Temples Festival 2015 — Friday | Live Review & Photosets

Temples Festival 2015 @ Motion, Bristol. 29-31.05.15.


Photos (c) Sharron Wheeler-Davies

The three days of crushing metal ahead of me can’t possibly top 2014’s inaugural event, can they?

Arriving at Motion on Friday afternoon, I cast my memory back to last year’s Temples Festival and recall all of the fantastic bands I saw, and the wonderful people I met. The three days of crushing metal ahead of me can’t possibly top 2014’s inaugural event, can they?

After collecting passes and being given a tour around the venue, I settle down to watch Enabler on the second stage, commonly known as The Marble Factory. They offer up a slice of hardcore that quickens the pulse, and starts of proceedings effectively. They may be a little one-dimensional, but they’re competent and energetic.

Next up is Harm’s Way, on the main stage, which is filling up nicely. All of the muscles! All of them! These examples of brute masculinity from Chicago started off as something of a comedy band, but then remembered that hardcore guys are tough, not funny. Replete with all the chunky grooves and breakdowns that we expect, their set is very effective.

Desperately needing to watch some doom before I spontaneously sprout biceps and a chest tattoo, I move over to the smaller third stage at the point to see Meth Drinker. Ah, that’s more like it. This is low and slow, sludge doom at its finest. The vocals range from rumbling growls to haunting screams and the guitar work combines lethargic rhythms with screaming leads and articulated feedback. Absolutely monolithic.

Will Haven have gathered quite a crowd to witness their rather unique brand of schizophrenic noise metal. I don’t really see what the fuss is about, to be frank. Sure, I understand their significance. I just don’t understand the structure of their music. It’s all a bit of a mess. That being said, it’s all very much of a time. That time being the late nineties. I shuffle off to find some food.

Foraging takes a while, unfortunately. Queues for the food vendors are very long, ultimately because one of the main traders booked for the weekend, specifically for vegetarian/vegan food, cancelled at the eleventh hour. Bloody hippies. I’m able to catch some of Martyrdöd on the second stage however, and I’m very glad of this. Their crust metal sound is heavily blackened, and hits you like a sledgehammer to the gut. They’re atmospheric and full bodied, without ever losing cohesion. Damn cool, and a band I want to see again.

Having lost count of the number of Nails patches I’ve seen over the weekend, I make my way back into the main room to see what all the fuss is about. Oh dear, it’s powerviolence, the dullest of all subgenres. That’s a shame. The Californians go down well with the crowd as a whole, though to the ears of this humble doomster they just sound like one breakdown.

And so it comes to pass that it’s time for our day one headliners, Converge. The main room at Motion is utterly rammed, and everyone present goes wild as the first song begins. Our seminal closers launch into their “emo-math-core” (as a friend labels it), with stunning enthusiasm, and the crowd responds with energy levels to match. We get everything we want. Huge hooks? Hell yes. Compound time signatures? I don’t think Jesus would approve of that, Ted. Yet we get them anyway. Displaying dedication and humility for every minute of their set, Converge provide a magnificent close to the day.

What do you mean, there’s no more bands? How dare festival organisers need to go to bed at some point? As for my friends and I, we’re off to the pub.

Come back soon for days two and three.

Check out Meth Drinker’s ‘731’ right here:

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