Lotty’s Top Ten Albums of 2019

Lotty’s Top Ten Albums of 2019
By Lotty Whittingham

Hi Everyone – Rick Here. Before I pass you over to Lotty we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her continued hard work in 2019. As well as writing for us she also runs her own great Blog/Site (https://www.facebook.com/rockoutstandout/) but she continues to send us great album reviews, live reviews and interviews. Once again, she has not only given us a very interesting top ten but she has also written mini reviews for each entry as well as a good list of honourable mentions. Thanks Lotty

The end of the year is upon us and I must say there have been some brilliant releases this year. I have been particularly impressed with the amount of new bands that have released albums. This is reassuring as it means the metal/rock scene is still alive and well. From listening pleasures to albums I enjoyed reviewing; here are my top ten albums of the year.

01 Number #10 Sabaton10. Sabaton – The Great War

Kicking off my top ten is Sabaton’s latest historical account of “The Great War”. It’s no secret that Sabaton write songs based around historical battles and events whilst donning the camo trousers. “The Great War” looks at the different aspects from The First World War. The Swedish icons tend to produce sterling albums and this is no exception. I’ll admit I didn’t take to this album right away but after listening to it a few more times, it grew on me. From the booming opener ‘The Future Of Warfare’ to the touching ‘In Flanders Field’, the album takes you on a historical journey told through bombastic melodies. My personal favourites on the album are ‘Seven Pillars Of Wisdom’, ‘82nd All The Way’, ‘Devil Dogs’, ‘Red Baron’ and ‘Great War’. I look forward to experiencing these songs live next year.

https://www.facebook.com/sabaton/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LS0Z8fgiII


02 Number #09 Aephanemer9. Aephanemer – Prokopton

At the beginning of the year, I got an email from a guitarist to ask if I could help promote his band via a review and interview. After listening to their music, I was very keen to do so. Melodic Death Metallers Aephanemer are now signed to Napalm Records and they are gathering new fans by the second. I had the pleasure of reviewing their latest album “Prokopton” before they were signed and given the strong content from the record, I knew they would go far. The thing that sticks out on this album is the strong mix of Melodic Black and Melodic Death Metal; you can hear this within Marion Bascoul’s varied vocal style. The strongest examples of this can be heard in ‘Snowblind’ and single ‘Bloodline’. Amongst the prevailing growls and brutal musicianship, there is a poignant message in their sound. Prokopton means making progress. It’s a Greek word describing someone who practices stoicism in their day to day lives. You can see this within their powerful lyrics. I highly recommend this band to fans of Moonsorrow and Ensiferum.

https://www.facebook.com/Aephanemer/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggncUCeWVZo


03 Number #08 Eclipse8. Eclipse – Paradigm

I was happy to see the return of Swedish Hard Rockers Eclipse this year via their latest release “Paradigm”. There were some strong single releases leading up to the release and from hearing those, I knew I needed to hear the rest of the album. I had the pleasure of reviewing it this year. In tough times, we need something to lift our spirits and “Paradigm” does exactly that. There is an eclectic selection of songs on this record; it wouldn’t surprise me if songs such as ‘Viva La Victoria’, ‘The Masquerade’ and ‘United’ were live show anthems already. It’s albums like this that prove rock is still alive and kicking.

https://www.facebook.com/EclipseSweden/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXBi0g9joC0


04 Number #07 Massive7. Massive – Rebuild Destroy

A few years ago, I witnessed Massive open up for The Treatment at The Joiners, Southampton. I remember being taken with their high energy and passionate music. Fast forward to the present and I can say I watched them headline the same venue with that same energy and passion. Talking to lead vocalist Brad Marr earlier this year, he mentioned the influences for the writing. “Rebuild Destroy” came from hard times they have had as a band. They used all this frustration and energy to create this no nonsense, straight up Hard Rock album and there is a fantastic collection of songs included. You have the party sounds on ‘Gettin’ Heavy’, the punchiness of ‘Bullet’, the rebellious ‘What You Gonna Do’ and the ballads ‘Face In The Crowd’ and ‘A Mile In My Shoes’. This is a Hard Rock gem that should be treasured and given your undivided attention.

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveOz/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSr-CjZh1nM


05 Number #06 Coronatus6. Coronatus – The Eminence Of Nature

I first came across Coronatus when I was sixteen years old, particularly, when I was starting to discover Symphonic Metal. I was attracted to the fact there were two different vocal styles taking the lead. Fast forward and in 2019 they released “The Eminence Of Nature”. Once I pressed play on this album, I was taken instantly by the striking vocals and grand musical arrangements.

Their important message is told through a great selection of bombastic melodies that encompass both folk and symphonic metal elements. It’s no secret that we need to work together and make drastic changes to ensure the future of our planet changes for the better. You hear this instantly in the lyrical content in the opening track ‘Planet B’! It doesn’t take much explanation what the lyric “no planet B, no more earth, only one chance” is referring to.

Other favourites on the album include the fun folk sounds of ‘Midsommar’, the haunting sounds of ‘Echo Of Souls’ and the gallant ‘Set Sail To North’. Highly recommended for fans of Symphonic and Folk Metal!

https://www.facebook.com/CoronatusOfficial/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmick4TQ0g0


06 Number #05 Bloodbound5. Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire

Ever since I caught them on tour supporting Sabaton a few years back, I have been hooked on Bloodbound. Their latest tale “Rise Of The Dragon Empire” only reinforces my love for the Swedish Dragon Slayers. The album contains gallant melodies that will make you want to unleash your inner warrior and join the band on their noble quest. Those who have been fans of the band for a while may have noticed the development in their sound.

My personal favourites on the album are the title track, ‘Blackwater Bay’, ‘Giants Of Heaven’ and ‘Reign Of Fire’. The title track shows us Patrik Selleby’s brilliant vocal range, ‘Blackwater Bay’ is majestic, ‘Giants Of Heaven’ is a standard Bloodbound track that contains the elements I love about the band and the uplifting sounds in ‘Reign Of Fire’ give me hope when times are tough.

Unleash your inner dragon slayer and join them on their quest, you know you want to!

https://www.facebook.com/bloodboundmetal/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngOiPQvBGf4


07 Number #04 Beast In Black4. Beast In Black – From Hell With Love

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual listener, the name BEAST IN BLACK has been hard to miss. I was initially attracted to their straight to the point and no-frills Heavy Metal sounds through the strong content they produced. After hearing their latest release “From Hell With Love”, I knew instantly it was going to be at least top five material.
Like their previous album, it is no frills and no fuss; just solid sounding Heavy Metal. The record contains a great array of songs that will get you pumping and ready to go. Great examples of this get up and go energy can be found in ‘Repentless’, ‘Heart Of Steel’ and ‘True Believer’. I also like the eighties-esque sounds in ‘Sweet True Lies’ and ‘Die By The Blade’. It’s nice to have a break through the track ‘Oceandeep’ that shows us a different side to vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos, especially when it comes to his vast vocal range.

Like your Heavy Metal straight to the point whilst needing a get up and go? Give “From Hell With Love a whirl”.

https://www.facebook.com/beastinblackofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCJooj3hdzQ


08 Number #03 Control The Storm3. Control The Storm – Forevermore

Control The Storm have been favourites since I caught them at a local show a few years ago, I likened them to Britain’s answer to Nightwish and after their hiatus and a few line-up changes, their sound is stronger than ever before and I still say they are the British Nightwish. The concrete content in their anticipated second album Forevermore is solid evidence of this.

Even though I could hear influences from Nightwish, I can hear instantly that they have their own sound. For the duration of this album, I am taken with the beautiful melodies that have a sense of empowerment. I know that some of the band members have been open about their struggles regarding mental health and there is strong lyrical content in the album describing perfectly what it’s like; “I’m trapped in my mind” from ‘In The Night’, “Feeling defeated, life will take its toll” from ‘Follow Me’ and “Now I’m at war with my inner peace” from ‘Chaotic Mind’.

The song ‘Chaotic Mind’ is a perfect embodiment of struggling with ill mental health and to keep on fighting through it all. This particular song is another that helped me through some difficult times this year.

With all these reasons in mind, this was the ideal album to open my top three.

https://www.facebook.com/ControlTheStorm/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SzIq8yc0T4


09 Number #02 Skillet2. Skillet – Victorious

I had heard of Skillet in passing, but it was only this year I managed to sit and listen to them. This came on the off chance when listening to a radio show and the song ‘Legendary’ came on. I was instantly taken with the power and passion in the song, so much so that I eagerly waited to give the album a try.

From start to finish, I was taken with the pumping, strong and empowering content that this album gave. When you listen to it, you realise the title is more than appropriate. There is a great variety of tracks that suit every mood under the sun. I know it is a cliché but it rings true in this case.

Highlights for me include the first pumping notes of ‘Legendary’, the sweeping title track, the bouncy rhythm in ‘Rise Up’, the poignant message about having someone there for you in ‘Anchor’ and the straight to the point sounds of ‘Never Going Back’.

Music fans looking for something different then give this album a spin and feel Victorious.

https://www.facebook.com/skillet/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DApP8dCZOdU


10 Number #01 Leah1. Leah – Ancient Winter

It’s very different to the rest of my list but when I listened to the relaxing sounds of this record, I knew instantly that this would be my number one pick. For “Ancient Winter”, Leah strips back her usual Symphonic Metal sounds for a earthier ambience. It’s within this album you can hear why she is referred to as Metal Enya from her fans.

‘The Whole World Summons’ and ‘Light Of The World’ begin the album and I was taken away to a far-off land instantly and it genuinely helped me forget my troubles for hours. This album highly encourages the phrase “dance as if no-one is watching”, which is what I found myself doing whilst listening!

Speaking of being taken to a far-off land, I thought of Dark Crystal and Lord Of The Rings when listening to the record. The earthy sounds are given to us through Leah’s haunting vocal work and some of the international names featured on the album. These include the stunning Pipes from Nightwish’s Troy Donockley, the quirky Hurdy Gurdy sounds from Cellar Darling’s Anna Murphy, and a few others. My personal favourites on this album are the hypnotic sounds in ‘Redemption’, the stunning rendition of traditional song ‘Gaudete’ and the merry arrangements in ‘Puer Natus’.

In today’s fast paced world, it’s more important than ever to step back and slow down. “Ancient Winter” helped me to do this; it made me to relax and take a breath. If slowing down is something you need to do, take yourself away with “Ancient Winter”.

https://www.facebook.com/LEAHthemusic/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do5LvwfqzSw


I would also like to give honourable mentions to the following albums:

A New Tomorrow – Universe

I really enjoyed the vast sounds of this album. I caught their live show a year ago and was really taken with them. Imagine Alter Bridge meets Foo Fighters and throw in Queens of The Stone Age and you get the sounds of A New Tomorrow. Their music matches the positivity and hope behind their band name. It’s albums like this that prove the rock scene is alive and kicking. I personally really liked the tracks ‘Golden Sands’, ‘A Million Stars’ and ‘Step Into The Wild’. The future for these guys is looking bright.

https://www.facebook.com/anewtomorrowmusic/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvBMWARpHH8


Obsidian Tide – Pillars Of Creation

A few years ago, I reviewed Obsidian Tide’s debut EP and really took to the hazy sounds. Fast forward to the present and I got to review their debut album “Pillars Of Creation”. This isn’t just an album; it’s an experience that requires your undivided attention. It’s a journey full of unexpected twists and turns that I won’t reveal here, it’s recommended you buy the album to find out what those are. If this album doesn’t get the band swooped up by a big record label, I don’t know what will.

https://www.facebook.com/obsidiantide/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGk9Ad6bGbw


Crazy Lixx – Forever Wild

I am a huge fan of the bold and exciting sounds of eighties rock, I also have a huge admiration for modern bands bringing those sounds back. The appropriately titled “Forever Wild” by Crazy Lixx is the key to feeling free and wild. The songs contain sounds that make you feel like you are free and invincible; this is evident in my personal favourite tracks ‘Wicked’, ‘Eagle’ and ‘Terminal Velocity’. I also love the fun antics in ‘(She’s Wearing) Yesterday’s Face’. Feel free and Forever Wild with this album.

https://www.facebook.com/crazylixx/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXekI0LiBLA


Crystal Viper – Tales Of Fire And Ice

Crystal Viper are a new discovery for me this year and after hearing the strong sounds from “Tales Of Fire And Ice” I hope to see more of them. It’s a straight up, no nonsense album that delivers top class heavy metal sounds. Powerful vocals, finger blistering guitar work and thunderous rhythms; You can place a big tick by all of these items on this list of essential elements to create a Heavy Metal gem. There are some fierce tracks here such as ‘Bright Lights’, ‘Under Ice’ and ‘Tears Of Arizona’. They are definitely ones to keep your eyes out for.

https://www.facebook.com/crystalviperofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydVRuJdHgMg


Rotting Christ – The Heretics

As most of you know, Rotting Christ have been personal favourites of mine since I caught them headline the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock a few years ago. Their latest release “The Heretics” only upholds my admiration for their mesmerising music. The album doesn’t mess around as it opens with ‘In The Name Of God’ and the album keeps up the strong music from there. Highlights include ‘Vetry Zlye’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, ‘Dies Irae’ and ‘Fire God And Fear’. What I like about this album is that it proves beauty can be found in the darkest places if you look hard enough. This was one of the things that drew me to the band in the first place.

https://www.facebook.com/rottingchristofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Bt38pbvlo

 

 

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.

Stonedeaf Festival 2019 – Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, UK – 24/08/2019

 

A full review of this festival can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2019/08/30/stonedeaf-festival-2019-newark-showground-nottinghamshire-uk-24-08-2019/

 

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF SIMON DUNKERLEY of SD Photography.
https://sd-photo.smugmug.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SD_Photography-308971442474820/
https://twitter.com/simond11

 

Stonedeaf Festival 2019 – Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, UK – 24/08/2019

00 Stonedeaf Festival

Stonedeaf Festival 2019
Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, UK
24/08/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Welcome to your new favourite festival. It’s quite a bold opening statement but from the moment you step on site things are different. This truly is a festival that is all about the love of the music and the community of rock and metal fans joining together in celebration. The fact that this is only the second year and the numbers have swollen so much is testament to this. Here everyone is family.

Samarkind
Dublin based four-piece Samarkind kicked off the day in fine style, their bluesy hard rock fitting perfectly in with the sunshine vibe of the festival. Like a tougher version of Bad Company, they dripped cool in a set that showed just why there is such a tradition of great music from the Emerald Isles. Absolute stormers like ‘Fire and Blood’ and ‘Blue Mountain’ just scream quality and when the former slips in a snatch of ‘Heaven and Hell’ you just realise how natural these guys are. They work incredibly hard at what they do but it all pays off in no uncertain terms, making you wonder how anyone can follow such a performance.

01 Samarkindhttps://www.facebook.com/samarkindband/

Massive
Feral street fighting Aussie brawlers Massive followed and showed how their constant touring and never stop until you’ve given 110% attitude has won over a growing legion of fans this side of the World. There truly must be something in the water that produces such tough rock and roll bands and these guys are more akin to the incendiary Rose Tattoo than Angus and Co, glorying in the rougher edge of all out gonzo tracks like opener ‘Generation Riot’. Guaranteed to wake you up, the band ripped through a set that absolutely nailed it every time and the cover of ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’ slot perfectly in as a nice tip of the hat to their fellow countrymen. It should be pointed out that they aren’t a one note band but there’s some great songwriting with light and shade as the brilliant ‘Ghost’ proved. Set closer ‘Long Time Coming’ brought back the fire and as lead singer Brad Marr drained a can of beer and poured the last few drops over his head you just knew that you’d witnessed a band giving their all for the crowd.

02 Massivehttps://www.facebook.com/MassiveOz/

The Amorettes
Next up were The Amorettes and it was the turn for the girls to show that they can rock just as hard as the boys with a positively red-hot set that matched the rising temperature of the day. This new version of the group featuring original singer / guitarist Gill Montgomery, Tequila Mockingbird’s Jacinta Jaye and Josie O’Toole and second guitarist Laurie Buchanan (Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics) are truly firing on all cylinders. Despite one or two technical issues they powered through a set packed with great songs, melody and a snotty bubblegum rock attitude. Numbers like the pounding ‘Coming Up the Middle’ and the ridiculously catchy ‘Everything I Learned (I Learned from Rock and Roll)’ ensured that The Amorettes continue their upwards trajectory and may well be headlining festivals like this one in the future.

03 The Amoretteshttps://www.facebook.com/theamorettes/

Diamond Head
Very few bands can be genuinely be called ‘legendary’ but Diamond Head are rightly part of that club, founding member Brian Tatler proudly steering the band ever forward with a cracking new album in ‘The Coffin Train’ and not just happy to rest on his laurels, feeding off the past. New numbers like ‘Death by Design’, ‘Belly of the Beast’ and ‘The Messenger’ pepper the set, showing the confidence the band have with the latest material and it’s well placed. Of course, most people are waiting to hear the classics and they certainly weren’t disappointed as ‘Borrowed Time’, ‘Lightning to the Nations’, ‘In the Heat of the Night’ and ‘It’s Electric’ were greeted like old friends, this incarnation of the band brilliantly injecting new life into songs written almost forty years ago. Rasmus Bom Anderson has both the voice and stage presence to make you forget that anyone else originally sung these songs and Tatler spends the set smiling, obviously loving playing the songs whose strength brought bands like Metallica and Megadeth into being. When a World War II Dakota flew in the skies over the stage during ‘Am I Evil?’ this mix of the sight and sound of two spine tingling classics was one of the outstanding moments of the day and was one of those moments long to be remembered.

04 Diamond Headhttps://www.facebook.com/DiamondHeadOfficial/

Geoff Tate
Bringing his ‘Operation Mindcrime’ show to Stonedeaf, former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate stole the show for a lot of people as he put on a peerless show, featuring some of the greatest tracks cherry-picked from his time with the Washington rockers. The time flew by from the moment that the first notes of ‘Empire’ rang out to the final seconds of ‘Eyes of a Stranger’, each song perfectly played and a testament to just how seminal the bands output was at this time. Tate seemed relaxed and happy, a tight group of musicians behind him, his voice better than ever and bringing out every nuance in the lyrics, powerful, moving and out and out jaw-dropping. Metal to stimulate your intellect as much as your eardrums, ‘Operation Mindcrime’, ‘Jet City Woman’ and an incredible rendition of ‘Silent Lucidity’ that was arguably the highlight of the whole day, all transported the audience to their own euphoric state where the only choice was to give themselves over totally to the music. Geoff Tate was utterly thrilling and untouchable.

05 Geoff Tatehttps://www.facebook.com/GeoffTateOfficial/

Wayward Sons
Following almost constant touring, barring a break to record their new album, the Toby Jepson fronted Wayward Sons are quickly engendering as much love and respect as his previous outfit, Little Angels. Whilst the Scarborough outfit saw their youthful hard rock take them from Yorkshire pubs to the stage of the Royal Albert Hall, Wayward Sons channel more of a spirit of classic rock and new wave bands into an instantly likeable mix that has the energy and fire of The Who and The Clash but adds some extra weight into the mix. Always a very good songwriter, Jepson has matured into a great one and the material the band have now is some of the very strongest he’s put his name too. Blistering opener ‘Alive’ hits like a prize fighter and for the whole of the eleven-song set you can hear more and more converts being made in the crowd, Jepson the consummate front man welcoming each and every one into the Wayward Sons family. Aside from their rollicking good tunes, the key ingredient in the success of the band is the feeling that the musicians themselves are having as enjoyable a time as the audience, like Massive before them they work hard but obviously love what they are doing.
Guitarist Sam Wood and bass player Nic Wastell made the most of the stage, throwing shapes and along with Jepson, drummer Phil Martini and keys players Dave Kemp exuded effortless cool, slamming into numbers like the debut album title track ‘Ghosts of Yet to Come’ and new anthem ‘Any Other Way’. ‘Crush’ featured a snippet of the Stranglers ‘No More Heroes’ and showed that the band are proud of their influences whilst another new song ‘Little White Lies’ had a real feel of The Beatles and ELO in it’s perfect grandeur. By the time that ‘Jokes on You’, ‘Something Wrong’ and ‘Until the End’ had finished the set, despite sound issues, the band had conquered Stonedeaf and are definitely set to be future headliners.

06 Wayward Sonshttps://www.facebook.com/waywardsonsbanduk/

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons
Absolutely the only way to follow them was with the visceral thrill of Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, the long serving guitarist from the legendary Motörhead and his band truly ripping the place apart. They are without doubt the real deal and Campbell’s years with Lemmy let him shine and develop into one of the most astute musicians on the scene, never overplaying but happy to step back and make the band and the music more important than the individuals. More than any other group on the day, they captured the dangerous spirit of rock and roll, walking the fine line between euphoria, recklessness and perfect control, Campbell cool with his gold plated Gibson Flying V glinting in the sunlight whilst his three sons Todd, Tyler and Dane wreaked havoc as vocalist Neil Starr’s powerhouse voice brings everything home.

It really is a testament to the band when self-penned tracks like ‘Big Mouth’, ‘Step into the Fire’ and ‘Straight Up’ make as much of an impression as Motörhead classics like ‘Rock Out’, ‘Born to Raise Hell’ and ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’. Hawkwind cover ‘Silver Machine’ was a brilliant touch but it was the almost inevitable ‘Ace of Spades’ that switched the crowd into a seething mass of flying hair, lunatic dancing and mass singing. Final number ‘High Rule’ could have proven an anti-climax after that but once again showed the band to be very much their own men and a totally formidable rock machine that absolutely took no prisoners. If you’re not for them, prepare to get crushed under their wheels.

07 Phil Campbell and the Bastartd Sonshttps://www.facebook.com/PhilCampbellATBS/

Inglorious
The placing of Inglorious in the special guest slot was always a bit controversial, playing after such established artists, but the up and coming classic hard rockers rose to the challenge and won over the crowd by sheer force of personality and craftsmanship. A seismic change in line-up could have shattered the band but by sheer force of will main man Nathan James brought the band through this and they came out fighting even harder; leaner, meaner and determined to defy the odds. Opening number ‘Where Are You Now’ could have been directed to the departed members of the band as a bitter riposte but was instead a monstrous slab of hard rock, full of drama and melody.

Three albums into a career, you can’t help but wonder just how huge the band is going to get as they launch into anthemic number after anthemic number, each one perfectly suited for filling stadiums. Sure, the riff in ‘High Flying Gypsy’ owes a huge debt to ‘Kashmir’ but if you’re going to have influences make them the very best you can and ‘Read All About It’ is hard rock with a real groove and edge that most bands would give their right arms for. One thing that James shouldn’t do though is to trade in the six string wonder that is Danny Dela Cruz, considering he is only just out of his teens (having just celebrated his birthday a few days previously) the guitarist is very much a future axe hero and one to watch. Long-time drummer Phil Beaver, guitarist Dan Stevens and perfectly quiffed bassist Vinnie Colla all play their part though, making their own individual mark and certainly not being pushed into the role of sidemen. A magnificent and unexpected cover of Alanis Morrisette’s towering ‘Uninvited’ caused goosebumps but it was the punishing ‘Ride to Nowhere’ and mass singalong of ‘Holy Water’ that left the most lasting impressions, showing that the future is really what they want to make of it.

08 Inglorioushttps://www.facebook.com/weareinglorious/

Glenn Hughes
Anyone who has ever seen Glenn Hughes live will know exactly why the K.L.F. dubbed him ‘The Voice of Rock’ when they featured him on their track ‘America: What Time is Love’. The man is a giant in an industry that seldom sees talent as anything but disposable, a survivor of a decade or so of excess that would have finished off most people and someone who has never been prepared to just accept second best, always pushing forward and stretching himself. An astounding singer, brilliant bass player and songwriter, there couldn’t have been a better choice to finish of the night and his current set that focuses on Deep Purple classics. The opening salvo of ‘Stormbringer’ and ‘Might Just Take Your Life’ were thrilling and made everyone forget the technical issues that extended the wait for Hughes coming on stage in an instant and ‘You Keep on Moving’ was so scorching that it threatened to turn the already dry field into a tinderbox. Ever appreciative of those who come to see him, the singer was a true professional, talking to the audience and singing A cappella through a set plagued by equipment problems, totally free of superstar tantrums and just wanting to get on with entertaining the people. ‘Mistreated’ couldn’t have been much bigger and the pairing of DP Mk II staple ‘Smoke on the Water’ with a beautiful and heartfelt ‘Georgia on My Mind’ was an unexpected but literally show-stopping end to the main set. Whilst neither song was penned by Hughes, he very much made them both his own and the playing of guitarist Soran Anderson, keyboard player Jesper Bo Hansen and the utterly phenomenal drumming of Ash Sheenan complemented every note. For the encores, the adrenalin rush of ‘Burn’ never fails to thrill and ‘Highway Star’ closed the festival in utter triumph: a definitive classic by one of the greatest bands in rock history, sung by a true giant of the genre. Quite how the organisers will top things next year who knows, but one thing’s for certain, they’ll certainly try. Due to copyright issues the festival is having to change its name so whilst Stonedeaf may have lasted two brief but beautiful years, Stonedead will continue to grow and grow. Rock will never die.

09 Glenn Hugheshttps://www.facebook.com/glennhughesonline/

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF SIMON DUNKERLEY
https://sd-photo.smugmug.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SD_Photography-308971442474820/
https://twitter.com/simond11

FESTIVAL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/237397456749576/

https://www.instagram.com/stonedeaf_festival/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCXF1P29FvLRXD_IqNhPNvA

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.

‘Stonedeaf Festival – Looking back and moving forward’.

Stonedeaf Logo (TOP)

‘Stonedeaf Festival – Looking back and moving forward’.
By Paul Monkhouse

It’s still Summer (despite the weather) so it’s still festival season. We have had Download and Bloodstock, Ramblin’ Man and Steelhouse amongst others are on the horizon but there are many superb smaller ones definitely worth checking out. In amongst those is one that mixes a heady nostalgia for the greatest annual rock festival of the 80’s and 90’s, an event put on by rock fans, for rock fans I give you: Stonedeaf Festival, happening on the 24th of August.

Despite only having its inaugural festival in 2018, this has become a much-anticipated fixture in the rock and metal calendar and one that has upped the ante even more from last year’s impressive debut. Put together by a collection of veteran fans of the legendary Monsters of Rock festival, this packs into one day and one stage more quality than most festivals do in a weekend (and more than Reading Festival has in the last ten years). The idea was to appeal to not only the people who used to go to MoR but anyone who loves classic hard rock music and doesn’t want to spend several days trudging from one stage to another on a massive site with overpriced food and drink. At Stonedeaf the order of the day is to make things as relaxed and easy as possible so people can get on with just enjoying several hours of fantastic music. Camping is an option and, unlike Download, you can pitch your tent within a very short walk of the arena which is a huge bonus and means you don’t have to miss any of the action. The same can be said of the one stage set-up, totally avoiding all those awkward clashes of timetabling.

Headlining this year is THE Voice of Rock, Mr Glenn Hughes who will be bringing his Classic Deep Purple live set to the venue. It can’t be overstated just how incredible this man is, not only for the voice and his phenomenal bass playing but also for being one of the true survivors of the business. The current set lets him really dig deep into his time in the legendary hard rockers but also breathes life into material that is over forty years old but rocks just as hard as it ever has, mixed with his soul and funk edge. This promises to be a must-see performance.

Not only do you get one of the greatest performers on the planet but also a stellar supporting cast featuring some of the cream of the scene. Rising superstars Inglorious bring their heady modern take on classic rock and in frontman Nathan James have a man whose voice and presence can command any audience. If you like your rock harder and dirtier, long-time Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell brings his Bastard Sons to Stonedeaf and will be playing not only selections from their own hugely acclaimed material but also throw in a song or two from the late, great Lemmy’s troupe too. Having gone down a storm to a packed tent at Download last year, constantly toured the UK with some of the best bands around and on the cusp of releasing their second album, the ex Little Angel Toby Jepson fronted Wayward Sons have got class and material to match that most groups would give their whole careers for.

The unique voice and vision of Geoff Tate is also appearing, doubtless showing just why Queensryche became so huge and true Legends of the NWOBHM, Diamond Head play too. It really cannot be overstated just how important DH are to the modern music scene and without them neither Metallica nor any of the other Big 4 would likely exist. Scotland’s brilliant The Amorettes will doubtless bring some Celtic fire to the proceedings and the bill is rounded off with the visceral rock ‘n’ roll of Australia’s Massive and the bluesy hard rockers Samarkind opening the show. With Krusher Joule MC’ing the whole event and tickets only £50 (£60 for camping) it’s a total no brainer.

Full details at https://www.stonedeaffestival.co.uk/

Stonedeaf Festival 2019 Poster (BOTTOM)

 

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