Badgerfest 2021: Day 2 – The Bread Shed, Manchester – Saturday 16th October 2021

Badgerfest 2021 Poster

Badgerfest 2021: Day 2
The Bread Shed, Manchester
Saturday 16th October 2021
Review By Rob Sutton
Photography by Sheri Bicheno

Day 2 was here and it was time to head back to the Bread Shed, filled up with Maccies, to try and relieve the fuzzy head from the night before! Day 2, was the first day proper, where things really kicked off – 14 bands over 2 stages, and I decided that today would definitely require stamina!

Aside from a Maccies, a great way to get rid of a hangover is Telford based Metalcore heavyweights, Recall the Remains. These guys kicked the day off in perfect fashion with some old school metalcore. They use a fantastic blend of brutality and melody, not only in the guitars, but also vocally. The clean vocals provided by the guitarist are beautiful and look effortless as he sings and riffs simultaneously, backed by the familiar growls and screams from the lead vocalist. These guys have the genre covered to a tee, adding breakdowns which aren’t just chugs, and are refreshing from the majority of metalcore out these days. They had energy in abundance and a fantastic chemistry between the members on stage, this all led to them being marked as one of the bands of the festival and setting the benchmark for everyone else exceptionally high!

https://www.facebook.com/recalltheremains

Over to the second stage, and I will point out that it isn’t the biggest of stages and has a massive pillar in the middle, so probably isn’t the easiest stage to perform on. Opening this stage were Manchester based Metal/Rock band, Ashen Reach. These guys I have heard of before, but never actually had the chance to watch them. They don’t disappoint, as again they’re full of energy, and cleared up what was left of the hangover. Ashen Reach also utilise multiple vocalists, but using a singing style, as opposed to growls (although there were a couple of cheeky screams here and there). The harmonies were impressive and make your hairs stand on end, there was a lot of the rock influenced ‘oos’ which I think were perhaps a little overused within the set, but don’t let that take away from their phenomenal performance. Not only are they musically very engaging, but they really pump the crowd up and get them all singing along. A great way to open the second stage but I was left confused as to why the vocalist disappeared off stage for a whole section of a song?

https://www.facebook.com/ashenreach

From the upbeat of the second stage, to the eerie and horror themed antics of The Injester. These guys certainly brought something different to the festival, all wearing masks, covered in blood and with some creepy sounding keys in the background. Sadly this didn’t work for me, there was a lot less punch compared to the previous 2 bands, and it felt a little bit cobbled together and all over the place. This maybe the style they are going for, but it didn’t do anything for me, although it was an interesting watch.

The Injester live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/TheInjester

Callus is another band that I have heard a lot about but never actually seen. They brought their Stoner Metal to the second stage, with some absolutely belting riffs which got not only mine, but many heads in the crowd nodding. It’s much slower pace than the previous bands, but this is a welcomed change to the day. They performed a tight solid set, and I would certainly recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre.

https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band

Today seemed to be a lot slower pace than Friday’s brutality. And to this end, back on the main stage were Netherhall. They brought a much calmer performance to the day, and while the crowd look to struggle to fully engage with their take on Progressive Metal, I personally enjoyed it. I loved the weird beats and the tone these guys have, not to mention the almost Tesseract style voice that overlays. While metal is mainly headbanging and mosh pits, I found myself closing my eyes and losing myself completely in the music. There was minimal crowd interaction here which is possibly why they didn’t seem to get much engagement back, I think the set is just about the music and it is simply gorgeous to listen to!

https://www.facebook.com/NetherhallUK

Sadly, with only 5 minutes between bands, there was always going to be the odd band I missed. From what I very briefly heard from Everest Queen, they sounded solid, but I can’t say much more, as I missed a lot of their set.

https://www.facebook.com/everestqueenband

A few weeks ago, I travelled up to Wolverhampton to watch Black Tongue, and supporting them was our next band, Ashen Crown. At that gig they didn’t quite fit the theme of the night, so didn’t end up with the reaction they deserved. No such problems for them this afternoon, as they drew the biggest crowd of the whole weekend, honestly you could barely move or even get in! This is what Ashen Crown is about, fast music, lots of pits, and heads banging! This set was crushing and even with some sound issues at the beginning, they pressed on with absolute precision and professionalism. They may have played the Sophie stage at Bloodstock this year, but after such domination of a stage, they are well on track to be headlining festivals like this, and easily becoming top of their genre! This was simply incredible and by far the best I’ve seen them play!

Ashen Crown live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk

Throughout the last few months, we have gotten used to band members having to miss gigs, but what has been fantastic to see is they way bands have adapted to the unusual circumstances. Ascaris were a drummer down, and using, as they described, the most expensive drummer – a laptop. I will say their drummer was beautifully in time! In fairness the remaining 2 were also both extremely tight. They bring a brutal mix of Black and Death Metal, without using the cheesy corpse paint or hail Satan phrase. These guys play fast, and their hands are blurs on the fret boards. It was a solid performance. If you like your Blackened Death Metal fast, relentless and incredibly polite, Ascaris have you covered!

Askaris live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/AscarisOfficial

Back for some more Stoner Metal next. As I’ve said, it isn’t my genre of choice, but King Goat brought another brilliant performance, all while allowing the smell of incense to fill the room. It was slow, great riffs, all performed fantastically. Again, I would recommend checking them out if this is your style.

https://www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

Next, and from across the border, was Godeater! I first heard about these guys when I saw them announced for Bloodstock. They were heavy then, and they were even heavier here! These Glaswegians have so much energy I’m not sure how they got through the set. Not one of them stopped moving for the full half hour, apart from the drummer because well… drummer! There is so much weight to their take on Deathcore, and they were by far the heaviest band of the day so far, and the pits show that! They were in full swing and mighty at that. 

Their tasteful use of samples adds just a little bit more to their overall sound and made them sound huge! It’s always a risk as a vocalist to go into a pit, more so if the mic is wired, but here he did (someone give this guy a wireless mic, as I’m pretty sure a few people tripped up). What impressed me about this was even though he was in the pit, he continued to deliver flawless vocals and this is all while being bashed from pillar to post! The only thing that let them down was the slightly flat cleans, but they did again add another layer, and along with the samples, really stand these guys out in the Deathcore scene. Honestly, these guys are a band to watch in the future, they’re brutally heavy, full of energy and perform to an exceptionally high standard. Godeater are the full package!

https://www.facebook.com/godeateruk

Continuing the theme of heavy were Blood Oath, and with their blood-soaked attire, I was expecting a strong Black Metal influence here. But I was wrong. What we were met with was a concoction of many extreme genres, predominantly Death Metal, and yes there was plenty to headbang to here. I don’t think there was a single head still in the crowd for these guys, as they drew one of the bigger crowds for the second stage. We were also blessed with some new material and boy does it sound HUGE. I really am excited to go and watch this when it’s released. Blood Oath are insanely tight, have some soaring riffs and solos, with some machine gun-esque drums, all with vocal styles from a catalogue of genres, did I hear a bree? These guys were fantastic, and for me my favourite of the second stage, and my find of the day!

Blood Oath live at Badgergest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/BloodOathUK

For many years my friends have been banging on about Red Method and how I really need to see them, well, now I have! All dressed in red, rather appropriately, they bring a mix of Nu-Metal and Djent, with a sound resembling that of old school Slipknot, albeit on ironing boards (8 string guitars). They performed with sheer aggression and passion; they are in your face heavy! I loved the addition of the keys and samples all played live, and not on backing tracks, though I was amazed the keyboard remained in one piece after seeing what AVD (keys) did to them when he was in The Defiled. One thing I love about watching heavy bands do breakdowns is all the members headbanging in sync, Red Method pulled this off fantastically and got the whole room bowing! While the cleans aren’t the best in the world, they were clear enough to get half the crowd singing along, and this was the first time I’d properly seen this crowd sing. Red Method sound so heavy that no amount of gym time would be able to pick them up, they have a new fan, and I can’t wait to see them again.

Red Method live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/RedMethodBand

More Sludgy music from the second stage was next, with King Witch. This Stoner band is fronted by a lady, and her voice is beautiful, almost like a Siren soaring over the down tuned heaviness provided by the guitars and bass. Again, it’s not my genre of choice, and does mean I can’t say too much on them, but they felt a bit different and they were enjoyable.

https://www.facebook.com/kingwitch

So, onto our headliners and they come with a serious reputation behind them. They have opened the main stage at Bloodstock a few years ago where a very, very hungover Rob attempted to stand and watch them but instead fell into a heap on the floor. Luckily, no such issues today though I am kicking myself for not watching them fully at Bloodstock… Krysthla destroyed it here! They are filled with incredible riffs that had me windmilling away, and pretending I had the faintest idea how to play guitar. Added to that were some incredibly consistent growls, and some nice cleans in the mix, too! They remind me of Divine Heresy, a band I used to absolutely love! There were blast beats, rapid guitars; just everything about this set was on point and tight. I’m not normally a person who ends up raving about a headliner but in this case they are by far one of the best headliners I have seen at a festival. I was left in awe, is there anything these guys don’t have? Massive pits? Check. Crowd surfing? Check. Taking Rob’s money as he heads to the merch table? Check. What a band, what a show and what a way to end day 2!

Krysthla live at Badgerfest 2021

https://www.facebook.com/krysthla

I learnt a few things today, I can smoke a cigarette in less than 5 minutes, the quality of the bands at this festival is insane, and that I either needed to have taken someone who knows about Stoner bands, or learn more about the genre myself! Nevertheless day 2 was insane! 

Badgerfest Links:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. All photographic images the property of Sheri Bicheno. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Blood Oath – Infernum Rex Diabolus

Blood Oath – Infernum Rex Diabolus
Self-Released
Release Date: 15/12/2019
Running Time: 41:41
Review by Sheri Bicheno
9/10

Christ, this is one fast and thumping album!! It will turn you to absolute mashed potato…

Blood Oath, from Leicester, are one of those bands that are not going to go unnoticed, they are on everyone’s lips, and if you’ve seen them rip up the stage donning (fake) blood and a killer presence, you’ll have seen why! Forming in 2015, they have been rising through the levels, reigning chaos wherever they play. In the, just over four years they have been going, they have graced the New Blood Stage of Bloodstock 2017, Uprising, Ragnarok, Unearthed Festival, HRH Metal plus many notable others. “Infernum Rex Diabolus” is an album to get your ears around if you are well into your old-school death metal and mix it with elements, which to me, are quite Slayer-esque.

We are first walloped with the track ‘Angels To Some…Demons To Others’; a slow and melodic intro riff eases us into the next five minutes which is an earthquake of thrash. It’s a powerful start and the vocals are pretty evil, however, very clear. One thing about next track ‘Obliteration Ov Mankind’, that should be noted, is Ady McGlennon’s outstanding drumming – fast paced, aggressive and top notch, keeping the momentum going, it is clearly this track’s backbone.

NOW THEN – something wicked this way comes with the track ‘Infernum Diabolus’. This has to be my favourite track on the album and it really shows what Blood Oath are fully capable of. The monster riff that introduces us to this track takes us forward into a slow but absolutely belting headbanger of a tune. It then speeds up, with twists and turns of changing pace, something I absolutely need in a good track I want to get heavy to. Mark ‘Thrax’ Johnson’s vocals here are low and growling, a pure demonic crazy train, but again very clear and well cut.

This is a track that will give you the following face of approval…

Halfway through track ‘Howling Of The Draugr’ the double-bass is UNBELIEVABLY intense and I fear if you are the headbanging sort, your head may just fall off, it’s utter whiplash. I love how this track blends that superspeed drumming with the slower riffs and bass giving it an almost doomy tone.

“Infernum Rex Diabolus” takes us through some crushing riffs from Mike Freeman and Frazer Hart and Bill Fordham’s bass blends its elements of Blackened Thrash/Death Metal and even a hint of Doom into a cocktail that just blows you away. Turn this up LOUD!

Blood Oath have achieved something pretty special, there is not one bad track and it does what it promises. No compromises. Killer album!

TRACK LISTING:

01. Angels To Some…Demons To Others
02. Obliteration Ov Mankind
03. Infernum Diabolus
04. Lycanthropic Bloodlust
05. Monuments To Our Ruin
06. Born Godless
07. Howling Of The Draugr
08. Entwined And Un-Divine
09. Solitude And The Silence

LINE-UP:

Mark Thrax Johnson – Vocals
Frazer Hart – Guitar
Mike Freeman – Guitar
Bill Fordham – Bass

Ady McGlennon – Drums

LINKS:

http://www.bloodoath666.com
https://www.facebook.com/BloodOathUK/
https://twitter.com/BLOODOATHuk
https://www.instagram.com/bloodoath_uk https://open.spotify.com/artist/6gcXkAjPfy4QoDTvOWrSa5
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCorkMmh-2BlQmzwP4pEnPIA

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with BLOOD OATH

Blood Oath Logo

EMQ’s with BLOOD OATH

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Leicester based Blackened Death Metal band Blood Oath! Huge thanks to vocalist Mark ‘Thrax’ Johnson for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi guys, my name’s ‘Thrax’ (it’s a nickname I’ve had for years) and I’m the vocalist of Blood Oath. We formed near the end of 2015 after several drunken conversations about ‘getting the band back together one more time’.

How did you come up with your band name?

That was the hardest thing. We came up with loads of ideas, most of them stupid or that have already been done. For me Blood Oath encapsulates the promise we made to play at Bloodstock. Something we achieved the following year in 2017.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re all from the UK. I think the scene here is doing great. Maybe 10-15 years ago things were different, I don’t know, but now I truly believe that there’s so many great little one/two day festivals, both indoor and outdoor, going on all over this country now. It’s great to see that it’s not all about massive festivals like Download. These all day events are a great way for smaller bands like ourselves to get the chance to share a stage with a larger, more established band.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

We’ve literally just released the first single (and hopefully a video) from our forthcoming album, the song is called ‘Infernum Diabolus’ and was inspired by a time a few years ago when I visited the ruined temple of Knossos in Crete. The supposed site of the fabled labyrinth and the Minotaur! The single is the title track off our latest album “Infernum Rex Diabolus”, which will be released in November.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Woah…too many to count! If I’m honest we’re inspired by more old school death metal bands such as Entombed, Dismember, Morbid Angel and Obituary. That said we’re loving the current wave of newer death metal bands such as Amon Amarth and Behemoth.
Frazer, our guitarist will not forgive me though if I don’t mention our greatest influence, Iron Maiden.

What first got you into music?

I must have been around nine years old when I started to get into music, but the current pop stuff on the radio just didn’t do it for me. I noticed rock bands like Guns and Roses, Kiss and AC/DC. I kinda liked these bands but it was the moment I discovered Iron Maiden that it all clicked into place. The Lyrics, the riffs and the artwork…I was in love.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Good question. Personally I’d like to do something a little different, maybe with Wardruna or Myrkur. Maybe something fun with Korpiklaani, who knows? Hahaha!

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

My first choice would have to be Bloodstock Open Air. I’ve been going to that festival for the last eleven or twelve years. It’s always an awesome, friendly and messy weekend and I’d love to play there again (hint hint).

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

We’ve not received any weird gifts yet but we’ve been told a fan has our rune logo tattooed on them which is quite an honour. I designed that logo a couple of years ago and I’ve got it tattooed myself but to hear a fan had it too kinda blew me away.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Don’t do drugs and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water…hahaha!

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Tough question, jeez, so many inspiring musicians have left us before their time. I’d have to say Dimebag. The man was an absolute legend and I swear no one has been able to recreate his sound or attitude since. Truly one of a kind! Getcha pull.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Being on stage and looking out over a mental crowd, throwing the horns and ripping the place up through our music. It’s an honour and a privilege just to see people enjoying our little band. It never gets old.
What I hate? Carrying heavy equipment up flights of stairs, we seriously need roadies.
Arrogant band members or sound engineers with egos! I mean seriously! Life (and gigs) would be so much easier if we all just got on and helped each other out…it’s not hard.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Live venues closing! It seems to be happening more these days and it’s a shame. There’s nothing like popping to your local, having a couple of beers and watching a decent unsigned band. Where’s the next Metallica or Black Sabbath going to come from?

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Sepultura – “Chaos AD”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s with Vinyl a close second because I’m old!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

My favourite occasion was when we opened for Soulfly, Kataklysm and Epica at the Metalhead Meeting in Romania. It was a great weekend. The people we met were fantastic and the venue was awe inspiring. The festival was held at an old Roman Arena so the sound was incredible.
My other favourite gig was when we played the HRH Vikings festival last year in Sheffield. Again the crowd was insane. I’d love to do all that again. This time though I’ll be getting a hotel room so I can stay the whole weekend, and drink.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Going to bed early! Hahaha!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I can’t think of a proper answer, so I’ll say all the members of ‘Footprints in the Custard’ because my guess is they’ll be really serious. Perhaps a cheese and wine party!

What’s next for the band?

Gigs! We require as much time on the road, promoting our new album as much as possible. You can catch us at The Flapper in Birmingham, 19th October. We’re part of an awesome charity event raising money for Macmillan. Selfish promotion there!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

You can find us on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/BloodOathUK/
I’m always on there so pop by and say hello.
Our videos are on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCorkMmh-2BlQmzwP4pEnPIA
They’re mainly us drunkenly talking nonsense so they are quite amusing.
Our merchandise is available on our Big Cartel page.
http://www.bloodoath666.com.
We’re selling off our old shirts for a fiver! Bonus! (Rick Here…they are indeed, I just bought one!)
We’ve even got an Instagram page, but that’s not as amusing.
https://www.instagram.com/bloodoathuk/
As you can see, we take ourselves very seriously. Haha

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Neither!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Yep. Support your local metal band!

 

Blood Oath Pic

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.