No Sleep Till Hellfest: Night Two Kicks Up A Metal Storm

Night two of the competition and the wild hunger pouring out from these musicians had no signs of slowing down. The audience was hot and heavy, with familiar faces from the night before gearing up for another evening of live music. Punters here for their first night chatted eagerly, catching up with the previous night’s hard-rocking debacles. Organisers of the event wandered the venue with smiles strewn across their faces, now in the swing of the competition’s resplendence. The outcome of the night was a well-deserved win for Hell Can Wait, but my goodness, was it a show of top-class bands on the cusp of an industry takeover.

Fantazmaz – Boss Cass – Hell Can Wait – Pest – This Dying Hour

Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024

Words: Monty Sewell

Photography: Antonio Giannattasio

Fantazmaz 


Fantazmaz - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Fantazmaz – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

With a metallic Grunge-Punk grittiness, we kick off the night with Fantazmaz. And when I say kick-off, I mean quite literally. Powerhouse vocalist Thamila Zenthofer throws herself around the stage with acrobatic moves accompanying her hunger-torn howls. The band is unapologetically rife in their Hardcore outsets, setting up the evening with the bar raised high.

Fantazmaz - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Fantazmaz – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

They are fast, furious, and dripping with statement, the kind of beer-chugging melodic music that would engage an audience of ten or then thousand. It then comes as a surprise when speaking with Fantazmaz after their performance about their response to being selected for the competition. “We did not expect to be here, and it was a big surprise. Playing in a legendary venue with all these great bands, it’s fucking exciting. We had a blast.” And so did us punters.

Fantazmaz - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Fantazmaz – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Alongside their humble take on the occasion, the band is entirely DIY, creating their work without any outside input that might take away the heart of the music. “We always work with friends. We like to work with like-minded people. Everything we do is with people we know, from the album artworks to the video clips.” Ensuring they have a strong community around their creativity is essential and lends a hand to the raw quality of the music.

Fantazmaz - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Fantazmaz – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Currently recording their first full album, Fantazmaz is heading out to Europe to tour for the first time. “The idea is to get the album out at the start of next year, and then we hope to tour outside the UK as we have only been playing here so far. So after this, we will take a break to record some more, and then we will play a festival in Brighton.” Exciting things ahead for a band with everything to come.

Fantazmaz - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Fantazmaz – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Boss Cass



Boss Cass – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Boss Cass (previously known as Fluff until a mere two weeks ago) is the one-man punk band making waves on the scene as the artist you simply have to see. Tonight we did, and I can, without a doubt, confirm that statement. The curiosity is quickly replaced with an all-time high from the audience as Boss Cass rages around the stage, switching seamlessly between guitar and bass from song to song, knocking out a shockingly good performance.

Boss Cass – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

With a backing track drum beat that changes with each track, the musical utilizes his potential to the full, kicking up an energy frenzy from himself and the crowd. “Drums are all pre-programmed at home with a little bit of synth. But the rest is all me live, guitars, bass. But no loop pedals, no Ed Sheeran stuff, which I always get asked.”

Boss Cass - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Boss Cass – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Let me tell you this: Boss Cass is the furthest from Mr Sheeran as any Punk Metalhead could get. However, although he seems to effortlessly play huge sounds to an openly enticed audience, the road has not been easy from the logistics side of his project. “I had to rebrand about two weeks ago because some other artists were operating under Fluff. It is very fresh, but everyone has been so supportive.”

Boss Cass - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Boss Cass – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

For all DIY artists, the stuff around the music is usually the hardest, but Boss Cass is a punk bubble of energy with nothing but good words to say about what is to come. “As long as I have a Red Bull and a sandwich, I’m all gas. I am more than happy to do anything for any crowd.”

Boss Cass - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Boss Cass – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Hell Can Wait

Hell Can Wait - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Hell Can Wait – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk


Melodic Hardcore five-piece Hell Can Wait stormed the Assembly with victory in their eyes and screaming vim in their step. They brought an inescapable Heavy Metal punch to the night from the get-go, coercing their audience into a whirlwind mosh mentality. With a two-man guitar instrumental, Hell Can Wait gives in to the ultimate Melodic Metal experience. The rhythm and lead duel to create this serene undertone beneath the heaviness.

Hell Can Wait - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Hell Can Wait – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The screams are brutally on point, and the bass and drum rhythm section skilfully pounding. With the kind of stage show they give, it wasn’t a surprise to hear the guys are out on the road as much as possible. “We are playing all over the place, normally touring every month or two. But our next one will be with the fantastic Melodic Hardcore band Downpour.”

Hell Can Wait - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Hell Can Wait – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Behind the music, you can really feel the emotion of the writing coming out with each thunderstorm breakdown. As the band said, “We try to capture that energy, capture that emotion, and do our best to keep everything as true to itself onstage as possible.” So, apart from the insatiable Hardcore music, what can one expect from a Hell Can Wait show? “We will play Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Kingston, and Brighton soon.

Hell Can Wait - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Hell Can Wait – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

“Come scream with us, have a hug, come hang out. We are the side of Hardcore that wants you to show your emotions because many of us are trapped in a world where we feel like there is no end. So in our music, we try to bring that openness forward. That emotional side of you that has nowhere else to go but to be screamed out. That’s all we want from you. It is just to be you. Have a great time.”






Pest

Pest - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Pest – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The Industrial Nu-Punk duo Pest could not look happier as they glowed after their killer performance. “Four years ago, we started out during the pandemic. We didn’t even think we would gig. It’s wild to think back then, that was the dream—to just play one gig.” Watching their bash-out, in-your-face show, it is clear this sentiment still remains as they pour every inch of themselves into their set.

Pest - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Pest – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

The duo was on fire, sporting matching boiler suits and a full-on stage presence that left us breathless. Their latest single, Empire, is a screaming refusal to conform to the powers of the oppressors. With one guitar and a drum kit, the guys create an astronomically loud sound with an apocalyptic sensation.

Pest - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Pest – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Forever in awe of duos in this industry, I had to ask how their music becomes so big without the benefits of recorded production. “We used to be a four-piece but decided to go our own way as we two had the same level of dedication to our music. Realising we could make this huge guitar sound with the right pedals and amp, we could sound like a full band.”

Pest - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
Pest – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

“If you can make people more in a crowd and headbang, naturally they will think, ‘we’re having a good time.’ Big riffs, big beats, and nothing can take away from the massiveness of it.” The excellent news is Pest will be taking their show around most of the UK, playing London, South-West England, North-West England, and the Midlands. The big one will be Rebellion festival in Blackpool. As the band puts it, “We are everywhere, all the time.”

This Dying Hour

This Dying Hour - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
This Dying Hour – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

With technical grooves and sweet metal melodies, This Dying Hour rounded off night two with a performance that left the ages hanging onto their hats. The band is coming off a new lineup, with a new vocalist and drummer proving their worth on the hottest stage.

This Dying Hour - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
This Dying Hour – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

Their show combines soft emotional melody pulls with flat-out metal scream encore chorus’ that leaves the audience with their glasses raised and necks aching from the insistent need to headbang. Working hard on their show, This Dying Hour commented on the levels they go to to ensure their audience leaves feeling well-worn. “We have put a lot into our show. Developing the kind of performance that will work brilliantly on the bigger stages and give the crowd the best possible experience.”

This Dying Hour - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
This Dying Hour – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

From the outset, the band clearly loses themselves in the music as they slam around the stage and each other, using everything in their retort to enhance their already brilliant sound. “As soon as we start the set, we almost take on different characters. We switch off the world around us. We’re just in our elements, you know? We’re at Disneyland.”

This Dying Hour - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
This Dying Hour – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk

If there was ever a Disneyland with this kind of edge, sign me up. Hailing from Wycombe, the guys will play a knockout show in their hometown in April, followed by a plethora of upcoming shows and recordings. With the new lineup in full flow, we will keep an eye on the new material, which will hopefully be out later this year.

This Dying Hour - Camden Assembly, London - 26 March 2024
This Dying Hour – Camden Assembly, London – 26 March 2024. Photo: Antonio Giannattasio/MetalTalk





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