Making the metal-heads go bonkers like a dynamite is up their arse, Boltfest‘s line-up was the most excellent in a longtime and I don’t think it is going to be easy to beat such a lethal line-up. Dedicated entirely to the cause that was driving this entire festival, Boltfest was organized so that us metal-heads can go there, pay a menial amount – the proceeds of which were being sent to the Teenage Cancer Trust – and then witness five of the most definitive death metal artists out there. Bolt Thrower had announced that the show was sold out within a matter of minutes and all this happened, quiet silently, when I was back in India. Buzz started doing the rounds when Bolt Thrower started adding support bands to the line-up one-by-one. The final line-up, take a look –
Once here in UK, the moment this gigantic piece of news reached my ears I instantly knew that I had to be there, even if I had to sell my own self. That wasn’t really required as I got in touch with the management, and they were kind enough to offer me a guest entry to the gig. Boltfest was clashing with day 2 of The DesertFest, but I was left with no choice. You already read the names up there. I fucking had to go!
Band number one was Vallenfyre. Formed by members of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, At The Gates and Brujeria (actually the list is never-ending), Vallenfyre is relatively newer only in terms of its formation because the experience in the band’s musical ingredients makes it one of the most sought after bands today. I back up my words by a mere mention of The Fragile King. The debut blew my nuts away. 6 p.m. and the band was on-stage. When discipline and death metal go together you get a pinch, exactly what I needed to make myself believe that the gig has begun. This was Vallenfyre‘s second show ever, after their live debut in Finland which happened on February 2nd, 2012.
Gregor and co. began churning out tracks from The Fragile King, and the sound was echoing from all corners of the indoor venue – HMV Forum, Kentish Town, London – hitting each death head inside like a stone drenched in doom metal. Vallenfyre surpassed my expectations by not only sounding super tight, but they also had an eerie feeling surrounding them which went well with the groovy death metal. Almost no bright lights during their performance, they demolished the stage and left. There was very little interaction between the band and the audience, but I remember Gregor talking about the cause this festival was supporting.
In fact the doom quality of Vallenfyre‘s music becomes more evident during their live show. From the entire Vallenfyre set it was the last few moments of the song Desecration which really stuck with me. Those minutes were grand and the lights were completely off. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Vallenfyre‘s set-list for the night –
All Will Suffer
The Divine Have Fled
Cathedrals of Dread
The Grim Irony
As the World Collapses
Vallenfyre’s performance in pictures. Click to enlarge –