One of the best new metal bands fails to square up

Trying to make the most of this festival often means missing the beginning or end of one set to catch another. So while we’re rushing back to the second stage, we can hear Hexagram’s heavy chug starting up well before we reach the doors. Which is a good sign, as it draws in a reasonable audience, catching a good slot just before stage one starts hosting bands as well.

It just doesn’t seem to be Hexagram’s day, though. They take a good chunk out of their set to try and flog T-shirts and other such banter, which is rather irritating. Offering one chap at the front the T-shirt they’re holding, announcing “You can have this one,” we can tell they’re in for a rocky ride when the chap quips back, “can I have your guitar?” Needless to say, he never got either. But despite a few heckles of “You suck!” from the well-populated region of the bar, the crowd seems to be pretty mixed and sedate.

The show itself is quite mind (and eye) blowing from the front, once it gets going. There’s a heavy reliance on strobe lighting, and a good dose of new album ‘Rhymes For The Hated’, which contains the most solid metal tunes you’re likely to hear anywhere. It’s just that not much of it sticks in the memory. They seem to have caught the passing apathy that’s affected bands before them, as people work up the enthusiasm for later bands, and that’s not really their fault at all. A little less chat would probably make their show outstanding, but at the moment it fell into the region of vaguely memorable for all the wrong reasons.