Gig Review: Moshville Oktoberfest – Ivory Blacks, Glasgow (8th October 2023)

It’s a wet and windy day in Glasgow, but the elements can’t take away from the excitement of our second Moshville festival! It’s a bigger affair this year bringing nine awesome bands spanning the metal spectrum of the UK underground. It’s set to be an amazing show, not least because it’s our silver fox of Moshville Radio, Ricky’s birthday. Let’s go to Moshville, sink some pints and bang those heads!

Melted Messiah (c) Mark Shelley

It’s the middle of the afternoon and the dire weather has put the timing of things a little back. Fortunately I’m in time for openers Melted Messiah bringing their unique style to Moshville Oktoberfest. The guitarist/drummer duo are playing to a small crowd, although it is early doors. Regardless they put on a show, with the frontman bashing out scuzzy guitar chords, notably using his fingers instead of a pick, while the drummer beats the living shit out of the kit, every drum and cymbal smashed a thousand times each song. There’s almost alt-comedy-esque introductions to each song, though with serious messages, humour aside. Melted Messiah are an interesting band to look out for, bringing something fun and different to the stage. Some Good Riffs indeed.

Following is Spanish groove thrashers Vulgar Chaos bringing a more upbeat set. Few newcomers have entered and there’s some teething problems onstage sound-wise as monitor mixes need a boost, however the band solider on, bringing heavy riffs aplenty. This is their first time in Scotland and it’s evident they’re loving every minute of it as they rock out onstage. More heads are banging but it’s still early in the day, with more people to arrive and more beers to be drunk.

Vulgar Chaos (c) Mark Shelley

Next up is one of my favourites from last year’s Bloodstock, Unburier. The set is rather short, but still a sharp shock nonetheless. The band are bringing some new material from their upcoming follow-up to their awesome 2-track Twisted Existence. The performance is tight and heavy, despite the lack of bass, as the band rage through banging deathrash riffs countered with cool technical moments. It’s a shame they couldn’t have had time for another couple of tunes, but watching Unburier has got me hyped to hear the new EP when it’s ready.

More familiar faces from Bloodstock make an appearance next with another of last year’s New Blood inductees, Portrayal of Ruinn. The deathcore five-piece ramp up the energy as they bash their instruments and wreck their necks. The frontman is bounding about the stage and gets in amongst the increasing crowd as he blows his lungs out. There’s a few more folk in as the evening rolls on, and the party atmosphere starts to kick in, and more bodies start moving.

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Recall the Remains (c) Mark Shelley

Next up is fellow deathcore mob  Recall the Remains bringing energy in spades with their heavy bouncing riffs, the frontman’s dreads flying and smacking his combat vest between his shredding roars. Melodic clean vocals from the bassist counter cutting above the crushing guitars, giving a more controlled performance alongside the lead guitarist, while the other’s keep the moshing going.

Making noise next is rising locals Penny Coffin, bringing their nasty old-skool death metal sound. An awesome aural assault of scuzzy guitars and pounding low end bursts through the speakers, each sludgy dirge smashing skulls up and down on the floor. The performance is more reserved than their predecessors, combined with some of the doomier riffs brings the energy down a little for me – though there’s definitely fans in the crowd raging down the front, including our birthday boy.

Approaching the end of the night it’s time for our last Scottish band, the killer Catalysis! However I end up missing the majority of their set and head backstage to conduct an interview.

Tortured Demon (c) Mark Shelley

I make sure to be down the front for our penultimate performance from co-headliners Tortured Demon. I’ve been enjoying their albums immensely since the Road to Bloodstock interviews and I’m gutted I missed them destroy the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock. They don’t disappoint, thrashing through bangers from latest album Rise of the Lifeless. The energy is ramped up to the maximum as the mosh pit rages through their short set. The performance is tight and the sound is good and crunchy, as the band dive between pounding riffs and more melodic and technical moments. An overall awesome performance that’s gotten my neck truly wrecked though I’m sure the wreckage would extend to Ivory Blacks as it did Bloodstock, if there’d been time for more.

The finale of Moshville Oktoberfest 2023 comes courtesy of co-headliners Red Method. Noise fills the room as they take the stage in their signature red and black costumes and bloody dirty down makeup before bursting into their crushing riffs. A perfect party close bringing industrial-flecked heavy grooves that keep  bodies in motion, the energy electric throughout the final set of the festival.

Moshville Times’ second festival comes to a close and it seems like everyone’s had a great time from the crowd, to the bands and the MT Crew. Though I’m aware of most of the lineup from Bloodstocks past, I’ve been unfamiliar with most of the bands’ sounds. It’s been awesome again to check out and showcase a variety of cool underground metal. It’s a shame more people weren’t there to make some new discoveries and mosh with us, though the flooding and travel disruption has likely had an impact. I hope Moshville Times can continue to put on shows like this in the future and I love being a part of it.

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Photos by Mark Shelley

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