The most left-wing, beautiful and ambitious bands and artists head to Bristol this week for the ArcTanGent show. Although there is so much to discover, how do you know where to direct your attention? Here’s a little helping hand in the form of ten groups that will help make this a magical and inspiring weekend.
ArcTanGent are back, descending on Fernhill Farm in Bristol for three days of the brightest, bonkers, border-destroying music.
From booming post-rock to crushing post-metal, from vibrant emo to pounding mathcore, there’s something for everyone. But to narrow down your essential viewings, we’re here to guide you through some bands you just can’t afford to miss…
If you’re not already obsessed, in love and in a close personal relationship with The Armed, then this is your perfect chance to change that. One of the most unique, uncomfortable and unrivaled bands to rise through the ranks in years, their latest offering, “ULTRAPOP,” finds them more fiercely fun and vibrant than ever. Expect deadly carnage and euphoric mayhem from the get-go, and prepare for everything you’ve believed in to be questioned and questioned.
Think of the heaviest band you’ve ever listened to. Frontierer makes them sound like birdsong.
Taking the best and most brutal parts of metalcore and mathcore, forcing them through a wood chipper, then throwing the scraps at you at breakneck speed, it’s heavy like you’ve never heard before. And when sitting down and listening to the band’s latest skull breaker “Oxidized” is one of the most intense things you can do to yourself, you’re just waiting for them to play it inches from your face.
TWDY, the new incantation of This Will Destroy You, are one of the greatest post-rock bands of all time. There is no debate there. Never complacent and constantly shifting focus while never straying from their primary goal of bursting your soul from within, their career is brimming with beautiful, boundless moments. So when you get the chance to consume their art live, be sure to close your eyes, fill your lungs with air, and let it envelop you. You will feel all the better for it.
In a UK scene as exciting as it has ever been, Ithaca leads the pack in more ways than one. With their new album ‘The Fear Us’, a powerful and beautiful collection of provocative and devastating ragers, just released and a catalog of tracks celebrating all the best and most emotionally crushing parts of early 2000s metalcore, he there are so many reasons why you should be head over heels in love with them. Learn the words, pick up the mic and feel something. You know, like a little treat.
Scalping is the kind of group that stays with you. The kind that stays at the end of your bed long after you’ve turned off the lights. The kind that feels like tar on your skin. Combining the industrial grind of techno with the complex world-building of post-metal, and soaking it all in the kind of dirt that can only be found deep underground, they are a force to be reckoned with. Do you dare stare into space with them?
The world of darkwave has found its footing in recent years, with a handful of artists bringing it crashing into modern times with a harder, darker focus. Perturbator is one of those magicians, bridging the gaps between techno, breakbeat and psytrance and hardcore, metalcore and doom in ways you never imagined. This is your chance, if you feel like it, to dive even deeper into the murky depths. We think you should take it.
An Amenra show is more than a group and an audience looking each other in the eye and feeding on what the other is feeling. It’s a spiritual awakening, a painful exorcism and a moving tribute, all rolled into one heartbreaking package. After last year’s incredible “De Doorn”, expect to feel as cleansed and inspired as you are bruised and broken.
Continuing to take the dark gaze to dynamic and exciting new places, MØL is the very definition of innovation. Mixing so much pop and hard rock with their incredibly heavy and cathartic sound, their latest album “Diorama” is pretty much essential for a heavy record. And just like most of the bands on this list, to be able to consume that power live is to feel in tune with the world. Art at its most symbolic and insatiable.
WE NEVER LEARNED TO LIVE
Intergalactic, complex and intensely brilliant, We Never Learned To Live is the perfect band for the existentialist in all of us. Just one listen to their 2019 “The Sleepwalk Transmissions,” which ebbs and flows with jaw-dropping compositions and relentless force, and you’ll be completely under their spell. So expect jaw-dropping passages, arm-raising joy, and plenty of hairs on the back of your neck.
In a festival filled with some of the most cutting-edge heavy bands in the world, Lakes is the kind of breath of fresh air you sometimes need. Merchants of some of the most heartfelt and charming emo in the current wave of the genre, brimming with youthful exuberance and vital joy, their latest album “Start Again” is a perfect place to dig your fingers in. So when you need to iron out the kinks of your brain after being disheveled senseless, know that your fellow Lakes are ready and waiting.
ArcTanGent will take place August 17-20 at Fernhill Farm, Bristol. More details can be found HERE