Live Reviews

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Radar Festival 2023 – Saturday

Photo Credit: Oli Duncanson (Photo 1 and 2)
Photo Credit: Charlie Bluck (Photo 3 and 12)
Photo Credit: Martin Hindley (Photo 4)
Photo Credit: Rubén Navarro Martin (Photo 5, 9 and 10)
Photo Credit: Claire Alaxandra (Photo 6)
Photo Credit: Lauren Robey (Photo 7, 8, and 11)

Whilst it might be a perfect place for the prog and metal scene, Radar Festival doesn’t fail to diversify. And if Saturday’s line up is anything for that statement to live up to, then they’ve smashed through every hardy ceiling in its home of O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. Especially unique in their own strange right, Igorrr combines disparate genres into one singular sound, an act refusing to be boxed into one genre boundary. However, it’s the bands that come before Igorrr that are stacked high on Saturday’s schedule, as we prepare to check out twin duo Modern Error, Swedish metalcore outfit Allt, Aussie crew Thornhill and second stage headliners the mighty Heart Of A Coward, Saturday at Radar could well and truly be the festivals most dynamic and diverse day to date at its 2023 edition of the festival. 

The sound of downtuned guitars and dark progressive metalcore means that Sweden’s Allt were about to whip up a storm on Stage One. Despite being two songs short on their setlist, Allt’s ice cold brand of Nordic dark and emotive metalcore that was loud enough to fill an arena was squeezed into o2’s Victoria Warehouse by the five piece, the band constantly engaging with the crowd and their biggest hit Paralyzed as cool as an ice glacier. 8/10

Straight over to stage two and there is a physical emptiness that presents itself for Bristol trio Profiler. Despite the no clash schedule Radar Festival implemented over the weekend, as one band finished their set on one stage, milliseconds later another band is starting theirs on the other, meaning if you’re not an act high on the bill or a headliner it takes the crowd time to ping back and forth between the two stages. But by the time Profiler are two songs deep, bodies rapidly filtered into the second stage to see the three piece deliver some modern metalcore tunes fused with nu metal elements to them. 8/10

It’s been a long time coming for Aussie outfit Thornhill to make their UK return. Over three years since they’ve touched down on UK soil, after being originally booked into open for Bury Tomorrow on their UK tour last year, deciding to drop off the shows for their own wellbeing due to a relentless touring schedule elsewhere in 2022. But as the lights dimmed on the main stage and the boys stepped out looking dressed for the kill to go along with their suave and sophisticated new album era for their last LP Heroine, it might have been a long way from Melbourne up there in Manchester, but Thornhill made Radar their long-awaited homecoming show. Steering away from the new stuff right away opener Reptile proves that for a band having matured in the glamour of their now sound, they can still bring it back to Butterfly or Where We Go When We Die like it never left their blood, vocalist Jacob Charlton’s screams only having advanced after some home vocal lessons for the new album cycle. It wasn’t long until Thornhill brought us back into the present to the long winding silver screened glamour of Hollywood or the gothic Buffy The Vampire Slayer imagery of Arkangel guitarist Ethan McCann oozing with confidence and charisma. Bringing some new found glitz and grungy heaviness by way of Australia, this was a UK festival exclusive worth waiting for. 10/10

Closing out Saturday’s second stage British metalcore was in full force as the mighty Heart Of A Coward came to seek and destroy as they always do. In tow with their new vocalist Kann Tasan, Heart Of A Coward weren’t cowards enough to not put him through his paces with Jamie Graham’s era of the band, with tracks taken from Severance or Deliverance and Tasan delivered his take with the utmost ferocity. More familiar with the bands newer songs released in the run up to their upcoming record This Place Only Brings Death due out in September, Decay continued the unleashed frenzy of crowd surfers, including Andy Cizek of Monuments being the bands biggest fanboy as he glides over the barrier. Pounding riffs and head splitting screams rattled through the grounds of Victoria’s Warehouse during Heart Of A Cowards set and you can’t help but feel these guys deserve to come back on the main stage next year. 10/10

Written By: Katie Conway-Flood

Katie Conway-Flood
🎵 Music Journo @bringthenoiseuk @gigwise @newnoisemagazine 🖤 Brewdog Crew @brewdogshepbush 🎵 Bands obsessed 🖤 Vegan