Mosh! All Dayer
Promoter: Mosh! Winchester
Date: Saturday 21st July 2012
Venue: The Railway, Winchester
Bands (that I saw): Terrathorn, Bloodshot Dawn, Bloodworks, Furyborn, Biolith, Duke of Agares.
In the world of metal, all day events can be a double edged sword. On the one hand you’ve got a great opportunity to bring a whole horde of bands together to perform and dedicate an entire day to kicking arse and moshing out. One the other, the unfortunate side effect of this bastard condition called ‘reality’ is that your job can frequently get in the way, something I experienced first hand at the Mosh! All Dayer which started at 2pm while I was still at work until 5.30. Come 6 o’clock I had arrived and quickly made my way into the venue to catch as much of a glimpse as I possibly could.
Since I started writing reviews and coming to gigs here at The Railway I have definitely developed a couple of favourites who I will make a special effort to see and, as I ran into the Railway’s back room, I was happy to see I hadn’t missed one of my top bands: Dukes of Agares. Even though I only managed to catch the closing fifteen minutes of the set The Dukes still sounded as if they were in great fucking form. The gritty power with which they hammer through their songs is something which makes them great and this was in no short supply in the closing two songs of the gig; particularly ‘Shadow Walker’, which was ony let down by the meagre mid afternoon crowd. Despite the song’s hypnotising opening drums and the crushing riff accompanied by the great vocal work of Kinch and Yabsley the song failed to take off and left the chant-along middle section sounding a little silly. Unfortunately it seemed like most of the crowd were either outside or saving themselves for the next 4 hours with only myself and a few others as exceptions. Nevertheless, this was a solid performance by The Dukes and although the crowd energy was low during the set; the resultant appreciation proved that it did not fall on deaf ears.
Next up to the Great Metal Gauntlet were the Death Metal as Fuck Biolith, who this time were in possession of a permanent bassist and left behind their comedy gold stage invaders (as seen in the Volume Seven review). Without these distractions in place it was just us and the music and it seemed like Biolith had brought their fans out in force for this show, with the whole front of the stage lined with headbangers thrashing away to the glory of this Death tinged sound of nightmares. There was a furious aggression to Biolith’s set which totally captured the crowds, not even letting up when vocalist Luke’s mic cut out halfway through the set. Luke himself was great to watch onstage, striding from side to side fully assured of the control his band held over the room. However, whilst assured physically, the vocals were occasionally swallowed up by the brutal bass and drum lines which had a tendancy to overpower the other instruments. We didn’t care though, these levels of sonic fucking fury were exactly what we came here for and Biolith certainly delivered.
At this point I’d had enough to drink and moshed enough that I decided I needed some air (and another pint) so I’d like to apologise to Furyborn for missing the opening couple of minutes of their set, as I spent the time outside discussing French gore movies with some friends. I’m getting side tracked. Fuck. On with the review! After a set as sonically and physically punishing as Biolith’s, the surprisingly catchy Metal offered by Furyborn punctured the room with a whole new energy. Combining the stalwart shreds and screams of true Death Metallers the set even flared with almost Power Metal-esque offerings of clean vocals from Jut Tabor and ferociously technical fretwork from the bald behemoth figure of Ollie Roberts. This varied approach hit the perfect balance with neither the harsh nor the clean over reaching its opposite while the rhythm section of Shred (guitars/vocals), Matt Wilson (bass/vocals) and Jamie Dowding (drums) were perfectly comfortable at whichever pace they chose to set, making even the fastest shreds and blasts look simple. By the end of the set I was not only totally fucked on booze but totally pumped for whatever came next.
What sort of Mosh! All Dayer would it have been were it not for these next guys? The shining hope of Metal in Hampshire (If anybody disagrees, I strongly suggest you go fuck yourself). That’s right, Bloodworks are back. Having now appeared in no less than a third of my reviews you’re probably well aware of my opinion of Bloodworks by now. The boys go from strength to strength with each set they play and as the evening rolled into night time they proved yet again that they have what it takes. Although the sound is, at times, a little homogenous this just amplifies the fury with which these guys play as each and every song is just as unrelenting as the last one – taking the audience by the scruff of the neck and screming into their eyes until their skull explodes from sheer awesomeness. ‘Dead and Buried’ is always a highlight to watch as it really showcases the creative flair and intricate tap work by Kieran, Truk and particularly Lewis, who not only possesses the most beautiful guitar ever conceived but sure as hell knows how to use it, truly earning the right to bear the name ‘Dime’ on this instrument of doom. Fuck these guys are good. Just. Fuck.
So with the sunlight dwindling to nothingness we only had two more bands to see and I was, for lack of a better phrase, totally and utterly fucked. Of course, as the Gospel according to Dimebag will attest, this is the ideal state to rock the fuck out to some of the best shit out there so, with that said. I was in for a pounding as Bloodshot Dawn thundered into their opener. From start to finish while these guys were on we barely had a second to catch our breath as the whole set went from strength to strength. Wailing guitars, crushing bass, vocal tenacity and unbridled drums. With a relentless vigour that few bands are capable of, the Death Metal fourpiece opened up Pandora’s Box to all the horrors inside, ensnaring the captive audience like chains around a demon horde. Pits sprung up, hair and limbs flailed wildly and the floor was aflame with the sheer unadulterated joy of Metal. We could see the band were having fun as well, which made the show even better as sometimes a set can live or die on how its performed. Suffice to say, Bloodshot Dawn don’t just play their music, the live it and have a fucking great time in doing so.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a crowd as pumped up as we were following the stellar set by Bloodshot Dawn but it was clear that Terrathorn would have a tremendous challenge on their hands just to keep up that level of fucking momentum. Fortunately, as Terrathorn have proved before, momentum is what they’re all about. Right from the start the self styled ‘Party Thrash’ five piece rushed the crowd with an extra surge of adrenaline, pumping their modern twist of classic thrash through our veins and reigniting the fire let by the many bands of the all dayer. It’s the sheer energy of a Terrathorn show which makes them an amazing band to watch and a lot of this credit has to go to the phenomenal stage work of James Hayball (vocals) who not only makes the stage his bitch but makes it is his business to claim the pit as well; striding out to greet us and get us fucking rocking. From about two songs in each number came with its own pit the likes of which you only see when people have been drinking for 8 hours. Even though I managed to get quite painfully launched into the stage, creating a sizeable bruise on my arm and a potential concussion from the monitor, I couldn’t help but think this was fucking amazing. Of course a gig this great, both for Terrathorn as a band and Mosh! in general, demands a closer worthy of its scope and the Southampton boys didn’t disappoint with their own cover of Metallica’s Battery. That’s right, you heard, in a 140 capacity venue with people who had been drinking since 2pm we were treated to fucking Battery. I don’t think I saw a single person outside of the pit as this number came to a close and rightly so – it’s a classic for a reason and the band who performed it were nothing short of flawless.
So that was the Mosh! All Dayer, or at least most of it. I can only send my apologies to the many bands I didn’t get to and ask that they blame society’s pathetic insistence that a guy needs money just to eat, get pissed or buy PS3 games (First World Problems). I can only hope that this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from Mosh! for a while but frankly, if they want to put their feet up and enjoy some time off after a stellar gig like that I wouldn’t fucking blame them. This Metalhead will certainly be waiting.
Dukes of Agares: 7/10
Bloodshot Dawn: 9/10