TechFest, the place for TechMetal, awoke slowly on Saturday. The events of the festival were starting to take hold and after the sheer energy of Friday (covered here), this is no surprise. Saturday can also be the strongest day, the festivals well under way, everyone has settled down and the bands warm everything up by now. So when Altostratus take the stage with some mild energy, this is almost justified. It warms things up and fits the bill very well. They’re not pushing at it too hard which starts things off with a good note though perhaps not amazingly. Harbinger fares a lot better in this respect, they’re comfortable on stage and clearly are just having fun. Enjoying what they do and playing as if they’re rehearsal with some old friends, hitting it where it counts.
Nycosia manage to take things over from here and we start to see the moshpits forming. Their metal packs a punch and the festival starts to embrace itself. The Fine Constant looks to deliver some really impressive music whilst keeping a distance. Their performance being minimal and rather static but more so in a sense of a trance. They feel what they do and pushes forward with impressive guitar playing in a rather mellow atmosphere.
The Paralax Method take the stage and try to work against the strain of the festival to find their power point but we’re just not quite there yet. Exist Immortal, however, have a bit more energy and have a nice fun impression on the stage. It’s powerful in its own way but mostly in how they enjoy the songs being put forth. Maxi Curnow have their own sets of struggles with tech and a sense in which their fighting themselves for their sound. Sluggish but with good beats, strong melodies but with some strain on vocal elements and never quite hearing the backing vocals enough.
Exivious are rather static on stage with their drummer taking all the passion into the music. By the end what was a bit forced and tried comes out true to form as despite holding back on themselves the crowd picks up the pace. They leave the crowd wanting more. If it’s energy you’re wanting, then The Colour Line really push forward. It’s hard as it smashes your ears and the band utilise the stage and instruments to hit this point home. The crowd snaps this up very quickly, as the instruments stop and linger with the silence it’s as if they know it’ll come back heavier. TechFest has its very varied moments with bands that are a fusion of genres in a way that only seems to work with these particular bands. One such band that feels like a synthwave and Metal powerhouse is The Algorithm. If you ever wondered what electronic music or synthwave has to do with Metal, The Algorithm has all the answers. The guitars hit like a wall of sound and the drummer pounds his way into you. The darkness summed up by the electronic moments really give The Algorithm their edge. Crowds don’t know quite what to do, so the moshpit evolves as the moshpit does – can can anyone?
Red Seas Fire energetically push forward with a solid punch to the gut. They’re strong hard hitters and there’s no surprise that the Metal will catch you. On the other hand, Uneven Structure produce their groove and melody in a pleasing but rather held back sense. It’s got its place but at this point of the festival may not be it. Persefone are the headliners for the second stage, the band to look to close it and render it in ruins till the next day. There is an evident level of effort on their part. They’re really trying, you can feel their attempts. It works to a degree, there are just gaps...
As the festival picks up pace once again, the energy gets electric. The moshpits have been getting harder and the shouts louder. The festival is in full force. This really helps when Obscura take the stage. They keep themselves grounded and firm, they don’t exhaust themselves but keep matters brutal and hard hitting. Despite their lack of energy, they get across a sense of what Metal can be and the moshpits let rip. It’s a sheer force to be played out at you and it gets its point across. We’re TechMetal and we’re here to smash it.
Now unfortunately Saturday’s headliner comes with a sad message: Textures are looking at disbanding soon. With their last run of shows coming up and TechFest being one of them. They’re no strangers here. They know exactly what it is and what’s become and are looking to tag out with some good ol’ friends. Textures bring an energy and enthusiasm to the stage and play precisely. It’s powerful music and at a time like this it’s a wonder why they’d look to break up in the first place. They really give a good performance; this takes a bit of encouragement to be felt by everyone but it gets there. Textures are TechFest veterans and they take you for a journey of musical violence and power.
Saturday closes and the after parties continue. Whilst there were bands on stage there were also some interesting workshops throughout. This was a theme throughout the festival and makes a lot of sense for what TechFest is, a festival for fans and bands alike. I didn’t get to see as many as I’d like and for that and for all bands I missed I want to quickly shout out to as making the festival what it is: amazing.
One guy has mastered the art of how not to be seen. He wore Camoflage in the pit. This guy has learnt how not to be seen.
A T-Rex and a Pink Flamingo were always destined to fight - no idea who was victorious though.
When in doubt the Can-Can is a perfectly acceptable moshpit.
When there’s no barrier there’s people in the audience. It’ll scare the security but they’ll keep you up.
Words: Gavin K
Photos: Ryan Winstanley