Corporation, Sheffield, UK – 04/18-20/2014
All of this world’s haters might hate and the fatalists might endlessly spin the tale of the industrial scene being on the brink of its extinction, but one flight across the ocean to Sheffield in the UK provides proof that this is not the case. Resistanz 2014 was in preparation before the last year’s edition even finished, which in itself is probably the best example of the commitment of its organizer to deliver a one-of-a-kind event that rivals any and all of the other better established industrial festivals. Only four years into its existence and Resistanz was again sold out, bringing together fans and bands from across the globe and for the first time, ReGen Magazine (even if only for one of the three days). We are now happy to deliver a report on how the UK’s industrial fans really celebrate Easter.
Regrettably ReGen missed out on the debauchery of Friday and Saturday, but the last day of the festival delivered plenty of unique moments and some of the most anticipated bands of the entire Resistanz event. The first show of the day began with a slight delay as the slot reserved later in the afternoon for the Russian act Cutoff:Sky had to be cancelled due to unforeseen issues with the visas.
Freakangel immediately assaulted the audience with a perfectly measured concoction of electronica and grizzly aggressive guitars. Debuting in the UK, the trio from Estonia occupied a decidedly different industrial niche, but the Resistanz crowd had no problem with embracing the metal-derived intensity of tracks like “The Ones to Fall” and “The Book of Violence” that vividly and viciously embodied the corrosive, gritty character of Freakangel’s last album. Even though it was still early in the day, this immediate injection of caustic glitch-laden melodies and heavy guitar riffs provided the crowd with an experience that was dynamic and intense, but in a way entirely different from the other, crisply danceable performances of this closing Sunday. Freakangel easily rivalled the same down and dirty aesthetic of Combichrist’s late output and opened the day with a bang.
Listening to the opinions of many festival goers at one of the biggest pleasures of the Easter weekend in Sheffield’s Corporation appeared to be one of the palpable joy of discovering amid the plentiful standout shows the one that catches you by surprise and inevitably imprints itself in your memory. Britain’s own Cyferdyne delivered such a performance, quickly commandeering the stage and sweeping the audience into almost an hour’s worth of electro-pop frenzy. The band was off to a wonky start with the very first song crudely interrupted by some technical difficulties, but with vocalist Steven Houghton filling the undesired break with his a cappella performance of A Perfect Circle’s “Passive,” everyone quickly realized that Cyferdyne is in possession of an abundance of vigor and wit. The songs from the band’s two LP releases – Genesys and the recent Keep Your Silence
– fluctuated between the romantic pop zest and full on bounce of hits like “Cables and Codes.” Surprisingly enough, the crowd never seemed to get lost in between these shifts, continuously embracing the band’s charisma regardless of the mood and the tempo. The cover of “Changed the Way You Kissed Me” brought to the stage the mastermind of Deviant UK Jay Smith and it was a performance that seemed by all means unexpected, but had the front rows of the venue raving and indifferently shrugging off the rather alien nature of the material.
The critical acclaim that Die Sektor gathered across its four albums precedes the group, but as Resistanz was the band’s first ever UK show, and indeed a starting point of the brief tour across Europe, Die Sektor still had a lot to prove to the audience. The slightly longer set had Edwin Alter furiously twitch in a display of violent inner struggle so perfectly encapsulated on the act’s last album (-)existence
. It was difficult to deny Die Sektor either the honesty or the sheer intensity of the its presence, but quite curiously listening to the music live is an entirely different experience, grounded less in complexity and multilayered musicality and more in brutal gut-wrenching force of the shrieking vocals, blunt beats, and the cacophony of roaring synths. “Blood I,” “ROM,” and “Feeding Famine” intensified the inherent dissonance of Die Sektor’s work, rendering it a rather troublesome offering for a crowd shaped by the purity of expression of bands like Organ Donors and Memmaker that dominated the Saturday night. It was difficult not to be fascinated, hypnotized, and weighed down by the emotional capacity of Die Sektor, and while the set might have been a controversial proposition, it was nothing short of mesmerizing and powerful.
An hour break between the performances marked a drastic change of pace for all of the fans and indeed, some of this evening’s most memorable moments were yet to come. Check out Part 2 of our ReView to read how Belzebass, This Morn’ Omina, Seabound, and Apoptygma Berzerk set the pace for Resistanz’s final hours.
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)
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