And Heavy Metal For Wigan XXIII: Redemption

And Heavy Metal For Wigan, The Boulevard, Wigan 07-08-2021 Poster

And Heavy Metal For Wigan XXIII: Redemption
Defied w/ Solarshift, Shrike and Bloodmores
The Boulevard, Wigan, England
Review by Rob Sutton

Another week, another gig and this time it’s off to Wigan. Did you know Wigan sent a pie to space? Anyway, The Boulevard is a venue I have not been to before and has also had a recent refurb. It’s a lovely venue with fantastic facilities and good beer (driving this time meant I didn’t have a chance to fully explore what the bar had to offer).


So, the terrible weather that had descended on the North had set the scene beautifully for tonight’s opening band Bloodmores. Now I have seen these boys many times and really think they don’t get the recognition they deserve and tonight proved this. This set was tight, insanely tight. Every song felt thoroughly rehearsed and it provided a very early assault on my ears. The absolute powerhouse behind the kit was not only brutally fast but incredibly technical with the beats and fills which was mesmerising! The sheer speed his legs were moving became just a blur. Guitar-wise the lead role was switched not only between songs but in some cases during. This really highlighted the immense talent that these guys had. Sadly, the vocals did get lost during a few songs but this was more of a sound issue as opposed to a band issue. When they could be heard they were that lovely meaty death metal growl, they really complimented the music. I did feel, that while the bassist was also very strong, he did feel distant from the rest of the band, this was most apparent when a breakdown would kick in and the whole band was in sync but he would just slightly bob. Saying this I did appreciate, during one breakdown, where he came off stage and just went crazy. More of that please! Now Bloodmores have been working hard as they are already on album number 2 and the tracks they played from this were on another level, I would have just liked something in the background while they changed guitars. Complete silence really lost a lot of energy. Having said all this, they were fantastic and if you’re a death metal fan I would highly recommend them!

Now, as stated earlier, the venue had recently been refurbished. This meant that the floor in front of the stage still had wet paint. Because of this, barriers were put up in front of the stage which left almost no room for pits or even headbanging…hmmm not well planned here.


Anyway, enough of me ranting as next up was Shrike, a band I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many times and with their new single ‘Martyrs’, was looking forward to seeing a new Shrike. ‘Martyrs’ was the opening number and this is a belter of a song! I love the tone of the guitars the brutality of the drums, everything about this tune. Sadly, after that I felt the energy drop; the clean singing didn’t work for me and personally I feel a lot of practice is needed to fully polish the style they are going for. The ‘oohs’ were out of tune and there were a few longer gaps between songs which let the energy drop further. Having said this they still maintained the heavy which I loved and the last song ‘In Pursuit Of The Wych’ feels like an old classic. Shrike have a lot of talent and a lot of quality songs. Their stage presence during the set is insane; they really use all their wireless instruments to their advantage and dominate the stage but, for me, this wasn’t the best I’ve seen them , but I know next time will be better.


As I am from near Manchester I feel like I have seen most Manchester based bands on multiple occasions. However, Solarshift I have somehow never witnessed before. Why have I not seen them before?! Holy cheese balls these guys are good! The fantastic blend of KoRn style Nu Metal with the new age Metalcore is mix I never thought I’d like. Honestly the stagemanship of vocalist Ben is so engaging you can’t help but focus on him. This is not to say the rest of the band aren’t good, they really are. The drums, sound simple, but work beautifully in every song and provide the beat to bounce to. (There are a lot of bouncy beats, it’s like a workout). With the bass and guitars providing added meat, it makes this set feel like it should be on a large stage with a sea of people bouncing away. I had the same feeling watching these as I did watching Parkway Drive. Bounce, jump, spin, love life! Now I have to comment on the use of samples, for Beth, who will read this first. They are fantastic and add an extra layer to what is an already phenomenal sound. Also, bass drops! So, I have to bounce back to the front man, he has one of the best voices in the underground scene. Not only can he growl but he can shout and sing. All of these flow from each other seamlessly with such control and power. My only criticism with this set is I wanted more! Please check these guys out, you will not be disappointed.


This leads us to the final band of the evening. A band who are really gaining momentum in the UK metal scene, Deified. From the first beat this band oozes with professionalism and charisma. Is it any wonder they are playing the SOPHIE stage at Bloodstock? Now I will comment that they are the only band tonight who didn’t use in-ear monitors and this did mean that their set didn’t feel quite as tight as the previous three bands. However, they made up for this with fantastic melodies echoing that of At the Gates (love Melodeath) and utilising numerous guitar styles such as tapping and sweeping to make each song feel fresh, keep you engaged and guessing what they are going to do next. I love the humour front man Jamie has, he is a natural entertainer although, I don’t think, banging his head on the ceiling during the first song was in the script. Deified are a no B.S straight up metal band who always provide a good show, always look like they are having the time of their lives, no matter how big or small the crowd is, and because of this have become one of the most enjoyable live acts in the scene to watch.

Tonight, was a real showcase of what metal in the Northwest has to offer. The calibre and professionalism of all the bands made this one of the best ‘local’ gigs I have ever been to. I would recommend checking all four of the bands out. I would recommend checking the Boulevard out as it is a fantastic venue and lastly I would recommend highly, going to one of And Heavy Metal For Wigan’s gigs as Oli has an ear for putting together incredible line ups!


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton 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.


01 Bloodmores Logo


Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with North West England based Metal band Bloodmores! Huge thanks to Alex Cunliffe for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hey, I’m Alex, and I’m the guitarist/vocalist with Bloodmores, and we play a sort of mixture of thrash and death metal. We got together after I was introduced to Richard, by a mutual friend, who then introduced me to Connor. The 3 of us then wrote the tracks for our debut album “The Seeds Of Seasons” together, and then met Chris at a later date, who joined us on drums. We released our debut album about 8 months ago, and started performing live soon after that.

How did you come up with the band name?

It took us forever to settle on a name, and in the end we decided it was best to sort of come up with our own word, so that there’d be less chance of us coming across another band with the same name, in the future, and then have to start thinking about changing it. So the word ‘Mores’ is used to describe like a trait, or characteristic, of a society, and so Bloodmores is like our way of describing self-destructive, or self-sabotaging, traits of society, but as it turns out though, nobody pronounces this correctly. Mores is supposed to pronounced like ‘mor-ays’ but absolutely no-one we’ve met through the band has ever pronounced our name Blood-Mor-ays, so everybody, ourselves included, just pronounces our name as you might imagine, like Blood-Mores.

What country are you from, and what is the metal scene like there?

We’re based in the North-West of England, and the metal scene here is pretty great. There’s a bunch of venues nearby, in places like Bolton, Burnley, and Preston ETC, where we’ve played, but the main local metal scene for us is definitely in Manchester, there’s a huge metal scene there, with plenty of venues that accommodate our type of music.

What is your latest release?

Our latest release was our debut album “The Seeds Of Seasons” which we released on February 1st, this year, and it can be streamed/downloaded from all the usual services, like Spotify, iTunes, Amazon ETC, with physical copies available for purchase via our Bandcamp page.

What first got you into music?

I actually wasn’t too interested in music until midway through high school. Nightwish were the first band that really caught my attention, and they’re still my favourite band now, but from there my taste gradually got heavier, which started with Children Of Bodom’s first album “Something Wild”. I remember being amazed by how intense and fast everything was, especially the drums, and I’d hate to think how many times I listened to the opening track ‘Deadnight Warrior’ throughout high school.

If you could collaborate with a current band, or musician, who would it be?

Honestly too close to call for me, so I’m going to break the rules a little, and say either Peter Tägtgren, from Hypocrisy, or Seth, from Septicflesh.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose, and why?

I would absolutely love to play Thursday night at Bloodstock one year. I’ve been to Bloodstock every year for the past few years, and the first night, in the Sophie Tent, is always awesome.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Funny you should ask. We played in Manchester literally last night (at the time of writing this) and some guy just set up shop at the front of the crowd, midway through our set, and just pulls out paints and brushes et; and just paints a picture of us, as we’re playing our set. He sent us a picture of his artwork later on, which I’ll send in with this interview for you to check out, and I genuinely love it. It was so random, I’ve never seen this happen at a show before, but I’m glad he went for it, cause like I said, I do really like the painting he did of us.

02 Bloodmores Painting, to be inserted under weird gifts answer

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thanks for the support. We’re starting to see some familiar faces at numerous shows, and it really does mean the world to us that people are enjoying what we’re doing, and keep coming back for more.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Probably Warrel Dane! I never got see Nevermore while they were active, as I didn’t really get into them until I met Richard, as they’re his favourite band, and so I would love for there to have been the chance for some reunion shows, cause I’m really into them now, and would have absolutely loved to have seen them live.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician, and what do you hate?

I just love to play live, and to be on stage, I really thrive off it.

As for hate, it’d probably just be drama over small things that don’t call for it. Like, we’ve seen sound engineers kick up a huge fuss when they find out we use in-ear monitors live, for example, and it’s like a 5 minute set up to get them going, it’s really not a big deal.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Getting paid something worthwhile from streaming services would be nice, cause right now we’re practically giving our album away on sites like Spotify.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

For me personally, one that’s especially influential for my work with Bloodmores, I’d have to say “Virus”, by Hypocrisy. For the other members of the band, I’d say either “This Godless Endeavour”, or “The Obsidian Conspiracy”, by Nevermore, for Richard. Connor would likely pick “Nocturnal”, or pretty much any other album, from The Black Dahlia Murder, and as for Chris, probably “As The Palaces Burn” by Lamb Of God.

What’s best: Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, or Downloads?

I’d say CDs for everyday use, cause everyone has something that’ll play them, so if you want to show your mate a cool album, they can play it in the car, or just put it in their PS4, or whatever, so it’s nice and easy. However, I actually really like vinyl if the album has some cool artwork, and I feel like you can appreciate the artwork that bit more when you’ve got a bigger print of it. Albums like “Once More Round The Sun” by Mastodon, or pretty much any album by Baroness, where there’s a lot happening on the cover, and it’s really eye catching, and intricate, look great on vinyl.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

As previously mentioned, we played in Manchester very recently, and it was definitely up there with the best that we’ve done. There was so much audience interaction, and I even clocked a few people near the front singing along when we played ‘The Gauntlet & The Guillotine’. It was great to see so many people enjoying what we’re doing, and really getting into it.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I could focus more on art, I suppose. I’ve done a few bits of concept art for designs and stuff for the band, which I can then use to show a designer the kind of ideas I have in mind, but my rough artwork is nowhere near high enough quality to use as a final design. If I weren’t into playing and performing so much, then maybe I could spend more time focusing on art and design stuff.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Ozzy Osbourne would definitely be a laugh.

I think Ola Englund would be awesome to hang out with too, I watch a lot of his videos online, and he seems super knowledgeable on guitar gear, but also a lot of fun too.

Joe Duplantier would be cool too, obviously a lot of his lyrics are centred around the environment, and preservation ETC, which I have some similar themes going on in my own lyrics, so it’d be cool to chat with him about it all.

I already mentioned him earlier, but Peter Tägtgren would be on my list too, again, to talk about lyrical content. I’m a huge Hypocrisy fan, and it’d be great to just chat about the various influences for his lyrics.

Lastly, I’d pick Vicky Psarakis, from The Agonist. I was already a big fan of The Agonist for their first three albums, and was initially apprehensive when Alissa left for Arch Enemy, cause she’s clearly a very talented vocalist, and I wasn’t sure how they were going to go about replacing her, but Vicky just exceeded any and all expectations I had. For me, I’d say she’s the best female vocalist, that I know of, in metal right now, and the footage that appeared online recently, of her performing the ending low vocals to In Vertigo, off their latest album, Orphans, is unbelievable. I’m going to see them with Jinjer later this year, and while Jinjer obviously have an amazing female metal vocalist too, for me, Vicky is just crushing it. I think she’s incredible.

What’s next for the band?

We’re heading up to Scotland for the first time soon, as well as spending some time working on some new material, which we’re looking to finish recording, and get something new released as soon as possible.

What social media/website links do you use to get your music out to people?

I post on our Facebook page, and answer all the messages there, as well as the ones that come in to our email address, and Richard handles our Instagram page. None of us are particularity into social media, and don’t really post much on our personal pages, or accounts, but we do our best to utilize it for the band, cause it feels like everyone around us is constantly using it.

Jaffa Cakes: are they a cake or a biscuit?

Hahaha It actually kind of bugs me that this is even an argument that people have. It literally has the word ‘cake’ in its name, what more do you need?

Thank you for your time, is there anything else that you would like to add?

Just thanks for having us. We’re still very much an up-and-coming type band, so we really appreciate your support. Cheers! 🙂


03 Bloodmores Pic



Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, 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.