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FESTIVAL REVIEW: ArcTanGent Festival 2017 – Saturday

With the final day of ArcTanGent Festival upon us, it gave us a chance to just look back and realise how special a festival like ArcTanGent is. The music aside, because the weird and wonderful bands playing this weekend would rarely get the time of day elsewhere, the punters here are all here to listen to the music. By the Saturday, it is clear that every band has had a crowd of fans there, and there are just as many people here looking for the next thing. ArcTanGent Festival is the perfect alternative for people who don’t want to get caught up in the sessions that happen at every major festival, instead allowing people to enjoy the small site and enjoy the unique music. With all of that off our chest, make sure to consider ArcTanGent Festival for your festival next year, because you won’t regret it. Now, without further ado, here’s the rest of our review!

BOSS KELOID – Yohkai Stage

Boss Keloid live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake
Boss Keloid live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake

Starting off the day with a haze, BOSS KELOID laid out their stoner grooves to the early risers present in the Yohkai Stage. With tunes like Lung Mountain and Cone in their arsenal, the grooves sound massive and everyone’s heads starting banging the moment they step out onto the stage. The best thing about BOSS KELOID is how they carry themselves with such confidence; it starts to ooze out their music and infect all of those present.

Rating: 7/10

TOSKA – Arc Stage

Over on the main stage, the three piece instrumental outfit TOSKA show themselves to be one of the few instrumental bands with genuine connection to the crowd. Their heavy segments give life to the crowd and the dynamic music offers up a real treat for anyone who was able to catch them. With tracks from Ode To The Author sounding huge on the stage, it only leaves room for the imagination of where a band as talented as these lads can go.

Rating: 7/10

LOST IN KIEV – Yohkai Stage

Lost In Kiev live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Helen Messenger
Lost In Kiev live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Helen Messenger

LOST IN KIEV have a tricky start to their set. Sounding utterly crushing when the full crescendo hits the audience, they’re sound cuts out for a period of time after their first song, resulting in the band simply staying on stage in silence before the issue is resolved. The sound returns and the band continue on their way, but the early set stoppage takes it toll on the performance and despite the band giving it all they can, the sense of them still reeling from everything lingers.

Rating: 6/10

SLEEPMAKESWAVES – Arc Stage

sleepmakeswaves live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake
sleepmakeswaves live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake

Coming out with the biggest smiles of the day, Australian group SLEEPMAKESWAVES immediately kick off their set, refusing to let anything get in their way. With the triumphant Made of Breath Only album on their side, tracks like Glacial really shine in the late Sunday sun. The four piece own the stage, with the connection between band and crowd second to none over the weekend. Considering the band have never played a northern hemisphere show, the reaction from the crowd and the enjoyment and excitement from the band makes this a truly memorable set.

Rating: 8/10

DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL – Yohkai Stage

Devil Sold His Soul live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake
Devil Sold His Soul live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake

DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL have spent their career grafting their ambient infused post-hardcore, gaining themselves an almost cult following of truly loyal fans. It’s a shame that today their set is a rather boring affair. The vocals are drowned out of the mix and when the band do decide to bring their own brand of heaviness to the table, it doesn’t hit nearly as much you would like. Time serves as an excellent display of what they can be like, but their set feels like it’s dragging its feet too much.

Rating: 5/10

LANDSCAPES – PX3 Stage

sleepmakeswaves live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake
Landscapes live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Ed Sprake

LANDSCAPES have been quietly kicking in the underground for a while now, and whilst their moody post-hardcore does tick the right boxes, when they play shows like today it doesn’t do them any favours. The band come out seemingly all guns blazing, but there feels like something is missing, and as the band play through their set that something never really materialises. The audience is there, yet the band fail to capitalise on the moment. They sound tight and the tunes sound good, but the audience is left wanting.

Rating: 5/10

DEFEATER – Brixler Stage

Coming out to a packed out Bixler Stage at this year’s ArcTanGent Festival, the American hardcore unit immediately begin, and the crowd are more than happy to bring all their saved energy. Bastards spits forth some true venom and then the emotional Dear Father offers up opportunities for those still with a voice to completely blow it. The crowd oblige the and with every request, and as the pit stirs and the crowd bellow back lyrics, it quickly becomes apparent that the American hardcore group have made a legitimate claim for set of the weekend.

Rating: 8/10

EMPLOYED TO SERVE – PX3 Stage

Employed To Serve live @ ArcTanGent 2017. Photo Credit: Helen Messenger
Employed To Serve live @ ArcTanGent 2017. Photo Credit: Helen Messenger

It’s a shame that EMPLOYED TO SERVE are playing immediately after, because DEFEATER might have gotten away with it. After their stunningly good Warmth of A Dying Sun album, EMPLOYED TO SERVE have more momentum than they know what to do with, and so they simply lay waste to the PX3 Stage instead. Void Ambition and Good For Nothing damn near incite a riot, and then Greyer Than You Remember essentially does whilst their guitarist crowd surfs round the entire tent. If you are yet to decide whether EMPLOYED TO SERVE are all they’re cracked up to be, believe the hype, because this performance indicates a band with an incredibly healthy future ahead of them.

Rating: 9/10

TESSERACT – Arc Stage

TesseracT live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Joe Singh
TesseracT live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Joe Singh

By this point, TESSERACT are so tight and have so many good songs that seeing them live is an expected masterclass in musicianship and performance, with today being no different. Their later material fitting in perfectly with the older tunes, the final moments of Deception leading into Survival and then finally set closer Nocturne gives the audience an amazing taste of how the band have developed their sound over the years, and Dan returning the band has only elevated them even further. Is there a headline slot from this band in the future? If they’re as consistent as they’ve already shown themselves to be then you’d be silly to bet against them.

Rating: 8/10

SIKTH – Yohkai Stage

SikTh live @ ArcTanGent 2017. Photo Credit: Joe Singh
SikTh live @ ArcTanGent 2017. Photo Credit: Joe Singh

With no one ever expecting them to make their initial return, SIKTH now have new material to boot and tonight’s performance suggests the band have hit a brand new stride in their long tenure as a band. Despite having technical issues the and continue to deliver a crushingly heavy set, all whilst remaining the tightest live band of the weekend. The keen crowd offers up plenty of energy that the band thrive off of. Plugging their new tour as well, making sure to tell everyone that some of the songs played tonight will be the last they’re heard of for a while, making this set feel far more exclusive than it ever was supposed to be.

Rating: 9/10

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY – Arc Stage

Explosions In The Sky live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Helen Messenger
Explosions In The Sky live @ ArcTanGent Festival 2017. Photo Credit: Helen Messenger

For anyone coming from SIKTH, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY will already feel slightly muzzled, but only because of the transition of sounds. Their refined and simplistic light show creates an amazing atmosphere on the roof of the main stage, and their slow building ambient music makes for a truly reflective time for everyone present, as the music swells, so do the emotions that music like this creates inside the listener. The music sounds soft, with no instrument really taking centre stage, instead the band sound perfectly balanced and it allows their crescendos to hit with the utmost impact. EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY really embody why ArcTanGent Festival is such a wonderful thing, as everyone who was previously losing their minds to SIKTH are calmly taking in the music, proving that this festival is for people who want to come and listen to music, and what beautiful and moving music EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY create.

Rating: 8/10

And that rounds off our coverage of this year’s ArcTanGent Festival! If you haven’t already be sure to read our coverage of the Thursday and Friday of this year’s festival and we’ll see you next year! 

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