"You're not going to hear a heavier song all night" jokes Mutoid Man frontman Stephen Brodsky right before the New York noise merchants lurch into a ferocious "Microagression". Somebody in the front row sniggers "yeah, that was almost heavy!" and the tone has already been set for the night. For the rest of their short time on stage, the New York band inject a dose of humour into the evening with plenty of entertaining banter with the crowd and plenty of musical mayhem in the form of tracks like "Kiss Of Death".
Get the "Kiss of Death" from New York grinders Mutoid Man:
"Ah sod it, I only did it for a bit of sympathy anyway" laughs Kvelertak's relatively new frontman Ivar Nikolaisen as he disgards his crutches and launches himself across the front rows. It's all a bit baffling as to what is actually going on but, really, from a band whose previous frontman had some rather interesting headwear, this kind of display should be expected from the Norwegian punks. Aside from that, it's business as usual for the Norwegians who spend forty-odd minutes battering through "Nekroskop" in their familiar Motorhead-inspired way to an appreciative audience that is filling out nicely for the headliners.
Check out this Motorhead-inspired blast of Kvelterak in the form of "Nekroskop":
Now, given that the music and the banter have been fairly loose and light-hearted upto this point, the minute the headliners Mastodon take to the boards and lurch into the wall-shaking opener "Iron Tusk", there is no doubting that the Atlanta progressive metal quartet mean business. Masters of the downright heavy, Messrs. Hinds, Sanders, Kelliher and Dailor dish out a perfect display of sludgy metal. Other than a brief "thanks for coming to the rock show" acknowledgement, the US behemoths keep the chat to a minimum instead letting their music do the talking. Through the likes of "March of the Fire Ants", "Steambreather" and "Toe to Toes", the band put on a truly glorious display of heaviness. Dwarfed by massive LED screens that flash through a range of trippy images, the band throw all manner of shapes to a crowd who soak up every moment of this magnificent experience.
For the second half of the night, the band are joined on stage by their good friend, Neurosis frontman Scott Kelly as the set continues to lurch and groove along flawlessly. Through the likes of "Crystal Skull" and "Crack The Skye", the night ends with a wall-shaking rendition of "Blood and Thunder" a fitting way to end the Georgian's perfect twenty-song demonstration of heavy music.
Rather a fitting end to the evening, it's Mastodon's "Blood And Thunder":