This coming weekend, Hevy Festival returns to Port Lympne after an unlucky 2013. Returning with a solid and varied lineup, it’s all systems go for the hardcore/punk/metal weekender and we’ve chosen ten bands from across the Friday and Saturday that you won’t want to miss…
There was a time when we thought we’d never get to see one of post-hardcore’s biggest acts live again. However, after recently celebrating a decade of the classic album What it is to Burn, the California quintet are set to fully return to the foray, with new album Back to Oblivion just round the corner. Expect mass singalongs to the likes of Letters to You and Worms of the Earth, some rarer cuts from the hugely unappreciated Say Hello to Sunshine and maybe even some new material thrown in for good measure. This will be a triumphant return to our shores for Finch and hopefully a reinvigoration of their career.
**Where: Main Stage When: **Friday, 9.30pm
Switching vocalists more times than time signatures, UK djent heroes Tesseract recently reunited with former vocalist Dan Tompkins after the departure of Ashe O’Hara. Fitting seamlessly back into the mix for a conquering set at Sonisphere, he and the band should now be well oiled and ready to take on a headline slot on the third stage at Hevy. Stand and watch (or mosh) in amazement as they mix the beautifully soft with the crushingly heavy effortlessly.
Where: Third Stage **When: **Friday, 8.10pm
Norwegian sextet Kvelertak have caused a huge stir since their debut self-titled album came out of nowhere in 2010 and rightly so. Their fusion of punk rock, black metal, heavy metal and all manner of riffs is ferocious enough on record, but when you see the six-headed beast in the flesh it’s something else entirely. Some may say three guitarists isn’t necessary, but they probably haven’t seen Kvelertak live. Front man Erland Hjelvik whips the crowd up into a frenzy, riffs fly everywhere and the rhythm section can turn from blast beats to stadium rock on a dime. And, you just wait until you see Hjelvik’s headdress.
**Where: Main Stage When: **Friday, 6.50pm
THREE TRAPPED TIGERS
One of the most respected acts around currently, London’s Three Trapped Tigers will confund and mesmerize you in equal measure as you get caught in their web of inexplicable noise rock. Experimental barely begins to describe the sound that TTT manage to force out of their respective instruments and with a light show to match, they’re a true live spectacle. Recently supporting Dillinger and Deftones over here, they’ve caught the eyes of the big guns and it’s easy to see why. Besides, even if you don’t get the music, just watch drummer Adam Betts, who’ll have your jaw firmly glued to the floor.
**Where: Main Stage When: **Friday, 4.30pm
THE SAFETY FIRE
With the incredible SikTh returning and Mounments tearing stages apart all over, prog/tech metal is currently in rude health. Good for you then, that one of the genres finest, The Safety Fire, are on hand at Hevy to give you your fix. Songs like Glass Crush, Yellowism and Huge Hammers always slay live and after their recently giant trek across America with Protest the Hero, they’ll no doubt have a few more tricks up their sleeve to impress the crowds at Port Lympne this weekend.
**Where: Third Stage When: **Friday, 4.00pm
What better way to end a weekend of excess and debauchery than with The Vandals? Despite being a band for double the length of time that many Hevy attendees will have been on earth, their skate punk has not lost any of its charisma over the years and will end Hevy on a total high note. With songs like I’ve Got An Ape Drape, An Idea for a Movie and My Girlfriend’s Dead, the front of the stage will be littered with crowd surfers and skankers, whilst those at the back can dance along and toast to the weekend.
**Where: Main Stage When: **Saturday, 9.30pm
There’s been a distinct last of the worlds ‘circle pit’ so far in this preview, but that’s all about to change. One of the seminal bands of the early 2000s UKHC scene, Stampin’ Ground recently returned to the stage for their first show in eight years in Manchester where, as you can imagine, chaos ensued. Their riff driven hardcore is a tour de force in all things heavy and this set will be the perfect way to vent your anger in the circle pit before having fun with The Vandals to round off the weekend. Everybody now, “OFFICER DOWN! OFFICER DOWN!”
**Where: Third Stage When:** Saturday, 8.10pm
As the original vocalist of Norma Jean and the driving force behind The Chariot, Josh Scogin became one of the most prolific songwriters of the post-hardcore generation. Mix this with the trail of complete destruction he and his band members left behind in venues across the world and you have a recipe for something quite special happening at Hevy. His new project ’68 may only feature him on guitars/vocals and drummer Michael McClellan, but they cause one hell of a racket with their fervent rock tendencies. Their debut album In Humor and Sadness is gritty, raw and fuelled with emotion, so expect their live show to exacerbate this tenfold.
**Where: Second Stage When: **Saturday, 6.10pm
Receiving mass praise everywhere they go, the future is looking bright for Empress AD. Their crushing, prog infused metal has seen them support all manner of acts including Arcane Roots, Kvelertak, Baroness, Cancer Bats and Bring Me The Horizon and with their debut album Still Life Moving Fast being released in just over a fortnight, expect to see them explode extremely soon. They’ll be on bigger stages before you know it, so Hevy could be your last chance to see them in an afternoon slot.
**Where: Second Stage When: **Saturday, 4.00pm
If you’re looking for something lighter to ease your hangover on the Saturday, the jovial punk rock of The Murderburgers might be the best thing for you. The Scottish trio have been rocking their way up and down the country acoustically over the last month, so we reckon they’ll be ready to unleash a full punk rock attack at Hevy before heading off to Europe with Masked Intruder. If your plan is to stay at the Main Stage all day getting your punk rock fix, there couldn’t be a better way to start it than with The Murderburgers. Either way, they’ll be better a better start to your day than a dodgy burger from a van.
**Where: Second Stage When: **Saturday, 1.30pm
Hevy Fest takes place this weekend at Port Lympne, Kent.