Les-Fest, Valley International Park, Crossford
Friday 28th June
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid
This Glasgow based quartet are the originators of the Blood Metal genre, and if there's one thing that you want on 'Thrash Night' it is a band so crushingly heavy that most of the other bands that played before them appear like pale imitations of what a true Metal band are like.
The band are as tight as the Inquisition sticking you in a Medieval Head Vice with lead guitarist Callum Kirk playing blistering solo after blistering solo thought the set. One of my favourite solos is actually on the first song they play tonight, 'Wings Of War', which is just an immense song to start their set with.
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Their set lasts just an hour, but it's very clear from their show tonight that they have the experience and the talent to take the band to the next level, and their high billing tonight (third last band on) reflects on this fact. 'Pestilence' has bassist John Clark Peterson and drummer Quzzy working together seamlessly and they provide super-strong foundation for the band, whilst Kirk lays down some immense solos scattered throughout the set.
Vocalist Scott Anderson is just the consummate front man, energizing the crowd whilst battering his guitar into submission. His attempts (or should that be orders!) to get the growing crowd to start a circle pit during 'Impaled' are met with a roar of approval and gets the faithful banging their heads down the front, and even a momentary loss of vocals does nothing to dampen his enthusiasm.
'The Way Of The Twilight Or The Aura Of Flies' has the venue on its collective feet once again as the band storm their way through the song with Anderson giving a particularly impassioned performance – so much so that one suspects that he could actually throw down his guitar and hurl himself into the moshing masses in front of him at any point!
Firm favourites 'Blood Soaked Banner', 'Manuel's Mile' and 'Forgotten King' all get an airing tonight and even the furious rendition of 'Bastards On The Gallows Or Bastards On The Rack' – is that not just the best Heavy Metal song title ever? – which is performed towards the end of the set shows no sign of the band taking it easy tonight.
Having witnessed Achren supporting Death Metal legends Hypocrisy earlier in the year, they are certainly one of Scotland's premier death Metal bands, and they look set to have a bright (or should that be a doom filled!) future.
Scott Anderson – Vocals/Guitars
Callum Kirk – Guitars
John Clark Paterson – Bass
Quzzy – Drums
Wings of War
The Way of the Twilight or the Aura of Flies
Blood Soaked Banner
Bastards On the Gallows or Bastards On the Rack
Official Website: www.achren.com/
Scott plugs one the festival sponsors...