We’re smack dab in the middle of festival season and already this year has seen some unforgettable moments from some of the world’s best. The fun isn’t over yet; oh no! For three whole days, the west country will bear witness to the finest underground tech, math, hardcore and punk bands to ever grace the muddy fields of the Bristolian countryside. Are we pumped? Judging by the ridiculous line-up (and assuming they’ll be an ostrich burger stall), we’re giddier than Arya Stark crashing a feast.
After what can only be described as a near flawless headliners (Explosions In The Sky, Converge and Tesseract), there are a plethora of the most important, exciting and arse-blasting bands that you simply need to treat yourself to.
Coming up with this list was no easy feat, and we are sure to miss out a few of your favourites (such is the law of the internet). However, we feel these bands in particular deserve your extra special attention. Bearing in mind that this will be Converge’s one time only UK appearance on this tour, a special mention must be said to the metalcore monsters, which let’s face it, if you weren’t planning on seeing these behemoths, you best stay at home, stick on Love Island and let your brain drip in a bucket.
On that note, here’s who we think will blow you away at ArcTanGent 2017: Tall Ships When? Where? Thursday, Yohkai After performing an incredible set at the very first instalment of ArcTanGent way back in 2013, Cornwall’s Tall Ships are set for a triumphant return. A beautiful, masterfully crafted blend of post rock, indie and math rock featuring incredible soaring, yet soulful vocals, this is a band that is bound to give you goose bumps on every single square inch of your body. If their incredible set at this year’s 2000 Trees is anything to go by, you would have to be a fool to miss this it. Brutus When? Where? Saturday, Bixler How a trio can make such a hailstorm of sound is a question best left to science. There’s no precise way of pin-pointing where these Belgians came up with such biting tone and raw energy. Elements of black metal; math rock; melodic hardcore; pretty much all the things your parents warned you about growing up are thrown into the mix. Dancing with the veracious while flirting with despair, the rewards that one can reap with Brutus are plentiful - so dig in. Heck When? Where? Thursday, PX3 Like a playing a round of Russian roulette with a hand grenade, no one can really tell what the fuck Nottingham four-piece Heck will bring to their utter insane live set. Beautifully choreographed chaos, their 2016 debut album Instructions sent shockwaves that emptied the bowls of many across the nation. Packed with more momentum than a pissed-up rhino on a mission for a shawarma, Heck are a guaranteed highlight that will shit you up. You’ve heard noise, but not like this. Employed To Serve When? Where? Saturday, PX3
Photo Credit: Gary Gent
Fresh off the release of one of the year’s best albums, The Warmth Of A Dying Sun, there is no excuse not to see Employed To Serve conjure up one hell of a storm. The Holy Roar alumni don’t believe in taking prisoners, as the video for Void Ambition makes evidently clear. Truly an exciting time for the band as they continually plough through the British underground. Like taking a buzz saw to the skull, their harsh cutting sound will have you dazed and confused as your adrenaline takes full control of every inch of your physical being. Sikth When? Where?Saturday, Yohkai Despite an underwhelming crowd at their Download spot this year, Sikth will always rise to the occasion putting on a show that you damn well won’t forget. 2017 saw their return to stunning form after what has been one of the greatest comebacks in recent metal history. After disbanding in 2007, the Sikth name had all but been abandoned. However, their creative integrity was far too potent to be side-lined as many bands, including Protest The Hero and Periphery took up the prog-metal torch subsequently sculpting the genre now known as ‘djent’. With a one-off appearance at Download 2014, a fanbase tenfold it’s size years before put Sikth into perspective as they remain as relevant now as they did more than a decade ago. Behold their glorious new album The Future In Whose Eyes?, a required listen to anyone who holds up metal to any sort of degree. Bigger, wilder and more off-centre than ever, attendance is compulsory, so don’t let the team down! Russian Circles When? Where? Thursday, Yohkai Understandably, it wouldn’t be a true celebration of the finest of post-rock without these heroes. Returning after headlining the festival in 2014, the Chicago trio are set to close out the Thursday night in a fashion that’s set to leave you dazed, defended but oh so dazzled. This is no nonsense post-rock played at its best and if you’ve set to see this lot play their craft, you’re in for a treat. Nordic Giants When? Where? Thursday, PX3
Photo Credit: Unknown
When a group openly refers to themselves as ‘claustrophobic cinema clatter’, you know you’re either in for a pretentious and pompous spectacle or a truly unique and engaging experience. Thankfully, Nordic Giants full into the later category. The masked duo have become widely renowned for their engulfing live shows that incorporate dazzling and spellbinding production, such as full light shows and projection screens presenting art that only provide emphasis’s to their craft. An experience that treats all the senses, this is not to be missed. Defeater When? Where? Saturday, Bixler For a festival that only presents the best in the tech and math scene, Massachusetts’s Defeater may seem a little out of place on paper. However, make no mistake, the post hardcore outfit are without a doubt one of the most emotive and turbulent live bands on the planet and are set to lay waste to your body, mind and soul, leaving you a shattered husk. Make sure you head down to the Bixler stage on Saturday afternoon to check out the best of what the melodic hardcore and emo scene has to offer. Ho99o9 When? Where? Friday, Bixler
Photo Credit: Unknown We don’t really know what the hell this is, but all we know is we bloody like it. Some form of unique blend of hip-hop/nu-metal that has the added benefit of Mexican masked wrestling, what’s not to love? If you caught The Dillinger Escape Plan’s last tour, you may already have found memories of Ho99o9 and we’re sure as shit that they will deliver the goods at this year’s festival.