Mammothfest has been growing for the past few years, substantially. From its humble days, it has grown to become an essential feature in the yearly metal calender. Each day of Mammothfest had a different theme with the first day being dedicated to the dark arts of black metal.
Opening the festival were local lads Vehement who took the opportunity by the horns and straight up killed it. A captivating, enjoyable set from a band who looked comfortable and confident on the stage they were owning. They may not have had long on stage, but they didn’t waste a single second on it. An assured performance from a band who have their sights on better things.
When you want to take your festival up to the next level, you put on The Infernal Sea. The band came on stage (minus the drummer) adorned in plague masks and facemarks, flanked by masked individuals holding lanterns. The Arch really complimented the band on stage as they ripped the faces off Mammothfest with their black metal assault. ‘Plague Herald’ was one of the songs of the weekend as the audience headbanged in unison. There was a real (plagued) community vibe during their set, the mood picked up as the band came on stage and everyone’s anxietis died. The Infernal Sea are not just one of the best black metal bands in the country, but in the world right now.
Oslo’s Tsjuder were up next who looked like a text book black metal band. But Tsjuder helped write the rulebook on black metal and absolutely annhiliated The Arch. But the encore was the best bit, they brought on Frederick Melander, the bassist and a founding member of Bathory on stage for a rendition of ‘Sacrifice’ by the legendary outfit. It was a great tribute not only to Bathory‘s legacy, but the genre itself. Tsjuder won the day after that, it doesn’t get better than this.
Reviewing Rotting Christ was always going to be a difficult task for me as I simply cannot get into them. I don’t know why. I saw them before and was disappointed but I hoped their headline set would win me over, sadly it didn’t. I cannot deny the band’s talent as musicians or their ability to work a crowd and survive in this business; but I found their set dull and boring. I watched the whole set hoping to be won over but it didn’t happen. The audience had a great time and they were many attendee’s band of the weekend and I can easily see why, but it wasn’t for me. Rotting Christ have a dedicated fan base and when I tell fellow metalheads I don’t like them I get weird looks and have even been threatened because of it. But maybe I’ll be won over in a few years, who knows. But the first day at Mammothfest was off to a great start.
The group Safe Gigs For Women were in attendance over the weekend, you can find out more about them at their Facebook here