Manchester has always been one of the UK’s hotspots for all things rock and metal, and is always a popular choice for touring bands to hit. The underground scene there is constantly developing and growing by the year, offering something new every time. Now, a new festival has been in the works for quite some time, and this weekend marks the launch of the first Badger Fest. Held at the Star & Garter, the all-day festival has a solid line-up to appeal to the masses, so we’ve given you the rundown of all the acts playing on Saturday, September 30th.
Hailing from Manchester, extreme metal outfit OBSCENE NIHILIST will be opening up the first Badger Fest. Formed in 2015, the band have played a number of shows since and are beginning to pick up in popularity, especially with underground festivals. Their debut EP, entitled The Obscene EP, is a four-track barrage of the senses, that despite containing more comical lyrics and themes, is a solid EP that will be intense in the intimate venue of Star & Garter. The first track on the EP, Netflix & Kill, will be a great part of the opening set to this year’s Badger Fest.
After recently performing at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, Liverpool-based REAPER are next up on Badger Fest‘s first bill. These thrashers have been around since 2011, and after persisting and working hard to get shows, they made their big break at Bloodstock which got them even more popular. While their newer material has incorporated new elements into it, their heart and influences are clearly set on top-quality thrash. Shortly before their performance at Bloodstock Festival, REAPER released a demo for a track called Area 51, which shows their improvement since when they originally released this track. Expect these guys to make mosh pits aplenty at Badger Fest.
What’s the best thing to follow up from a thrash band? More thrash, of course! OBZIDIAN, one of the UK underground’s strongest thrash bands grace the Badger Fest bill, with a plentiful discography to choose material from. Being active since 2001, the band have since released four full length records, the most recent of which was Obliteration Process last year, which received great praise from metal fans and critics alike. Their touring history has been quite impressive too, playing alongside bands such as SEPULTURA and ARCH ENEMY, which further demonstrates their ability to put on a solid performance for those attending Badger Fest.
KRINGER AND THE BATTLE KATZ
The name might be quite the mouthful, but Manchester-based KRINGER AND THE BATTLE KATZ’s music resonates perfectly with it. Meshing all kinds of styles together, from thrash to ska and a little bit of sludge in places, KRINGER AND THE BATTLE KATZ has something for everyone. Their 2017 debut EP, Pilot, has a plethora of catchy hooks and blood-pumping riffs that’s bound to get the crowd bouncing at Badger Fest. The most intriguing track to watch out for is Shoot The Wedding Guests, which features some interesting brass instruments over frantic drum beats and heavy riffs. For a festival celebrating Manchester’s underground, what more could you want?
Hopping back onto the pure thrash track is BEYOND SALVATION, who only released their debut EP, Ascension, in May of last year. Since then, the band have gained quite the following, particularly for their modernisation of thrash and for including more atmospheric elements to an otherwise frantic and relentless genre. This is especially present in the title track for BEYOND SALVATION’s EP, as Jon Pedley and Martin Coker provide harsh vocals for the most part, but towards the end of the song there is a chilling atmospheric section in which the vocal style changes completely and rather unexpectedly. The strong thrash vibes are always there, but the incorporation of other musical styles and elements really made BEYOND SALVATION stand out, and will be a great act to have for the first ever Badger Fest.
Another of Manchester’s finest bands to come into the scene is AMETHYST, who bring a dose of heavy metal into Badger Fest’s bill. Formed in 2013, and their debut EP released in 2015, the band have been quite active on the touring side of things, and to great success at that. In their relatively short time of activity, the band have supported the likes of SEPULTURA and EVILE, and have won Manchester’s Metal 2 The Masses which led to them performing on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage at Bloodstock Festival in 2015. With a stage presence like theirs, they’re bound to tear up Badger Fest.
Bringing more bands outside of Manchester and thrash, five-man outfit DEIFIED are set to destroy the stage at Badger Fest. With a similar success story to that of AMETHYST, DEIFIED have worked hard to get to where they are and to play alongside such great bands. For these guys, they’ve supported EXODUS and CATTLE DECAPITATION to name a few, and also performed on the Hobgoblin New Blood Stage in 2015 at Bloodstock. The band have released a track recently entitled Iron Bird, which is showing the band going from strength to strength. We look forward to what other material DEIFIED have worked on since Ascension and what they bring to Badger Fest.
IMPAVIDUS are arguably one of the most interesting bands on the bill for Badger Fest this year. Appearing practically out of nowhere in early 2016 with their debut EP, they were greeted with incredibly positive feedback and continued working on their sound. Their blend of melodies and grooves remind the senses of a lovechild between ARCH ENEMY and GOJIRA, with vocalist Michelle’s chilling clean vocals providing a captivating change in styles to keep you on your toes. Bringing in other styles and a more rock-based vibe at times, in an almost THEATRE OF TRRAGEDY fashion, IMPAVIDUS are bound to bring plenty of energy to the day.
Bringing some death metal into Manchester on the day is BLOODYARD, who offer a concoction of death and groove. Devastating riffs and furious drumming over vocalist Donna’s brutal growls make for an immense wave of energy, the likes of which that are always welcome on a day such as Badger Fest. BLOODYARD have plenty of touring experience too, as they have played a number of festivals including HRH Metal and Bloodstock, and their live energy is bound to get the blood pumping. Second to last on the bill, BLOODYARD are bound to put on a good show.
Headlining the first Badger Fest this year is the mighty KRYSTHLA from Northamptonshire. Finishing the night with some extreme metal can never go amiss, and that’s just what KRYSTHLA do best. The band have been on a constant journey of massive development, both instrumentally and lyrically, since their debut album A War of Souls and Desires dropped in 2015. Their latest record, Peace In Our Time, is not only a devastating attack of sound that really demonstrates KRYSTHLA’s musical abilities, it also touches on some very important topics, which is inspiring. Their ferocity and energy, and all the frantic carnage that is present on their records, is going to be amplified for all to enjoy at Badger Fest. We can’t wait.
Badger Fest takes place at the Star & Garter in Manchester on September 30th. Distorted Sound Magazine is a proud media partner of the festival so be sure to check out our social media for updates on the festival!
For more information on the festival like their official page on Facebook.