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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thrashatouille, Atomic Live Clip

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

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

Reaper, Atomic Live Clip

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

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

Solitary, Atomic Live Clip

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Massive Wagons with Those Damn Crows & Mad Haven, The Live Rooms, Wrexham, 17/11/2018

Massive Wagons Gig Flyer

Massive Wagons + Those Damn Crows & Mad Haven
Full Nelson Tour
The Live Rooms Wrexham
17/11/2018
Review by Beth Jones & Richard Tilley

Following the recent signs of life in what appears to be the resurgence of the Rock and Metal scene in our little town, we were very happy see that one of the dates on the Massive Wagons ‘Full Nelson’ tour was to take place in our newly revamped Live Rooms Venue. It was the ideal opportunity for us to get out of the house and see what the motley crew from Lancaster were all about. We had seen part of their set at Amplified 2017, and at RockWich 2017, so were eager to catch a bit more of them and see what all the fuss was about.

When we arrived, the doors hadn’t quite opened, but there was a small queue forming, which is pretty unheard of now in Wrexham! This boded well for the audience numbers, and indeed, once the doors were open, people kept on coming.

The first band were a relatively local band, Mad Haven. They were very young and vibrant, with a good Blues /Hard Rock sound. Their songs were catchy and they were getting the audience warmed up nicely. The overall sound was very good too, and the tin roof on the venue didn’t seem to be interfering too much with the quality. Everything was crisp and clear and the guitar had a lovely tone, especially in the solos. For a young band, they did a brilliant job of opening the show, but my only criticism of them would be that their songs ended weirdly – they just, sort of, stopped! It seemed like they had got really good ideas for the intros and main bodies of their songs, but they couldn’t work out how to finish them. This I am sure will be something they will fine tune as they get more experience behind them, and truly master the craft of song writing.

https://www.facebook.com/madhavenrocks/

Our main support for the night was Bridgend hard rockers, Those Damn Crows. I had heard a lot about these guys and was looking forward to seeing them for the first time. Experience showed instantly here as there was an immediate step up in quality when they started. The growing crowd was loving it too, and were joining in with full voice. They oozed charisma and stage presence, and had a whole host of good catchy songs. Some were very hard rock, some were like a heavy Stereophonics but it worked really well. They were having great fun on the stage, and it was creating a really brilliant atmosphere, which was so pleasing to see. With them being that bit heavier, however, the tin roof immediately played its part and distorted the sound somewhat, which is a shame. NOTE TO THE VENUE – PLEASE DO SOMETHING WITH THAT ROOF!!!! Apart from that little niggle though, this set was absolutely cracking, with just the right amount of everything in, and I was very impressed. I look forward to seeing them again soon. To be honest I was now thinking that they would be a pretty hard act to follow, they played as if it was a headline slot.

Those Damn Crowshttps://www.facebook.com/thosedamncrows/

And so, it was time for Massive Waggons. I (stupidly) hadn’t got a photo pass for the night, as I didn’t expect the sort of audience that was, even now, still turning up. I tried to position myself at a reasonable vantage point to be able to get some shots, however once the band came on, it quickly became apparent that my miniature stature was to be my nemesis once more! I spent the next 30 minutes or so cursing and huffing until I finally had a big old artist hissy fit and angrily put my camera away! I don’t lose my shit often, but tonight was one of those rare occasions, so at this point in the review, I will hand you over to the thoughts of Richard Tilley!

Rick’s thoughts:
Respect to Massive Wagons for pulling a huge crowd into The Live Rooms Wrexham, and for coming to our town on their Full Nelson tour. Beth commented it was comparable to when she saw Skindred at the venue in 2013. However, considering how ‘in’ and popular the Wagons are at present, I may not make myself popular with this review.

They are great musicians, there is no doubt, and they whipped said crowd into an apoplectic frenzy, BUT, this is the third time I’ve seen them live now and I cannot, as yet, understand why they are becoming so popular. Perhaps I’m missing something, or perhaps the luck you always need has played its part, or perhaps they know the right people, but I’m simply unmoved when I watch them. They do all the right things with their instruments and make all the right moves on stage, but I found myself thinking of all the bands I have seen who should be at this level but never got the breaks, and that’s not what should be happening when I’m watching a band live.

I know I’m in the minority and I really don’t mean to sound this negative but I have to say it as I see it; they just don’t give me that exciting, hair standing on end, pit of stomach feeling that many other bands do. In fact, their 2017 Amplified and RockWich sets were better than this showing and, on the night, Those Damn Crows were, for me, the better band. I wish Massive Wagons all the success in the world, they are nice guys, have worked very hard and I will still follow their progress and listen to new material to see if I eventually ‘get it’, but it’s fair to say that I’ve already spent 5 years trying to do that and it hasn’t happened yet!

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons/

My qualms aside plus the fact that the tin roof, very definitely, hampers the sound quality of the bands the heavier the music gets and Beth’s annoyance at not being able to get any good photos of Massive Wagons we both had a fabulous evening. It really is great to see Rock and Metal coming back to Wrexham, it is the biggest town in North Wales, and based on the huge crowd that turned up at the venue I’m very much hoping that many more bands will begin to see that Wales isn’t just Cardiff and Swansea!

Social Media:

 

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 all 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/

Machine Head – Starland Ballroom, New Jersey, 02/11/2018

 

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/11/17/machine-head-starland-ballroom-new-jersey-02-11-2018/

Andy Jansons Links
https://andrisjansons.com/
https://www.jmpressphoto.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jansonsofficial
https://www.facebook.com/andy.jansons

https://www.instagram.com/jansons_official/

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Andy Jansons. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Machine Head – Starland Ballroom, New Jersey, 02/11/2018

 

Band Machine Head performance

Machine Head
Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
02/11/2018
Review by Andy Jansons

This summer the heavy metal world was rattled by news that two longtime band members of genre heavyweights Machine Head would be departing the band. Guitarist Phil Demmel and drummer Dave McClain will no longer be with the band following the ongoing US winter tour. So this tour, in support of their latest album “Catharsis”, has become a sort of farewell tour, with an uncertain future for the band!

Enthusiasm from the fans to see the band has not subsided. This performance at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey was at near capacity. On this tour Machine Head are performing without support bands and have scheduled more than twenty songs in their set. Their performance took around three hours! That’s three hours of relentless and powerful blasts of heavy metal. Nobody showed any sign of fatigue, neither the band, nor the fans. Only a select few can deliver such a performance and Machine Head are one of them.

This ongoing ‘Freaks & Zeroes’ tour includes all the fan favourites, with the most represented albums being “Catharsis” and “The Blackening” which had four songs each. Every song was delivered with fury. Robb Flynn sang with huge emotion, Dave never showed any fatigue or missed a beat at the drums, Jared McEachern and Phil were simply amazing at bass and guitar. For me, and I noticed for a lot of other attendees, the peak of the show was the song Davidian from their debut album “Burn My Eyes”. It was the first Machine Head song I heard and remains a perfect definition of who the band is. After an extensive encore performance the band closed their set with Halo from “The Blackening” album.

According to the only remaining founding member and driving force of the band Robb Flynn, this is not the end. How things will be shaped in the future we will know soon, but there is still time to catch band on this US tour until the end of the month!

Andy Jansons Links

 

Machine Head Links:

 

Tour Dates

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 photographs are the property of Andy Jansons