The day before the festival, I said to my wife "there is no reason why I shouldn't be there at one o'clock". After all, Hangar 27 is at walking distance from where I live. So if I'd left my apartment at noon, I'd make it on time ànd I'd have some time to relax in the nearby park, absolutely no reason why should be late, right? I mean, I'm a music reviewer and in that aspect I think it's obligatory to come early.
Except, I'm also a writer, fiercely working on my second novel. It was half past three when I had finally decided to stop writing and to go to sleep. It was noon when I woke up. I quickly at two speculoos-cookies, jumped into the shower, hurt my knee, cursed loudly and got ready to leave. I also had to take a quick detour to an ATM machine. It was warm, way warmer than I expected. Eventually, around two I arrived at the scene.
And it did. These guys pleasantly surprised me with their blend of modern metal, thrash and metalcore. Their music sounded potent and well varied. A big plus goes to vocalist Djoni who is blessed with a wide vocal range, from clean to core-screams. The rest, skilled musicians in their own term, seemed to have a lot of fun on stage and showcased some good old fashioned heavy metal fun. This surely is a band to keep and eye on.
*Funny side note: their cover of 'Bodies' couldn't have come at a better time. Winfried didn't know the song. I told him that this was the tune from the second fight scene in Cecilia's World and he suddenly liked that scene a lot better.
Speaking about chemistry. Bark can do something very few bands can: make music I don't really like and do it so convincingly that I buy a t-shirt. Bark plays hardcore infused stoner metal, or something like that. Their sound consists of a mix of several genres, with one thing in common: sheer energy and raging aggression. At one point during the gig, I tweeted something about Bark being the perfect replacement for Nailbomb and I stick by that. Somehow these guys are becoming one of my absolute favorites in today's Belgian scene. Their gig in Edegem rocked like hell. Pure fucking class.
After another stomach-filling it was time for Bütcher to wreak havoc. I don't think I have to point out how wild, overwhelming and punishing this gig was, do I? People who know Bütcher, know that their vintage and old school speed metal is ruthless and as intense as having your cock pierced by a tank. These legends did what they do best: leave no survivors.
And...yes. Carnation cranked up the volume. Nobody seemed to mind, probably because Carnation also played that other trick in the world of live music: smash the audience in the face with fierce and brutal death metal. The crowd went bananas and with good reason too. This was an impressive gig, even to me, someone who is extremely selective with his extreme music. I actually spent a big part of this gig talking to one of the food truck owners, the one with the delicious Italian sausages. But kudos to Carnation for being a punishing live band.
On the walk home I befriended a cat. I was a big black tomcat with white marks around his eyes. He walked alongside me for half a kilometer and then suddenly turned around and ran off, possibly chasing a mouse. I spent the rest of my walking time thinking back and preparing this review. I was glad I eventually went to this festival, even though I wasn't feeling too well. In fact, the only thing that could have been better were places to sit. So next time, if they put some chairs or benches in the merch area, this would be the perfect festival for an old metalhead like me...