Well it’s my first day back at work after a lazy day yesterday of pretty much doing nothing following three days trudging around a field in Derbyshire for the best part of three days. Alas there is no rest for the wicked, and tonight I’m hoping to catch half of the European Annihilation tour in Manchester. It should’ve been three fifths, but Venom Prison pulled out some time a go.
First up though a quick debrief on last weekend. I was quite lucky with the weather, just a heavy shower during Onslaught and Memoriam in Friday and Cannibal Corpse Saturday, but I was heading to the tent part way through all the sets anyway. I was only on site on Sunday for three and a half hours but caught all or part of seven bands and encountered no rain, just some mud in the thoroughfares. I didn’t see as many bands in the New Blood stage as I’d hoped to, but definitely more than in most of the years that the stage has been at the festival. I thoroughly enjoyed Valafar again, Dead Before Mourning and Stoke band Vulgore. I look forward to seeing more of the latter two. I really wanted to catch Imminent Annihilation, but it was just too early for me with travelling back home each night. Only 40 miles, but much easier on the wallet than a hotel and six taxi journeys or indeed having to buy everything needed for four nights of camping.
Highlights on day one were Reprisal, Onslaught, Sodomized Cadaver and surprisingly Ingested. Judas Priest were fun to watch but Suicidal Tendencies being moved to the tent for their 45 minute set took the gold medal on the first full day.
Day two was owned by Power Trip and Exhorder. For all the years I’ve been going I can’t recall a crowd as big as Power Trip got for a slot before noon. They will be back and much higher up the poster. Exhorder were definitely worth the wait. They did not disappoint at all. One of the bands from my teenage years I thought I’d never see. Venom Inc. managed to hold my attention and I was entertained by them. Biggest surprise of the weekend was probably Combichrist. I’ve only heard a few track by them, but I was captivated by their set. I felt they were a bit “Marilyn Manson” in places, but enjoyable for the majority of the set. One to pursue more.
I arrived a little late for the new sensations Alien Weaponry, as they seemed to also. That meant I caught all of their ultimately shortened set and I was quite lucky to squeeze into the tent. Another heading for bigger things? I enjoyed the covers from the Jasta set more than his own album tracks, and he looked like he was having fun up there, even finishing the set behind the drum kit. Nice to see at least one Kingdom of Sorrow track live, doubtful there’s any chance of them coming here as a full band.
Mr. Big were competent at what they did and it was odd seeing people in corpse paint, bullet belts and Slayer shirts moving along to opening track Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy, but it seemed to work, especially for the older contingent in the crowd and the families in attendance. Much more family pleasing than Cannibal Corpse. I gave them 20 minutes then headed to the New Blood stage one final time.
Considering I’ve moaned about the line up incessantly over the last 10 months I got much more enjoyment from the weekend than I expected. I saw the bands I wanted to see and experienced others for the first time or twelfth and still had fun. Meeting up with friends, some of whom I might not see again until next August, also helps. Roll on 2019.
So on to tonight and another band I’m remarkably getting to see for the first time. Toxic Holocaust are a band that have evaded me in a venue so far. They’ve been here about a dozen times in the last decade, but not since early 2014, which is where the problem might lie. For a band that started as a one man project by Joel Grind back in 1999 I didn’t pick up on them until after their last record Chemistry of Consciousness, which surfaced in the October before their last British shows.
Imagine if Discharge released something much more metal and thrasy in 1986 rather than the dire Grave New World effort then you can imagine what Toxic Holocaust are all about. Rather than Discharge going down a more Bon Jovi and new wave path they should’ve kept the spirit of their Never Again release and added some Bay Area crunch along with the primal German thrash sound of early Sodom or Kreator. All was forgiven with some of Discharge’s subsequent releases, so that can be dropped deep into room 101.
If London’s times are anything to go by tonight then I’m only watching an hours worth of music split between Toxic Holocaust and Goatwhore now, but at least I’ll be home shortly after 9pm. An added bonus.
The sub three minute blast of Nuke the Cross was released in 2008 and can be found on the An Overdose of Death… album.