Stoke Prior Worcestershire 26th August 2017.
Beermageddon is now starting to get a very good reputation amongst the more extreme metal bands from across Europe these days, with bands wanting to come and play the festival, which is great for us because when else would we get the chance to see the likes of Zephyra, Godslave, Unlight and Totengefluster (I’ve still no idea how to announce this band name properly), some of which I’ve only ever seen before at Beermageddon, in previous years.
Before the European’s take over the festival, there were four of the best underground British bands from across the UK up first, the first of which was Footprints in the Custard from Manchester, a band I’ve tried to see on several occasions before now but without success, for one reason or another. Dubbed as comedy punk metal, they may like to cross dress a little – which is fine but whilst holding a 12 inch inflatable cock is always better! I believe someone in the crowd through it at Russ, the lead singer, who assumed said person had clearly seen them play before. Song titles are ridiculous and the lyrics which accompany them even more so, which is just the way we like our joke music. Silly, funny and outrageous, we can’t be serious all the time, we go to work for that! When drinking our own body weight in beer, we need the likes of Footprints in the Custard to cheer us all up and start a full day of music ahead, the right way! We needed that and thoroughly enjoyed these guys, thanks for the memories!
Amazingly, the next band on today, Wolfbastard, were also from Manchester and consists of only three members. Where they lack in musicians, they make up for in noise, beautiful black metal noise, to be precise! Fuck knows what genre pub crust is, as stated on the bands FB page but it sounds good? I’ll be honest, I didn’t stick around too long for these guys as the sun was shining and I needed food but what I can remember is, these guy’s don’t take themselves too seriously and appear to have a good time on stage and with the crowd.
Bloodyard hail from Lancashire, generally and it seems like forever since I last saw them play which was back in February when they performed at HRH metal in Birmingham. I was pleased to see them on today’s bill! I would of been pretty gutted if I’d missed this lot to be honest, as I love them. Donna, the bands lead vocalist, is only a pint sized sheila but she can half belt out some death growls! I managed to have a good five minutes chat with Donna before she was whisked away, as is usually the case at these events, but I did learn that due to some very unfortunate events, the band are yet to release their debut album, which has been recorded twice already. I hope for the bands sake, they can get this album recorded soon because we can’t wait to hear it!
Countless Skies, from Hertfordshire, are a new band for me live, yet I’ve known of them for sometime! Getting to see them perform at Beermageddon this year was a real treat, not only because they’re awesome but for me, they were one of my finds of the day and off the back of today’s performance, I would go as far as to say, I’d like to see them headlining the Friday slot next year, but that’s still to be determined by the public vote, which takes place every year. Last year, Outright Resistance won their headline slot for this year and by all accounts, they didn’t disappoint either. Countless Skies commanded one of the biggest crowds of the day and wowed us all with their take on the melodic death metal genre. Ross even pulled some of the best metal faces of the day! As I write this review, I’m listening to the bands debut album ‘New Dawn’ which is helping me power on through! Check it out, it’s on Spotify!
Another of my favourite bands of the day, happened to be the next band on the bill, Zephyra, yes, I’ve spelt it right this time. These ‘super Swedes’ are fronted by another amazing female vocalist, Åsa, who is married to the bands lead guitarist, Tony. Although their FB page doesn’t currently list their bassist or drummers names, I know, from today’s performance that these two positions have recently changed and the two musicians who now make up the band and who we saw before us today, have only recently joined so for them to come over and virtually give their first ever live performance here in the UK and miles away from their homeland of Sweden, must be both a daunting, yet exciting prospect? The bands latest album ‘As The World Collapses’ is an absolute powerhouse of an album, as is Åsa’s vocals on it! To have seen them live is a great honour! Although they live so far away, thankfully I won’t have to wait too long before I see them again, as I’ve been invited to watch them perform at this years ‘The Quinphonic Festival’ which is in its 5th year and takes place at Birmingham’s Round House over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of October, alongside some other great female fronted bands, o yes, I’m super excited for that one! Girls certainly rock. For more info please visit The RoadHouse Birmingham.
Godslave, are an amazing thrash metal band from Germany, who we got to see for the first time at Beermageddon, two years ago now. I’ll happily say these guys are amazing at what they do. No one does thrash better than these guys, well, for an underground thrash metal band, anyway! Their set was epic from start to finish, it even felt like a headlining set if I’m honest, hint, hint! Although they’re from Germany, they appear to be coming over to the UK more and more, while also attending many other European festivals, so they’ve set up a crowdfunding page to help get the funds they need to purchase a new tour van. In exchange you’ll get the opportunity to purchase some rather unique fan packages, which don’t come around all that often. If you’re a fan of this band, like we are, go check out their funding page, at Startnext’s website.
It’s not uncommon to see Mr. Jim Beerman get excited whilst introducing a band playing his festival but the next band up, Unlight, got Jim a little more excited than usual. He even confessed he soiled himself when they contacted him to ask if they could play at Beermageddon this year! Without a moments hesitation, Jim obviously said yes, so what’s all the fuss about then? As the band are from Schwarzwald, which is situated within Germany’s Black Forest, it’s no surprise that this band plays black metal! The region is often associated with the spooky tales from the Brothers Grimm, so plenty of material for them to use within their music, I dare say. I’ll admit, I kinda shit my pants too, when I saw this band take to the stage, what with the 12inch nails all over their arms! They also had that famous mixture of both black and corpse paint decorating their faces, which many of the Scandinavian black metal bands are famous for, so it’s safe to say they looked the part, but did they sound it, HELL YEAH THEY DID! BRUTAL!
Totengefluster, topped today’s bill and are a band who many people struggle to get their name right, when pronouncing it. I still can’t get it right but it’s always interesting to see people struggle with it, when in a conversation. The first and only time I’ve seen this band play live, was back in 2014 now, again at Beermageddon. Since then, the band have changed their bassist, who now appears to be one of the sexiest female bass players I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a few, she also appears to be one of the scariest, I’ve ever seen, which is a deadly combination, I must say! Two years is a long time, yet this band are every bit as brutal as the last time I saw them play live. I’ll be honest, I can’t listen to too much black metal in the car or at home, but I love its energy when played live! The colours, the costumes, the instruments and the people involved go all out to make their music their art and this band are by no means an exception to the rule, a true spectacle and one to behold for yourself. Seriously, don’t dismiss this genre based on first appearances, as there’s so much more to it than you’d think. Tonight’s headliner was a triumphant set and one they should be proud of! Go Totengefluster!
As with every other Beermageddon I’ve attended before, so out of the six there’s been so far, I’ve only missed one of them (through no fault of my own) as with all the others, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as always. For as long as they invite me, I will attend this festival, year after year, after year, after year, as it is, without a doubt, one of the best, most friendliest and most welcoming extreme metal festivals in the UK today!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)