Saturday 27th October was the day when the UNDEAD rose to invade the British town of Exeter at the 2012 EXETER ZOMBIE WALK & BALL! For all of you over in America and those outside the UK; you may think you know and love your zombies, and I’m not trying to say we outdo anyone here in the England, but if you ever want to have the ultimate zombie experience, then Exeter is the place to be (start checking plane flights for 2013 now). Basically, the entire town is taken over by by tens of thousands of zombies that march through every crevice of Exeter, and the air is filled with music befitting for such an invasion!
This year was truly a sight to behold, with special guests of zombified military personnel, lumberjacks, scientists, Frank the Rabbit Donnie Darko and a banana wearing Jason Voorhees’ mask. The walk ended with the ultimate Zombie Ball, headlined by two awesome bands – The Dead Lay Waiting and Fearless Vampire Killers.
The night was divided across two stages, which stirred the problem of hurrying to see one band after the other without a break, thus exhausting most of the fan base there. That didn’t stop the fun though – just got the zombie blood pumping.
First up on the second stage was the Melodic Death/Thrash band from the South-West of the U.K., Purging The Venom . The set opened up being plagued with trouble on the vocals before the sound was returned to raw growling and blistering guitar work. They finished off with their latest song “Dethroned”, which blew everyone away. The high quality of performance was carried on throughout the night. Of special note, before I continue on with the other bands, is the award for the all-time biggest mosh pit/wall of death, which was had by cover band Your Mums Beard.
Leviathan stormed through their set with plenty of charisma with crushing brutality veiling their music, followed by Lost In Conflict – although a strong set, it was riddled with too much of a Killswitch Engage influence.
After a quick chance to grab a drink and a much needed break, Cambion rushed onto the mainstage showcasing their latest EP Virus which is so good you’ll turn into a tech head. If you see them live, your original face will melt and then you’ll grow a tech head – they win hands down. The next set was a strong contestor, Out Of Enemies, who barraged their way through a blend of metal and hardcore influences that made their set stand out from most I had encountered prior in the day/night.
By this time, most people were exhausted beyond reason and close to giving up, but the crowd caught a big second wind when The Dead Lay Waiting hit the stage with a vengeance, experimenting with melodic metalcore successfully and various ways on how to do walls of deaths (without much success). Finally, the crowd drew in the last of their resources to watch the explosive Fearless Vampire Killers. They roared with energy (minus a technical hiccup) but the end result was something truly magical to the fans that pulled through.
The only “complaint” I have is that the setting of the gig was flawed from the start, near exhausting most people; however, it’s not about how many people you can squeeze into a venue, nor how many bands you can put on – it’s all about the night being successful and everyone having a good time. Both goals were achieved.
~ Connor Williams, Contributing Writer