PREVIEW: Mammothfest 2017

author MAK date 21/09/17

With the lack of heavy music festivals in the south of the United Kingdom, especially Hevy fest and Sonisphere no longer existing, there is a strong open market for such an event to take their place and Mammothfest is hoping to fill that gap in the long run. Brighton’s only metal weekender, which returns on October 6th-8th, has been getting stronger each year, booking more established bands, pulling bigger crowds and therefore booking bigger venues.

Granted, acts such as Sylosis, Feed The Rhino, Venom Inc, Vader and Textures have all graced Mammothfest stages in the past, the festival is quite the distance from being the giant that can book a band like Metallica, but then again that might have been the over-ambitious booking that killed Sonisphere, to begin with; however there is an underground appeal, a focus on niche and emerging acts, giving plenty of bands the footstep they need to make a name for themselves.

This year sees Mammothfest step up in its intelligence in booking headliners, Fleshgod apocalypse, Rotting Christ and Amenra, all of which are exclusive to Mammothfest in 2017 for UK performances, meaning at no other event can you see such acts. What also returns is the themed days, simply, Friday is “Black Metal Day”, Saturday is “Extreme Metal Day” and Sunday is “Doom Metal Day”.

The only exception for this is the Sunday second stage, which has a mixture of metal genres for emerging artists. Each year, Mammothfest hosts the Rikstock stage in honour of former Hole in the Sky singer who sadly died of cancer. Rik was a past organiser and friend to Mammothfest director Steve Dickson.

Full Lineup

You can find the Clashfinder link with all set times and updates here

This article takes a quick look at the MUST TRY/SEE's at the festival, highlighting everything you need to know about Mammothfest, including layout and festival extras.

MUST SEE: Bands

While there are tonnes of great artists among the 50+ bands booked to play at this year's Mammothfest, these are the ones you should not miss out on.

Friday

  • Vehement - (18:00 – 18:30 at the Main Stage) - To open the mighty Black Metal stage and the entire festival is a regular Mammothfest extreme local metal act, Vehement. Hailing from the South Coast of England, Vehement have been flying the Black Metal flag in Sussex for many years, including winning the Metal 2 The Masses competition in 2016 for the area. This will also be the launch performance for their second album ‘Ashes’, out on the same day.
  • Tsjuder - (19:45 – 20:30 at the Main Stage) - Hailing from Oslo Norway, Tsjuder will be over for a rare UK appearance as main support to Rotting Christ. The band only made their live debut in the UK in 2015, which was the same year they released their fifth and current album ‘Antiliv’. What you can expect is an old school satanic Black Metal sound harking back to the style of the 80s and early 90s Black Metal bands; this is going to deliver an uncompromising dark atmosphere at Mammothfest.
  • Rotting Christ - (20:50 – 22:00 at the Main Stage) - Formed by the Tolis Brothers, Sakis (vocals and guitar) and Themis (drums), this Greek extreme metal band have been going since 1987 and are recognised as one of the first black metal bands within their region, earning them a revered status in the European underground metal scene early on, as well as impressively defining the unique signature Greek black metal sound that was especially present in the 1990s.

Saturday

  • Kill All The Gentlemen - (14:00 – 14:30 at the Main Stage) - Kill All The Gentlemen are a four piece metal band from Exeter, UK who deliver face melting pumped up metal to the masses. They played the New Blood stage at Bloodstock in 2014 as they impressively won the Hobgoblin online video competition for the track, “A Rose All Evil”.
  • Bleed Again - (14:45 – 15:15 at the Main Stage) - Bleed Again delivered one of the most memorable sets of the weekend, in which they filmed “Through The Eyes” and earned them one of the best crowd reactions of the whole festival. That along with the release of their impressive debut, “Momentum”, during May this year, pushes them to instant “must see” status.
  • Synaptik - (16:15 – 16:45 at The Hub Stage) - British heavy metal five-piece, Synaptik from Norwich, UK inject elements of thrash, power, and progressive metal to create their own signature metal sound. These seasoned musicians have in the past shared the stage with the likes of Iron Maiden, Exodus, Onslaught and more and are devastating live. Check out our review of their recent album, “Justify & Reason”.
  • Meta-Stasis - (17:00 – 17:30 at the Main Stage) - They describe themselves as Psycho-Tech-Death-Neg Beat-Industrial-Lunatics, Meta-Stasis have been Mammothfest regulars for a long time and fan favourites at the festival. The band formed from two bands, Sikth and Ted Maul, and have been terrorizing the masses ever since this mutation in 2012, including sets at Bloodstock and sharing stages with Behemoth and Korpiklaani.
  • Dragged Into Sunlight - (19:30 – 20:20 at the Main Stage) - British extreme metallers, Dragged Into Sunlight have been brought in as the main support to headliners, Fleshgod Apocalypse. They have been delivering their intense and brash sound for over a decade now, since 2006. There is a lot of mystery and intrigue surrounding the band, as they reveal little information about their identities, even going as far as to hide their faces, wearing balaclavas. Their live performances are a stranger affair, as they play with their back to the audience.
  • Fleshgod Apocalypse(20:50 – 22:00 at the Main Stage) - The six-piece leads the forefront of death metal in Italy and for a good reason. The Italians are inspired by renowned composers such as Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse as well as classical influences from Mozart, Beethoven and more. They have released four albums to date, their latest offering being, “King” (2016) through Nuclear Blast Records.
  • Seething Akira(00:30 – 01:30 at the VIP Stage) - Joining Lagerstein for the Saturday night VIP after-party are Portsmouth party metallers Seething Akira who return to Mammothfest to close the late night party in style. In 2015, they headlined the Rikstock stage with their usual blend electronica and metal laced with tonnes of energy and are guaranteed to bring the fun vibes and get the place bouncing. Seething Akira Stole the show at “Mammothfest Presents #1” back in April, you can check out the review here.

Sunday

  • Confronted - (14:00 – 14:30 at the Rikstock Stage) - This band's stage presence is unpredictable, chaotic and full of energy, and this was witnessed at the most recent 'Mammothfest presents'. Confronted opened the second stage and for an opening band to cause such carnage and noise was unforeseen and had without a doubt one of the best and most memorable sets of the day, aided by frontman Ryan Hull's unhinged and mental stage antics.
  • Negative Measures(16:15 – 16:45 at the Rikstock Stage) - Negative Measures are a Hardcore Punk four-piece hailing from Brighton. They haven't been on the scene long, but every time the Mammothfest director Steve Dickson goes to see them he finds local venues dripping with sweat as this energetic band bring together a community of heavy music fans. They certainly impressed the last time they played a Mammothfest stage here.
  • Operation Kino(17:00 – 17:30 at the Rikstock Stage) - Described as Post Hypnotic Jazz Cum Punk, Operation Kino come out with a completely raw tone and an erratic attitude, throwing out a mixture of frantic rhythms and funky grooves. As seen from their set at a previous Mammothfest presents performance, expect an “in your face” approach as members like to get close and personal with the crowd, expect it to get really sweaty too as the room is likely to be packed out.
  • Enslavement(17:45 – 18:15 at the Rikstock Stage) - Monstrous extreme death metal from Brighton. Formed in 2013, Enslavement has evolved into a four-piece Brutal Death Metal band taking influence from bands such as Defeated Sanity, Suffocation, Immolation, and Devourment. Expect waves of pig squeals, punishing riffs, endless blast beats and a frontman who always looks imposing with his dominant stance and his menacing stare
  • Vigil(19:00 – 19:30 at the Rikstock Stage) - Vigil is coming all the way from Poland and bringing their mix of groove industrial with a twist – think Pantera meets Korn; cracking riffs with an eeriness. We caught Vigil at a previous event, and while their set had technical issues, we really liked the sound they delivered.
  • Core Of iO(20:30 – 21:10 at the Rikstock Stage) - Headlining the Rikstock stage is tech metallers Core of iO, who are known to deliver technical prowess that will make other musicians question their own talent. From mind-melting guitar melodies and intricate patterns to brain bursting drum technique and awkward time signatures as they display an honest and unapologetically raw sound with their tech flavoured progressive rock.

Extra Mammothfest Information

Accessibility

Mammothfest is known for being a metropolitan event and this is the first time the main festival has been held at The Arch on Brighton’s seafront, though it was tested as a venue earlier this year for a couple of Mammothfest presents shows, which we reviewed here (“Mammothfest Presents#2” & “Mammothfest Presents #3”). As stated in those shows and the aforementioned lineup/must-see acts, the venue has two stages; The Arch venue and its sister venue The Hub, the Arch is much larger and will act as the main stage.

Food and Drink

Being in the city of Brighton, you are not far from all sorts of food and drink outlets, right next to the venue is even a fish and chips restaurant. Even then you are no further than a five-minute walk from Mcdonalds, Burger King, KFC, Nandos, Pizza Express…. All sorts including chain supermarkets. Inside the venue, there is a bar at each stage.

Tickets

Tickets come from as low £10 to just see the Rikstock Stage on Sunday, to £30-40 for day tickets, and £80 for the full weekend with extra bundles thrown in. All variants can be found here

Corpse Paint Friday

Most people know that when black metal is involved, so does corpse paint. So Mammothfest are joining in by opening a stall to give punters a chance to get corpse up if they so wish for just a few quid. The aim seems to be to have a venue full of painted faces.

Club Night & Aftershow

There is an after show, but you need to get a VIP ticket to access this. The after party will be held over at The Hub stage, featuring performances from Crimson Brigade and Deitus on Friday, Seething Akira and Lagerstein on Saturday, and Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters on Sunday.

That’s all the important information you need for Mammothfest this year and our suggestions of who you should definitely see. We can’t wait for this weekend, stay tuned for our extensive in-depth review article following the festival . MAK

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