Solitary, Reaper & Thrashatouille, Atomic, Wrexham, 23/11/2018

Solitary, Reaper & Thrashatouille
Atomic, Wrexham
23/11/2018
Review by Dani Maguire

Hi everyone – Rick here
I was due to be covering this gig but unfortunately my deformed spine had other ideas so I am indebted to POWERZONE Radio Show host Dani Maguire for stepping up to the plate and writing an excellent review of proceedings. Please make sure you tune in to his awesome radio show every Monday from 9-11pm on Calon FM (Links are at the bottom of the review). I shall now hand you over to Mr Maguire!

It was a cold November night in Wrexham town, but luckily those fine fellows at N.E.W. Metal Productions really turned the heat up with a line-up of head-swingin’ balls out thrash metal over at our favourite little venue, Atomic. A short foray into the streets on a mission to get some beer tokens took us to a cash machine some streets away, and the still air and empty town carried the sweet sound of sound checking, it could be heard loud and clearly even at that distance and it was like a siren-song, calling us closer…

…anyway, enough of that gubbins. We hurried to Atomic, ready for a night of good, old-fashioned heavy metal. Atomic is quite the place for it- a bottle bar downstairs (which I speedily emptied out of Hobgoblin) and a small room above with a stage, an excellent sound engineer and room for about 50ish burly metalheads to mosh in. It was the last show of the year here in Wrexham, so we were really up this one!

First up to whet our appetites were a band new to me and with a gimmick the thrash metal scene has been crying out for: THRASHATOUILLE! This young band were formed last year, they hail from Cheshire and play what they like to call ‘chef-based metal’ but in reality, it’s more like raw thrash with a touch of groove and some interesting lyrical concepts. It’s quite unusual to have recipes and songs about fry-up’s blasted out at you with ripping furiousity (it’s not a word, but you know what I mean!), accompanied by some riffs that gave a considerable contribution to my terrible neck pain when I woke the next day. A character was introduced- a psychotic spaghetti called ‘Bludgeonnaise’ who is kind of the bands’ mascot. The band certainly look the part too, wearing their chefs’ whites and chequered keks which does help to make it a little more surreal. The diminutive frontman got out and about into the crowd often and ended up with a hilarious classic cake in the face to close the set (after singing it a love song, naturally).

Now, this whole thing might sound a little silly- and that’s really the point. Thrashatouille are another British band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, following in the footsteps (or should that be footprints) of Footprints in the Custard, Raised by Owls or Evil Scarecrow and for me, that’s great. Maybe not one for traditionalists (unless they lightened up!) but I’d certainly recommend going to see them. I certainly will be next time they’re near!

Thrashatouille, Atomic Live Clip

https://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille/

After a brief recess, Liverpool-based thrashers REAPER were pumped and ready to go! These guys came highly recommended from a metal peer and all-round good egg Paul- and I know from experience that when he recommends a band for me, I’ll enjoy them, and this proved to be true once again. They were tight, intense & quite frankly, fast as fook! Lead guitarist Anthony had me slack-jawed with awe at several times throughout their set and the crowd loved it. Frontman Daniel was on top of his game throughout, clinical with his guitar work too, and bassist Elliott plays that finger-picking style that Cliff Burton used to favour- looks cool and sounds superb. It was drummer Anthony’s first gig with Reaper but he slotted into his new role brilliantly, providing the background blast beats to complete their soundtrack of a warzone. A bruising set- I just wish they were able to stick around afterwards as I was planning to buy a patch from them to add to my cut. Ah well!

Reaper, Atomic Live Clip

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialReaperUK/

To round out a great night of thrash, veterans SOLITARY hit the stage and they hit hard. Having seen Solitary a couple of times before, I knew what to expect; sheer brutality. I think these guys have it all- a solid back catalogue, fantastic stage presence, cool merch, and more importantly, songs that make you want to bang your head, repeatedly. It’s a crying shame that they aren’t as recognised in the scene as, say, Evile, when they are clearly on par at least (and don’t tell Evile I said this, but they MIGHT even be a touch better!). They have the brutality of Slayer, the memorable licks of Testament and an aggression all of their own. The Lancashire four piece are sticking to their promise to thrash forever and for that, we salute you. Everybody present was blown away, and personally, I especially enjoyed jumping in the pit with the guys from Thrashatouille throughout the set to those crushing riffs.

Solitary, Atomic Live Clip

https://www.facebook.com/Official.Solitary/

I’m lucky enough to have been to many local gigs this year and have seen more than my fair share of stand-out performances. But on this ‘Thrash Friday’ I could not separate the bands. Every single one of them was spot on and gave us all some serious entertainment. Thank you to them for a night to remember and thank you to Fozzy and Beanie from N.E.W. Metal Productions for putting on yet another show. Here’s to another brutal year ahead!

Links:
North East Wales Metal Productions
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/

Powerzone Radio Show on Calon FM
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/calonfm/

Goodfor Audio Entertainment
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/

Atomic, Wrexham
https://www.facebook.com/atomicbarwxm/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dani Maguire and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Scars of Remembrance Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham, 28/07/2018

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Scars of Remembrance
Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018
Review by Beth Jones

Having been the original founder of Wrexfest in 2013, then passing the baton to Brendan a few years back due to all sorts of personal garbage, it seemed only fair that we at least caught some of it this year. The festival has grown steadily year on year, and has now spread out to a few venues, so when Brendan said that the Saturday night at Atomic was going to be metal, we swore to drag our broken asses out of the house, mainly to watch one of our stand out bands of the year, CALLUS, but also to check out some local names that we hadn’t seen before.

When we arrived we found that, due to various issues, two of the proposed line up were not able to make it, which was a shame, however it did mean that we had two bands with extended sets to watch before the very diverse headliners, Glove. CALLUS, and a new name to us, local band Scars Of Remembrance.

After buying a drink and mingling for a few minutes, a familiar face – Karl Ditcher, a long-time friend of my brother’s, came up to me and asked if we were coming up to watch his band play. Now I didn’t even know he played, let alone that he was in a band, so this made the prospect all the more interesting! On arriving upstairs, I was met by another familiar face, local super sound man, Mike Edwards (one of the only people I know who can get the sound spot on in Central Station), only this time he wasn’t behind the sound desk, he was sound checking with the band – double whammie surprise!! After a quick chat, we discovered that it was Mike’s first gig with the band, and that he had only been their vocalist for a couple of months!

So, without further ado, to their set. Their Facebook page has their genre as ‘Metal’ – not much to go on there – and knowing that the bill for that night had appeared to be somewhat diverse, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised! For a band that haven’t done much gigging together in this guise, they were extremely tight and extremely talented, and Mike did an excellent job, especially as it was his first gig.

They have a quite hardcore sound – solid, punchy drums from Ben Burke, and treble heavy, overdriven, crunchy rhythm guitar and intricate lead from Mark Harris and Daniel Dawson, enhanced by Mike’s raw scream vocals and some big fat full on bass licks from Karl (who I now know can play a damn fine bit of bass!), but also riff sections that wouldn’t be out of place in any modern thrash outfit; a nicely blended mix of styles, which was good to see. I feel the same about hardcore as I do about thrash – sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it and there is no in between, so for them to turn my head is quite an achievement, and with a bit more practice and gig time with this line-up, I really think they are on to something good here.

Having now watched some video clips of older performances, it is plain to see that they certainly have a lot more energy and confidence on stage now – or they certainly did in this performance anyway, and that Mike has definitely brought a new aspect to the band. It is very pleasing to see a new, or at least new look metal band from Wrexham pop up, because the metal cup has been quite dry round here in recent years. It is even more pleasing to see that they have a really good idea of who they are as a band and seem to be eager to progress with it now. When we spoke with them after the gig, we suggested that they should try and get on the bill for the M2TM heats next year, as I think they would enhance any bill, and have the added bonus of being local!

I will certainly be putting them on the list of bands to follow and am eager to see how they grow and will also definitely be making a concerted effort to go and see them live again as soon as possible, and recommend that everyone else does so too, not only to check out their music, but also to support the local underground scene, which I am hoping is having a rebirth around here. Well done guys – you have a new fan.
LINKS
https://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

https://www.instagram.com/scarsofremembrance/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZTUQ87ynUw92fJ34Z29bhQ
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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of all parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

Callus, Live at Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018

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Callus
Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018
Review by Beth Jones

I love it when an idea goes to plan! When Brendan (head honcho at Wrexfest) contacted me and said they wanted to do a metal night at Wrexfest this year and who would I suggest to try and get for the line-up, one band immediately came to mind – CALLUS!

After seeing these guys at Hammerfest earlier this year and being totally blown away by them, and subsequently following them through social media and in the flesh as they progressed through the heats at Mammothfest, Battle Of The Bands, Chester, it was a complete no brainer that our favourite three piece from the North should be part of it. When we found out that they were on the bill, we were a touch happy!

The evening had a diverse billing, ranging from slightly softer rock, to Metalcore, to …erm… a band called Glove who I am not sure how to classify! But we are all for diverse here at Ever Metal! It is what keeps music alive.

Wrexfest is an event which has been plagued by the weather and other factors since it started in 2013, but it battles on. This year, due to various issues, two of the bands on the Atomic bill had pulled out by the time we arrived, however this did mean that CALLUS got a longer set time – two thumbs good in our book!!

After conducting a very funny interview with the boys down a side alley two minutes from the venue, we headed back to watch them do their thing. They had told us that, because of their extended set time, they were able to chuck in some new stuff and we were super pumped to hear it! They did not disappoint!

The dictionary definition of CALLUS currently reads: ‘A thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, especially in an area that has been subjected to friction’. This however will soon have the addendum…’subjected to friction from epic moshing to an amazing three piece who take you to a new level of awesome’.

O.M.G… I seriously cannot put into words how good CALLUS are! They are a weird mix of Thrash, Stoner, Doom, Progressive and Classic Metal, that should never work, but somehow it does, and brilliantly at that! They have a mix of chunky riffs, down tuned grooves, growly, shouty vocals, and insane drumming that gives you no choice but to move!

When they started their set the room was semi full, and it isn’t a big room, but as they played, the crowd grew and grew until it was packed to the rafters with people drawn to their sound. It was awesome!

I have stages of mosh – level 0 – ‘yeah they are ok – I will nod my head a bit’, level 1 – ‘I will take my hair out of my pony tail, because even though it is weird and wispy, I may want the hair effect as I nod my head to show that I am really in to this’, then level 2 – I will also now remove my glasses for I can feel my body going and I have no control over it, and if I don’t remove them they will end up in someone’s pint’! I was at level 2 mosh by the second song! I haven’t done that since my Tivoli days in the late nineties (and my body still knows it today!) but I seriously could not help myself!

These guys are so slick, so professional, so tight that you would swear they were a huge band of seasoned professionals, not a widely unknown one in the infancy of their career. I guarantee that they will not be unknown for long – they are too good not to get noticed! They kept the crowd thoroughly entertained throughout the 45 minute set and didn’t at any point lose anyone’s interest. Every single song was a smasher, and they performed the new stuff like it had been part of a great set for years. The audience were in the palm of their hands, even the breaks between songs, where guitarist/vocalist Louis Clarke switched guitars or retuned, were covered by an interesting sound effect which lead beautifully into the next song. Their set was not only jam packed with catchy, riffy grooviness, but was cleverly thought out and meticulously planned to keep the pace and momentum going from start to finish. We had not heard much of bassist/vocalist Ben Wormwell on vocals before now, but tonight we got to hear his vicious growl in some of the new material and it was growly and excellent! All of this brilliance was kept in check and time, and backed up by some of the most intricate tub-thumping I have ever seen, from drummer (and ego) Ryan Ormerod – the speed at which he moves his feet on the pedals, without triggers, is astounding!

I literally do not have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to describe how good these guys are, how they have completely won us over and have our utmost support here at Ever Metal, not only for the absolute amazing talent they all have, both individually and as a group, but also because they are three great, down to earth, genuine guys who deserve to be truly recognised for their hard work and dedication to their art. We are nearly old enough to be their parents, but I genuinely don’t think I could have been prouder of their performance here, if they were my own kids. #proud.

I implore anyone who has not heard them or seen them yet, to check them out and go and see them, you will not be disappointed. We eagerly await their debut album and will be first in the queue to buy our copy. A huge well done and a massive thank you to you guys for ripping it up in our little town!
CALLUS LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of all parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages