit different; the edgy, rhythmic guitars and bass complement the blasting drums and emotional vocals very well. This was a really nice start of the last day at Tech Fest.

Their EP ‘Axis’, released in April this year, can be downloaded for free on Bandcamp. Check it out!



Nexilva was one of the biggest positive surprises for me this weekend. It was a band I hadn’t planned on watching, but as I sat outside on the grass and heard their crushing, shattering, incredibly heavy and fast-paced music there was no way I could resist. Their unique prog/deathcore sound really stood out and their energy on stage, as well as in the music and vocal performance, was unmatched. With the excellent keyboard melodies in the background of their songs it almost felt like I was listening to a brutal symphonic black metal band complete with harsh/shrieking vocals. I loved every second of it. They combined technicality with a focus on heaviness and still managed to integrate just enough melody and hooks to make their songs easy to listen to and like. It’s such a nice feeling to be blown away by a band you’ve never heard of before, that gives an absolute stellar performance on stage and has a sound that is diverse and refreshing.  This is a band I will support and be excited to follow in the future.


maxresdefaultStiff Bizkit

We were meant to be experiencing a concert by the band Aliases this afternoon, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it. Since they pulled out in the last minute, there wasn’t enough time to really find a replacement. But the Tech Fest team, with the help of the band members of No Consequence quickly put together a show to fill in the empty spot. They must have known that every metalhead in the audience secretly adores mainstream rap metal, because the Limp Bizkit tribute band that entered the stage was a huge success!  The performance featured guest vocalists from some of the other bands like Nexilva, Exist Immortal, Linked, The Color Line and Visions. What an impressive group effort! It was another good example of the strong community spirit on the festival; people were gladly contributing to fix things and make the weekend even more fun. The effort was rewarded with a huge sing-along, lots of cheering and moshing.

On the last day of the festival, when we were all tired, worn out and in desperate need of a shower, this was a nice addition that gave us many laughs and lots of positive energy back. Who knew Limp Bizkit’s music would be so popular in a metal crowd?



They saved the best for last. At the very end of the list of bands playing this festival was TesseracT. The grand finale. They are often called one of the pioneers of djent and after a big success with their newly released album ‘Altered State’ (full review here) they are the perfect band to end a fantastic weekend at UK Tech Metal Fest. All day I had seen many fans in TesseracT shirts walking around and when there was close to an hour or so left until their set, the most devoted fans in their hypercube t-shirts were already lined up at the front row. Including myself.


The shredding guitarist Acle Kahney and the funky bassist Amos Williams.

There is something really special about seeing and hearing your favourite band play live. When you know every note, every complex drumbeat, every funky bass line and every single word of the lyrics…It’s magical. And with a band like TesseracT, where every band member is a very talented, and a slightly perfectionistic musician, you can expect an impressive live show.  And no surprise, that’s what we got. They opened with the first three consecutive songs from ‘Altered State’: Of Matter: Proxy, Retrospect and Resist and it felt great to see the singer Ashe O’Hara so confident and relaxed on stage. His emotional and passionate performance was absolutely stunning; his vocal range surprised and impressed me as he was doing everything from the softest, most delicate singing to high pitched screams and aggressive, harsh vocals.

The beautiful chilled out atmosphere they build in their songs makes such a nice, powerful contrast to the heavy rhythm section with Amos’ funky bass playing and Jay’s groovy, complex drumming. They sounded so much heavier and more dynamic live than they do on their albums, so there were plenty of headbanging moments and lots of long hair flying around on stage. It was great to see how Acle and James work together with the guitars as they fill the songs with their amazing polyrhythmic riffs, wonderful rhythmic chugging and intense, ambient guitar melodies.


Ashe O’Hara being awesome.

The highlights for me were when they played the older material from their debut album (which has a different vocalist) and Ashe completely nailed every tone while still adding his own touch to the songs. With ease and immense power, he sang the flowing, long tones and edgy melodies in “Deception” and “April”. Amos stood in front of the cheering crowd and showed off his impressive bass shredding skills during the instrumental song “Epiphany” and Ashe gave the audience the microphone during the catchy song “Nocturne” for some happy sing along moments. When their fantastic show was near the end, I knew I could not have asked for a better performance. It had been mesmerizing, stunning and unique.

But still, there was one more thing I wanted…  To hear them play my favourite song.

So when I heard the first tones of the very last song of the night, and realized it was “Concealing Fate: Acceptance”, my number one TesseracT song.. I was the happiest fan in the crowd.


(There were no good quality videos from this show, so here’s from another one)


About Irmelinis

A friend told me that I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.

Posted on August 13, 2013, in Concert Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Again, sounds like a great experience. Stiff Bizkit must have been fun to watch because everyone loved rap metal 😉

    A group hug, that’s a first I think. Honestly, you can have a crappy show, but what makes it great are the fans. Hence, a great show can be ruined by shitty fans. Sounds like you had the best of both worlds over the course of the festival. You can’t trade that in for anything better. Great review of the event!

    • Thank you!
      Yeah, it was fantastic. It’s the first festival I’ve been to for like 4-5 years and it reminded me what it is I love to do the most. Seeing bands live + camping and being around cool people of my own kind. Being tired, dirty and sweaty together, but no one cares, it’s great 😉

      So now I’m suffering from festival-sickness and I’m already planning my next one. Which might be Euroblast, in Germany in October. Another djent-fest!

  2. As I followed your festival reviews and watched the clips I can say now, that I’m pretty sure there’s musically not much in it for me;-) What’s cool for me about the festival is, that it seems to be done for the reason that there actually aren’t many bigger festival booking more than a three or four of those new Deathcore/Djent/Prog-however you label it-bands. Committed musicians and fans is the best comibnation, to state the obvious.
    Also from the above I like the Nexilva most and if it is for the funny keyboard sounds, which are way better then the awful drumsound;-)

    • Yeah, it’s a very small community, but with a lot of talent, and that’s why it’s fun to cover smaller, more unknown bands like these, they deserve and are very thankful for the attention. I’m used to people saying they don’t like this kind of music 😀

      This style is getting bigger though, (just look at the fact that a huge band like Meshuggah is headlining the other small tech/djent festival Euroblast this year!) it’ll be exciting to see what next year brings for UK Tech Fest.

      Thanks for reading and listening anyway, it means a lot to me as I put many hours in to preparing and writing these posts.

  1. Pingback: Concert Review: UK Tech Metal Fest 2013 part 1 – Karybdis, Cold Night For Alligators, Linked, No Consequence | A Metal State of Mind

  2. Pingback: Concert Review: UK Tech Metal Fest 2013 part 2 – Shattered Skies, Drewsif Stalin, Uneven Structure, Skyharbor | A Metal State of Mind

  3. Pingback: Mik’s Musical Highlights of 2013 | A Metal State of Mind

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