HRH Metal


In addition to the 28 bands already confirmed for HRH Metal IV this coming February – which includes headliners Rhapsody of Fire and Equilibrium – we are ecstatic to announce an additional 14 bands to the lineup!

Added to the weekend’s schedule are:

hard rock hell metal

The Three Tremors – featuring Judas Priest legend Tim Ripper Owens, Sean Peck of Cage and Harry Conklin of Jag Panzer and Titan Force – are a unique force in metal, with as their name suggests, a 3 pronged vocal attack that will rip the O2 Academy Birmingham apart.

From Newcastle come the legendary Blitzkrieg. Formed in Leicester in 1980, the band are as strong as ever having released their latest album, “Judge Not” in 2018, and an EP “Loud and Proud” in 2019. It’s a true honour for us to welcome them to the HRH family, in what will be their 40th anniversary year!

We welcome King Kraken to HRH Metal IV – after their powerful performance at the HRH Highway to Hell Final in August where they finished a very creditable 3rd, the Welsh five-piece were clearly the perfect fit for our metal showcase in February.

Birmingham based Valous have been installed as our 2nd Stage headliners for Sunday after taking a short break from the scene. Now back with their new drummer Sam Evans, this is the band’s first gig back with the new line-up and they are raring to go. The five-piece metal band joined us in Ibiza for HRH Roadtrip 2018 and went down a storm, it seemed only right to bring them back to the HRH fold!

Another local band joining us in Birmingham will be Secrets of Mariana, who will bring their unique blend of alternative rock and melodic metal, which has been honed to perfection since their formation in 2012.

Hailing from the industrial wastelands of Teesside (their own words!) circa 1982, Dogsflesh are a thrash / metal / punk crossover and a damn fine one at that. With influences including GBH, Discharge, Metallica, early Iron Maiden and Motorhead, they will tear the roof off the O2 Academy in Birmingham.

Completing the incredible HRH Metal IV line-up are Witchsorrow, Enquire Within, Eagles vs Drones, Dead Label, Death Valley Knights, Avarus, Metasoma, and Ashborn.

The lineup in full : Ashborn / Avarus / Blitzkrieg / Damaj / Dead Label / Death Valley Knights / Dendera / Dialekt / Die Kur / Dogsflesh / Eagles vs Drones / Enquire Within / Equilibrium / Ethereal Sin / Evil Scarecrow / Flex Bison / Forgotten Remains / Frozen In Shadows / Helgrind / Impavidus / King Corpse / King Kraken / Krysthla / Kyrbgrinder / Lord Of The Lost / Lulliby For A Unicorn / Metasoma / Promethium / Raised By Owls / Recall The Remains / Rhapsody Of Fire / Secrets of Mariana / Seprevation / Skiltron / Skull Fox / The Three Tremors / Transients / Valafar / Valous / WitchSorrow / Xentrix.

For all packages head to or call Holly on 0207 193 1845.

Master’s Call

With support from Djinova, Halusky, Chaplain and Hands Of Attrition.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 29th September 2019.

This evenings Hils Ovation gig at the O2 Academy3 is set to be just about as good as it gets, with the promise of five fantastic bands all ready to raise the roof and first up and into it were Hands Of Attrition. This band have an intense sound and a stage presence to match, which completely commanded the attention of the O2 Academy3 throughout the entirety of their set. Vocalist Tom Alexander, whipped up a storm with his endless wrath of quality and all consuming vocals which deservedly earned a rapturous response from the audience.

Next up were Chaplain, who hail from the Coventry area and have a sound that I can only describe as pretty scary black metal! Considering that the band have only been together since September last year, I have to applaud them as they look and sound like they’ve been together much longer than that. Their set tonight was tight and coated in the kind of atmosphere that sits somewhere between psychotic uncertainty and the absence of normality, which is just my cup of tea!

Our third band of the night were Halusky who I believe are also relative newcomers to the scene. Halusky are a music lovers dream as they seem to have captured numerous genres, with the absence of complication. Listening to their set tonight I heard strains of metal, indie, grunge and grove which all just flowed with impeccable ease all wrapped up with lyrics that carry a great deal of social conscience and thought. Based upon the experience of their live set tonight, Halusky are a band now firmly on my radar and a word to the wise, go check this band out now!

With the three previous performances having already stamped their quality on tonight’s event, our penultimate band of the evening, Djinova, were next to take to the stage and ready to raise the bar even higher. Djinova have the kind of long standing relationship with the metal community, that is born out of commitment and quality and successfully led them to The New Blood Stage at Bloodstock this year. The bands set tonight, saw them engulf the O2 Academy3 in a Category 5 metal storm, with no prisoners left standing in the blast and for me, this is exactly what live metal should look, sound and feel like.

Our headliners tonight were none other than Master’s Call, who are a band that I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing on numerous occasions in recent years and watching them tonight, I found it an absolute pleasure to reflect upon how they have grown and developed their craft. Visually, the quality of the bands presentation matches the standard of their musicianship and their set tonight sat right up there in the league of first class.

With the atmosphere both on stage and off hauntingly intense, Master’s Call brought an outstanding night to an impressive close and what an experience its been!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr .

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

HRH Doom vs Stoner

O2 Academy Sheffield 29th September 2019.

Well sadly, all good things must come to an end and I guess that’s true as this is the final Doom v Stoner event that HRH are putting on. It would appear that they’ve exhausted this genre and can no longer fill it with worthy bands that no ones already seen before – like Orange Goblin, who’ve headlined three out of the four events. That said, I still managed to discover some new bands today! All is not lost as it’s being replaced with Goth, which joins the ever popular Punk and Viking events to keep us entertained.

As this is the last one, I’m going to keep this short and to the point and mostly talk about the bands that blew me away on the day.

Alunah were up first and after re-discovering this lot at Uprising earlier this month, I was super excited about getting to see this band play again, on the main stage that the O2 Academy has. Although they were up first, there was a respectable crowd in attendance which was re-assuring as others had clearly made the effort to see Alunah perform. What I didn’t realise was that they only performed tracks off the current EP and the new album, although I can be forgiven for this as up until this point, I hadn’t heard the new album! Thankfully, the band have kindly given me a promo copy to listen to and trust me, it’s everything I hoped it would be! I have vowed to purchase a copy of the new album on vinyl, the splatter one hopefully so save me one for the pending tour at the end of the year, or in early 2020 please! Sure, the band are considered a doom band but this album is anything but! After getting the chance to interview the band, which you can watch here. I know they’ve purposely tried to have more fun with their latest offering, entitled ‘Violet Hour’, opting for a more bluesy tempo compared to their older material. Their gamble has paid off in my book as like the band we see before us now, it’s a new start, with new music, that’s forging a future which looks bright and promising. I’m expecting this album to catapult this band into the uppermost stratosphere, I just hope there’s still venues and events they can play at as everyone needs to check this band out!

Red Spektor followed on the main stage, with a nice long one hour set that gave them plenty of time to perform an array of music from both their back catalogue and from their yet to be released new album. It was a set we could properly immerse and lose ourselves in and transport us to a hedonistic and psychedelic world that very few bands can successfully transport us to so well! No details are available on the release of their new album but we did talk at length about it’s pending release, so if you’re a fan like we are, then check out our interview.

You could consider the first two acts as both blues/doom and psychedelic/stoner, Oak however, were full on hard hitting stoner and really woke everyone back up with their high energy, hard hitting riff machine! Their bio states they tried to sound like Kyuss, but fucked it up, that’s funny, but not nearly as funny as seeing vocalist Andy with his shirt off! Still, you could tell he couldn’t care less what I or anyone else thinks of that as he was too busy loving every minute of his time up on the main stage! I really like this band from London – Desertfest, get on these guys!

Ten Ton Slug, thankfully made the long trip over the Irish sea to entertain us today and were next up on the main stage. These guys followed on well after Oak, as they too were very energetic with some killer sludge fuelled riffs but unlike Oak, everyone’s heard of these guys which was helped largely by their triumphant performance on the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock this year! Yeah, these guys are right up there on the fucking rocks list, check um out!

Remember I said I’m still discovering bands, well Dead Witches are one such band. I’m both thankful I now have these in my life and can include their latest album ‘The Final Exorcism’ within my listening pleasure but I’m also miffed it’s taken me this long to discover them! I’ve no idea how long they’ve been around as the bands bio doesn’t tell me, although it’s not that important. I did however discover this band are also signed to the same record label ‘Heavy Psych Sounds’ as Alunah and many of the other great acts I love, so that’s exciting! Horror doom, is the genre they go by or music to dig graves to, that said, by the time their set was up, the O2 Academy literally looked like a grave yard, complete with dead bodies as everyone in attendance moshed themselves to death! I absolutely loved this band, their sound, their persona’s, as did my camera as they are very photogenic, well Soozi, their lead vocalist was as the other three were hidden in a cloud of smoke! Soozi is a born entertainer and I couldn’t help myself being hypnotised by her dance moves and her voice!

Our headliners for today and closing the final HRH Doom V Stoner was non other than Monolord, who, in my opinion, have written the best doom track EVER, entitled ‘Empress Rising’ which they played as their final song and was a fitting tribute to this genre! Although I’ve managed to catch these guys before at Desertfest back in 2016, when they opened the Sunday at KOKO, its great to see them three years on and this time headlining! Despite this being my second experience of Monolord, I do wish it was more but as they’re from Gothenburg, Sweden, they don’t venture this way too often – that needs to change, tour the UK more please guys, love you!

I’m now undecided as to what HRH events I’d like to cover in the future for music224, I’m liking the look of Vikings, which happens at the end of November and I’d love to cover HRH Metal again, early 2020 as that’s always a great event. HRH Punk also looks good too, although I’m not a punk fan but I do appreciate many of the acts that grace that genre. HRH Goths would also be a great event to attend but from a photographers perspective, stage lighting often associated with this genre can prove challenging as red light tends to be a popular choice – less smoke would be great too, although a little smoke does help to allow the colours to bleed together. Anyway, I’m rambling now but the point I’m trying to make is that HRH continue to provide some quality events throughout the year and keep our appetites for live music, wet!

Until next time, be good and look out for each other!

To see more photographs from the day, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)