Temples Festival Cancelled, No Future Events Planned

temples festival banner ghostcultmag

With an announcement on their Facebook page, Temples Festival which was to take place next weekend has been permanently cancelled. Ticket refunds are available at point of purchase. The fest was to have been headlined by the cream of the crop in underground metal such as Mayhem, Melvins, and Carcass, alongside bands such as Agoraphobic Nosebleed, MGLA, Windhand, Iron Reagan, Dragged Into Sunlight, Primitive Man, Jucifer, Vision of Disorder, Undersmile, Voices and many more. In a message festival organizer Frances Mace gave an explanation and apology to all involved claiming the fest “can’t face another year of debts & damage..”

Patrons of Temples Festival,

After an arduous 48hrs of uncertainty, and with deepest reluctance we have been forced to cancel Temples Festival 2016.

At the beginning of last week, the organisation we had onboard to finance the event pulled their funding, and with limited access to advance ticket sales and no sponsors to back us we have been unable to source the funding required to cover the overheads which would allow Temples Festival to go ahead.

Following Temples 2015, we were left with a sizeable debt and as opposed to dissolving the company and declaring bankruptcy – I decided to take on the debts personally and subsequently pay off all our creditors in instalments as quickly as possible, this meant bands, staff and contractors were all paid late – and it’s had a crippling effect on both my professional and personal life as a whole – truth be told, I made a series of bad business decisions and dealt with the situation very poorly – which I take full accountability for.

I’ve spent the past week trying to gain access to the funds we need to make this year work and avoid the problems we encountered following last year’s event, with our financiers pulling their involvement – it’s been an uphill battle, which I’ve fought to the best of my abilities – and unfortunately, have been defeated.

Over the past weekend, I’ve been attempting to produce the festival’s continuation on a ‘scaled down’ level so we can offer something for those of you who have purchased tickets, accommodation, transport etc and allow the bands who are touring, UK based etc – unfortunately this morning it became clear that even if we were to proceed as such, we’d be left with another huge debt and therefore unable to pay the bands, staff, venue, contractors and a number of other crucial overheads the festival relies on – thus repeating the mistakes that were made last year.

Having already lost in the region of £70,000 throughout Temples Festival’s existence – I’m afraid adding more debt to that will simply cripple both myself and the festival, and after such a difficult year it’s not an option for me to take on such a huge debt personally.

I am deeply deeply sorry to all of those who will lose out as a result of this decision, having put three years of my life and having already lost so much of it to the festival I’m afraid there is no option to continue with Temples Festival 2016 and I take full responsibility for events cancellation. I am truly sorry.

My intention was always to setup a unique UK festival which books bands who are rarely seen in the UK, I’ve tirelessly dedicated myself to this event for a long time now and the decision to cancel this year’s event has been unequivocally the hardest call I’ve ever had to make in my life. My sincere apologies to those of you who will lose out as a result of this, I am truly sorry – but I can’t face another year of debts & damage.

Thank you to everyone who has actively supported Temples Festival from the start, I launched this ambitious event with the best intentions and unfortunately it’s become too damaging for me to oversee single handedly. Although curating the festival is something I’ve been able to do well – managing the business side of the event has proven too much for me. I’ve been promoting concerts for half of my life, and those of you who know of the work I’ve done will hopefully be aware of how upsetting and damaging this decision has been to me on every level.

Our ethos has been No Surrender for the past year, as I was determined to make this festival work and finish what I started. I’ve worked so hard to make this happen for our Patrons in 2016 but against my will and core beliefs – today’s news has forced me to surrender.

Ticket refunds are available from your point of purchase, please contact them for a full refund.

Again, thank you to those of you who have been supporting this event for the past three years – your encouragement and kind words have kept me going through incredibly difficult times and I hope that despite this negative outcome you’ve at least enjoyed the two events we hosted for you. I’m proud of what was achieved with this event, and if there was any way of making this year work I’d be continuing with the same passion and dedication which oversaw the last two editions of Temples Festival.

With the utmost regret & sincerity,

Francis Mace

– Temples Festival

Temples Festival 2016: Major Lineup Announcements


Hot UK festival Temples, held at Motion skatepark in Bristol, UK, has confirmed the first batch of bands to play next years edition.

Extended to run over four days, and appearing a week later on the calendar than this years incarnation, one of the most must-see events on the UK metal and heavy music calendar has come out of the blocks, confirming the following acts will hit the boards between June 2 and June 5, with more to follow:


With 3 main stage headliners still to be announced, Temples is already shaping up as the place to be at the start of summer 2016.

Tickets are available exclusively from www.templesfestival.co.uk

All About Brotherhood: Pig Destroyer


Fresh off their Friday set at Temples Festival and ready to head into their debut performance of Natasha, US based Pig Destroyer have really managed to capture the true breadth of their style over the two days. While they may straddle grindcore and doom, styles that so often seen as opposing, both have a chaotic element that holds them together. The music may be violently aggressive, but the band themselves are surprisingly laid back and fun as we quiz JR, Blake and Jarvis on everything from how a set comes together to whether Agoraphobic Nosebleed will ever hit the UK with a show.

You’ve already played one set at Temples festival, how has it gone?

JR – Good, very good. It was one of our best ones in a little while actually.


You’re playing a double set, how did that come about?

JR – We’ve had a couple of releases that are along the slow variety and they had a doom day going on. They asked if we wanted to take part, we figured since we were already here we’d give it a try. We’ve never done a set like this before so we thought it would be interesting.


How did you decide how to divide the sets?

Blake – With our band it’s kind of always like a timing thing. Recently we had a couple of dates scheduled in Germany and France and they fell through. Temples had somebody drop off and they offered us a second day. We’d been discussing doing it anyway so we really needed a finite goal or we’d just never do it.

JR – We need a kick in the ass at times.

Blake – We started working it out.

JR – For a long time we thought Natasha wasn’t really doable for us because there’s a lot of noise passages that aren’t necessarily musical. We didn’t know if we’d be able to tie everything together rhythmically. We managed to work it out at least to the point where we could practise it.

Pig Destroyer EP album cover

Do you have any challenges bringing the noise elements of your music into the live environment?

Blake – I guess that depends on how much I’ve had to drink but yeah, sometimes. It depends you know, it’s kind of… I don’t want to say a freeform thing, but its just ‘lets do it’. Depends how much time we have and what’s going on.

JR – How the PA system works as well. It’s noise so there’s a chaotic element to it, and that’s why we do it, we like the chaos to it. You don’t want to get too nitpicky about something like that.

Blake – It’s got to have a little freeform vibe to it.


Pig Destroyer has two very different styles; do have any difficulty pulling together shows? How do you decide what goes into each set list?

JR – We do have a lot of songs. We have songs that we definitely personally like to play. I think sometimes we lean on those rather than what other people want us to play. We don’t play our video songs very much or our hits but we just have songs we prefer to play ourselves. It’s usually not hard to get a regular set list together. The slow stuff, this will be a new experience for us.

Blake – Might be the last time…

JR – You never know! We’ll see how it goes.


What influence came in that caused you to split out into two such differing genres?

JR – I think it’s our personalities, it’s very representative of our personalities, both directions.

Blake – Also, really early grindcore kind of lends itself to that. If you listen to Godflesh it’s still rooted in grindcore and it’s not fast, it’s just churning.

JR – It’s two sides of the same coin, the way we look at it. We like it really fast, we like it really slow.

Blake – So does my wife! [laughs]

JR – Yeah, there you go.


You all seem to have a lot of different bands; do you find it hard to juggle your various workloads?

Blake – Not me.

Jarvis – Luckily we have management and people that can get everything in order for us so it’s a lot easier when there’s people helping out. Last week at Maryland Deathfest we had multiple sets, and getting from one venue to the next can get chaotic sometimes.

Blake – I think JR and I are the least busy in that respect. I’ve got Hatebeak but that’s not a real live project. I know that Jarvis has started jamming with a couple of other guys.

Jarvis – Yeah but that’s just fucking around. I don’t like to bite off more than I can chew, because we all have other things in our lives going on outside music.

Blake – This would be a great question for Scott if he were here.

Jarvis – He’s the ultimate mulitasker.

Blake – Doing Agoraphobic and Pig Destroyer, it’s been a lot of work lately.


Agoraphobic Nosebleed at Maryland Deathfest, by Hillarie Jason Photography

Is the UK ever going to see a live show from Agoraphobic?

Jarvis – Probably, probably. I would say we might even come back next year. You never know, right about this time.


We’d love to see a show over here now that Maryland Deathfest had one.

Blake – Well it was the first show and it was only a week ago.

JR – It was a killer set.

Jarvis – Yeah it was a lot of fun and we put a lot of work into it. We were kind of worried, same thing with tonight playing Natasha for the first time but it worked out. We’re going to keep playing, that’s for sure.

What do you want people to take from a Pig Destroyer show?

Blake – Black Eyes.

JR – Bloodshed is always good. We don’t anyone to die, but if they come close then that’s cool. [laughs]

Blake – Basically just having fun. Our music may be kind of serious but as people we’re easy going. Obviously we’re not raking in the millions here so we’re having fun and we want the crowd to interact with us and have fun. We don’t fly half way across the world for no reason.

JR – The crowds over here are great. They love grindcore. We just love playing for people that have the same interest as we do.

Blake – The same passion.

JR – That’s what it’s all about, brotherhood. We’ve been all over the world at this point and metal shows are about the same wherever you go. Even if the culture of the country is totally different, you can go to a metal show and it’s a universal language.



Temples Festival 2015 Day 1: Live at Bristol, Motion


Kicking off Temples Festival with a torrid mix of grind and punk Teef are a rude awakening. Sadly the shrieking of their vocalist is only appropriate during the more intense moments with several mediocre riffs tempering what should have ignited the blue touch paper. Oblivionized are much better. Nasty atonal riffs á la Discordance Axis, the Londoners bash through relentless cuts from their ‘Life Is A Struggle, Give Up’ platter in a fashion which forces early comers to take note or die.

The Afternoon Gentlemen, by Rich Price Photography

The Afternoon Gentlemen, by Rich Price Photography

The second band in the second stage were Leeds based grinders The Afternoon Gentlemen. Unperturbed by waiting for the displaced Young And In The Way to conclude their set on the main stage they managed to bring their own brand of party atmosphere. The massive bouncy energy of the band transferring into an enthusiastic crowd with ease. Crowd surfers were present very early on as well as paramedics. The Yorkshiremen Pummeled the crowd with song after song playing some newer tracks from the record they have coming out later this year. Grind is one of those genre’s that has to be done right and the ‘Gents certainly do it right but their performance struggles to hold the attention of the audience with many drifting away towards the end of the set.

Enabler, by Rich Price Photography

Enabler, by Rich Price Photography

Enabler are a revelation. Taking to the stage displaying a terrifying ferocity, they receive a huge reception from the crowd. A particularly potent mix of hardcore with a large side helping of metal. The second they started like a kick to the gut and it was immediately obvious they weren’t here to mess about, and the audience knew it. This was an impassioned performance which was quite incredible to watch. In a festival with no shortage of amazing bands Enabler proved to be a real highlight.

Deathwish signees’ Harm’s Way deliver their pulverising metallic hardcore to an appreciative small crowd. Brusing mosh fodder which won’t change the world but can certainly help work up a sweat.

Most of us rarely start a festival by being told to fuck off, but for those of us that headed over to catch an early set by blackened crusters Young and in the Way, that’s exactly how Temples 2015 kicked off. While many wouldn’t dare insult the fans, it fit perfectly into their take no prisoners sound. Those squeezing themselves into the tiny third for a dose of filth from the New Zealanders Meth Drinker were treated to a wall of slow gnarly distortion.

Trap Them, by Rich Price Photography

Trap Them, by Rich Price Photography

Trap Them’s first UK show in four years is heralded with unbridled enthusiasm and the group reciprocates every last bit of energy they receive, delivering a watertight set of no bullshit brutality. Numbers from ‘Darker Handcraft’ eventuate intensity and unhinged aggression. Seering filth encrusted riffage and brutal blasts see the main stage temperature rising to fever pitch.\\

Sacramento’s Will Haven punish the main stage with Grady Avenell cutting an intimidating figure onstage.The dissonant groove of ‘Fresno’ ignites a thunderous response with material from new EP Open The Mind To Discomfort getting a good airing alongside juicy cuts from the quintet’s stellar back catalogue. Sheer unbridled aggression tempered with the eerie melodies conjured by Jeff Irwin and Anthony Paganelli ensure this performance is nothing short of enthralling.

Will Haven, by Rich Price Photography

Will Haven, by Rich Price Photography

Ramping up the speed again, Magrundergrind whipped up the festival crowd as beer cans were replaced with people being thrown through the air. With the songs averaging just a minute apiece there was plenty of time to cram in the crowd pleasers. Eight hundred bruises and a sore neck later, we’re pretty sure that was a good time… if only we could think past all the concussion.

Nails may have been the more extreme proposition but Weedeater were no less deranged. Frontman Dixie looks truly unhinged, his cross-eyed forty-yard stare burning holes in the crowd while Travis Owens pounds his kit mercilessly with style, even showboating with his sticks without missing a beat. Resin tinged anthems like ‘Gimmie Back My Bullets’ provide more than enough material for those who the motto ‘tune low, play slow’ is a way of life.

Nails, by Rich Price Photography

Nails, by Rich Price Photography

It quickly became apparent that songs about “people who talk fucking shit,” is a mantra for Californian based Nails. Repeated before most tracks, it quickly turned into a bit of light comedy relief, which was welcome as the band were on devastating form that evening churning out track after track of ground-shakingly heavy grinding. Despite their popularity, Nails sound feels more at home in a grimy basement cellar, and seeing them on such a large stage just didn’t seem to translate as well as it should have. The same could not be said for Pig Destroyer. Heading out for the first of their two sets that weekend they threw the crowd into the nastiest cuts of grindcore from their collection. Members of the crowd who had any space to breath could count themselves lucky as the room dissolved into a crushed mass of bodies. The sacrifice? Flailing limbs and flying bodies: wherever you stood it was a slaughterhouse.

Converge, by Rich Price Photography

Converge, by Rich Price Photography

Who knew metalcore could fit in so well in this line-up. While the genre may have a bad reputation among doom fans, Converge are providing a lifeline to the genre with their powerful and energetic performance. Twisting the wires round his throat and clasping his head, front man Jacob Bannon seems endearingly honest performance backed by their abrasive, twisting backing. Converge proved that twenty-five years of performing is no excuse not to pull out a blindingly energetic set.

A rare UK outing for Bongzilla ensures the outdoor stage is packed despite impressive opposition from Boston trailblazers Converge. Dealing in the kind of lumbering riffs that revel in their atavistic primitively, they’re the idea doom act to close a darkened stage with their Neanderthal low end anthems. Undeterred by the completion, the Wisconsin act delivers a herculean performance of Sabbathian might which while somewhat myopic in is focus, remains a potent high which concludes day one in style.

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Portal – Impetuous Ritual – Grave Miasma: Live At Nambucca, London, UK




It can be difficult with music as inherently niche as Extreme Metal to really know just how “big” a particular band are. From safely inside our little bubble Portal seem absolutely enormous at the moment, a regular feature on End Of Year lists whenever they put an album out. This impression was supported by their performance the day before at Bristol’s Temples Festival, where pretty much everyone present tried to ram themselves into the second stage area to see one of the weekend’s most talked-about bands. Taken out of that context and into the unforgiving reality of a rainy London Sunday, then it’s almost surprising to see them in a tiny pub filled with ferociously dedicated fans.  Don’t take talk of “hipsters” seriously – this is music entirely confident in its own small but passionate niche.

Grave Miasma have made a name for themselves playing solid, no-nonsense old-school Death Metal with a dark, “gothic” atmosphere and a pre-frilly-shirts Peaceville feel, and tonight they demonstrate that it is the strength of their song-writing and the confidence of their playing that elevates them beyond the generic. Further proof that playing within a genre does not necessarily equate to a lack of ambition or skill.

Atmosphere, though, is a fragile thing. Without Temples’ smoke machine and elaborate lighting rig, Impetuous Ritual seem less like four eldritch spectres of doom, and more like four guys in their pants and as many nails as they could afford from B&Q. Live, their music is much more savage and bestial than on record, the abstract atmosphere distilled down to pure aggression and violence. It’s a powerful performance, but a little repetitive, and loses some power towards the end of their set – although perhaps that’s simply because expectation for Portal has reached frantic levels.


Impetuous Ritual’s underpants-atmospherics suffer slightly from their mundane environment, but Portal are on a different level entirely – beyond anything as crude as geography.  Even seeing The Curator having to push through the crowd in full costume to get to the stage (or watching him be guided on and off the Temples stage the day before) doesn’t detract from the sheer presence they exude once their set starts. Metal is not a genre renowned for its subtlety, but there’s something understated about Portal’s stage craft that’s far more effective than the usual ranting and shouting. The Curator’s deliberate, ritualistic gestures carry a weight beyond the usual air-punching and head-banging, and stage banter is replaced entirely with hypnotic waves of noise which link all of the songs together, so that there isn’t a moment of silence once they take the stage.

All this, though, would be ultimately meaningless if their aesthetics weren’t so perfectly married to their music. Critics attacking them for not having catchy riffs or grooves, or accusing them of being “just noise”, are missing the point – which is that Portal’s uniqueness comes from blending the musical elements of Death Metal with an approach to “song-writing” more akin to Dark Ambient or Noise music. This is particularly noticeable live, where waves of feedback, noise and dissonance flow together in a way which seems almost spontaneously organic – but which is of course planned in great detail. This isn’t catchy Melodic Death Metal, dirty Old School Death Metal or even ten-billion-riffs-at-once Tech Death Metal – this is Death Metal as fully immersive Noise, and live – even to people familiar with their recorded material – the intensity is almost unbearable.

If there’s a single criticism of Portal’s set, it’s how inappropriate some of the fans’ reactions seemed.  A horribly arrogant thing to say, of course, and the idea that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way of enjoying a band should be treated with nothing but contempt, but when confronted with something as alien and distinctive as Portal, the old whoo-ing, punching the air and shouting the band name as if they were Slayer just sounds out of place. The only sane reaction to being confronted with this spectacle is just to stand there and take it for long as you possibly can.



Music Video: Pallbearer – Watcher In The Dark

Photo Credit: Hillarie Jason

Pallbearer is streaming their first ever music video for “Watcher In The Dark,” which was directed, shot and edited by Adam Heathcott (Hometapes) and produced by Heathcott and Sara Padgett Heathcott.

They are currently on their UK and European tour with dates posted below.

May 27: Rote Fabrik – Zurich (CH)
May 29: Primavera Sound Festival – Barcelona (ES)
May 31: Temples Festival – Bristol (UK)
Jun 01: Broadcast – Glasgow (UK)
Jun 02: The Oobleck – Birmingham (UK)
Jun 03: 100 Club – London (UK)
Jun 05: Optimus Primavera Sound – Porto (PT)
Jun 30: BLÅ – Oslo (NO)
Jul 01: Truckstop Alaska – Gothenburg (SE)
Jul 02: Roskilde Festival – Roskilde (DK)
Jul 03: Doornroosje – Nijmegen (NL)
Jul 04: Schlachthof Wiesbaden – Wiesbaden (DE)
Jul 06: Lo Fi Club – Milano (IT)
Jul 07: Freakout Club – Bologna (IT)
Jul 08: Traffic Live – Roma (IT)
Jul 09: Radar Festival – Padua (IT)
Jul 10: Mind Over Matter Festival – Vienna (AT)
Jul 11: Stoned from the Underground – Erfurt (DE)

Audio: Goatsnake – Grandpa Jones + Upcoming Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Samantha Muljat

Photo Credit: Samantha Muljat

Goatsnake is streaming “Grandpa Jones,” off of their forthcoming album Black Age Blues, out June 2, 2015 via Southern Lord below. The album was recorded and mixed at Rock Falcon in Franklin, Tennessee by Nick Raskulinecz (Queens Of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Mastodon, Rush) and mastered by Brian “Big Bass” Gardner (N.W.A., Stevie Wonder, Parliament). Guests on the record include David Pajo (Slint, Aerial M, Papa M) and soul vocal trio Dem Preacher’s Daughters, comprised of Wendy Moten, Gale Mayes and Andrea Merrit.

The band has confirmed upcoming live dates.

May 24: Maryland Deathfest – Baltimore, MD
May 30: Temples Festival – Bristol, UK
Jun 01: De Kreun – Kortrijk, BE
Jun 02: Melkweg – Amsterdam, NL
Jun 03: SO36 – Berlin, DE
Jun 04: Freakvalley Festival – Siegen, DE
Jun 07: AN Club – Athens, GR
Jun 20: Crucialfest – Salt Lake City, UT

Southern Lord on Bandcamp
Southern Lord on Facebook

Album Stream + Tour: Ghold – Of Ruin + Upcoming North American Tour With Arabrot


South London bass and drum duo Ghold are streaming their new album Of Ruin, out now via Ritual Productions in its entirety here. The album was recorded at lss Studio with Dan Miller and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, OLD). The band have an upcoming appearance at Temples Festival, along with an upcoming North American tour supporting Arabrot.

May 31: Temples Festival – Bristol (UK)

North American Summer Tour w/ ÅRABROT:
Jun 24: O’Brien’s Pub – Boston, MA
Jun 26: The Depot – York, PA
Jun 27: Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
Jun 29: The Burlington – Chicago, IL
Jun 30: Fubar – St Louis, MO
Jul 01: Jackpot Saloon – Lawrence, KS
Jul 02: Hi Dive – Denver, CO
Jul 03: Kilby Court – Salt Lake, City, UT
Jul 05: The Highline – Seattle, WA
Jul 06: The Hindenburg – Vancouver, BC
Jul 07: Rotture – Portland, OR
Jul 08: Starlight Lounge – Sacramento, CA (w/ Dispirit, Lycus)
Jul 09: SF Eagle – San Francisco, CA
Jul 12: Lowbrow Palace – El Paso, TX
Jul 14: Holy Mountain – Austin, TX (w/ Pinkish Black)
Jul 15: Siberia – New Orleans, LA (w/ Pinkish Black)
Jul 16: The 529 – Atlanta, GA (w/ Pinkish Black)
Jul 17: Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC (w/ Pinkish Black)
Jul 18: Strange Matter – Richmond, VA (w/ Pinkish Black)
Jul 19: The Studio, Webster Hall – New York, NY (w/ Pinkish Black)

Ghold on Facebook
Ghold on Twitter
Ghold on Bandcamp
Ghold on Soundcloud
Ritual Productions on Facebook
Ritual Productions on Bandcamp

arabot ghold us tour

Goatsnake Confirm Record Release Show In Los Angeles

goatsnake black age blues

Goatsnake have announced an upcoming record release show for their new album Black Age Blues in Los Angeles, aside from a string of upcoming live dates. The album will be out on June 2, 2015 via Southern Lord in North America. Stream “Elevated Man” here.

May 02: Pappy And Harriet’s – Pioneertown, CA (w/ Mojave Lords)
May 03: Black – Los Angeles, CA (Black Age Blues listening party)
May 20: Complex – Glendale, CA (Black Age Blues release show w/ Bl’ast, Eagle Twin)
May 24: Maryland Deathfest – Baltimore, MD
May 30: Temples Festival – Bristol (UK)
Jun 01: De Kreun – Kortrijk (BE)
Jun 02: Melkweg – Amsterdam (NL)
Jun 03: SO36 – Berlin (DE)
Jun 04: Freakvalley Festival – Siegen (DE)
Jun 07: AN Club – Athens (GR)
Jun 20: Crucialfest – Salt Lake City, UT

Southern Lord on Bandcamp
Southern Lord on Facebook

Primitive Man – Sea Bastard – Trudger: Live at the Roadhouse, Manchester


If this place does indeed close later this year, there will be mixed feelings. Despite the incredible sound few, least of all photographers, appreciate the subterranean levels of darkness; even less are fond of the bloody great pillar obliterating the view of a third of the stage.

Trudger, by Rich Price Photography

Trudger, by Rich Price Photography

Backing up last year’s highly-rated début album Dormiveglia (Church of Fuck Records), Barnsley’s Trudger opened proceedings with a seriously impressive showing. Vocalist Chris Parkinson prowled the apron, his back to the crowd, his cavernous roar coating the irresistible blend of Hardcore, Sludge and Post atmospherics in murky phlegm.

Seabastard, by Rich Price Photography

Seabastard, by Rich Price Photography

Full of amusing anecdotes during their soundcheck, Brighton Funeral Sludgers Sea Bastard’s monstrous tales of horror are nevertheless fed from a natural gravitas: opening track ‘Door Sniffer’ a titanic weight upon the strongest shoulders, vocalist Monty’s demeanour at the coda both static and electric. The crowd were transfixed by the plummeting, sparing chords and funereal weight of recent split contribution ‘Astral Rebirth’: an implosive, eviscerating mass, shrinking heads with its unfathomable power. Skyscraping guitarist Oli Irongiants heavily-tattooed torso rocked and swayed as bassist Steve Patton knelt in studious, faraway contemplation of the sheer expanse of sound; whilst the scything, slashing coda was both brutal yet swaddled in the band’s collective confidence and ruthless execution. There will be few more impressive tracks this year, and there’s arguably no more involving, crushing UK act at present.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

When your shoulders begin to ache and your balls quiver in their home, you know you’re witnessing something unspeakably affecting. Surrounding each other like they’re the only people who know just how they feel, Denver trio Primitive Man laid pure fucking waste to the venue. Colossal rhythm section Jon Campos and ‘Spy’ threatened the City’s architecture; while frontman Ethan McCarthy’s febrile tension was palpable, biting his guitar strings during horrific opener ‘4330’, the infamous bark like no vocal emission I’ve previously encountered. ‘Bag Man’ is utterly terrifying, every word of McCarthy’s tirade flung from his face with honest feeling, the power almost unbearable yet strangely cathartic and enlivening. ‘Antietam’, a microcosm of despairing misanthropy on record, was vomited forth with heartfelt malcontent, leaving those of us who’ve experienced such issues twitching, pounding monitors and shaking our heads in awe-struck wonder. ‘Loathe’ sealed the lid on a cacophonic show of mortifying power and untrammelled bitterness. Transcendent in a painful, shocking way, Primitive Man are unmissable.

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography

Primitive Man, by Rich Price Photography