Tech-Fest 2012: Five Awesome New Bands We Now Officially Love
We sent Tom Dare to this year’s fantastic Tech-Fest event in Alton last weekend, and he came back with a few hot tips for us. Cheers, Tom Dare.
In a weekend where Meshuggah riffs and progressive textures are the mainstay, Nexilva stand out from note one. As they start to a half-empty room, there’s a rush back to the stage as the utter barbarism kicks off. They’re technical and furious, but their death metal destruction – and the fact they’re absolutely fucking throat-ripping – is a very different to every other band at the fest. And thanks to their ferocity (the deliciously horrible vocal shrieks and roars especially), they instantly become a highlight of the entire show – even missing a drummer. Presumably the last guy broke from trying to keep up with this assault.
The Nocturnal Chaos
An instrumental affair (or should that be instrudjental?) a little like Cloudkicker’s earlier material, these chaps concoct a compelling, hypnotic vortex of noise through rumbling riffage of real character, driving their music on in pulsing waves. They’re held together by an unusually (even at a festival with such a high technical standard) precise, rhythmically tight drummer who barely looks to have reached his teens. A few exceptional drummers over ten years his senior in other bands are overheard muttering bitterly with envy.
Cold Night For Alligators
Yes, the band name’s bollocks, but these Danes prove to be a minor revelation. Their tech metal is interspersed with some impressive lead guitar melodies that vary between Gothenburgisms (melodjent?) and Born Of Osiris-like lunacy. They’re cheerfully bonkers and confusing as hell even by the movement’s standards, but you sense that’s the point – they’re trying to screw with your mind while putting a smile on your vigorously banging head. They’re not quite the finished article, but the potential is obvious.
While sadly not playing jazzy cover versions of a certain Norwegian black metal band, Existimmortal manage to do that rare thing – write immediate, natural-feeling songs that you take in straight away while being very technical. Thanks to some really lyrical lead guitar lines that are about tune not fret-wanking, and a singer with a fantastic voice and an ear for a hook or three, they’ve got some very promising ideas, and seem to know how to write in such a way to give them room to breathe. Sort their slight cohesion problems out, and get a few more songs together, and this lot are one to watch.
A Polish band with a keyboard-playing frontman with a voice that manages to be simultaneously passionate and calm stand out easily on Sunday. Their cheering proggy meanderings, weaving guitar shred and atmospheric keyboards into a dreamy texture that’s really quite gorgeous. There’s some heavier bits as well, adding turbulence to the misty journeys, but all you really notice is that you’ve floated off into your own little world. Terrific stuff that leaves you feeling like someone’s given you a hug in a jazzy time signature.