After the unfortunate event of Gloucestershire’s Amplified music festival experiencing cancellation, pieces of it have been brought to towns and cities around the counties to make up for the loss. On Saturday, the fantastic Level 3 in Swindon saw a gnarly line up of possibly some of the heaviest bands, which were originally supposed to play the festival.

Krysthla are one of the UK’s biggest underground bands right now, and Swindon was extremely lucky to have them headlining this monster of a show. This 5-piece extreme metal band from Northampton has already achieved big things including a tour with Vader and Decapitated, and a main stage slot on the Saturday morning of this year’s Bloodstock festival. They have a new album, Worldwide Negative, coming out on the 16th August this year which has managed to peak at #2 on Amazon's rock/metal pre-orders. This show in Swindon has shown every attendee exactly why.

Krysthla opened the set with ‘The Minor Mystery of Death’ from their second studio album ‘Peace in Our Time’. This song was the perfect starter, with a slow introduction to the guitars and drums, then Adi Mayes’s emotional scream infusing our ears. ‘Yawm Al Qiyamah’ was second on the list, followed by ‘Reawaken’ which is from the upcoming album. Only one other song was played from the new album during this set, which was ‘Zero Sum Game’ that has already been released on YouTube with a music video and received an admirable reaction from the crowd tonight.

The new material gels well amongst their previous works because, as they have mentioned in an interview, they don’t stick to creating the same sounding music every time, but it all fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. This means they have a variety of genres mixed into one, especially in the new album, keeping it fresh every time.

Although the turnout for this last-minute show was not huge considering the name Krysthla have built up for themselves in the past few years, they still managed to fill the entire of Level 3’s dancefloor, as Adi had instructed everyone to do, while sipping on Bell’s whiskey straight from the bottle.

The other songs played were Ancient Hope, Depths, Make Disciplines of the Nations and Luminosity. A great lineup of songs which made many punters bang their heads together. Krysthla are getting up to some big things so make sure to catch them whenever you have the chance to, they will not disappoint.

Krysthla are without a doubt one of the most notable talents emerging on the metal scene right now, and if tonight’s performance is anything to go by, you can be sure to expect nothing short of absolute chaos when they rip the stage apart at this year's Bloodstock Festival 2019. They completely destroyed Swindon with an incredibly impressive set.

The opening band, Democratus from Cardiff, woke everyone up with the sound of sirens before ripping into the first song ‘Creator of Poverty’. The crowd may have been small but that didn’t keep anyone back from joining the band members with the headbanging.

Vocalist Steve Jenkins has an amazing ability to switch from merciless growls to impressive clean vocals whilst the rest of the band performs material partly influenced by old school heavy metal, and melodic death metal.

Democratus are spreading a message about the current UK government which directly comes through with track titles such as ‘Preachers of the Hate’ and ‘Divided They Fall’, which were some of the songs played during this set. A moment before the last song, ‘Life for Life’, Jenkins joked about eating everybody in the room if they don’t sing along, which successfully made everybody get involved.

Next up were Gloucestershire’s local legends, Proteus, who never fail to deliver a neck-breaking experience. Their line up change in December last year has led to them sounding even heavier on stage with new bassist Harry Jewell, creating the first pit of the night.

There were some small technical issues with the lead guitar, which were dealt with at the end of the first song, ‘Bloodbound’. Afterward, the fantastic sound system in this venue allowed you to really hear Jake Fenner’s heavily practiced complex riffs, which have the power to grind your insides into mush.

Followed by ‘Laying Beneath’ and ‘(Auras) As I Fall’, Proteus had the crowd jumping around and headbanging, especially when vocalist Shane Pargeter stepped into the pit to unleash his monstrous vocals up close and personal. The guys in Proteus are an extremely talented group, who have risen to a high level in a short amount of time. Their sound is not limited to one specific genre; however, the music is more on the metalcore side while Shane’s vocals are that of death metal. There is a melodic sound supporting this too, with clean backing vocals by Will Packer. The set was wrapped up with Ignite the Pyres which can be found on YouTube.

Swindon’s ‘Ghost of Machines’ came on right after. Sound-wise, they were a bit of an anomaly because, while everyone else had death/heavy metal influences, these guys are a ‘dystopian’ heavy rock band with mainly clean vocals by Billy Bingham.

For Swindon’s audience this was not an issue at all, considering the show was announced with such short notice there was still a very impressive crowd, a lot of whom came down just to see them. Joining the band on stage this evening was Dom Whittard from the band Edenfalls, doing a brilliant job taking over guitar duties from Billy, who got to show off his hip dance moves on stage to each song.

The first two songs were their most recent releases, Collide and Alone, which set a dream-like atmosphere in the room. You end up finding yourself floating to the rhythm of the music before getting hit in the gut with the heavy rock, Ghost of Machines are a band that should be seen in person to experience the energy of the music getting played in that moment. In time was the next song, during which Billy found an extra moment to run through the audience, to the bar, and get a drink while Patrick Liston and Dom were shredding the guitar solos. Unfortunately, the set was only half an hour-long, but the crowds were making sure to use that time wisely, moving around to the remaining two songs Nowhere and Fall of Empire.

Red Methods is a band that has only been born recently (somewhere around the end of last year), but within these short few months, they have already reached an impressive following on Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify. These guys clearly know what they are doing, as they have demonstrated on this brutal night. Members consist of ex-The Defiled, Alex Avdis on keyboard, along with ex-members of Meta-Stasis.

The first thing that you notice when these guys come on stage is the pure chaos in the air. From Ghost of Machines’ calm guitars diving straight to these guys’ progressive tech/death metal influenced by Slipknot and Sepultura, this was definitely a ridiculously quick change of atmosphere which they pulled off effortlessly. Cycle of Violence was the first song they played, during which it felt like everybody in the room lost their remaining bit of sanity. Other songs included Messiah, My Psychosis and Split.

Pits kept opening up and Alex Advis was spinning and throwing his keyboard around to absolute shit – it was covered in duct tape, only assuming the damage was already done before. The smell of sweat cropped up as the temperatures felt like they rose by at least 10°c due to all the moshing. There wasn’t a single moment where any of the members stopped for a breather. Their intense stage presence, crowd reactions and rapid increase in social media following are pointing in the direction of major success for this band.

Author Bio: Kat Skarpetowska

Staff Writer

Educated at Oxford Brookes University in the field of graphic design, live & promotional photography has been my main passion since 2016, which ventured into writing gig reviews, album reviews and interviews. I also love travelling, especially if I can catch a good show out there too!


...people just like you all over the world make our work possible. Without you, we would not be able to keep our journalism open and free. Your support is vital in keeping our publication independent.

Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future. Please consider contributing to our passion.