Drab Majesty are probably not from some kind of extra-terrestrial race. . . But – when they emerge, resplendent in trademark white wigs, huge 3D-film style shades, white tailored suits, cravats, and blanched-complexions – you can’t help but wonder.
Nile have always been a band who toe the line between tradition and innovation and after 25 years, the thought that they might have run out of tricks surely passed through the mind of many before this evening; but if nothing else, their performance was proof that they have truly been reborn by the will of Osiris.
Cult of Luna, Caspian, Meshuggah – ArcTanGent’s superb if soggy Saturday line-up was nigh on exhausting. Gaz Cloud donned the wellies and squelched his way through a muddy but magnificent 11 bands in 12 hours.
“If you see me at ArcTanGent this weekend – remind me that I hate camping and festivals and to never do it again. Thanks” That was my Facebook status update on August 14, 2019. Three days later and my mind was changed completely. . . About one of those things. . .
There’s a point after the show where someone is overheard stating that what they had just witnessed is “the future of music”, and that doesn’t seem far off. Vampillia are avant-garde with purpose: a collection of like-minded and immensely talented musicians who have somehow found each other and let us join in the magic.
Tonight is an exceptional performance even by the band’s own demanding standards. Considering how it must seem to the casual bystander that they can do no wrong these days, it’s good to know that they’re still capable of meeting expectations head-on and maybe even surpassing them.
Green Man remains a gathering of like-minded, wonderful people – people who care for others, care for this earth we live on, and care for the utterly gorgeous music and art that makes the festival so special.
Living Colour provided more than a simple exercise in nostalgia, but a true masterclass of how to put on an intimate live performance that demonstrates they are still one of the best in the business.
Here’s the lowdown on all the main players, plus a few recommendations from around the site, for the third and final day of this year’s ArcTanGent festival.
Chris Nicholls chooses his Battles and gets his Birds in Row as he previews the incredible line-ups on Thursday and Friday at ArcTangent 2019.
In Part 2 of our review of Supersonic 2019, Gavin Brown shares his Friday and Saturday highlights…
In the first of a two-part series, Jared Dix finds a circle of musical life in his overview of Birmingham’s burgeoning Supersonic Festival.
Chip King has a howl that could break lead down at the molecular level . . . but there’s usually a balance of beauty and torture to drive the futility of it all home a little harder. Typically, that contrast derives from those they choose to collaborate with but in a live environment, that isn’t always feasible. So what to do? As it turns out, kill ‘em all.
I never saw Ministry back in the ‘80s, so I can’t tell you how this compares to their heyday shows. But tonight – an extravagant, gonzo barrage of angry political sloganeering, tightly-controlled sonic mayhem, and pantomime theatrics – makes the reason for their longevity clear.
The first thing I’m struck by, seeing Neurosis proper for the first time, is the power of Steve Von Till’s vocals. He has a fine voice for baritone ballads, but damn can the man bellow when he wants to! The second thing that strikes me is the quality of their lyrics – not something I focus on all that often in extreme metal, it has to be said, especially when watching bands live.
While songs like ‘Transcending Dualities’ and ‘Sovereign Self’, which manifest tonight as eldritch monoliths of funereal doom, prove disarmingly effective at stripping away emotional barriers through distortion and volume alone, Bryan Funck’s voice is enough to push anyone over the edge. He constantly looms over the mic, his screech like a demon’s death rattle, dripping pain from each syllable, and as he periodically peels off layers of clothing, you can feel the intensity racking up.