Bloodstock M2TM 2020 – North Wales Heat 2 – Mcleans, Pentre 07/03/2020

Bloodstock M2TM 2020 – North Wales, Heat 2
Mcleans, Pentre 07/03/2020
Review & Pictures by Beth Jones

We were still dusting ourselves down from the first heat of this year’s Metal 2 The Masses North Wales, when suddenly, quicker than you could say ‘get me on the New Blood stage’, it was time for heat 2! Originally this heat was going to be taking place in Bangor, on the North West Wales coast, but sadly the venue is now an ex-venue. However, because this is North Wales, and the NEW Metal Productions team can handle pretty much anything, it was reorganised to our regular haunt, Mcleans, Pentre!

Five bands were set to take to the stage in this heat, and there were rumblings that this was going to be the toughest heat we had ever seen. Our very own Rick Tilley was asked to stand in as a judge on this heat, as one of the regulars, Phoenix Rising’s John Matthews, was unable to attend. It was pretty certain the judges were going to have a hard task. The ‘order of service’, drawn before we arrived, was Winter Hotel, Thrashatouille, Lullaby For A Unicorn, Krank, and Leatherback. This was going to be fun!

Winter Hotel

Hailing from Bangor, these guys play a hard hitting, modern alternative metal style with a pretty hefty punch. They haven’t been round that long and were using a stand-in bass player. While they had done a fair bit of prep for this, bringing with them printed lyric sheets for the judges, their relative infancy showed in their stage craft, which this year is one of the main things the judges are looking at. Musically they were great, and the charisma of front man, Warren Porter, did shine through. But, in my opinion, they weren’t quite ready, performance wise. However, this is something that will come with practice, and more gigging. They definitely have something exciting to give; they just need to work out how to present it.

https://www.facebook.com/WinterHotelband/

Thrashatouille

We’ve seen these guys a good few times now, including last year’s M2TM North Wales, where they narrowly missed getting a spot in the final. Not to be downtrodden, they decided to return this year to give it another go. It was instantly noticeable that they had a new toy on stage – front man Rob Sutton had a synth that goes boom (not a technical term, but good enough to describe it – I’m old and all this synth trickery goes over my head)! I love the effect that you get out of them, so was looking forward to seeing how he used it, and to seeing how they’d come on since last year. I was not disappointed! From the first chord, to the final boooom, they were bloody brilliant! By far the best we have ever seen them perform. Their madcap food-based death/thrash metal, complete with inflatables, energetic movement on and off the stage from Rob, and a healthy dose of booooooom, was totally something I could imagine going down a storm on the New Blood stage. Epic performance!

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

Lullaby For A Unicorn

After being within touching distance of the New Blood stage, as one of last years’ runners-up in the M2TM North Wales final, it was no surprise to see these guys coming to give it another go. I’ve lost count how many times we’ve watched them play but was still as eager to see them again. They are quirky and have an endearing band personality that makes you feel happy, despite the manic and slightly psychotic look in front man Justin Williams’ eyes! They seem to have a bit of a curse on them in this competition though, and they do have a nasty habit of over thinking it. In this performance, a gremlin had got into the sound, and they were plagued with feedback, which I feel threw them off their game a bit. There was none of the usual party popper madness either, which was possibly like taking away their comfort blanket. I still really enjoyed their set though, as I always do, and I was very hopeful that the audience would see past the gremlins, because I know what their ‘A game’ is like.

https://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/

Krank

We last saw Krank in the M2TM heats two years ago, and back then they just weren’t ready, so I was interested to see how they’d come on. Musically they have definitely come a long way, and they make a very good sound together. Carrying on the theme of the evening, it was quirky, humorous, and heavy. They’d obviously spent a bit of time thinking about their stage show, as they had a projector playing a random video in the background, and they also had a large ‘Doomsday clock’ displayed on a laptop for the audience, and the front man to see, as apparently they have a tendency to run over time! They’d brought a lot of fans with them, so they went down well with the crowd. They threw a load of miniature squeaky rubber chickens in to crowd at the start of the set too, which caused a bit of a gigglesome fracas. Unfortunately, even though I think they’re really good musically, something about the front man’s over the top, bullishness really irks me. I find it irritating. Yes, I’m a grumpy old woman, but I just think he needs to tone it down a bit. Let the music do some of the talking, and please, for the love of god, put your tits away! Oh, and another thing – my daughter has now stolen the squeaky rubber chicken we brought home and will not stop squeaking it! Goddamn you!!

https://www.facebook.com/krankislife/

Leatherback

The final performance of the evening was a one-man techno/industrial/metal crossover. My first thought was, ‘I hope they’re going to put the stage lights back on, because the photos won’t be much good otherwise!’ I asked the all-knowing Fozzy, and his response was ‘Just wait and see’. Hmmm, I’m not good with surprises! When the performance started, it became clear what Fozzy meant! Strobe… Lots and lots of strobe! It was like being in a 90s rave! Musically, there were samples, synths and pedals being controlled like clockwork by Matt, aka Leatherback. At the same time, he was playing some pretty tight rhythm guitar. Combined with the strobing and colour changing lights, also controlled by the music, it made for a pretty hallucinogenic experience! I had issues with this performance though, both as a lover of old-school, and as a photographer. He does what he does very well, and with a lot of skill, however what he does, and what I like musically are two very different things. My second issue was the lights. I spent so long looking directly at a strobe, trying to actually capture some useable photos, that my eye and the side of my face went completely numb. That was my cue to leave. I’m going to leave it at that. Clever, but not my cup of tea! It did get the audience going, but on a performance level, I don’t think that it would transpose to a big stage like the New Blood.

https://www.facebook.com/leatherbackworld/

So, with all the bands done, it was time to vote. For me, there was one clear winner, who stood head and shoulders above the rest – Thrashatouille. After a short break, for the judges to deliberate and the audience to cast their votes, master of ceremonies, Beany, returned to the stage to announce the results. I totally couldn’t call it, so can imagine how tough it was for the judges.

First to be announced, and winners of the public vote were Krank, which is a good bit of statistical evidence that other bands should take notice of – the more people you bring with you to your heat, the more likely it is that you’ll win the public vote (unless you really suck and all the people you brought secretly hate you!). The band taking the judges vote, because of their musical ability, professionalism, stage craft and preparation (and rightfully so, if you ask me) were Thrashatouille!

This heat had definitely been a tough one, and it was sad that there had to be winners and losers, but, by definition, that’s what competition is. Onwards and upwards my friends, onwards and upwards! Next up! Heat 3, which takes place on 4th April

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/phoenixrisingrocks/

Disclaimer: This review and photographs are 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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Our Last Night, I See Stars, The Word Alive & Ashland – Webster Hall, New York City, USA – 30/11/2019

00 Tour Poster

Our Last Night – Let Light Overcome The Darkness North America Tour 2019
w/ I See Stars, The Word Alive & Ashland
Webster Hall, New York City, USA
30/11/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Our Last Night is a Post Hardcore band hailing from Northern US state New Hampshire. Although, for some, they are probably best known as a popular covers band, they are making waves with their own material. Recently the band released a two-part studio album, the first called “Let Light Overcome” and the second part, which came out little more than a month ago, called “Overcome The Darkness”. To promote their latest work they embarked on a month long tour together with Ashland, The Word Alive and I See Stars and although they would all be characterized as sitting in slightly different core subgenres, they all fitted together in a live setting seamlessly.

Due to the early start time I, unfortunately, missed Ashland’s performance, but speaking to fans in the crowd, I was told that it was awesome.

https://www.facebook.com/AshlandOfficial/

The Word Alive were next. These guys from Phoenix, Arizona are seasoned and well known Metalcore artists. Although the set did not include one of their biggest hits ‘Life Cycles’ it still packed quite a punch. ‘Trapped’ and ‘Why Am I Like This?’ were their most popular hits played that night. While the band is now reduced to a four piece after the departure of bassist Daniel Shapiro, that did not impact their sound. Telle Smith widely regarded as one of the best vocalists in metalcore was at peak performance the whole set. Five studio albums into their career and The Word Alive show no signs of slowing down.

01 The Word Alivehttps://www.facebook.com/thewordalive/

Next due on stage were Electronicore giants I See Stars. This music style is a fusion of Metalcore with a hefty dose of electronic sounds. Though not many artists would be attributed to this list, such well known bands as Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria have lately have made inroads with this style too. A more electronic sound has brought I See Stars a larger following in today’s scene than the truer Metalcore style. For their performance they brought out all heavy hitters – ‘Ten Thousand Feet’, ‘Murder Mitten’, ‘Running With Scissors’ and ‘Calm Snow’. All songs came from their latest albums “New Demons” (2013) and “Treehouse” (2016). There is no word yet when new material will come out!

02 I See Starshttps://www.facebook.com/ISeeStarsMusic/

Main act for the night Our Last Night came out onstage roaring with their mega hit ‘Same Old War’ from 2013 EP “Oak Island”. That track set a tempo and mood for the rest of the show. They continued with new song ‘The Beaten Path’. Altogether they included seven songs in their set from latest double album. During the show they resorted to playing only one cover song, which was American rapper Kendrick Lamar’s song ‘Humble’. Just to clarify, all of their covers are remade in the post hardcore style so it fit their set like a glove! Besides, these covers helped versions them rise above a sea of other aspiring post hardcore bands and reach the top faster.

Brothers Trevor and Matt Wentworth, the bands co-founders, together with Alex Woodrow on bass, provided all the fireworks at the front running and jumping around the stage which is so characteristic of a post hardcore show, while drummer Tim Molloy provided thundering drumming at the back. Their hhow was full of energy and they gave their New York fans a great experience.

Our Last Night finished their tour a few days ago and while no upcoming shows are announced yet we hope to see them on road again soon!

03 Our Last Nighthttps://www.facebook.com/ourlastnightband/

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons.

Buckcherry w/The Treatment & Rocky Kramer – The Tivoli, Buckley, North Wales – 01/11/2019

Gig Poster

Buckcherry
w/The Treatment & Rocky Kramer
The Tivoli, Buckley, North Wales
01/11/2019
Review by Alun Jones

It’s ridiculous how long it’s been since I last wrote a gig review. Time to end that drought with a write-up of a great band in one of my favourite local venues: yes, it’s the mighty Buckcherry at the Tivoli in Buckley, North Wales.

Yes, you read that right – US rock’n’roll giants Buckcherry were playing the Tiv. This legendary venue has welcomed many amazing bands over the years, and happily I’ve seen quite a few of them. Also sadly missed quite a few too, so I was determined not to miss this gig. Tickets were snapped up, super quick style.

The Tivoli was buzzing on arrival, the place was already busy and best of all – the main bar was open! Opening band Rocky Kramer had already started their set, so I grabbed a beer with my compadre, Ben the Swede, and checked them out.

Rocky and his band were very professional, and obviously extremely capable musicians. It was a bit melodic and keyboard heavy for my personal tastes, but they seemed to go down well with the already excited audience.

https://www.facebook.com/rockykramerofficial/

Up next were UK rockers The Treatment. This was a more gutsy affair altogether: their hard rock was energetic and brash; the sound bringing favourable comparisons to a certain massively successful Australian band that I can’t quite remember the name of… It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock’n’Roll, but The Treatment put on a great show that carried them far.

https://www.facebook.com/TheTreatmentOfficial/

Buckcherry have never been afraid of rock’n’roll. They seemed something of an anomaly in a post grunge world infested with sportsgear-wearing New Metal, but they stuck to their diamond-encrusted guns. And thank God they did. Opening with a thunderous version of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Head Like A Hole’, their set was overflowing with swaggering anthems.

‘Lit Up’ was obviously a highlight, but the whole gig was an electrifying performance. Sadly, I missed the classic track ‘Crazy Bitch’ when I went to the bar (I know, please shoot me) but made it back for the encore of ‘Say Fuck It’, a gloriously foul mouthed monster that finished the night off.

My only complaint was that the gig seemed maybe 15 minutes too short – hence my poor bar visit timing. I thought we had a good half an hour left. No complaints though, Buckcherry put on a fully entertaining testament to sex, drugs and rock’n’roll that was worth every penny.

https://www.facebook.com/buckcherry/

And finally, well done again to the Tivoli, who managed to stage something of a coup and host yet another world-class band! Thank you!

https://www.facebook.com/The-Tivoli-Venue-111869355544823/

Rick Here:
Big thanks to Alun for this review which was first published on his blog ‘Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub’.

If you fancy reading more Music, Movie, Book, Comic Con etc reviews plus a whole host of other stuff then head over to

https://platinumalsvirtualhottub.com/

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones 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.

 

 

 

Kissin’ Dynamite w/BlackRain & Serpentyne – The Underworld, Camden, London – 18/10/2019

00 Kissin_ Dynamite Gig Poster

Kissin’ Dynamite
w/BlackRain & Serpentyne
The Underworld, Camden, London
18/10/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham, Picture by Natalie O’Neill

On my way to the venue, given it was the same night as the sold out Gloryhammer show, it was difficult to know what to expect with regards to audience size. The last time Kissin’ Dynamite were in the UK, they were the opening band for Powerwolf. They were now doing their own headline tour and they were making a stop in London. No better place than The Underworld, Camden; the alternative heart of London.

As I arrived, it was great to see people there already. Some of them had seen the band on the Powerwolf tour; others were long-time fans of the band who had been waiting to see them in the UK. Whether fans were securing their space to watch the bands, buying their first drinks or browsing the merch; the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and anticipation.

The first band to take to the stage were London based Serpentyne. Sometimes when a band is a completely different style to the rest of the line-up, this can pay off massively or back fire immensely. Their haunting sound consisted of angelic vocals, brilliant guitar work, some energetic stage antics (one including the guitarist jumping on top of the drum kit) and orchestral pieces on the system. The only criticism I have regarding their set was that sometimes you couldn’t quite hear these orchestral parts, then again, that could have been to do with the sound system. Overall, they were a great choice to open up proceedings.

https://www.facebook.com/Serpentynemusic/

French Hard Rockers BlackRain were the main support act for the night. From the moment they took to the stage, it was clear they weren’t here to mess around. They brought no nonsense Mötley Crüe and Airbourne style rock to The Underworld. This stadium like atmosphere was reinforced by the fact that fans and new listeners were already singing along to their songs. The setlist consisted of a mixture of songs from across their discography, mainly from their latest album “Dying Breed” that was released this year. If closing with a cover of Twisted Sister classic ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ didn’t get them nice and warmed up then who knows what would have?

Regarding headliners Kissin’ Dynamite, I came across them a few years ago through the song ‘DNA’ when casually browsing on YouTube. In turn, I discovered the album “Megalomania” that was released the same year. I was finally getting to see them headline a UK show at one of my favourite venues.

They kicked off the night with anthems ‘I’ve Got The Fire’ and ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’. I’ve Got The Fire is one of my go-to songs when I need to smile and need that morale boost. The power of the song increased when it was performed live and it instantly lifted those spirits.

The thing with stadium shows is that they are built up with magical moments that are unforgettable. I know this wasn’t a stadium show but given the way they performed; you would have thought you were at one. I will never forget their live performance of ‘Heart Of Stone’ with a piano; it was a great way to tone down the wild atmosphere for those few moments. I was also highly impressed that they were able to lug a huge piano down to the stage in a venue with no lifts.

Another was the song ‘I Will Be King’, especially where vocalist Hannes Braun sang whilst sitting on a silver throne and wearing royal garments. Like the piano, getting the throne onto The Underworld stage was impressive. A personal highlight for me was when they performed ‘DNA’; this was the first song that got me into the band so it was great to experience the energetic performance of this song.

I should also mention that Ana Bruner (Exit Eden) joined the band on stage for a few numbers, including their duet ‘Ecstasy’. The title of this song is incredibly apt because of the energy which comes across. When it was performed, this energy transitioned to the crowd. Ana’s powerful voice and her passionate energy on stage made her a great addition to the band.

They closed their remarkable set with ‘You’re Not Alone’ and Ana joined them one last time for ‘Flying Colours’. These gave the audience one last blast before ending the night on a literal high, with Hannes Braun standing on top of a mini pyramid.

I deliberately made the notes after the show as I was busy soaking in every aspect of their mind-blowing performance, sometimes literally soaking from all the sweat. It was clear they worked incredibly hard to pull out all the stops to give The Underworld a stadium like atmosphere. Hannes Braun was in control of the crowd that night, his charisma and passion to give fans an unforgettable show shone through.

Judging from the crowd’s reaction and the band’s mind-blowing performance, it is more than safe to say they will be welcome back to the UK anytime.

LINKS:
https://www.kissin-dynamite.de
https://www.facebook.com/Kissindynamiterocks/

https://www.instagram.com/kissin_dynamite/

https://www.youtube.com/kissindynamiterocks

 

01 Kissin_ Dynamite

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whitingham 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.

All photos courtesy of Natalie O’Neill

Arkdown w/ In Which It Burns & Scarfoot – G21 At The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester – 05/10/2019

00 Gig Poster

Arkdown
w/ In Which It Burns & Scarfoot
G21 At The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester
05/10/2019
Review by Beth Jones

Another Friday, another trip to the G21! This week’s entertainment was being brought to us by a familiar name in the shape of Scarfoot (but with their new bass player) and two names who were completely new to me – In Which It Burns and Arkdown. Sadly, Rick was laid up with his back again, so I took my substitute gig companion and oldest child, Sian.

For those who haven’t been to the G21, it is an intimate venue created from an old stable building at the back of Chester’s best rock venue, The Saddle Bar. It is a great place to spend an evening and this is something that I am going to rant about in a bit, so be warned! First, to the bands!

Scarfoot
Having seen these guys on a number of occasions before, we knew what they were about, and regular listeners will know that I have always said that they were ok, but something was missing. Enter stage right their new bass player, Rhys, and bingo! This was what I had been waiting for from these guys! It felt so much tighter than it was before, and Vocalist/Guitarist Oliver Carins and drummer Phil Eakins, the backbone of the band, looked so much happier and content with the sound. Everything had more depth, more confidence and more groove. They have also filled the gaps between songs and developed more of a stage presence. I am so happy to be able to write this about them – there is nothing more pleasing than seeing a young band find themselves and look genuinely content and relaxed. This enjoyment also rubbed off on the crowd, and they were grooving along with them for the whole set. Whilst they were probably the lightest band on tonight’s bill, they have a chunky sound, enhanced by the gruff dual vocals of both Oliver and Phil. The new bass sound, with little fills, and more complex riffs really complimented this and I am really excited to see where this rebirth takes them next!

01 Scarfoothttps://www.facebook.com/thescarfootband/

In Which It Burns
Because I like to go into things with no preconceptions, I had no knowledge of these guys at all. From their name, I had had a guess at what type of band they would be, and I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like them or not – this is the beauty of actively seeking out new music. From the first riff, my ears picked up, and by the end of the first song, my mind was made up – they were bloody good!! Joining us all the way from Pembrokeshire, these guys deliver heavy grooves and roaring vocals, and would be enjoyed by fans of early Metallica, through to Pantera but also fans of more modern, Djent style Metal. They were really tight and well-rehearsed, and a special mention must be given to drummer Eugene Lowe, who was an absolute machine! I was gutted Rick wasn’t there to see it to be honest, as he would have been falling over himself with superlatives to describe this guy’s rhythms! They all had a great presence, and their personalities and technical prowess stood side by side to create a brilliant performance – they even had a pit going at the front for one of the songs – not an easy thing to start in the G21!

02 In Which It Burnshttps://www.facebook.com/InWhichItBurns/

Arkdown
Our headliners tonight were joining us from Sheffield, and from their logo, I had deduced that they were probably going to be pretty heavy! They got a big tick in my book before they even started playing, as they had brought their own stage lights! Anyone who has followed any of my reviews / photography outings will know my biggest gripe is lighting! The G21 lacks lights and makes me say words my mother would not be proud of, however I was able to snap away to my heart’s content with these guys! They play a brand of modern metal that, in all honesty, has the ability to get right on my tits when it’s not done right, however these guys really know how to do it right and their performance was superb. Everything was like a well-oiled machine, from the stops and changes within the songs, to the programming of the lights, even down to the choreographed headbanging – nothing was out of place, nothing was over or under done and it was bloody spectacular! The shared vocals duties of front man Kyle Dawson and Guitarist Mike Dyson had a kind of call and response feel in parts, which really worked, and their voices blended together well to create a brilliant version of the scream type sound that has become synonymous with the modern metal style. When it is done well, like these guys do it, I love it! I really cannot find anything to criticise about them. Everything was superb. I picked up a copy of their EP “The Calling” and listened to it in the car on the way home, and their stage sound was just as good as the recording. I am so glad I was one of the select few in the audience and I can’t wait to see them again!

03 Arkdownhttps://www.facebook.com/ArkdownOfficial/

Right, so that is my band write up done, now I am going to rant about something that I have kept my mouth shut about up until now, but that came to a head at this gig and really pissed me off (anyone who knows me will know it takes a hell of a lot to piss me off).

Here we had three great bands, who have been playing up and down the country, working their backsides off to bring shows to people, and by the time Arkdown were on stage, they were playing to a handful of people – literally. One of the audience members was me, two were girlfriends of band members, and one was the gig organiser – if you take us out of the equation, the rest of the audience could be counted on one hand, but they still put everything into that performance, and played as if they were playing to a packed out stadium, and for that I have the utmost respect for them, because mentally that is tough.

This is sadly echoed in many town, in many countries globally at the moment, and then people complain when venues shut down – IF YOU DON’T USE THEM HOW ARE THEY GOING TO STAY OPEN DICKHEADS??!!! Don’t bloody complain that you didn’t know it was on, or that you hadn’t heard of the band – ACTIVELY GO OUT LOOKING FOR NEW STUFF!!! In an age of social media, where our entire lives are there at the touch of a button, we have become fucking lazy, and expect everything to be spoon fed to us – STOP IT! Check out your local venues’ Facebook or Twitter to see what is on! Search for your local scene and like any pages that come up that are connected to it, and check them out regularly to see what they are up to! In the old days we used to get the ‘What’s On’ guide somewhere in the back of the local free paper every week, and we would search through the paper to find it, and circle in red, or cut out and stick on the calendar the things we wanted to go to! There is zero reason why we can’t do the same now, using the technology that we all have in our back pockets, but we’re too fucking lazy!!! These bands, and hundreds like them on the emerging and underground scene, deserve more than we are giving them. They are working so hard to entertain us, with entry to their gigs costing the same as a pint, but we can’t be arsed. Please, for the love of music, sort it out!!!!

As I dismount my soap box, I would like to say a huge thank you to the bands for giving me a brilliant evening’s entertainment, and also a huge thanks to North East Wales Metal Productions again, for putting on this gig, and for working tirelessly to reboot the scene around here. And before anyone say “Well you only go because you get press passes” or “You get given CDs for free”, NO – we buy tickets for these gigs to help support the scene, and we buy the CDs to help support the bands, so suck it up, don’t make excuses, and get out to watch bands – you might find something you like! GRRRRRRR!!

LINKS
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/Grosvenor21/
https://www.facebook.com/Thesaddleinnchester/

 

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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

The Alma Inn September Showcase 2019 – The Alma Inn, Bolton – 28/09/2019

00 Alma Inn September Showcase Poster

The Alma Inn September Showcase 2019
The Alma Inn, Bolton – 28/09/2019
Review by Beth Jones

There is simply no better way to spend a wet and dreary late September day than listening to live music in a pub full of people. The Alma Inn September Showcase took place in these very conditions – the really fine rain that gets you properly wet was falling when we arrived, and we were glad to get in and grab a pint, sadly not an alcoholic one for me – I was driving, and settle in for another nine bands from the thriving underground metal scene. The line-up was more eclectic than the last showcase we attended, and two of the names on the bill were household regulars for us – Thrashatouille and Scars Of Remembrance, who we always look forward to seeing, however we were also eager to see some new names, and the day was to start with one of these.

OND
This young band from Leeds were here to start the day off in style, and they did just that! Calling their style ‘progressive spooky filth’, they whipped up the crowd with their lively and bouncy tunes that were perfectly fitting for their hyperactive charisma. I would say they were a great example of classic heavy metal, with a more modern and progressive twist. Their look and youthful exuberance took me back to the Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne’s World and this made me happy. They are all extremely talented musicians too, and reading their bio on Facebook, I have learnt that they released an EP in 2018, and are currently working on their album, which I shall very much look forward to hearing! What a great way to start the day! Well done lads – four thumbs up from me and Rick!

01 ONDhttps://www.facebook.com/ondband/

Thrashatouille
We have seen these guys on a number of occasions now, and they are always dependable for a tight, but bonkers, food-based show and this performance was no exception. Front man Rob Sutton pulls some of the best faces ever, as he describes to us, through the medium of song, the pain of brain freeze, explosive chilli shits, and his love for red velvet cake. All this is backed up by the rest of the motley chefs, adorned in their chefs’ whites and crunching out banging tunes, which makes for a wonderfully nuts image to behold! I recently reviewed their EP “Rise Of The Bludgeonaise”(read it here: https://ever-metal.com/2019/06/21/thrashatouille-rise-of-the-bludgeonaise-ep/) and I can confidently say they are the same bonkers foodies on stage as they are on recording, and should definitely be a staple in any metalhead’s diet, and even if you don’t like their music, which I very much doubt, it is always immensely pleasurable to watch Rob smash a Red Velvet cake into his face at the end of their set!! Tasty!!

02 Thrashatouillehttps://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille/

Blood Church
Next up were Blood Church, a blackened death metal outfit from Telford, who we knew of, but had not seen before. They have obviously thought a lot about their look and it is dramatic; Full corpse paint, and blood capsules made their genre instantly recognizable even before they had started playing! Thankfully their music lived up to their look, it was dark and doomy in places, but not dirgy, which was good. They took us through a 30-minute set of chunky, down tuned, roaring tracks which ate into your soul in a pleasurable way! Having spoken to front man Chris Thomas before the gig, it was quite amazing to see the transformation on stage – from a mild mannered and unassuming gent, to a crazed maniac fuelled by carnal rage, savagely emitting guttural roars and screams! I think he was possessed by the ram’s skull effigy with light up eyes that adorned the front of the stage! They were finalists in this year’s West Midlands M2TM and it is easy to see why they made it that far – they put on a very good show and we really enjoyed it!

03 Blood Churchhttps://www.facebook.com/BloodChurchBand/

Today, They Are Older
Today, They Are Older – mathematically correct, but the name didn’t give us many clues as to what they were about! We found out pretty quickly when they fired into their first song! They bill themselves as progressive post hardcore, and that is exactly what they are – djenty rhythms and riffs, and screamo vocals. They were very lively and three members of the band spent a lot of their time playing and pitting in the crowd at the same time, which was fun, but I moved out of the way a little as I didn’t fancy getting impaled on a guitar whilst trying to get a picture of the vocalist – I’m too old for that shit now! Fetch me my slippers and a mug of tea will you?! Whilst this style isn’t really my bag, there is no denying that they were very good and very tight, and I can definitely see the appeal that they have to the younger generation! They are full of anger and rage, and it comes out with a bang in their performance. If you like this style of music, you need to get out and see these guys sometime soon.

04 Today, They Are Olderhttps://www.facebook.com/TodayTheyAreOlder/

Whipcord
We were taken from modern to classic next, with Whipcord, this being their comeback show after a few years’ hiatus, and appearing on drums with them was none other than local legend and workaholic, John Badger! This was the first of two appearances by him today, because organizing shows just isn’t enough is it John? (Think we should rename him Dennis Waterman – ‘Write the feeeme tooooon, sing the feeeme tooooon’ [NB if you haven’t watched Little Britain, look this reference up!]) Anyway, I digress, so this was Whipcord’s come back show and they were here to bring us some classic hard rock, and that is exactly what they did, much to the pleasure of us oldies. With some great harmonies and melodies, they certainly gave the day a different flavour, although they did look a little serious at times on stage but coming back after a break is a tough thing to do, so I will let them off! I would certainly like to see them again.

05 Whipcordhttps://www.facebook.com/whipcord/

Scott Beveridge Project
Again, this is another of those bands that we had heard a lot about but had never seen. This was also Badger’s second outing on the drums – getting in practice for his ‘Drumming Up Change’ charity event coming in a month or so. Scott Beveridge Project (SBP) is the brainchild of front man Scott Beveridge, backed up by a variety of musical heads who appear in other bands too – kind of a supergroup of the Manchester Underground scene! Drawing influence from some of the great heavy metal musicians, their sound is good honest heavy metal, complete with widdly diddly solos, headbanging riffs and Hetfield style vocals. They are the sort of outfit that you know what you are getting, and I like that – it is comforting! We are definitely going to be checking them out again at the earliest opportunity. Loved it!

06 Scott Beveridge Projecthttps://www.facebook.com/ScottBeveridgeProject/

Asylum City Zoo
I was starting to hit the wall a little by this point – I’ll say it again, I’M OLD AND BROKEN OK?! But enjoyed these guys even if my outward persona looked like I had gone into stasis animation! They describe themselves as Beardcore/Stomp/Welly Metal, and I have to agree! I’m not entirely sure what that is, but I can definitely say that they are it! It is kind of early Metallica, with a more modern twist and better vocals! They were very tight, and they have a definite idea of who they are, which is always good to see. This assumption is also backed up when you visit their website, which is very nicely done – I recommend checking it out! I had to duck out and have a sit down about halfway through their set, sorry guys – I can’t hack the pace, but I really enjoyed their sound and next time I see them I promise I will watch the whole thing! In the meantime, I am going to digest a bit more of their music, which is available on their website, as it is right up my street!

07 Asylum City Zoohttps://www.facebook.com/asylumcityzoo/

Scars Of Remembrance
These guys were our North Wales M2TM winners this year, and their sound just gets better and better each time we see them. It was touch and go whether they were actually going to be able to perform here, as vocalist Mike Edwards was delayed, and the band were unsure if he would arrive on time – frantic reorganization ensued including which parts of the vocal duties would be taken on by guitarists Daniel Dawson and Mark Harris, and some nervous pacing from drummer Ben Burke and bassist Karl Ditcher, however Mike made it in the nick of time, and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief! AND they managed to do it again – they turned their anxiety into an absolute stonker of a performance that had the whole place bouncing. They mix together classic and melodic styles, with screamy death vocals, and pepper it with some groove, to create a unique sound that we love. Never be afraid to be different. Spot on guys – top show once again.

08 Scars of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

Beyond Salvation
Our final band for the evening was Beyond Salvation – again another band we had heard great things about. Fronted by Jon Pedley, of Pedley Art, they are a four-piece technical thrash outfit from Manchester and are a huge part of the Manchester scene. Fast paced and meaty as hell, they make a huge sound that you can’t help but get involved in, with Jon’s roaring vocals and some epic guitar work from both Jon and Arun Kamath hypnotizing you into a thrash trance! As regular readers will know, I am picky when it comes to thrash – some of it floats my boat, most of it doesn’t. I am pleased to say that Beyond Salvation fell on the correct side of my metaphorical fence, and I am very happy about that! We had to duck out a little before the end, as the tempestuous weather was closing in, my body had finally hit the wall, and I still had to drive us back to Wales! But what a smashing performance to finish off a great day – again nice one guys.

09 Beyond Salvationhttps://www.facebook.com/beyondsalvationthrash/

And that was that! We hobbled off to the car, via the kebab shop, and set about the drive home (which was absolutely horrific, and I wanted to cry, I may add!). Yet again we had had another day of fantastic music. The day did have a couple of mild irritations for me though. Firstly, the sound – the whole day was slightly marred with technical issues. A lot of bands were complaining that they couldn’t here themselves on stage, and fiddling with leads and swapping mics became a bit of a theme for the day. That being said, this highlighted the quality of all the bands, as they still gave brilliant performances despite the issues. My only other gripe was the state of the ladies’ loos – I believe the expression is ‘fucking gopping man!’ I’m not posh, but I do like to have some home comforts when I go to a gig, and I can’t do horrid toilets! Sort it out please!

Apart from that, the whole day was great. Thanks again to the venue and organisers, and we look forward to coming back again soon!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Badgerfestpromotions/
https://www.facebook.com/alma.inn/

 

 

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 both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Stone Temple Pilots, North American Fall Tour 2019 – The Met Philly, Philadelphia, PA – 19/09/2019

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Stone Temple Pilots
North American Fall Tour 2019
The Met Philly, Philadelphia, PA
19/09/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Once upon a time, there was a musical movement, it was called grunge. Somewhat forgotten, it lost many musicians to suicide with bands changing their style. Through all that one band has survived and tirelessly worked their way back to stardom. Their name is Stone Temple Pilots. After finding mega success in the 1990’s the band dissolved due to differences. Upon reuniting they lost eccentric and ultra talented lead singer Scott Weiland to apparent overdose and later his ‘replacement’ Chester Bennington to suicide, both considered generational talents. STP’s current vocalist Jeff Gutt has been great in fitting into those shoes, which has helped them to retain their identity. With Jeff on lead vocals the band last year released a brand new self-titled album, which happens to be the second self-titled album STP have released to date.

Their current tour with Rival Sons is somewhat short, just a little under a month, but touches down in most American Metropolitan areas. After this tour STP will play a festival in Mexico and next spring head out to Australia.

On a pretty nice and warm September day STP came to America’s Independence home Philadelphia and the show took place in the wonderful Metropolitan Opera House or Met Philly for short. After Rival Sons rocked the house, STP came on the stage a few minutes early, prompting some fans to run to their places while spilling beer along the way!
Stone Temple Pilots opened their set with ‘Silvergun Superman’ and ‘Vasoline’ from their second studio album “Purple”, which will have a 25th Anniversary release later in October. They were mixed in with ‘Wicked Garden’ and ‘Crackerman’ from their debut album “Core”. These two albums were the most represented on the set list this night.

STP’s performance was just like the old days. Brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo were so energetic as if it was still the 1990’s. Behind the drums Eric Kretz was spectacular and his hair was flowing in the wind from a fan to the delight of all the ladies in attendance. Jeff Gutt definitely has his own vocal style, but sometimes there were flashes of Scott Weiland which older fans really appreciated. His vocal range complemented well with all of the band’s songs.

From the latest self-titled album STP played just two songs ‘Meadow’ and ‘Roll Me Under’. Of course they played their most decorated hit single ‘Plush’ (that had won MTV, Grammy, Billboard and American Music Awards) and the show was closed with their banger ‘Sex Type Thing’.

It was a good way to finish because, needless to say, it left the fans wanting more..!

LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/stpband

https://www.instagram.com/stpband

https://www.youtube.com/user/stptv

 

BOTTOM STP3

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

Speed Queen, Toledo Steel & Skyryder – The Firehouse, Southampton – 13/09/2019

00 Gig Poster1

Speed Queen, Toledo Steel & Skyryder
The Firehouse, Southampton 13/09/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham

Heavy Metal therapy should be a thing. Think about it; you have had a stressful week or month; you attend a heavy metal show that matches this energy and that helps you get it all out. You also enjoy this experience with likeminded individuals who might be there for the same reason. This was the feeling I got on Friday 13th September when witnessing Speed Queen, Toledo Steel and Skyryder conquer The Firehouse, Southampton.

As the doors opened, it was great to see punters coming in early. Some grabbing a much-needed pint or two from the bar, others finding the ideal spot to watch the bands from and catching up with some friends. It was brilliant to see that support for local music is still going strong. Given that a number of venues are closing all over the country, it’s more important than ever to keep on going to venues and support the scene!

SKYRYDER
The first band to kick off proceedings on this night of pure class heavy metal were the colourful Skyryder! Colourful in stage wear most definitely and in personality too come to think of it. From the energy and passion in their performance, it was evident they were having a great time on stage. This enjoyment was passed onto the crowd who really seemed to take to their set consisting of slick guitar work, on point harmonies and excellent vocal work. Their brilliant musicianship combined with their fantastic sense of humour made them a fantastic opening band!

01 Skyryderhttps://www.facebook.com/skyryderuk/

TOLEDO STEEL
Local boys Toledo Steel were next to take to the stage. I have seen them on previous occasions and they always put on a great show. Friday night was no exception. Their mission is to offer straight to the point, no nonsense Heavy Metal and they did this plus more. Their passion and energy on stage was incredibly infectious. They performed a great selection of songs from across their discography and the crowd got to hear two brand new songs that will be on an upcoming album. A great set of heavy metal goodness from Toledo Steel once again.

02 Toledo Steelhttps://www.facebook.com/toledosteelband/

SPEED QUEEN
From the moment Speed Queen started to play, it was evident the name was more than appropriate, mainly in terms of musical tempo. It states on their Facebook page that they are a mixture of speed and heavy metal mixed with a nasty and sexy stage attitude. Judging from their performance on Friday night, it is easy to see that claim was incredibly accurate. Their mind-blowing performance consisted of finger blistering guitar work, dominant vocals and powerful stage presence. You didn’t need to be a detective to figure out who was in control of the crowd the whole time they were on stage. Let’s hope it’s not long until they come back to Southampton.

03 Speed Queenhttps://www.facebook.com/speedqueenofficial/

If Friday night proved anything, it’s that Heavy Metal is still alive and kicking. There was some solid music and passionate live performances, as well as the comradery from the community. If these bands tour together again, I highly recommend catching this line up in action!

Hyborian Viper Promotions
https://www.facebook.com/hyborianviperpromotions/

Images courtesy of Tomasz Wrobel at TzW Photography
https://www.facebook.com/Tzwphotography/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime -Greatest Hits Tour – w/Gin Annie – The Underworld, Camden, London – 29/08/2019

Geoff Tate_s Operation Mindcrime Underworld Poster

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime
Greatest Hits Tour
w/Gin Annie
The Underworld, Camden, London
29/08/2019
Review by Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King

Having attended Bloodstock at the beginning of August for the first time in what seemed like an eternity (it was actually six years, but you know how time can play tricks on us!), I was in the mood for some more live music. Tickets for this had been booked well in advance so it was a gig I was really looking forward to.

Having seen Queensryche perform a stonker at Bloodstock with the fantastic Todd le Torre, I wanted to see just how Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime would measure up. Would they have the magic of the “old” Queensryche (although I had only seen the “original” Queensryche once before at High Voltage Festival way back in 2011 and, if I’m honest, they were pretty dire then!) or would they just sound like a covers band, which, I guess, technically, they are!?

So, the venue? The Underworld in London’s Camden Town. I, personally, like The Underworld. Its small so you don’t get the humungous amounts of people but large enough to have a decent crowd. There are a few pillars (holding up the ceiling I’m guessing!!) so depending on where you stand, your view could be obstructed a bit, but it really is only a problem if the downstairs (half a dozen steps down) is jam-packed!

So, amazingly for me, I arrived at the venue in plenty of time, so I actually managed to watch the support band (something I very rarely do!) I must admit I hadn’t heard of them before the gig but then I was expecting a band with ‘Wolf’ in their name for some reason!! Must be the blonde in me!!

Anyway, the support were a hard rock band called ‘Gin Annie’ and I must say I was VERY impressed. Hailing from Wolverhampton in the UK they feature (and I quote this from their website) “heavy guitar driven songs whilst maintaining a melodic vocal style; hook-laden choruses, and classy melodies.” I couldn’t have put it better myself! They were absolutely fantastic and judging by the reaction they were getting from some of the crowd, I am guessing they were already pretty well known (late to the party AGAIN!!)

They had a contagious energy that just made you want to get up and dance along with them, and if I had drunk one or two vodkas, I think I probably would have done. The guitarists were awesome, and the singer’s voice just blew me away. There was nothing fancy about them. They are a good old-fashioned heavy rock band, who obviously enjoy what they do. I don’t think there was a time when all five of them weren’t up on that stage smiling! A great sign of a band that work hard but have immense pleasure in what they do.

They played nine tracks in total and I must say I was rather disappointed when they had to leave the stage! I wanted more…..so on my way out I bought the CD from the merch stand and had it in my car for over a week! Instead of getting bored with it each time I played it, I loved it more and more!! I would really love to see these guys as a headline

band, and I will now make it my mission to see them as such!

Outstanding work guys!!

So, after a break of what felt like forever (I don’t understand why there must be such a long break between supports and the headliners. Festivals manage a quick turnaround, so why can’t they?) it was Geoff Tate’s turn. I was looking forward to it, but I must admit I also had a bit of trepidation about the gig. Going by the previous time I had seen him perform, and reports of other gigs over the years, I wondered if it was just all going to be a waste of time.

The band came on first, playing the introduction to track ‘Neue Regel’ followed by the main man himself, to rapturous applause and cheering!

Now, I have been a Queensryche fan for as long as I can remember and to hear all of my favourite Queensryche tracks being played right there in front of me was awesome BUT….and yes there is a but….there was just a little something missing for me! I loved Geoff’s voice during his heyday, but I don’t think he can quite cut some of the notes now. And yes, before I get bombarded with messages of hate etc, I know singers can tend to lose their voice as they get older, but this is a review and I have to be honest!

Despite this, he did do the songs justice, but then he should have done, shouldn’t he? He has been singing these songs for three decades and should know them inside out and upside down. The heroes of the evening, for me, were the musicians he had backing him, Felix Bohnke, the drummer from EdGuy and Avantasia being one of them.

These guys were simply magnificent and if you closed your eyes it could quite easily have been the Queensryche of yesteryear up there on that stage. Personally, I think they are all too good to be in what could only be described as a Queensryche covers band but if that’s what they are happy doing, then good luck to them.

I had heard of Geoff being somewhat arrogant (something I really do not like), and this did come across occasionally while he was onstage and again, I am ducking to avoid anything that could be thrown at me at this point!

Overall, though, Geoff and the boys did a grand job. They played all the old Queensryche classics from ‘Operation:Mindcrime’ (the track) to ‘Empire’ to crowd favourite ‘Silent Lucidity’ and more. I am gutted I missed them on the tour when they played the whole of Operation Mindcrime 1 and 2 but this gig did make up for that.

So, Gin Annie get massive double thumbs up, for me, being the better band on the night and I WILL be going to see them again, while Operation:Mindcrime, although great, came in second!

Gin Annie – Setlist:
New Bad Habit
All I Want
Fallin’
Damage
Next 2 Me
Dying To Live Again
Chains
Love Ain’t Here
Born To Rock n Roll

Gin Annie Links:

WELCOME TO THE HOME OF GIN ANNIE


https://www.facebook.com/GinAnnieUK/

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime – Setlist:
Neue Regel
Screaming In Digital
Operation:Mindcrime
Speak
Spreading The Disease
The Mission
Take Hold Of The Flame
Empire
I Dream In Infrared
The Lady Wore Black
Walk In The Shadows
Breaking The Silence
I Don’t Believe In Love
Encore:
Silent Lucidity
Jet City Woman
Eyes Of A Stranger

Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime Links:

Operation Mindcrime Tour


https://www.facebook.com/operationmindcrimeband/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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.

Rabidfest 2019 – The Bullingdon, Oxford – 18/08/2019 – Day Three

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Rabidfest 2019
The Bullingdon, Oxford
18/08/2019, Day Three
Review by Beth Jones & Rick Tilley

They say that as you get older, time goes quicker. They also say that time flies when you are having fun, so for us oldies having fun, time seems to go very quickly indeed, and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, here we were at the last day of Rabidfest, which again promised a very full, and very heavy line-up back at the Bullingdon. Bring on the metal!!!

King Bolete
The task of opening the final day fell to Oxford based, King Bolete, who offer a fusion of blues riffs, fuzz and groove, and harsh vocals, combining to make a sort of sleazy stoner metal which was very akin to a lazy, and for some, slightly hungover Sunday lunch time. They were the perfect way to start, went down well with the crowd and set the tone for the day ahead.

01 King Boletehttps://www.facebook.com/kingboleteblues/

The Final Clause Of Tacitus
From the moment these guys took to the stage, I could see they had the 90’s written all over them, and this made me pay attention – this was my era!! If you liked Rage Against The Machine and Clawfinger, you will love these guys. Rick already knew about them and really likes them because they had been featured on Ever Metal before. They offered a solid dose of Rap/Funk Metal executed brilliantly. I know this doesn’t happen very often, but I am going to give a special mention to Andy, the bass player (I know right – get the flags out)! He was the epitome of funk and was great to watch – definitely grand master level cool! The guitarist Tom, on the other hand, was a total nutter!! I have never seen someone go quite as bat shit on stage – there was definitely some sort of exorcism brought on by their music I would say! Trying to take his picture was like trying to herd cats! When we spoke to them afterwards, he told us that he had actually passed out on stage not so long back, from all the crazy jumping about! Lunatic! They were, very definitely, one of our highlights of the whole event, and when we got home I ordered both of their EP’s straight away!

02 The Final Clause Of Tacitushttps://www.facebook.com/TFCOT/

Broken Empire
From the old to the new, with a good dose of modern hard rock, Broken Empire! We liked these guys because they are fresh and very current – I could see my teenage daughters going wild to them, especially frontman ‘Ieuan’ with his far-out hairstyle! They have only been together since 2017 but have been gigging regularly and with two EP’s released already they are very well rehearsed and know exactly what sound works for them. Very enjoyable and definitely a band to keep an eye on!

03 Broken Empirehttps://www.facebook.com/brokenempireUK/

Democratus
This was a band that we had been really looking forward to seeing. We had heard a lot about them, and they are Welsh, so that alone makes them better than everyone else by default! They didn’t disappoint! Melodic death metal, with a more than sizable nod to classic metal, they ripped up the room for the entire of their set, with vocal powerhouse Steve Jenkins telling a story with his facial expressions, and engaging the assembled throng with some audience participation! There music was like a checklist of how to make it sound good – soaring power vocals – check, face melting guitar – check, epic rhythms – check, a hangman’s noose – che-wait, what?! Yes readers, you did read that right – towards the end of their set things became slightly more menacing when Steve produced a noose and promptly simulated hanging the other band members then himself, which was fun! (Don’t try that at home kids, not unless you are into that kind of stuff of course!) This was a really great performance and Democratus are now definitely on the list of bands to see again!

04 Democratushttps://www.facebook.com/democratusband/

Bloodshot
I have decided that I am definitely getting old, as here was yet another band that looked like they could be my daughter’s mates! From just up the road in Whitney, Bloodshot brought us some progressive death metal, with tricky stops and cross rhythms, and harsh vocals, on top of intricate guitar work. They were good to bang your head to and two characters in the crowd, who we very originally named ‘Dancing Guy’ and ‘Dancing Girl’, were having an absolute blast to them! I’m going to again mention the bass player, Will, just because he pulled some epic bass faces, a couple of which I managed to capture on camera!

Rick Here, I’m going to add that sometimes I find the harsher, more extreme bands a little difficult to listen along to at home or in the car, but seeing them live is a different thing entirely. To me this is where really heavy music completely comes alive and shines, it’s almost primal and Bloodshot were definitely a band that invaded my brain and intestines in a good way!

05 Bloodshothttps://www.facebook.com/BloodshotUK/

The Five Hundred
Guitars with too many strings alert!! It was time to get technical again with The Five Hundred. Thankfully I have no need to rant about having too many strings just for the sake of it, as the technical prowess of the musicians in this band required the extra strings. They were very very good. Down tuned and powerful riffs, intricate melodies, and on point vocals, mixed with killer drops that made the roof rattle, made their performance exciting and exhilarating. We were at the mid-point of the day, which historically is where I start to flag, however The Five Hundred made sure that this was a break from the norm by really waking me up! Again I am putting these on the ones to see again list!

06 The Five Hundredhttps://www.facebook.com/wearethefivehundred/

Gutlocker
Next up were Groove/Sludge Metal quartet, Gutlocker (or Stomach Padlock as many in the know were calling them!!). Again they were a name that we had heard quite a bit about and were looking forward to seeing. They were groovy, they were sludgy, and front man Craig McBrearty’s vocals were terrifying (in a good way, of course). I don’t know about my guts being locked – the rumbling bass licks were enough to replace all the fibre in my diet in that department – oosh! Again one thing that was not lacking in their performance was energy – a running theme from just about every band over the weekend, and they had the entire room banging their heads good style. Very pleasing indeed!

07 Gutlockerhttps://www.facebook.com/gutlockeruk/

Dog Tired
Coming to us all the way from the wild North, Scotland to be more precise (you know, that place where wild Haggis roam the hills – Rick), were Dog Tired. They were a mix of the brutality of Death Metal with the riffs of good old-fashioned Thrash but also a thundering Groove which, brought together, quite simply makes battle music! It kind of made us want to paint our faces blue, grab a big mother of a sword and stand on a hill shouting FREEEDOMMMMMMMMMM!! They were bloody good. We got a bit of hair envy again though, as guitarist Luke James has a proper mane of Pantene hair which was incredibly flickable! Their whole set was fast paced and full of growl and we loved it! Who’d have thunk that two genres I don’t get on with usually (You’re on your own there Beth, I love Death and Thrash – Rick) could come together to make something pretty frikkin good! Bought the album, listened to it in the car on the way home! Their new album is out in September and it’s a beast, in fact it makes us a want a pet haggis!!

08 Dog Tiredhttps://www.facebook.com/dogtiredmetal/

Bast
This may make me unpopular, so be warned. If you are a fan of doom, these guys are for you. For me, there is only one thing worse than doom, and that’s experimental doom. Bast are experimental doom. Whilst there is no denying that they are talented and competent musicians, and that they work well together as a group, I just don’t get it. I want to feel excited, like the rest of the weekend has built me up to be, but I just couldn’t get into a groove. Admittedly some of the songs were quicker paced than the sort of slow doom that Conan inflicted the night before, but I just couldn’t do the guttural screamed vocals, the melodies that were kind of smudged together, and the weird beats that were impossible to go nuts to. Sorry!

09 Basthttps://www.facebook.com/Bastmusic/

Papa Shango
So, yeah, erm. Papa Shango. It wasn’t what we were expecting! I spent a good few minutes wondering if my Pepsi had been spiked, and if this was a very vivid hallucination! Rick was actually concerned he had overdosed on his medication! Papa Shango are a many many pieced group of complete nutters, who bring together a Day of the Dead-esque shaman, a rock band, and RaRa girls adorned with Day of the Dead make-up, because why not eh? Whilst musically Papa Steve, Papa Dale, Papa Ryan and Papa Barry would be just a normal, half decent rock band on their own, the addition of The Pappettes Shango, and Papa Shango himself, turns them into a very hallucinogenic experience, full of double entendre, crazy naughtiness and hundreds of props! They were such good fun, and most of the musicians, including Papa Shango, spent a lot of time out in the audience! Were they under-rehearsed with some of the change overs? Yes! Did they go completely over the top? Yes! Were they extremely silly? Yes! Did anyone care? Not one bit in the slightest! They were good, light-hearted Sunday afternoon madness and we loved it! If you love the thought of Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen TV Series joining forces with The Rocky Horror Show then Papa Shango will be your bag. They were also a photographer’s dream because of all the vivid colours and beautiful make-up. Awesome!

10 Papa Shangohttps://www.facebook.com/papashangomusic/
https://www.facebook.com/pappettes.shango.5

Desert Storm
After the half hour transportation to the lunatic asylum that had just happened, things got quickly back to normal for our penultimate band of the festival, with the entry of Desert Storm. Another local band, they brought a good mix of sludge and blues into their metal, and they did it very well. The room was full and getting back into the groove. There were definite nods to the old greats such as Sabbath and Zeppelin, but they were very current, and their performance notched up a level for me when there was suddenly a digeridoo type sound which took me aback for a moment – I was wondering who was playing it, then realised that it was actually a technique that vocalist Matt Ryan was using, which was similar to Tibetan throat singing, and was very mysterious and enticing, and gave the whole sound an added depth which was impressive and made them unique. They were a perfect balance of modern and classic, with some really great riffs and melodies, and toe tapping rhythms. I like this sort of stuff because it is clever, but not pretentious. Well done guys! We are Desert Storm converts!

11 Desert Stormhttps://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/

Ingested
Here we were at the final band, and it appeared it was going to be Groundhog Day. Once again, on paper, they were a good choice as they have a large following but they just didn’t do it for us. It was an anti-climax. They spent more than twice as long as any other band sound-checking, a large proportion of which was getting their Apple MacBook to work, only for it to stop working three songs in, when they stopped playing half way through a song because most of the song was on samples. Call me old fashioned, but if you rely that heavily on samples, and can’t play it live, don’t put it in. Whilst they did manage to carry on without it after, what I’m guessing was a quick set-list change, I, like a fair proportion of the crowd, had seen enough. I know this will again make me unpopular, but honesty is the best policy and I don’t do blowing smoke up people’s arses. If I reflect on them from a purely musical point of view, yes they could play their instruments well, and the front man did have an angry sort of charisma, and they are indeed slamming death metal, but without the samples it was just another death metal band. If you like death metal, you will love them – so definitely check them out. If you don’t, then don’t. That’s all I have to say.

12 Ingestedhttps://www.facebook.com/ingesteduk/

And that was that. We took some last pictures, said our goodbyes, and headed off for our digs, via our new favourite food place, the Chinese restaurant a bit further down the road for take-two of the night before’s supper. It had been a great three days. We met some absolutely fab people and saw some really cracking bands. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the organisers for having us, and the great team that made the whole event run like clockwork. A huge shout out must go to the in-house sound guys at The Bullingdon, who were seasoned pros and were in control at every second – hats off to you chaps, a great job well done! Also to Mark Gibbs for being mad enough to attempt a three day festival, and to Greg Brown and our own Sheri Bicheno for making the chaos organised, and to the rest of the team for doing all the jobs that needed doing, and being genuinely fab people – we look forward to seeing you all again.

13 The Rabidfest Team (After the last paragraph)

 

LINKS
https://www.rabidfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/rabidfest/

https://www.instagram.com/rabidfest/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones, Richard Tilley 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.