Concert Review: UK Tech Metal Fest 2014, part 2. Kadinja, Orion, Nexilva, Meta-stasis, Jon Gomm
Posted by Irmelinis
Remember, this festival review won’t cover all the bands playing, I’ve chosen the ones I personally liked the best.
Part 1 can be found here.
Thanks to Carrie-Anne Pollard for the lovely photos, check out more great shots from Tech Fest on Me Vs The World! Photography
Kadinja – There is quite a buzz around this young, French band at the moment and rightfully so. They come with a breeze of fresh air and huge potential, brilliant technical skills and an uplifting sound. It was a bit unfortunate that the sound in the building didn’t do the music justice, but if you were familiar with their songs before Kadinja did not disappoint. Behind a curtain of long hair there is some incredible guitar work going on and the loud bass instantly puts a smile on my face, all coming out so playful and tasty. The singer’s strong, distinctive voice is very pleasant on the ears and particularly impressive during the clean parts in the song “Henry Call Mash Yes” (such a fun song title, and also one of my favourite singles this year). It’s great to see how everyone in the band is having a good time on stage and that their music is loved by the crowd as well. I’m hoping to see Kadinja live soon again, for now I’m (im)patiently waiting for a full album.
Orion – Even though I knew (and love) Orion’s groovy and atmospheric style prior to the festival, it came across completely different in a live setting. Again, it might have been the poor acoustics in the building, or simply the selection of tracks on the setlist, but the set ended up sounding far more edgy and metalcore-ish, not as comfortably flowing and elegant as I remembered from the album. However, these guys know how to put on a great show. Phil Owen’s utterly impressive work behind the mic together with happy jumping guitarist #1 and #2, a drummer as sweet as the pretty flowers on his shirt and a bass player that seemed to pour his heart and soul out through the strings… it was fun! The performance is engaging and memorable, next time I would like to see these guys further up the bill and not in front of a tired morning crowd.
Nexilva – This was my third time seeing progressive death metal act Nexilva live, also their third time playing Tech Fest, and it’s such a delight every time. They are a band that sounds great on album, but their sharp, battering sound really rises to majestic levels when you hear them live. It was too hot to create a moshpit, but after a while it’s impossible to stand still and the twitching of limbs starts almost involuntarily. The energy they have in their ultra-heavy music and in their insane performance is contagious and refreshing; I walk out from their show smiling and feeling like a new person. Possibly because my brain was blown out my ears from standing in a room filled with sheer, brutal force.
Meta-stasis – My biggest surprise of the weekend. I went in early to get in front row for the next band and thought “Sure, why not watch Meta-stasis while waiting? It might be fun”. After the first two songs I was thinking “This band is fucking awesome!” Extreme in both appearance and musical style, these guys had not only technical skills, but theatrical ones as well, in a psycho-tech-jungle-kind of way. To play directly after The Algorithm is no easy task, since most people now left the building to get some fresh air and leaving Meta-stasis with a thin crowd. They did not care, and continued to put on an entertaining, colourful show while blasting out heavy, industrial death metal including dirty sexy men, tasty keyboards and songs with glorious build ups. Rawr!
From brutal jungle death to gentle acoustic guitar…
Jon Gomm – “You can do it, Jon!” Being in the front row seeing this handsome man and his beloved, worn down guitar on the main stage fills my heart with warm, fuzzy feelings. Many of us, if not all, were very excited to hear and watch Jon Gomm’s percussive-technical guitar magic and although a room full of metalheads isn’t his usual type of crowd, he fit right in. And he received so much love. People were happily starting a conga line and singing along to “Ain’t Nobody”, stared in awe with tears in their eyes when his own beautiful “Gloria” was played and during the chorus of everyone’s favourite Gomm tune “Passionflower” you could even see people crowd surfing. Between songs Jon is being quite the charmer, telling us funny stories from his life and giving us a fun lesson in how to play different instruments on one guitar. But mostly he was just being truly mesmerizing with his soothing singing voice and exceptionally quick fingers caressing, plucking and bouncing off his guitar.