On June 22nd Italy witnessed the birth of a new game-changing event for its modern metal scene. A collective of young and dedicated people started to work together to create the event our local scene needed for a long time. Despite the several difficulties occurred and the short time available for promotion, Dissonance Festival has been a huge success and the organizers have already confirmed a new edition for 2015. Now, I've personally been working on the event so I haven't been able to follow it entirely. So the report I'm doing here is made thanks to the stories told by friends in the crowd during the event that helped me in writing this.
You can get an idea of how meaningful this event was for our local scene from the relevant number of people attending it from the very first band at 5 PM. And that’s something that literally never happens here. Got No Ego, a local metalcore band did it, playing in front of an already relatively big crowd. I've seen this band several times and I can say that a quality venue like this enhanced the live elements they bring to their music. They have an old EP out at the moment, that features some of their original material, more oriented to a melodic death metal approach, reminiscent of Dark Tranquillity and the like. This material is actually quite different from their newer, yet unreleased music that adds more of a technical twist to their new modern metal sound. This is a promising band making themselves a name in the underground here with an intense live activity. Maybe their new music will pack some good surprises for us all.
The second band that got on the stage brought a wave of unforgettable moments to the day. Their name is The Big Jazz Duo. But, of course, they're not a duo and they don't play jazz at all. They're a young deathcore band from the north-west of Italy, mostly known in the underground for the amount of nonsense they're able to deliver on stage alongside a hard hitting performance. And it happened this time too. They got to the stage dressed as Dragon Ball Z characters and they did what they do best: make the crowd bounce and have a good time. The irony and the enthusiasm they brought to the festival (not only during their performance) made them a name to remember from this festival and many people's finest discovery of the day. Even two members of Betraying The Martyrs played on stage with their t-shirts, and their drummer Mironov still wears it during the All Stars Tour in the US. They certainly gave us a good time. They have an EP out called “Of Imperishable Heroes”. It was released in November 2013 and it’s still available for free download on Bandcamp! They have some new material on the way very soon. Give them a listen!
Berith's Legion is an act The Circle Pit has directly worked with. In fact, we exclusively premiered their first official video for “I Am Empire At The End Of Decadence”, taken from their debut full length album “Truth Lies In Every Man”. That Album features material written several years ago, most of which written by their guitarist when he was only 14. Their newer, matured compositions will soon be released on a new EP coming out sometime soon. So if the video we premiered teased you, keep following them, cause the best is yet to come from this band. Berith's Legion is one of my favorite live bands of this local scene, able to create a massive musical attack, making the crowd move with the furious sound they're able to unleash from the stage. Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint.
Burn After Me was the fourth act to take the stage. You might have never heard them but they have quite a solid fanbase in this area, thanks to the 2 EPs they’ve released so far: “Healing My Wounds” (2012) and “Ascent” (2013). They bring a solid modern metalcore sound that they're able to perfectly recreate live with a captivating stage presence backed by a massive sound. On the other side, the awesome audience responded to every band by moshing and singing along, supporting even the first bands that got on the stage, especially Burn After Me. They’re easily one of the most loved bands in this area. And righteously! Go check out the video below for “Revive The Lights” to give yourself an idea!
Right after this heavy performance, it was the time for one of the most long-lasting bands of the night and of our modern metal scene. Forgotten Tears started as a melodic death metal band back in 2008 and after long period of live activity in the underground metal scene, they got to release a full length album in 2011 entitled “Worlds To End”. Now their sound has evolved towards a metalcore style that doesn't completely abandon the Swedish touch to their music. This was their first show in Italy after a three-week tour they did in Mexico. They found the beloved audience of their hometown supporting their intense performance that showcased both their older music and the newer material. You can take a look to their latest video below, showing the new direction they're taking with their forthcoming releases.
When the boys in Lies Of Nazca got on the stage, things really started to turn a bit wild. I've already written enough about their live performances and how weird and insane the crowd goes here in Italy when they hit the stage. It was a performance filled with the amazing sounds of the best tracks taken from their debut album “Aleph”, released earlier this year by Rogue Records America and premiered exclusively by this website. One of the top moments in their performance (and the whole day) was when Damned Spring Fragrantia's vocalist Nico joined them on stage to sing a part of the song “I, Sidereal Messiah”. Moshing and crowd surfing reached dangerous levels during their set and it will definitely continue like this for the rest of the event. Even though it was basically dinner time, the crowd took part to Lies Of Nazca's performance with strong participation, giving us some of the most intense and funny moments of the night. If you're looking for a more detailed report of Lies Of Nazca's performance you can check this website and you should find a couple of more…or simply ask those who saw them at Tech-Fest this year.
Damned Spring Fragrantia was the last Italian band to play on the stage of Dissonance Festival 2014 and they were easily one of the most awaited by the audience. After their signing to Basick Records and their participation in Tech-Fest 2013, this band became the symbol of an entire musical movement here in Italy. In one way or another, everyone in Italy interested in this modern, progressive, technical metal movement that recently developed found this band to be the only widespread Italian representation of this movement and our finest export (before Destrage actually got some exposure abroad). And you can definitely tell from the amount of merch they still sell at each one of their shows. Once again, the wall of sound they generate on the stage overwhelmed the audience even here at Dissonance Festival, crushing on an angry crowd that responded with intense movement to all their songs. In the final part of their set, some issues with the sound system occurred but this didn't stop the crowd from enjoying their massive set as always.
Then came the time for the three international headliners to take the stage. And it was great to see that the audience still had a lot of energy to unleash. The first one was Napoleon. The rising star of UK melodic hardcore has a strong fanbase here in Italy and people had been waiting for this band for quite a long time since their last show in Italy, which had been canceled about one year before. The band performed most of the material they’ve released so far, including tracks from their EP “What We See”and the singles “Brought Here To Suffer” and “Of Jams, Smokes, and Promises“, managing to excite the audience thanks to a clean and smooth performance. Better yet, their italian-speaking vocalist Alex was able to interact properly with the audience. This is the band to look at in the future of European hardcore.
Right after that, we completely changed style with the arrival of India's finest export Skyharbor for the first time in Italy. The band played their first ever Italian show the day before in Florence as a headliner and then came here to christen this great festival. A good portion of the audience came here explicitly for them, and among the three headliners, I'm pretty sure they're the one that sold the most merch. In fact, a good portion of the audience stayed in the first lines singing along to the best tunes of their debut album “Blinding White Noise” including “Dots”, “Catharsis”, “Celestial” and “Aurora”. Daniel's vocals left the whole crowd delighted, especially when the band performed their newest single “Evolution”. It was a stunning performance, maybe the best of the whole day, by a band with an incredible live presence and a vocalist capable of owning the stage with an incomparable elegance.
The final band to get to the stage was Sumerian Records' Betraying The Martyrs. This is a band capable of emerging from the mass of European metalcore for the diversity of their musical proposal. The band already played in Milan about one month before, supporting Born Of Osiris and After The Burial but people didn't want to miss the chance to see them as a headliner. Moshers of course, took advantage of Skyharbor's performance to rest a while and release their final energy during the Martyr's set. The band arrived on the stage, bringing their own light system for a stunning visual effect that exalted the crowd even further, running in circle pits and crowd surfing. The band played some of the most known tracks form their debut album “Breath In Life”, and even delighting the audience with some previews of their newer release “Phantom” (that wasn't out at the time). For example, the single “Where The World Ends”. The crowd, of course, literally exploded when the band performed their most famous track “Man Made Disaster” during which we probably had an apex of the movements in the pit.
It was a great day, the kind you don't easily forget. This is especially true because the Italian audience is hardly used to these kind of events. It brought ;ots of friendly faces and a huge level of satisfaction for those people who worked hard to make this happen in the best way possible. Dissonance Festival is just at its beginning, and the organizers are already working hard to deliver a bigger experience for 2015. Expect great things.