Arriving in the middle of the festival, SWG3 is looking pretty packed between the Galvanisers stage and the TV Studio (converted to a makeshift bier halle/merch market) for an afternoon of the finest extreme metal.
Hitting the stage shortly after 3pm are blasphemous black metal demons Belphegor. The sound is on point as the band burst into their blasting ceremony, the riffs are entrancing beneath frontman Helmuth’s croak – neither overpowered by the usually sub-heavy double kick drums at death and black metal gigs. The crowd reaction is somewhat lukewarm throughout with a few heads banging, and a small mosh pit opening up in the latter half of the set. The band themselves perform well and have definitely earned a new fan after this show.
Next up are melo-death merchants The Black Dahlia Murder, who from the first note invoke an endless mosh in the middle of the crowd. The high energy blasting and catchy riffing get the crowd going in the ever-increasing pit, up to the point that there are folk running around on piggyback while bodies are slamming. The band put on a lovely performance, loving being on stage and it’s reflected in the crowd. Roars fill the room after closing number “Everything Went Black” and it’s clear the crowd are hungry for more.
Continuing the fun time vibes are legendary alcoholic thrashers Tankard. The temperature is rising as the mosh gets bigger. The party has truly begun with thrash hits like “The Morning After”, “A Girl Called Cerveza” and “Chemical Invasion”. From the get-go, the band are clearly enjoying every minute onstage as frontman Gerre and bassist Frank Thorwath bound across the stage, the latter exchanging looks and gestures with the drunken thrashers below. It’s always joyous to see usually grimacing metal bands rock out and have fun and that fun is infectious.
Come the closing number, “(Empty) Tankard”, guitarist Andy Gutjahr is piggybacking on Glasgow’s own metal stalwart Pit Troll, rocking that classic intro riff as the crowd circle round him. Galvanisers is ringing with the chants of “We wanna drink some whisky! We wanna drink some beer!” come the end of the set and it’s clear Tankard have rocked Lords of the Land. Here’s hoping that after a killer Scottish debut, they’ll return soon.
The penultimate band is the one I’m most excited for – Coroner. After what feels like a lengthy soundcheck, the band enter the stage to rapturous applause and the beginning of chants that would last the full set. The set is primarily material from Mental Vortex and Grin though it feels really short. Besides the shortness, Coroner put on an awesome show with plenty of banging heads and moshing throughout. The feel good vibes persist in frontman Ron Royce and guitarist Tommy T Baron’s faces, and is echoed in the mosh where voices shout along and hair flies. The set culminates in a rousing “Masked Jackal” where bodies start sailing over the barrier before the band exit.
I may have missed Winterfylleth, Akercocke, Anaal Nathrakh, Rotting Christ and Electric Wizard though I’m sure each band slayed the stage during their respective sets. This may have been the first time in Scotland for Tankard and Coroner, especially given their 30 year plus careers and Glasgow more than makes up for lost time at Lords of the Land. Let it be the first of many awesome gigs from both legends in Scotland in the future!
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