Review of (parts of) the All-Dayer at Camden Underworld on 8th August 2009:

Tides of Virtue were one of the early bands on the bill who had to play a ridiculously short set. Their gurning guitarist, and ‘mosh’ sign taped onto the back of other guitar did their best to encourage some movement from the crowd, but only a few kids flailed their arms crazily to the heavy, passionate, hardcore/metalcore riffage.

Rinoa’s sound was a perfect reflection of everything on their recording output, screaming vocals and slow guitars. Really not to my taste, but a fine performance if that’s your bag.

Not to be confused with the musical of the same name, Evita played a set full of big soundscapes with heavy bits and attempting-to-be-catchy singing. Not the most original stuff ever.

Denver, Colorado’s It Prevails, on their first ever UK tour, seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the pretty modest reaction they received from the crowd. They clearly put their all into the performance though, mixing heaviness and light to good effect as they belted out songs from Capture and Embrace in fine form.

The Eyes of a Traitor‘s heavy yet goove-laden mayhem went down quite well, although wasn’t the most memorable set of the day. But that was probably due to it preceding the headline act, the band that virtually everyone was looking forward to the most – Sylosis. And the Reading-troupe didn’t disappoint at all, sending the crowd wild with their selection of tracks from Conclusion of an Age. Having hung around the venue throughout the day and coming across as quiet and unassuming, the band didn’t appear overwhelmed by their heroes welcome, but then having recently played to massive crowds at Sonisphere and Download, they are probably getting used to it. A stage invasion during closer-track Teras didn’t even put the band off of their tight-as-a-nun’s performance, even though half the band were completely obscured from those who remained in the pit. I hope the stage invaders savoured their moment, because Sylosis won’t be playing venues as small as the Underworld for much longer.

Overall not a bad festival, closed in great style by a great band, although parts were dogged by the usual poor quality sound that is often a feature of the Underworld. According to the organisers it had sold out by the end, although it never seemed particularly busy, especially in front of the stage which didn’t get that crowded at all, even during the headliners’ set. Perhaps that was something to do with people being able to go in and out all the time, although I don’t think it particularly lessened anyone’s enjoyment. See you in the pit next year.

Were you at MetalFest 3? What did you think of the day? Leave your comments below.

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