'Signs of things to come

There aren’t many things about HammerFest, or Pontins, that are signposted. But luckily you can spot the members of Thirteenth Sign because they’re all rather helpfully wearing their own tour T-shirts. As only the second band of the day, the crowd in the pub was building up and quite expectant, and Thirteenth Sign didn’t disappoint.

In many ways, it was the wrong venue for both their sound and show, being little more than a slightly raised corner of the Queen Vic. It’s heavy, heavy stuff; the aural equivalent of a large absinthe at two-ish in the afternoon. These guys have been around for a while, and know exactly how to get the party started, by drawing in a fairly large crowd (including their own dedicated fan group at the front) with their thrash tinged death metal and putting on a performance that treats the tiny tented stage like it’s Wembley.

It’s difficult to make head or tail of the vocals, but they’re blessed with irony-free song titles and a more-metal-than-thou attitude. It’s brutal, blunt stuff, and they’d do even better on one of the larger stages, perhaps later in the day. If Mordor had a house band, Thirteenth Sign would probably be it.