In the words of Iron Maiden, we’re “back in the village again…” Yep, we’re back in North Wales for Hammerfest number 9! Chalet located, flat mate introductions out of the way and it’s up the hill to begin the mayhem…
First up it’s Wales’ own Sodomized Cadaver. Yes, we’re starting with some gruesome death metal!
“What are we? Oh, we’re the first band on… Sorry about that!”
Sodomized Cadaver provide some brutal death metal for the Thursday night HRH United/Hammerfest IX shindig (let’s just call it Hammerfest from now).
Humble but heavy then, the band race through their catalogue as the Hammerfest masses slowly emerge from their caravans and chalets.
The band have been allotted an hour for their show but as they whip through smashers like ‘Skull Fracture Massacre’ and ballads about being “raped, buried and left for dead” it becomes obvious that they might not fill this hour. With precious little chat and a ferocious pace, the band leave the stage early and come back with an encore… of a repeated song.
No complaints here though, it’s a great start to proceedings and seeing a group of Santas moshing along to ‘Raped By Ebola’ is what this festival is all about. Great fun!
Things are not about to get any quieter as Hammerfest (and CB) favourites RSJ hit the stage. After a age of screeching feedback. RSJ have an hour to fill too! So tonight we hear a lot of “here’s one we haven’t played for a while” and there’s a few lengthy intros and breaks between songs.
When they get going they are a colossal ball of noise and energy. Guff and Dan are up on their podiums on regular rotation and traverse the stage like bears with sore heads. The whole band look fired up for this show!
Dan compares North Wales with York and the first chant of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire…” fires up in the crowd. Not a bad achievement in Pwllheli.
Hammerfest is a home away from home for RSJ and this home crowd lap up RSJ and they help the beers go down nicely too! Guff finished off the set down in the crowd and it’s an awesome show from the Yorkshire crew.
It may have been a lovely sunny day, but as darkness sets in it’s bloody freezing at the outside bar. But, it’s Hammerfest so we camp outside in between sets anyway. The post Hammerfest pneumonia is in the post…
Bloodshot Dawn fill the next slot of the night. We’ve not seen these guys for quite a while. They are a band that always seems to have a few changes going on in the ranks. One thing you can guarantee is that the ever-grinning Josh is there unleashing the tech-metal from the front.
Now we’re not famous for our appreciation of tech stuff here at CB, but we have always had a soft spot for Bloodshot Dawn. Their thrashy bounce ticks a fair few boxes for us and they alway put on a great show.
Tonight is no different. Isn’t it about time we had a new Bloodshot Dawn album, though?
Another trip to the bar before something we’ve been quietly waiting for all night.
You don’t have to follow CB too closely to make a decent guess at who we were looking forward to the most from the Thursday line-up.
The Venom Inc. branch are in the house tonight and Mantas, Abaddon and The Demolition Man are not in the mood to mess about. They cram the set as full of blackened heavy metal as we can handle. Lots of smoke, lots of spotlights and Tony’s multiple facial expressions (gurns) make for an eye-catching show.
It seems everyone in attendance is out and about to see this show as the main stage arena is rammed and the masses of headbangers and dual horns are a great sight to behold.
“Is there a song you want to hear?”
We’ve been spinning the new live album ‘Carpe Noctum’ a lot in preparation for this show; it brought back memories of that awesome (but short) Bloodstock show from a couple of years back and also just how many tunes this band have in their locker.
Happily, Armored Saint are still in the fine form that they were in last time we saw them. John Bush’s voice seems to fit this band more comfortably than his big stint in Anthrax and he shows it off to the maximum tonight. Always got to question his trousers, though. Fancy pants, indeed…
‘Last Train Home’ is a big old singalong track that everyone can get involved in and Armored Saint take on their environmental protector role with ‘Mess’. The crowd is still sizeable for Armored Saint as the Hammerfest faithful aren’t having an early night on the first day of the festival and there’s a little bit of party atmosphere in the air to finish off the night.