Hevy Fest 2015

Port Lympne, Kent, England

Hevy Festival 2015 Friday Review

After a Thursday initially ruined by thunderstorms and the many (failed) attempts of putting up tents in gale force winds, the acoustic stage provided a much needed solace for many, including some fantastic sets from Dave McPherson, Sam Duckworth and the magnificent Jamie Lenman.

An explosive start to the Friday as down-tempo outfit Wraiths bludgeoned the third stage with their own unique blend of technical 8-stringed riffs and horrendously heavy breakdowns.

Switch to the main stage, and the fast paced and hard hitting Hardcore stylings of Welsh band Continents graced the surprisingly sizable crowd. The more well known songs, i.e. Pegasus, Pegasus even evoked some crowd participation, a nice surprise on a Friday afternoon.

Probably the most out of place band on the line up followed, as Chon played their first show outside of the US, captivating a large crowd with their spellbinding and mesmerising instrumental ability. Somewhat surprisingly successful for an instrumental outfit to bring such a large crowd.

Black Peaks added another dose of insanity to the main stage with their brutal yet delightful Prog Rock style executed in wonderful fashion by a band holding a lot of talent. A literal ton of energy erupts from the stage and, thankfully, passes on to the crowd.

A slightly disappointing set from the latest hype band Creeper as they unfortunately did not deliver on the energy or the excitement that has formed around them as of late. Nevertheless, a good effort.

Unsurprisingly, bringing in the best set of the day so far is Hacktivist. The biggest crowd and the most energy from both the stage and the crowd. The unique creation that they bring excites more than most, the confidence and outstanding performance from the entire band brings together the instrumental strengths amidst the fun aspect of the vocals.

Teenage Bottle Rocket, or "how fast can we play our instruments" add a little fun to a fairly dreary second stage, although their actual performance is somewhat misguided and lost yet enjoyable.

Similar to Hacktivist, another band renowned for their live show appear as Heck (aka Baby Godzilla). Using the entire tent as their stage, battling band members, somehow still managing to play their instruments and the energy that you would expect from such a band, Heck produce one of the best live sets of the weekend.

Emotional Hardcore ensemble Touche Amore stick out like a sore thumb, and it, unfortunately, shows in their performance. They fail to bring forth the crowd and energy like the similar bands before them on the main stage, and although they still maintain a solid set and a standard performance, it doesn't compare.

Prominent Tech-Metallers, Protest The Hero take the main stage and the crowd is full as the sun begins to set beyond. With the incredibly high levels of talent, the songs are relayed perfectly, and the charismatic frontman Rody Walker only enhances the performance, his outstanding voice resonates through the crowd while his comedic bits between songs are a nice touch.

The heaviest band of the day, Betraying The Martyrs erupt onto the third stage. With their wonderful combination of disgustingly heavy deathcore sections, intertwined with technical riffs and overlayed by heavenly choruses, there is something for everyone. Although they are victim to a poor sound, the French band still pull off a great set, and who can say no to a metal over of Let It Go?

Probably the most anticipated set of the day approaches as The Dillinger Escape Plan bring their energetic and insane mathcore to the main stage. Surprisingly, not headlining, however, they still bring forth the best set of the day. Greg Pruciato's unbelievable energy literally destroys the stage as he bounces from side to side, ducking and diving between the guitarists. Bringing the strongest setlist in a while to Hevy Fest proves to be an excellent decision as every fan is up on their feet singing along to those huge vocal lines. Another outstanding TDEP performance.

Friday headliners Coheed & Cambria follow, and like most bands following TDEP, they don't bring the same energy. Playing In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 from start to finish is a bold move and it proves to be a risky one. Certainly not the band's strongest album, consisting of mainly repetitive verse sections and the occasional big chorus, and although excellently performed, one has to be a die hard Coheed fan to really enjoy this set. Closing songs, particularly Welcome Home really show off the true talent behind this band and what they can do, but unfortunately, this didn't happen this time around.

Hevy Festival 2015 Saturday Review

The Saturday of Hevy had a lot to live up to, following on from the manic energy that encapsulated the previous day.

And what better way to start than with the mind-bending technical insanity of Hull-based Mathcore outfit, The Colour Line. Off the back of signing to Basick Records, the band opened the third stage early on, and did a superb job, bringing forth a barrel of energy and talent that few bands could even hope of matching, resulting in the best possible start to the day.

Heading to the main stage, and Trash Boat are the openers there. A fairly empty crowd and those that have attended are clearly in need of a hangover cure. However, they still manage to provide a fairly energetic show although the music is nothing special by any means.

Biggest surprise of the weekend is Vales, who completely smashed the expectations of many by coming out with an incredible energy and some incredible music to back it up, all excellently performed to a large crowd. Hopefully, a hint to promoters to start booking more female fronted bands.

Unfortunately, then came the most disappointing moment of the weekend. Milk Teeth appeared to not want to be there and played poorly, eventually (and disrespectfully) complaining of sound issues being their problem, and then continued to trash the stage and storm off. All round disappointment.

Blood Youth then continued on the Hardcore destruction of the second stage with a thoroughly enjoyable performance, perfectly executed by the entire band. Crushing breakdowns mixed with your run-of-the-mill Hardcore riffery resulted in an energetic crowd and an equally energetic performance.

A dynamic alteration occurs as Fort Hope take the stage, a surprising addition but a very nice surprise. Top of the range vocals separate them from a standard Pop-Punky sound and the occasional drop of the music adds a nice change of pace. A good performance from an underrated band.

Another poor performance as Pop-Punk band, As It Is fail to conquer the main stage. A small crowd of fans is in attendance but whiny and inconsistent vocals and your bog-standard Pop-Punk instrumental will never be able to please a crowd at Hevy Fest.

A complete and utter juxtaposition as Hang The Bastard come to destroy the third stage. Filling the tent out, and then blasting their Doom/Hardcore blend of disgustingly heavy riffs is nothing short of genius. A good performance from another band that struggled with sound somewhat, although, not overall impacting the performance.

A disappointing day on the main stage is finally lifted, and out come Arcane Roots. The constant chopping and changing style of the Prog-Rock outfit's talent-filled music is a definite crowd pleaser, drawing in a substantial crowd and creating the highest level of energy the day has seen. Perfectly performed instrumentals and incredible vocals make this one of the highlights of the weekend.

And here's where it gets interesting. The return of the all-mighty and revolutionary Fall Of Troy results in one of the biggest crowds of the weekend and one of the most insane sets of the weekend, and probably of the best in the festivals history. Performing Doppelganger in full, the 3 piece are on top of their game. Played with precision and perfection, the band are truly happy to be back. One hopes that this is the start of something good.

Despite having the issue of clashing with Fall Of Troy, Tech-Metal favourites, Monuments have none of it. Filling out the small tent and then delivering with their usual expertly performed set. The confidence flows from this band (even drummer Anup Sastry, playing only his second show with the band) and it results in a truly excellent show.

Heaviest band of the day (and weekend) follows, and the veterans of Deathcore, Carnifex prepare to demolish an entire stage with their brutal breakdowns and indescribable talent. A true testament to what Deathcore should be, as the band contain so much presence it almost becomes scary to watch. An incredible and deserved headline slot following such a mind-blowing show.
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