There were some issues to be grappled with over the course of the evening, but once everything got going fully, a great time was had.
And so it comes to pass that Till Death Doom Us Part is beginning. Promising an even split of death and doom metal bands as the title suggests, I’m very excited for the evening ahead. As my companions and I arrive at Lakota for the start of this highly unique event, I look around and note that those in attendance have made a very good effort in terms of looking the part, and the atmosphere seems friendly.
Bands are scheduled to play pretty well simultaneously across Lakota’s three stages, so I make a plan to see the bands that interest me most. This doesn’t really work out in practice unfortunately, due to scheduling issues. Everything kicks off a bit late, and there aren’t any posters displaying stage times. However, I manage to pin things down through a combination of checking the online information and asking around.
The first band up on my travels around the stages are Bloodlung, who offer us a slice of groove inspired deathcore. Their crushing low riffage is a little on the drone side of things, which appeals to my odd taste for monotony. The crowd around me aren’t really getting into it, but as it’s still very early on, I can let that slide. There’s still plenty of time to get beered up.
Lord Misery follow, blasting out their chunky blackened doom with scrumptious bluesy interludes. Their massive valve sound makes it hard to believe they’re only a three piece. This combined with excellent humility and effort make for a very enjoyable set.
After a beer and cigarette interlude, my group and I head upstairs to catch Lacrota, billed as Xerxes as the event was scheduled before they changed name. Oh, my. These Sheffield lads turn out to be the band of the event by a country mile. Wielding their eight string guitars and six string bass with fury and precision in equal measure, they launch into technical death, full of brutal rhythm parts and soaring melodic sections. Their music is excellent, but it isn’t even the primary reason why I love their set so much. No, it’s the energy, passion, and sheer desire to entertain that really captivates me.
They introduce a song titled ‘Terracotta Mummification’, which is jokingly stated to be about the death of Brendan Fraser’s acting career. After this jaunty little number, the room’s microphones fail. This is not a problem at all for the band, who skilfully fill the gap with a funk interlude that has everyone in the room smiling and snapping their fingers. The mics soon appear to be working, so Lacrota start playing again. Unfortunately, the mic problems rear their ugly head once more, mid-song. This doesn’t bother frontman Joe, who simply drops the mic, leaps right into the crowd, and roars even louder, to the point where we can actually hear him over the instruments. Their set ends and the entire crowd lines up to shake his hand, myself included. I have got to catch these boys again.
Everyone takes a little break, partially to digest the insanity we’ve just witnessed, and partially to give the sound guy time to get the microphones sorted. After this, it’s time for Fever Sea, our local heroes for the evening, who provide exactly what we expect of them. Their technical death is precise, atmospheric, and intricate. Guitarist Myk Barber’s fingers are like spiders on his fretboard. Great stuff.
It’s a shame that more people aren’t in the crowd to watch Engraved Disillusion take to the main stage, as these boys from Taunton are really quite special. Their highly progressive melodic death is played with amazing skill. It’s also hard to believe that vocalist Matt Barker only started singing in a band six months ago. I catch up with the band after their set, and they’re wonderful chaps, giving us CDs and chatting animatedly about how stoked they are to be playing the main stage of this growing event. Next time they’re on anywhere even vaguely nearby, I’ll be there.
Like all events, TDDUP must come to an end at some point. I can’t be in three places at once unfortunately, so I choose to watch Alunah headline the main stage. Due to other bands playing and a few people having left to catch transport to their various homes, the crowd for the band is pretty small. Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to bother the band too much, as they deliver their bluesy and greasy trad doom with excellent presence. Their chunky rhythm guitar tone and versatile contralto vocals make for a highly enjoyable finish.
So, in conclusion? There were some issues to be grappled with over the course of the evening, but once everything got going fully, a great time was had. With any luck, the festival will be back next year.
Check out a bit of Engraved Disillusion right here: