LIVE: Ghostfest @ University Union, Leeds (27/06/2010)

Date: June 27th, 2010
Venue: University Union, Leeds
Website: None available


After the first date of 2010 showcasing some of the best and most brutal hardcore and metal bands on the scene today, it would be a very difficult task to match to it on the festival weekend’s second date. Surely enough though, they even managed to top it and close their fifth year with an almighty bang!


What better way to open up the festivals main stage on it’s final day with a song entitled ‘Fuck’? Brutality Will Prevail don’t offer anything seriously complex or hard to digest which is pretty ideal to start people moving in the morning. Instead their heavy and hardcore presence prevailed despite whether or not they’re the most brutal band to play over the weekend. One thing is certain though, they prevailed.

Arguably even more brutal but in retrospect also less convincing or enjoyable to watch, Ingested may write about the most disgusting of topics in the most disgusting of ways, but in the live setting they’re not far from dull. Don’t confuse this as untalented, as all of the band members are definitely well tuned into their roles and delivering precision with their songs. But without the energy and passion to back it up and shoot it out there, Ingested could well have a short lifespan.

Sadly members of More Than Life were unable to make it to Ghostfest for their scheduled performance for one reason or another, hence why their days and times changed from Saturday to Sunday with Lower Than Atlantis. However, friends of the band honourably stepped-in to fill their shoes for their fans. An array of vocalists took turns singing a few songs each, including Nick from Dead Swans and Theo from Last Witness to at least end up with a half-decent make-shift performance on such short notice.

Entering the scene and getting noticed at a very young age, The Eyes Of A Traitor have had much time and experience to hone their performance and music in recent years. It’s at their live performances where you see just why they’ve managed to get to great lengths so soon, and though many other acts across the weekend surpassed them in quality, many others didn’t even brush close. Vocalist Jack Delany certainley has a confidence onstage that many older peers in other bands are without, helping TEOAT stand out from the competition.

As the second reunion (this time of the original line-up) at the 2010 Ghostfest weekend, high expections were obviously set for the boys in The Seventh Cross, especially due to the amount of respect and influence they’ve sprouted since their inception. Sadly their time locked away is on show, and even with their efforts clearly on show the inexperience is also on display with it. Hearing ‘Let Misery Flow’ and ‘A Demon’s March’ in a live format is refreshing, but without its full potential behind it it’s not what was expected.

The double vocalist approach of a screamer and singer goes down a treat lately in this alternative and hardcore scene, and The Simpsons street band name inspired Evergreen Terrace follow suit in such fashion. They come across like a second-rate American version of Architects with a hint of Alexisonfire here and there, birthing a loud yet inviting set. A nicely placed cover of ‘Mad World’ by Tears For Fears gets many sing-a-longs from fans and newcomers alike, anchoring almost certain new followers in the sea of those watching on.

As ambient and atmosphericly head crushing as they brutally beautiful, Devil Sold His Soul are well in place as one of the most hotly-tipped and sought after for Ghostfest this year. New album offerings of ‘Crane Lake’ and ‘Callous Heart’ show a familiar progression and improvement on the already laid ground work from DSHS, whereas older favourites such as ‘Like It’s Your Last’ raise goosebumps and energy levels like never before. Things are only going to get bigger and better with these lads.

GALLOWS – 9/10
The main attraction and final act for the whole weekend, Gallows have been given a position of high responsibility. Thankfully they’ve got the great power to come with it, and are more than deserving and fitting for this slot in the line-up. All eyes are on them and they’re loving it, with Frank Carter taking up his role as frontman with great finese, charisma and character. There’s jokes, swearing, crowd involvement, and even a little fall right at the start all the way ’til the very end. A quick localisation change of lyrics from London to Yorkshire get the crowd more than involved with ‘Yorkshire Is The Reason’, human pyramids in their failing glory throughout ‘In The Belly Of A Shark’ also leading to Frank climbing atop the 20 ft high sound desk, and even a fight ensuing towards the set’s end. Though the song ends midway due to the crowd fight, Frank manages to settle the situation with some jokes to the security and crowd, and ends Ghostfest with a triumphant and delightful explosion of a close.


From the opening verse and chorus to the appearance and sound, With One Last Breath are brushing very close to a somewhat Bullet For My Valentine tribute style band. They won’t be following the success of their doppelganger’s footsteps though, peeling off songs that don’t have the same bite or edge, leading to a result that tears may fall. The absence of an ill bassist for most of the set’s closer doesn’t do them any favours either.

With their debut album still not officially released yet, it’s surprising how much buzz and dedication is being given to this band. Surprising, but deservingly so. Onstage, While She Sleeps are as energetic and involving as they are tight. Songs like ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ are delivered with a confidence and boldness absent from much more experienced bands, and with crowdsurfing and moshing aplenty the crowd can detect it too.

Announcing this to be one of their last shows before they plan to part ways, you’d think that The Torture Of Comacine would want to give it their all and give the people an appetite for more. That’s not what was put on their plates, but instead a bland and simple dish of death metal that just came across as a chore and forced. There’s no flow or passion, which may well be a reason for the approaching split, and if this is the way live shows have now become in the band’s camp it’s undoubtedly for the best.

Things don’t get any better by the time The Argent Dawn come to the stage front. Forget metalcore, deathcore, hardcore, or whatever you want to class this band as. Today they’ve entered the genre of borecore. Funny angry faces may be a way of showing legitimacy and help portray the messages in their songs, but when your songs are as monotoneous and low in fire as theirs it’s all just futile attempts. Sorry The Argent Dawn, but you failed to a great extent.

Thankfully things pick up a great deal more, and it’s all down to Last Witness. Though it’s not hard to prevail over the snorefest that took place on the second stage for the past two acts, Last Witness remind us of the energy and rawness of the festival that should be present from the opening acts to the stage headliners. Petite in size yet gigantic in anger, Theo Kindyness is an aggressively bubbly and sadly underappreciated frontman. Though interactivity with the crowd is small, there’s potential behind himself and his bandmates.

Lack of interactivity isn’t a bad thing if you’re as in-fucking-sane as The Boy Will Drown, most notably vocalist Tom. Managing to scream at times without the aid of a microphone over the PA system is a challenging and impressive feat to accomplish. Tracks with titles like ‘Dance Like An Epileptic’ and ‘Josef Fritzl’ are as awkwardly fascinating and encaptivating live as their titles, with the band members throwing themselves from one side of the stage to another, still speaking only to the sound desk staff alone between songs. Actions speak louder than words for these boys.

EVITA – 8/10
Coming forward with a slightly more approachable sound for the whole weekend due to their addition of clean vocal hooks, Evita are the weekend’s forefront of crowd sing-a-long chants, and they come in great waves throughout the set. One of the most stand-out moments with said features was during fan frenzy inducing ‘Willing To Wake’, ending with a wave of chants from the floor to the stage.

The final band on the smaller stage of this year’s festival, and the final chance for everyone to get brutal and messy in such short proximity to the stage. Though surpassed in ways by some of the slightly earlier bands gracing the TDON stage, Dead Swans stand-out as their own. Vocalist Nick at one point stands on top of the shoulders of the security staff to get more involved with their fans and spectators, bringing songs like ‘Tin Heart’ and ‘The Hanging Sun’ to full life in their live and evidently more vibrant setting.