So we finally arrived at the much anticipated return of MammothFest in Brighton following its four year break since 2010, which featured heavyweights such as Entombed, Sylosis, Orange Goblin and more. The rebirth has been highly anticipated following the success of the first one.
Upon its relaunch, festival attendees are eager to get a slice of Brighton’s finest rock/metal acts to grace the scene, as well as witness established metal champions from further afield in the UK. The intimate and easily accessible central venue makes for the perfect grounds to hold this immense event, with a laid-back and friendly attitude all around with everyone coming for the same reason..the music!
The opening day reasserts why there should be a festival in Brighton with home grown talents, Stone Circle, despite playing so early in the day, the metal heads are out to support these progressive death metallers and their encompassing intelligent sounds which compel you, and kindly treat us to their latest offering, ‘Easter Island’. The band also can boast that they have played both MammothFest’s so obviously they are doing something right.
Keeping up the momentum for the Brighton scene, Core Of iO take the stage possessing vast amounts of presence, passion and precision whilst delivering their interesting unique prog and modern rock sound infused with driving memorable riffs throughout, its not hard to see why they have recently been featured on Metal Hammer’s Cover CD “Guardians of the Riff” with their latest single ’14 Stitches’, which thankfully they perform, and confirm why they have earned this accolade – again another example of doing Brighton’s scene proud, as they were one of four Brighton bands to be featured on the CD (three of which are on the bill – Stone Circle, Taken By The Tide). Brighton is where it is at right now.
Keeping things from the South of England, Mordecai hailing from London bring some different flavours and variety with their more hard rock sound which hit you hard with their strong melodic sounds, bursting with American and British Rock inspired elements! Brighton heroes, Collisions push the limits and boundaries storming the stage with their distinct and unique sounds incorporating electronic and metal sounds, which gets everyone excited and dancing along, playing their well known single, the highly melodic, ‘Believe In This’ and the new hit single taken from their upcoming debut which is due to land later this year, ‘We Know The Enemy’.
Exist Immortal stand out with their powerful soaring sound with lead singer, Meyrick executing his vocals wonderfully whilst accompanied by heavy metalcore melodies and impressive riffing; they largely play from their new album, ‘Darkness Of An Age’. Abhorent Decimation are one of the many highlights of the day, fresh off the Bloodstock stage they are unleashed to play today and show us exactly why they where picked to play such festivals, showing they are an unstoppable force with their death metal songs which are designed to thrive on the live scene and get reactions from that crowd..and that they did! Earning the title of one of the most brutal acts of the day and creating one hell of a mosh pit. We are also graced with a new song taken from their upcoming debut due for release April next year, ‘Echoes Of The Vortex’ which gets the crowd going mental!
Mask Of Judas represent the only female fronted band on the MammothFest line-up, but certainly don’t disappoint with their groovy tech metal and impressive demonic vocals from front woman, Jo Challen. So drawing near to the end of the day one, we reach the main headliner support, Meta-Stasis who wreak havoc with their fast mental psycho death metal infused sound, and open up some chaotic mosh pits, including keyboard/synthesizer player, and of course the mighty organiser of the festival, Steve Dickson jumping off the stage and running at the crowd like some crazy lunatic! They played latest single, the fierce and fantastic ‘Fathomless’.
Headliners, Savage Messiah take the reining spot and fire out their classic sounding thrash metal songs. Highlights include lead singer, Dave Silver getting his hair caught on his microphone and also his string breaking, as completely ‘thrashed’ his guitar in true heavy metal style. They pack their set with their biggest songs ‘Scavengers Of Mercy’ and ‘Hellblazer’ taken from their latest album, ‘The Fateful Dark’ and end the night on a crammed and sold out day to MammothFest, demonstrating just why they sit at the top of the bill and delivering to that honour.
Okay so day two of MammothFest 2014, after the high note it ended on last night everyone is hungry and desperate for more metal madness, even though it is a Sunday, supposedly the day of rest, but there is certainly no time to rest and from the start the turn out is promising and only grows as the day progresses… Taken By The Tide support this by having an impressive crowd at such an early hour and getting lots of crowd participation with their head banging worthy hardcore metal! Lead singer, Phil Illsley injects high energy by staying off the stage and instead performing amongst the crowd, creating a great atmosphere and presence. Like Core of iO who took to the stage yesterday, Taken By The Tide also feature on Metal Hammer’s CD and they take the top spot of on the CD “Guardians of the Riff” with the song, ‘Feed Me A Stray Cat’ which the crowd digested nicely!
No Sin Evades His Gaze also played at Bloodstock and live up to their reputation, blasting the venue with their well structured tech metal and almost tearing a hole in the stage. They play their accomplished songs from their debut, ‘Age Of Sedation’ of which the title track is the latest single/video which the ended their mighty set on. Keeping things diverse and again showcasing the local talents of Brighton, instrumental act Deal Was For The Diamond have the crowd in utter awe with their mesmerizing elaborate and well structured experimental progressive songs – they prove that you don’t need vocals to make a high impact, just energy, passion and talent.
Basement Torture Killings take us back to crazy mentality, offering sick and strange imagery, with the guitarist wearing tights over his face, the bass player covering half of face with a bandana, and front man wearing a bloody apron, adding to the intrigue whilst they pummel and punish you with their death metal or ‘murder metal’. Collaspe are creating a name for themselves and its not hard to see why following their release of their successful debut album, ‘Arms Of The Covenant’ which we hear highlights from and our ears receive a blow in the greatest way, with killer blistering guitars, powerful fierce vocals and brutal drums.
Main headliner support, Ingested take the award for the most violent crazy mosh pits to emerge at MammothFest, with their sound being the most extreme spectrum of death metal. The crowd fully ‘ingest’ their slamming brutal sounds and the band proof just why they are known for their savage shows, featuring almost inhuman vocals, epic technical riffs and fierce breakdowns all delivered at face melting speeds. This is one set you won’t forget in a hurry – you have to bear witness to believe their savagery as they played many (‘ahem’) lighthearted titled tracks, a particular highlight being, ‘Anal Evisceration’ which frontman, Jay Evans kindly states ‘this song goes out to the ladies’!
Ingested pave the way nicely for the main headliners, Martyr Defiled who keep the brutality and momentum going with many memorable moments, such as synchronised crowd head banging, marking a wonderful atmosphere and unity! They have the crowd in the palm of their hands and get the whole place putting their middle fingers up and screaming “fuck you” along with the band during, ‘Under The Influence’ taken from their latest release, ‘No Hope No Morality’. They are worthy headliners who demonstrate that they love what they are doing and give it their all, with tonnes of energy and passion thrown in!
Brighton has been witness to a mighty epic weekend and MammothFest has left its mark firmly stamped into the core of Brighton with the opening day selling out and nearly at full capacity on the final day, that and with the majority of all the MammothFest merch selling out; people will wear their t-shirts with pride and spread the word of the rebirth of MammothFest! Steve Dickson the man who made it happen stated, “This is the start of a wonderful future for Mammothfest!”
..Bring on MammothFest 2015!
Stay tuned for an interview with Steve Dickinson, founder of MammothFest, coming very soon.
BurningFist would like to send a big thanks to Carina for this fantastic article 🙂