The Heretic

After a late finish on Saturday at a time when some people used to attend church on Sunday morning for some divine inspiration, I’ll be on my way to an altar of steel to see one of the surprise packages of the festival open up proceedings on the main stage – Manchester hardcore band Broken Teeth.  

As much as I like Megadeth on record and I’ve seen them many times since my first experience of them twenty six years ago, I unfortunately won’t be in attendance for Mr Mustaine’s performance on Sunday. Modern Megadeth live bores me rigid, I’m an old fan (fader?) and I want to see them do more from the first five releases, not a plethora of songs from the latest album. Arch Enemy sends me to sleep too, and Skindred just adds to the Download Festival Lite version it seems to be morphing into. After Chilean band Criminal have departed I shall be heading to the train station also. 

I am only interested in four of the first five main stage sermons offered up on the Sabbath, and a few Psalms from the second stage. From all the bands I’m hoping to catch over the weekend I think there’s only one I’ve never seen, all the others I’ve seen with varying frequency.  

Californian Bay Area band Possessed have the honour of the death metal genre being labelled after one of their songs, surprisingly called Death Metal from their 1984 demo of the same name, then later the closing track in their debut album Seven Churches. 

In 1989 gutteral sounding frontman Jeff Becerra was involved in an armed robbery and shot at twice, one bullet went through his chest and got stuck in his spine. As a result he is now paralysed from the chest down and confined to a wheel chair, shortly afterwards they disbanded. There had been several reformations without him, until 2007 when Becerra performed at Wacken with a backing band made up of Sadistic Intent members. Now with a stable line up Possessed have recently been signed to Nuclear Blast records and their first new album for thirty two years hits stores next year. 

I’ve only seen the band once at the Garage in London 2014, their first British show since the mid 80’s. They were back last year to play London again along with a jaunt up to Glasgow, but I had already committed myself to seeing Madball on the same night as their capital show. Their set on Sunday is a highly anticipated 45 minutes for me in a pretty poor line up in general. 

The Heretic is the second track on their Beyond the Gates album from 1986. It wasn’t the most polished album ever released, but it seemed like one most kids owned at some point due to it’s rather unique sleeve. The vinyl had a fold out cover that basically opened the gate into hell. I had it, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the ones that got away from me and unfortunately no longer gathering dust upstairs. 

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