Not since Iron Monkey came crawling out of Nottingham have a UK act made sludge that sounds as vicious – and viscous – as that chewed up and spat out by Hang The Bastard.
The Londoners have seamlessly made the transition from underground hardcore act to purveyors of downtuned, caustic sludge metal, inking a deal with Century Media for 2014’s full length, Sex in the Seventh Circle – and it was that album which provided the ammunition for Saturday’s slot.
Illuminated in stark red light and playing to one of the Stoner stage’s largest crowds, Hang The Bastard weren’t in any mood to engage in any playful stage banter; rather, they let their spiteful, Sabbath-inspired anti-anthems do the talking. Morrs Tempest – vaguely accessible if not for Tomas Hubbard’s acidic vocal delivery – was so heavy it threatened to send Hafan y Môr Holiday Park tumbling into nearby Cardigan Bay, Hornfel so venomous that you needed to find a detox clinic straight after its closing chords.
One of the most extreme bands on festival bill, the quintet were tight, focused and blissfully noisy, sending wave after wave of crushing riffs out to bring total destruction to everything in their path… and if this set was an advert for Sex in the Seventh Circle, it certainly worked.
Ok, so Hang The Bastard can be one dimensional at times and there wasn’t much respite to be had during their 45 minutes. However, they’re damn good at what they do: raining sonic hellfire down on all who see them, but somehow making their savage assault catchy enough to burrow into your brain. What’s not to like?
Exclusive image courtesy of John Burrows