For the second year in a row, a month ahead of the main event itself, Tech-Fest came to Glasgow for an all-dayer at Audio once again hosted by HD Music, and with a line-up as tasty as this, tickets were swiftly purchased at the first instance and we were all ready to go.
Dienamic from Sweden were first to take to the stage. Their self-proclaimed brand of Arctic death thrash certainly sounded appealing, and that they were. Despite being in the dreaded opening slot, that did not hold them back from delivering a great opening set highlighted by fast-paced dual riffs and an enthusiastic, beer-fueled performance from frontman Gustav. Just like that, they had set the bar nicely.
Edinburgh act Islasorna followed suit, churning out beastly tracks such as Transmissions, 420 and Aquaphobia, each impressing with big drops, technical guitars and a tight rhythm section; in particular, mighty bass work.
Hieroglyph were next, a band jointly hailing from Leeds and London that we had only discovered last month and were quickly made fans of, and safe to say the anticipation to see them live had paid off.
Whether dishing out some familiar tunes or material from their upcoming album, they were fantastic, and that came down to the really good vocal/scream combo of Valentina and Mark – the latter being very animated on stage – and a blistering presence from all six members, with none of them feeling out of place.
And then there was British metal’s most notorious health and safety hazard, The Colour Line. Taking it to the floor, walking on the bar, piggybacking on each other, venturing out into Midland Street, instruments launched up in the air, strumming guitar strings with audience members’ teeth, bringing a ladder into the mix, somebody headbanging on the ladder, vocalist Sam standing on the ladder with the rest of the crowd stood around him like his disciples, only for more chaos to ensue in the form of a pit, a scarily awkward surf, a cymbal being annihilated by the aforementioned ladder and with it all ending by Sam being rugby tackled and pinned onto the ground…speaks for itself, really.
And the good times rolled on with Shields who were, simply put, immense. Sheer intensity and passion just radiating off the stage, and so much energy that encapsulated all spectators in the room, with those in the front row really getting into the set as led by Joe Edwards. Nailing every single track and never missing a beat, it was insane.
And now for something completely different – Sithu Aye. Fresh off a tour of Japan with Protest The Hero, we had been dying to see his fellow live for ages, and he did not disappoint in the slightest, playing an incredible collection of progressive instrumental tracks, both old and new, ending with the infamous yet spectacular Senpai, Please Notice Me.
Sithu’s trademark talents were in full bloom throughout. His smoothness and precision in the performance of these complex pieces was amazing to watch, whether they were fast or slow, light or heavy, and it was all elevated by an equally strong backing band who functioned alongside him as a cohesive unit.
And last up was Humanity’s Last Breath, and the Swedes gave us a ferocious finale that was very, very heavy, courtesy of formidable growls, deafening riffs and hard-hitting drums. Top it all off with a red hot crowd headbanging and going bonkers in unison, and we had ourselves the perfect ending to what was, from top to bottom, a phenomenal event.