Saturday opened with Polish band Batushka, who brought their monkish Black Metal to the main stage early and relentlessly. This was my first time seeing them and I really enjoyed their show. They don’t move around much and they aren’t particularly exciting in an action-packed sort of way, but their very presence delivers the goods. Damn good.
With the Dead was next and I’m not sure what was going on but the songs I saw, they had no guitar player. They were still heavy as hell and Lee Dorrian’s voice is manna from Heaven for me, so I really enjoyed them. Their apocalyptic Doom resonated with a loud, insistent buzz. I caught as much as I could before jetting over to see what might have been the best band of the day.
Uada took the stage and tore it up. I mean, they ripped that festival a new asshole. They were precise, powerful, and yet still harmonic and still carrying lots of light and shade. I can’t say enough good about them. The riffing, the twin leads, the vocals and drums and bass…they were great on every level. The Black Metal style they play isn’t anything new, they just do it really, really well.
Next was Voivod. They have such a quirky style and sound and I wondered if they would be able to replicate that with their “new” guitarist. There was no reason to fear. They were as good as they ever were. The only problem for me was they were playing at the Pool, and it was HOT out there. The wind was blowing but it literally felt like someone was blasting a heater into my face.
I took off to catch the last few minutes of Today is the Day. They were okay. I can’t say anything bad about them because I’ve never been much of a fan. I don’t hate them, but I don’t care much for them. They were solid, for what it’s worth, and the die-hards in the crowd were more than pleased.
Breaking off from there, it was over to the Main Stage to catch some Godflesh. Now, I’m not going to talk smack, but they bored me. I’ve never been a fan, so keep that in mind, and most of the crowd was rocking pretty hard. I just don’t like drum machines and my bias really colored me against them.
Goblin was a delight. They played a touch of songs from each of their more famous movies and they had accompanying clips from said movies playing as they rocked out. If you heard their music separate from the films, you probably wouldn’t think they had a creepy bone in their bodies. But they do and these wizened old men bent to the task and did their thing. It was a nice sonic break from the prior heaviness of Godflesh and they were a fantastic addition to the festival as a whole.
I managed to catch half of a song by Primitive Man on the side stage and they were crushing. I mean that. It was like someone came into the small room and dumped a bunch of giant boulders on the crowd and started rolling them around, smashing everyone flat like in a cartoon. The place was too cramped and my claustrophobia kicked in and I had to exit. It felt like I was suffocating. I think in part it was due to the massive power of the band.
Danzig closed out the night and he flat out kicked ass. He ran around, thrashed a little, and nailed it vocally. I’ve seen him a number of times and he never disappoints, but sometimes he’s better than others. Tonight he was in peak form. He cursed out the sound tech for bad monitor sound, he flashed the devil horns repeatedly, he reached down deep and came up with a gutsy performance, and he sang his ass off. The show was fantastic and it was a great way to end the evening.
Tomorrow is Sunday and it’s the last day. We’ll see how my legs and back hold up. Until then: Peace!