Chaos In Tejas Festival 2012

Mohawk/Red 7/Hotel Vegas, Austin, TX
May 31 - June 3

event website

In its eighth year, Chaos In Tejas is that "other" music festival that happens annually in Austin, TX. Taking place all over the city, but noticeably smaller than South By Southwest, it caters mostly towards hardcore punk. On the bill each year are some undoubtedly strange additions, such as southern rap artists or spoken word engagements, but the entire festival is geared towards the underground but widely celebrated spectrum of music.

Although the end lineup was chock full of can't-miss acts, there was a bit of an issue keeping bands on the bill early on. Disma, death/doom supergroup, and TX-local black metal group Nyogthaeblisz were originally on the lineup, but later removed. One of the headliners, Absu, also had to cancel their appearance just a few days before they were scheduled to play as Proscriptor, the legendary drummer/vocalist for the group, had to undergo emergency surgery on his knee. Progenitors of the "Oi!" punk movement Sham 69 were slated to be a headliner, but they cancelled their activities a few weeks before the fest. While the drop off of those bands certainly hurt, the fest was still filled with amazing bands to make up for the losses.

Being a festival catering more towards the punks, the headliners for the 2012 version of Chaos In Tejas featured many reunions and legendary performers. Recently reunited Antisect and The Mob headlined the first few days, emo pioneers Moss Icon performed for the first time in over ten years to coincide with the release of their remastered discography. Swedish grindcore legends Nasum performed their last ever North American show at the festival, and Cockney Rejects rounded out the headliners, filling in for Sham 69.

As good as the larger bands are, the smaller bands are really what makes this festival unique. There are bands playing in every nook and cranny of Austin, whether it's No Statik playing a barbecue at noon or if it's Forward from Japan playing in an auto garage at two o'clock in the morning. The organizers of this festival really tried to squeeze as much music into four days as is humanly possible.

The Mohawk is an outside venue with levels of places to stand and look down upon the open-air stage, and on Friday, Municipal Waste headlined a stacked bill of mostly hardcore punk acts opening for them. It was hard to go anywhere in Austin that weekend without seeing a Forward patch or shirt. The punks were out in droves for this particular show which kicked off early.

The third day might have been the most anticipated. In the afternoon there were rare shows by Midnight, Skizophrenia and Dropdead. Counter to that, the night line-up had legendary bands performing, such as Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, A Place To Bury Strangers, The Clean, Deviated Instinct, Winter, and Antisect - probably the most anticipated headliner band of the festival. Despite unfathomable heat and a few dropped bands, Saturday went along quite smoothly.

With a capacity smaller than most local bars, Beerland's day show consisting of Toxic Holocaust and Midnight was filled to capacity before the headlining bands ever took the stage. There was no way anyone was getting into the small, packed, dreadfully humid venue without being there hours in advance. The Saturday night shows might have been the most looked-forward-to for the punks in Austin. But the metalheads still had one special show to look forward to, although it came as a disappointment to many. Absu's cancellation was a huge blow that severely cut back on the attendees for the other bands, but it was still a very blasphemous evening.

The final day of the festival was packed with unique and rare performances. Each show had a unique type of music it was representing: mostly punk at Moss Icon's reunion show, a day full of underground grindcore at the Scoot Inn, hardcore and thrash amalgamating with Ringworm and Toxic Holocaust, and stoner pop beauties Best Coast rounded out a very eclectic day for a very eclectic music festival. Chronologically, the Hotel Vegas show would be the last of the festival and it took full advantage of the late set-times. The show started off with sets from Theories and Batillus, but only got better with time.


Ares Kingdom

Red 7 Inside Stage
Saturday, June 2
22:45 - 23:30

The one unspeakably offensive event that transpired at Chaos In Tejas 2012 is that barely anyone watched Ares Kingdom perform their near-flawless set. The legendary four-piece had to play to a handful of diehard fans at the beginning of their performance, although a few more trickled in as it went on.

It's unfortunate, because Ares Kingdom is extremely unique and each member is a master of his own craft. The two guitar players are absolute nuts and can throw out technical solos and go right into heavy riffing with ease. Alex Blume on bass/vocals has one of the quintessential war metal vocal performances. And they're definitely a band that knows how to have fun. They play to the crowd, often soloing right up at the edge of the stage and reveling in the limelight. They also added three covers to their set, including a cover of Dokken's Tooth And Nail to end their performance.

If the fact a cult underground band regularly plays Dokken doesn't arouse interest in a heavy metal fan, then maybe they aren't much of a fan in the first place. This was an unfathomably good performance from them.

“ near-flawless set ”

Setlist: Incendiary / Descent of Man / The Captive / Failsafe / Ashen Glory / Firestorm Redemption / Die By Power / Ironclad / Tooth and Nail


Black Witchery

Red 7 Inside Stage
Saturday, June 2
23:45 - 00:45

In the world of super-serious and "no fun allowed" black metal bands, Black Witchery reigns supreme. There was no joking with the crowd between songs. Quite the opposite; drummer Vaz chided the audience for not creating enough violence and chaos.

It worked to kick some life into a pretty tired audience, but there were a good number of headbangers moshing and singing along with the band by the end of their set. Black Witchery, and war metal in general, thrive on the fact that the music in a live setting is the ultimate form of aural terror. A whirlwind of dissonant riffs and constant blast-beats with little to no breathing room for melodies or clean vocals/instruments. It was the definition of sonic blasphemy. Although the songs don't change that much from track-to-track, the absolute fervour with which they're played makes Black Witchery a spectacle that is unique to behold.

Although Absu in the US would have been a dream come true, Black Witchery filled in admirably.

“ the definition of sonic blasphemy ”

Setlist: Holocaustic Church Devastation / Unholy Vengeance of War / Crush The Messiah / Blasphemous Onslaught / Command of The Iron Baphomet / Heretic Death Call / Desecration of The Holy Kingdom / Barbarism Domination / Blood Oath / Inferno of Sacred Destruction / Holocaust Summoning / Chaostorms of Demonic Hate / Ritual


Ceremony

Mohawk Outside Stage
Sunday, June 3
20:00 - 20:30

If hardcore punk is the undisputed king of music to circle pit and stage dive to, then Ceremony are the princes. A Ceremony show is unlike any other.

Beginning with their opening tune, Brace Yourself, until after the band had left the stage, there was no shortage of circle pits and stage diving. It wasn't uncommon for four or five members of the crowd to be diving off the stage during any song. Some even took to the giant speakers that flanked the stage to jump onto the crowd below. It was absolute madness, and Ceremony's music and performance reflected it.

Aside from the absolutely blistering performance aspect, the music was full of surprises also. Ceremony's older material is pretty much straight hardcore punk that was made to mosh to, but in recent years they've been experimenting. Their latest album Zoo is definitely more accessible, but the crowd was singing along to those songs just like the old ones.

Ceremony is truly a sight that every concert-goer needs to behold for themselves at least once.

“ unlike any other ”

Setlist: Brace Yourself / Throwing Bricks / Open Head / The Difference Between Looking And Seeing / Into The Wayside Part I/Sick / M.C.D.F. / Hysteria / Citizen / My Hands Are Made of Spite / World Blue / Pressure's On / He-God-Has Favored Our Undertakings / Kersed


Church of Misery

Red 7 Inside Stage
Friday, June 1
23:40 - 00:35

Now for Friday's main event. Church of Misery were in the middle of their first ever North American tour when they made the stop at Chaos In Tejas. The inside of the Red 7 venue was packed as soon as Magic Circle ended; no one wanted to miss these Japanese doom lords, and for good reason.

They've released some of the best stoner/doom metal in recent years. They haven't even been together twenty years, but it's already safe to call them a legendary act. The set opened with El Padrino and the crowd never stopped moving. The band never stopped going all over the place, either. The vocalist, Hideki Fukasawa, spent most of the set drinking a beer and going into the crowd with his bell-bottom jeans and Robert Plant chest-baring shirt; barking his distinctive vocals as the band raged behind him, led by their fantastic bassist, Tatsu Mikami. His bass skills were very psychedelic at times, but he could ratchet up the heaviness when needed. Shotgun Boogie produced the most moshing of the night, and everyone sang along to Born To Raise Hell, which could have been the unofficial anthem to Chaos In Tejas 2012.

The band returned to the stage for an unplanned encore, and left everyone wanting more. By far the best band of the night, and one of the best of the fest.

“ the crowd never stopped moving ”

Setlist: El Padrino / Shotgun Boogie / Candy Man / Born To Raise Hell / Taste The Pain / I, Motherfucker / Killfornia // Red Ripper Blues


Cough

Hotel Vegas
Sunday, June 3
00:00 - 00:45

Intensifying the mysterious air surrounding the show already, Cough overwhelmed every sense imaginable with their performance.

Their blend of Khanate and Electric Wizard-inspired doom takes heavy use of reverb to create a suffocating soundscape that almost brought the venue down around them. They might just be one of the loudest performances of recent times. They extended most of their songs, which blended into each other, so the drone never had to stop.

There might not have been any sore necks after Cough was finished, but there were certainly sore eardrums.

“ one of the loudest performances ”

Setlist: Mind Collapse / Crooked Spine / Hole In The Infinite


Dragged Into Sunlight

Festival Stage
Sunday, June 3
01:00 - 01:45

Dragged Into Sunlight shall be known from now on as the best festival closing band of all time. After the previous three bands wore the audience down with their funeral-paced drone-doom, this British quartet took the stage with no lights - only candles - and played fast, heavy and loud.

Their opening salvo, Boiled Angel/Buried With Leaches was a worthy Anaal Nathrakh love-letter; especially the latter part. They seamlessly blended black metal and grindcore, but still kept the doom overtones. The band performed their entire set with their backs turned to the audience, only turning around to belch out the final minutes of their last song. Every single minute was a sharp juxtaposition to the rest of the night - Dragged Into Sunlight wanted to murder everyone in that venue and wanted to do it as fast as possible.

The best possible end to this fest: Armageddon. If anyone says they were left standing after DIS's performance, they're lying.

“ a sharp juxtaposition to the rest of the night ”

Setlist: Boiled Angel / Buried With Leeches / I, Aurora


Gas Chamber

Red 7 Inside Stage/Beerland
Thursday, May 31/Friday June 1
22:50 - 23:20/15:30 - 16:00

Gas Chamber from New York might have been the hidden gem at Chaos In Tejas 2012.

Not your average hardcore/grind outfit, the band incorporated elements of ambient and even some jazz movements into their sound. They might also be the first extreme band of this type to include a bass solo in their songs. The band seamlessly integrated calmer, more complex melodies right into blistering hardcore passages that hold up with the best of them. They didn't move around on stage a lot, and the vocalist spent most of his time with his power electronics creating noise, but they were very unique and very memorable.

Reprising that extremely unique take on noisegrind on Friday, Gas Chamber opened the early show with barely anyone in attendance. It's a shame, because the band was even better than before. The power electronics came through much better because of the confined venue and the bassist was as jazzy as ever. They should have been playing to a much larger crowd, but they warmed up the few patrons there early.

“ the hidden gem at Chaos In Tejas ”


Ghoul

Mowhawk Outside Stage
Friday, June 1
20:10 - 20:45

A true sore thumb on the lineup, Ghoul focused more on musicianship and theatrics than the other hardcore bands. It was a definite refreshing change of pace. The sound was crisp and clear and their theatrics were as entertaining as ever.

Even though the stage they performed on wasn't the biggest, they still brought out all their friends, including the giants Killbot (Rise, Killbot, Rise!) and Destructor (Destructor) who battled it out on-stage while Ghoul provided the Crossover/Carcass-inspired deaththrash background music. The band are definitely performers: they have the whole Creepsylvania shtick down to a T, and it definitely works.

There's something about seeing four hooded things on a stage, pumping out killer riff's and mind-blowing solos in a strange European dialect while sprayed blood assaults you from every direction.

Ghoul is just now hitting their stride, and their performance is better than ever.

“ Creepsylvania shtick down to a T ”

Setlist: Off With Their Heads / Splatterthrash / The Mark of Voodoo / Brain Jerk / Graveyard Mosh/Ghoul / Rise, Killbot, Rise! / Destructor / Gutbucket Blues


Hail!Hornet

Red 7 Outside Stage
Friday, June 1
22:55 - 23:35

The first "fast" band of the night, Hail!Hornet was a pretty unconventional band for the show. Much more sludge than the rest of the lineup, yet somehow much faster and heavier, in their own way. H!H is unfairly represented most of the time.

When a "supergroup" is formed, most people write the band off as a gimmick, basically just playing the same style of metal that their more well-known bands are recognized for. That's not the case for Hail!Hornet. This band is an outlet for aggressively down-tuned "sludge'n'roll," and it really works. Dixie Dave Collins (Weedeater, Buzzov*en) is still one of the best bass players around, and the tone he brings out for Hail!Hornet is so heavy and crunching, yet still retains that really smooth quality that all decent sludge metal must have. Troy Medlin (Sourvein) also had consistently outstanding vocal quality throughout their set. Phil Anselmo only wishes he could sound like Troy on any given night.

Very heavy, very fast, and very pissed off. Everything a drunk and stoned band from the South should be!

“ aggressively down-tuned "sludge'n'roll" ”

Setlist: Golden Whore / Devil's Hound / Swarm of Malice / Disperse The Curse


Iceage

Mowawk Outside Stage
Sunday, June 3
20:45 - 21:15

The one weak link in the lineup was hipster-punk poster boys Iceage. Their upbeat brand of poppy hardcore punk was accentuated with mumbling vocals and repetitive music that absolutely killed the momentum brought on by Ceremony.

The band seemed to focus more on how they performed than the performance itself. Sure, the frontman vaulted himself into the audience a few times, but it just felt forced at that point. The music felt sloppy just for the sake of being sloppy. Definitely not worthy of being on this lineup.

Just another fad band riding the Pitchfork wave of popularity.

“ sloppy just for the sake of being sloppy ”


Innumerable Forms

Festival Stage
Sunday, June 3
01:00 - 01:45

The vocalist for Innumerable Forms, Justin Detore, quipped "They give you a prize if you play eight sets in one fest. I'm in that club," before they started their set. The band is made up of members from several other bands, including some playing the same festival.

Innumerable Forms deserved their own spot, though. They played a crushingly heavy and slow-tempo style of old-school death/doom metal. If the crowd was too busy headbanging, they could have easily mistaken the band playing for Incantation, Grave or even some newer bands, like Dead Congregation or Hooded Menace. Detore had a permanent scowl on his face during the set - you can't fake the intense hatred he was channeling for his performance.

They may not have been the band to replace Disma, but they did a good job of bringing the same sound to the festival.

“ crushingly heavy and slow-tempo ”


Kings Destroy

Red 7 Outside Stage
Friday, June 1
21:25 - 22:00

Kings Destroy were like a lot of other bands on the bill, just not nearly as memorable. They tried to fit right into that new wave of old school heavy/doom metal fad that's sweeping the country, but just came off as uninspired and tiring.

By the midpoint of their (too long) set there were only a handful of spectators standing around and observing the band plod their way through tune after tune. There was no headbanging, no moshing, no devil horns thrown up. The riffs didn't induce any movement, the vocals were nothing more than a Dio-esque tribute that was just trying too hard.

Kings Destroy could be promising, but they have a lot to work to do in the live department.

“ uninspired and tiring ”


Magic Circle


Red 7 Inside Stage
Sunday, June 1
22:10 - 22:45

Everything that Kings Destroy was trying to do, Magic Circle did it, and did it much better. They oozed with catchiness, riffing, and an amazing vocalist.

They were Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General and Pagan Altar with an Ozzy/Robert Plant vocalist and they tore the house down. They emulated the best of that mystical, occult feeling that early '70s metal bands had, and they did it with their own uniquely sounding take on the music - not just some carbon copy. Their opening track, Scream Evil has the best of what the band is all about and includes the best wailing vocals this side of an '80s Manowar record.

Whether dooming out or rocking out, Magic Circle does current doom metal better than just about anyone else.

“ tore the house down ”

Setlist: Scream Evil / Conquer / Winter / Lighting Her Fire / Magic Circle


Mass Grave

Red 7 Outside Stage
Thursday, May 31
21:00 - 21:30

Mass Grave kicked off Nasum's North American farewell show in the most appropriate of ways: fast and loud.

Their dual vocalists conjured up more than just a fleeting reminder of Extreme Noise Terror. The band's version of hardcore/grindcore induced lots of moshing and even a few stage divers. There were little breaks in their whirlwind of a set. In a half hour, they easily ran through about 13 songs.

While most of their songs are very political in nature, the band was all smiles as the small, but still growing, crowd returned every bit of energy that the band gave off.

“ whirlwind of a set ”


Mauser

Mohawk Outside Stage
Friday, June 1
19:20 - 19:50

The guys in Mauser couldn't look more harmless. Sure they had the patches and the general unkempt look - everything you either don't associate with hardcore or absolutely associate with the genre.

As soon as they started, their perception completely changed. Totally violent, totally chaotic hardcore that finally got the sizeable crowd moving. There were a few spats of singing along and stage diving throughout their half hour set, but it all culminated when they kicked into their final song. Everyone in the crowd knew it, and for a few minutes the outside stage at the Mohawk was a warzone. Everyone was stage-diving, everyone was crowd-surfing; a few people even launched themselves off the speakers on either side of the stage.

This is the kind of crowd experience that Chaos in Tejas is about.

“ Totally violent, totally chaotic hardcore ”


Midnight

Beerland
Saturday, June 2
17:45 - 18:30

Here was one of the most anticipated bands. Three unassuming, clean-cut guys got on stage and started checking the instruments and setting up. After they finished, they turned their backs to the crowd, took their shirts off, donned black executioners hoods, turned back around, and launched into a vicious Midnight set.

They are a satanic Motörhead. A faster Venom. A heavier Hellhammer. With groove-laden songs like All Hail Hell and Endless Slut, they whipped the crowd (now to capacity) into a moshing and singing frenzy. Their refreshingly current take on '80s-style speed metal brought out the animal in the crowd as well as themselves. The bassist and guitarist were constantly bouncing themselves off the people in the front row and getting knocked around by stage-divers. There's no other way to have a Midnight show.

The set was over too quick, but featured equal material from their back catalogue and their new album. The venue cleared out after them: a true testament to just how big this band will be very soon.

“ a moshing and singing frenzy ”

Setlist: Satanic Royalty / Black Rock 'n' Roll / Lust, Filth and Sleaze / All Hail Hell / Violence On Violence / Holocaustic Deafening / You Can't Stop Steel / Endless Slut / Unholy and Rotten


Morbosidad

Red 7 Inside Stage
Saturday, June 2
21:50 - 22:30

Morbosidad didn't speak any English during their set, but they let their bestial, no-frills black metal talk for them.

They certainly looked the part, decked out in leather and spikes with bullet belts. As they performed, an eager member of the audience held up a Bible they brought with them, only for it to be lit on fire from several lighters, including vocalist Tomas Stench. As they continued the set, the book was lit on fire several more times, thrown around the crowd (whilst burning) and was extremely entertaining.

The band ended their suffocatingly brutal set with a Beherit cover, for which the vocalist from Black Witchery, Impurath, joined them onstage. The music was violent in every sort of the word, but it was all smiles and camaraderie for the crowd and the band.

“ bestial, no-frills black metal ”

Setlist: Altar De Sangre Negra / Cadaver Decompuesto En La Cruz / Bajo el Egendro del Crucificado / Dios Muerto / Sangriento Sacrificio Cristiano / Castracion Bestial / Templo De Lucifer / Infierno Immortal / Emblema De Pentagrama / War of Hate / In My Blood... / Blaspfemando Al Crucificado / Sangrada Cruz Invertida / Morboso Metal / Solomon's Gate


Moss Icon

Mohawk Outside Stage
Sunday, June 3
21:30 - 22:30

Perhaps the most surprisingly awesome band to perform at the entire festival, Moss Icon's reunion show definitely garnered a lot of interest. The Mohawk was completely packed for the few hours before this legendary band took the stage - and for good reason.

Their importance on the "screamo" genre is undeniable. Every band that incorporates heartfelt lyrics with screamed vocals over melodic hardcore punk pretty much needs to cut a cheque to Moss Icon. Their performance had some ups and downs, however. Moss Icon isn't exactly a band that is going to jump into the crowd with their songs, but they get the sentiment across with the music. They were completely serious onstage, the vocalist even shrugging off a water bottle that almost hit him in between songs. But the other 99% of the crowd was in awe of the whole spectacle.

In the silence between songs, one attendee in the front row exclaimed, "I can't believe I'm here!" I'm sure a lot of people echoed the feeling, whether it be from dancing, singing along, or moshing.

“ they get the sentiment across ”


Nasum

Red 7 Outside Stage
Thursday, May 31
00:55 - 01:45

What a proper way to send off one of the legendary "second-wave" grindcore bands. Nasum played their last North American show by closing out the first day of the festival, and they did a fantastic job.

Replacing the tragically late Mieszko Talarczyk on vocals was Rotten Sound frontman Keijo Niinimaa. He did very well and was really full of energy throughout the entire set. He was bounding back and forth on the stage and was full of smiles and laughs. The other members of the band seemed to be having a really fun time on stage as they ripped through a setlist that was heavy on the Hymn 2.0 and Inhale/Exhale albums, but featured songs from Helvete and Shift as well.

During one of the songs, the dual vocalists from Mass Grave were invited on stage to perform vocal duties, which they did masterfully. The tired crowd gave the band a great farewell experience. During one song, a stage-diver actually clipped Keijo in the face. He just shrugged it off, laughed, and continued. After a heart-filled thank you and a goodbye, they sent us off with a legendary performance of Inhale/Exhale, which ignited the crowd for one last time.

Farewell, Nasum.

“ really full of energy ”

Setlist: Mass Hypnosis / This Is... / The Masked Face / Bullshit / Shadows / Scoop / Corrosion / A Welcome Breeze of Stinking Air / Tested / Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow / Fury / Wrath / I See Lies / Time to Act! / The Black Swarm / Circle of Defeat / Inhale/Exhale


Phobia

Red 7 Outside Stage
Thursday, May 31
22:10 - 22:40

Phobia are legends. Not just for being one of the longest running grindcore bands in the United States, but because they're still going strong after so many lineup changes. They've had as many members as they've had years as a band. But on the outside stage of Red 7, with its impeccable sound for their type of brutal grindcore, they sounded better than ever.

They usually use a bassist, but they played as a three-piece that night. Drums, guitar and vocals: grindcore in its purest form. They blazed through a sub-half hour set with more recent songs like Bring The War and Beer, Bitches And Bullet Belts, but also had classic songs like Drunken Spree of Violence and grind-attitude anthem Fuck What You Think.

Phobia really deserve to be bigger than they are, but their punk ethic and unflinchingly solid live performances will guarantee them a spot in the public eye for a long time to come.

“ grindcore in its purest form ”


Power Trip

Beerland
Saturday, June 2
17:00 - 17:30

Power Trip got the first big response from the crowd on Saturday. By the time they took the stage, the venue had stopped letting people in, so it was very packed.

Power Trip has the old-school crossover thrash sound, like older Municipal Waste or Anthrax; they fit in perfectly, had crazy guitar solo's and amazing riffing, but also threw in killer breakdowns that induced much slamming and dancing. Power Trip is from Dallas so Chaos In Tejas is almost like a yearly occurance for them, but they have rabid fanbases no matter where they play.

They set the stage perfectly for what was to come.

“ induced much slamming and dancing ”


Saint Vitus

Red 7 Outside Stage
Friday, June 1
00:45 - 01:45

England has Black Sabbath and America has Saint Vitus. There are none more legendary in the American doom scene that Vitus, and a packed venue showed it.

The band gave a very nice, if a bit lacking, set that covered all their bases. Dave Chandler is still one of the best non-technical live guitar players around. The tone he produces and the raw emotion he puts into each song. His prolonged guitar soloing at the end of Born Too Late is just jaw-dropping, and he made a point to go out into the crowd and make sure everyone contributed to the solo themselves by banging on the guitar.

Wino sounded great on vocals too, if maybe a bit overwhelmed by the music at some points. The majority of Vitus' set focused on the latter-half of their career: four songs from their new album Lillie F:65, one from V, only two Scott Reagers-era songs. And although the band was performing their music perfectly, there wasn't much of a crowd reaction until the encore. But what a reaction it was. The crowd singing along to Dying Inside may have even been drowning out Wino.

A predictable but very enjoyable band from one of the forefathers of doom metal.

“ covered all their bases ”

Setlist: Blessed Night / I Bleed Black / Clear Windowpane / Let Them Fall / The Bleeding Ground / Look Behind You / The Waste of Time / White Stallions / Mystic Lady / Dying Inside / Born Too Late


Thou

Mowawk Outside Stage
Sunday, June 3
18:30 - 19:00

Thou was the opening band for Moss Icon's reunion, and they couldn't have been more out of place.

Their very slow and very heavy brand of doom metal clashed violently with the spitting speed of punk of every band after them, but these pairings work well. Thou's vocalist has an amazing voice for harsh music like this and it was equally amazing that he sounded as good on the last song of their set as he did on the first. Their blend of Khanate and Cough went over extremely well with the sparse crowd that turned up early for them.

A blisteringly angry way to kick the show off.

“ very heavy brand of doom metal ”


Toxic Holocaust

Beerland Inside Stage
Saturday, June 2
18:45 - 19:30

Toxic Holocaust may be known for their unrelenting blend of crust punk, speedy thrash metal, but they're also unfortunately known for their criminally short live concert sets. Fortunately they played a typical set, although it was only half an hour.

Joel and company put on a fantastic performance. The band has really progressed over the last few years and stand out amongst the sea of new thrash bands that they themselves are partly responsible for. Their set opened with Wild Dogs, and the intensity rarely let up. For a three-piece, they have a really heavy depth to the sound. They slowed down on just one noticeable occasion, the song I Am Disease, which was easily the best song of the set; very evil with lots of feedback swarming over Joel's vocals.

The crowd had pretty much emptied out to half-capacity after Midnight was finished, but a valiant few stuck it out through Toxic's set, inciting a few pits and lots of shouting along with the lyrics. The only bad thing about their performance was the criminally short set.

“ a really heavy depth to the sound ”

Setlist: Wild Dogs / ? / Death Brings Death / In The Name of Science / 666 / ? / Endless Armageddon / Nuke The Cross / Bitch


Whitehorse

Hotel Vegas
Sunday, June 3
23:15 - 23:45

This insanely heavy Australian group was definitely more suited to the intimate, enclosed space of the Hotel Vegas than the open-air quality of Red 7, where they performed on the first day. It made such a huge difference.

They probably played the heaviest music of the entire festival in that set. The acoustics of the venue just helped so much and overwhelmed the audience. There's really no other way to describe it than absolutely, deafeningly heavy. Most of their set is very slow drone-doom with brutal vocals, like Dark Castle or Indian, but with just so much more force behind it.

A must-see band in a small venue.

“ very slow drone-doom with brutal vocals ”

Setlist: Dark Age / No Passage / Remains Unknown


Wild//Tribe

Mowawk Outside Stage
Friday, June 1
18:35 - 19:05

Wild//Tribe kicked off a stacked lineup of hardcore and thrash from all around the world on Friday.

Their dual vocalists didn't really sound all that different from one another, but they were constantly moving around the stage and putting on a good show. The music was your standard hardcore punk fare; Nothing special, but not so terrible to listen to. The sparse crowd was receptive to their efforts, even if only one or two attendees were actually moving around.

Maybe it was because it was still light out, but Wild//Tribe just came off as an opening band. Nothing more, nothing less.

“ standard hardcore punk fare ”

Written by Jackson May
More: 2012, Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Festivals, Grind, Punk, Thrash Metal, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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