Metal and Pontins is a combination which has to be seen to be believed, but
is pulled off with such excellence that it can rival many of the outdoor
off to an explosive start were post hardcore newcomers Cars On Fire (3)
who warmed up the Fresh Blood stage well with an energetic performance.
The main stage then took off with Solsikk (2.5) who were plagued with
bad luck missing a bassist and having sound issues. Over on stage two
Xerath (2.5) were having similar sound problems, but still pulled off
some well thought out Devin Townsend worship. Something truly well… epic
came next on the main stage as Epica (3.5) put on a tight and dare I
say beautiful performance.
Putting Pontins in a mellower mood were Katatonia (4) who had
melancholic sing-alongs down to a fine art. Hardcore mob October File (2)
didn’t fare so well with a middle of the road set but all was made up by
Conquest Of Steel (4) who delivered some pure metal might to the steel
army around. Abgott (3) played some boundary pushing black metal
making the elitists cry black make up with a cover of Megadeth’s ‘Holy
Day one headliners Five Finger Death Punch (3) had the crowd eating
out of their fists giving everything they had for 90 minutes. Grindcore
legends Napalm Death (4.5) followed and proved why they are one of
the most reliable and tight bands in extreme metal as Barney Greenway danced
like a lunatic. Finishing the night were modern gothic doom troops
Swallow The Sun (3) who gave a powerful performance to the devoted
Day two began with metalcore act Rise To Remain (2.5) who put in a
lot of effort on the second stage but didn’t have the music to match.
Isolysis (2.5) were not much better on the Metal Aid stage but did have
some impressive dance moves to complement their groove filled music.
Back on stage two Fury UK (3) gave some melodic maiden worship which
worked in their favour, backed by some great drumming. Stepping things up a
gear were The More I See (4) who played a mix between modern metal
and thrash that impressed everyone gathered. More thrash followed with
Hellfighter (4) who put a huge amount of passion into their shred and
also gave some great sing-along moments. White Wizzard (3.5) looked into
their crystal ball and only saw the 80’s, but today this was no bad thing.
Finishing a great day for music on the Metal Aid stage were Godsized
(3.5) who packed a heavy crunch into their stoner rhythms and classic
solos. Everyone’s favourite British modern metal band Panic Cell (3.5)
were clearly enjoying themselves, playing a well balanced set which won over
many new fans.
Opening the main stage were Attica Rage (4) who proved they deserved
their position with a classic set including a fantastic version of ‘Fear Of
The Dark.’ One for the stoners came next in the form of Orange Goblin
(4.5) who packed tons of distortion into a triumphant set that
worshipped volume at the altar of the riff. Reggae and metal may sound like
a mix that just can’t work but try telling that to the rabid crowd who knew
every note of Skindred’s (4) energetic set. For many, Skindred
ranked as one of the weekend's favourites. The moment legions of
heavy metal fans had being waiting for arrived next, as Iced Earth (5)
proved themselves band of the weekend with a truly moving set including
classics such as ‘Pure Evil’ and ‘Violate’ that were perfectly executed by
vocalist Matt Barlow. Suicidal Tendencies (3.5) were another for the
old school, playing over an hour of hyperactive brilliance before closers to
the festival Sabaton (3.5) received an incredible fist pumping crowd
response for their unique take on power metal.
Hammerfest was a metal experience that won’t be forgotten by anyone present
and will bring countless new attendees through tales of impressive riffs and