I don't really listen to much heavy metal anymore but the past weekend I traveled all the way to Pontins in Prestatyn, Wales for Hammerfest IV: Hammer of Thor. A lot of traveling.
I'm writing this on my train back to London whilst extremely hungover so please forgive my lack of finer details!
Thursday was an absolute mess. I'm actually not sure whether I saw any bands at all. I do remember being in The Queen Victoria pub while some disgustingly heavy band were on, it may have been Flame Fracture. It probably was. I drank a lot of shit. Cheap lager is the way forward. I also apparently won an “I love Wales” bear on the claw machine. I don’t remember this, however, I do remember drinking some form of chocolate orange alcohol. All in all, Thursday wasn’t very musical. Just boozy.
On Friday waking up with a brutal hangover was slightly less than awesome but it was nothing an all you can eat fry-up buffet and a tanker of orange juice couldn't fix! By the time I had scoffed my bodyweight in bacon and low quality black pudding I knew It had struck beer o’ clock. I saw a lot of bands on Friday, see below:
- Kyrbgrinder - they weren't bad. Straight up heavy metal but quite funky.
- Trucker Diablo - Northern Irish band whom I'd describe as Redneck Metal. I actually really enjoyed these guys
- Spirytus - Very good Nu-metal band; Nothing more, nothing less. Quite fun with some MC Hammer crammed in the middle of their set.
- Sci-fi Mafia - Just caught the end of this... Couldn't not watch some as they had a massive dancing robot covered in lights on the stage as well as people grinding circular saws! Didn't like the music, however.
- Heaven's Basement - Glam rock, good stuff. My second time seeing them.
- Anthrax - My first time seeing them and I'm glad I did. You've gotta love some heavy as hell thrash metal late at night. Absolute legends. I couldn’t have been happier with their set, although they weren’t the best band of the weekend.
Well that was Friday. I really wish I could've seen Lawnmower Deth but I was too wasted/tired to stay up.
Saturday was by far the best day. Same morning routine of breakfast then beer. Standard.
Bands I saw:
- Oaf - My old friend Dom Lawson's band. Not metal although I don't know what you'd call them... Absolutely fucking insane maybe. Song titles include Wanking With a Fistful of Shit and Fuck Off Pigeon. Awesomely insane band to watch to shake your hangover! Love it!
- AR - It's funny I saw these guys as they tweeted at me a couple of weeks ago saying I should watch them at hammerfest. Was worth it. Just straight up hard rock. Would probably see them again.
- Cerebral Bore - Dreadful metalcore band with pig screaming and the lot. What shocked me is the fact that their vocalist is a rather attractive female
- Dripback - Death metal type stuff. They were alright but nothing special. My mates enjoyed them a lot so they may have been awesome, I'm just not too hot on death metal anymore.
- Senser - I first heard Senser a few months ago when I was sent their new E.P. "Biting Rhymes which I reviewed but didn't have a site to put it on, at that time so I saw them on Saturday and they were bloody awesome. Politically charged rap metal band. Heitham Al-Sayed has so much energy. The sound and music was awesome. I would definitely see them again.
- Hell - I really don't know what subgenre to put Hell in but they were absolutely fucking amazing. Everything about their performance was perfect... The sound, the music, their stage presence. I had heard of them before but not bothered listening to them. Best band of the weekend without a doubt!
- Dream Evil - This was my third time seeing them and yet again they were amazing. There were a couple of songs missing from their set that they usually play, like Heavy Metal Jesus but still, I won't complain!
- Skindred - I've lost count of how many times I have seen these guys live and I don't care because every time they go all out to put on a massive show and last night was no exception. Benji Webbe is a phenomenal frontman and at one point he made everyone get down on the floor and jump. The energy was amazing.
There are a couple of bands I really wish I would have seen but y'know, just sometimes you end up partying in somebody elses's chalet or passing out because you're too drunk or generally shattered from the previous night's awesomeness.
It was great to see people I haven't seen in a very long time as well as meeting new people. Hammerfest is an amazing experience and I urge everyone to go, regardless of whether or not you like heavy metal music.
Fair enough, a music festival is for music but it's not just that. It's the whole experience. The combination of getting wasted, socializing and eating way too many pot noodles.
All in all, it was a crazy and awesome weekend. I would most definitely love to do it again.
Stay rock 'n' roll, people!