Opening the Game On stage to a host of clue-less onlookers, Scottish newcomers Terra Diablo impress the crowd with their Foo Fighters-style guitar pop. Their familiar sound is tinged with something slightly more sinister and mysterious, suggesting that they are definitely on the up.
Doped-up instrumentalists Gonga seem like a perfect afternoon festival band. the bearded stoners create a slow, hazy drawl that has many parking their arses on the ground, skinning up and generally chilling out for a bit. The fact THAT these Bristolites have just played a few dates with Ex-Electric Wizard deathsters, Rameses should give some indication as to their grizzly down-tuned bent, but today all that the crowd seem intent on doing is closing their eyes and soaking up as much of their rippling grooves as possible.
Mooney Suzuki may sound like the nickname given to a particularly notorious female ‘dogging’ aficionado but this stylish neo-Stones 4-piece present the kind of hip-swinging garage blues swagger that is more about the style than the sleaze. It’s a groove-some cool-as-ice stomp that injects infinite amounts of soul and character into their ‘Electric Seat’ album – itself recorded in just 3 days to retain as much of their energy as possible. Definitely ones to watch.
Named after a particularly horrific unsolved murder case in Hollywood, The Black Dahlia Murder unravel probably the most intense, unrelenting hardcore grind Donington has ever had to endure. Inspired by the likes of Dissection and Carcass, these guys are a fearsome prospect, hurling forth a barrage of precise, slicing riffs that saw their way through drummer Cory‘s remorselessly sick pummelling. It’s no surprise the hardcore crowd have turned out in force to witness such an awesome display as, along with The Red Chord and Beneath The Buried & Me, BDM are a band who’re riding the crest of a ‘nu-grind’ wave of bands taking things to the utmost extremes technically and, as such, are just breathtaking to watch live.
The rock-shaped silhouettes of Amplifier fill the air with grimy distortion and intricate guitar lines to monstrous effect. Although mostly unknown to the early evening crowd, if their mission is to impress then consider it a mission completed.
Despite competing against some of the biggest names playing this weekend, Span manage to pull in a decent crowd and those who make the effort certainly aren’t disappointed. The upcoming Norwegians blast the crowd with their epic sounds and frantic energy, proving that whilst Slayer pack out the Game On tent (amid a bunch of stage switching confusion), the Barfly stage is the place to be.
The question/answer duo vocal approach of Young Heart Attack is the last the Barfly stage will see this weekend and is certainly one to remember. Ripping up influences such as MC5 and The Stooges whilst mixing in something more bluesy, these American newcomers have the crowd clapping along and cheering, ready for the stage to be taken over by The Suicide Girls. Having admired the bouncing cleavage, VF readily escapes to the save confines of Metallica’s Slipknot infested festival closing set.