Category Archives: Recommended

Metal 2 The Masses

KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton 20th February 2020.

Tonight see’s Heat 1 of Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses burst into life and boy oh boy, have I been looking forward to this and ultimately, seeing one band make their way down the path that leads to Bloodstock 2020.

With six heats playing out over six weeks and a total of twenty four bands taking part, the Wolverhampton Chapter has attracted some shining local musicians and getting the competition underway tonight were one such group, Lynus, whose seasoned reputation marks the quality of rock that these guys play. It was clear from the start of their set that this band were serious contenders as musically, the depth and strength of vocals, guitar, bass and drums were a force to be reckoned with. The audiences reaction also stood to drive the band on as songs were sung along to and fists were pumped in appreciation and clearly, there was no holding Lynus back tonight.

Our second band of the night were Militia Inc. and it was great to see these guys back again this year as they really do bring the life and soul to the party. A good live performance can easily influence the mood of the audience and the energy and enthusiasm that Militia Inc. brought to the stage was completely addictive as they a not a band to let one moment pass them by. Musically, they have mastered a sound that encompasses many shades of rock and metal combined, which they deliver with a hearty dose of pizzazz and personality. Tonight’s audience were captivated and who could blame then as this band are not only great to listen to but addictive to watch aswell.

The penultimate band of this heat were Identities, who are a new band to me but clearly not to a lot of others! With their fierce blend of thrash and growl, these guys held the audience gripped in an iron clad fist that called to arms the first mosh pit of the event. Their energy on stage tonight really stood out and was relentless in its attack and distinctly drove their performance on through many notable highlights – I highly recommend you check out their track ‘Semblance’ to hear this for yourself.

Closing out Heat 1 were Gypsy Jack and what a great way to end the night! From the start of their set and all the way through, the bands charisma and swagger ran wild and was a perfect match for their fine tuned style of rock that was performed and delivered to note perfection. Lead singer Marty Rose is one hell of a charismatic front man and his endless energy and on stage presence was a definite highlight of the night for me.

So, with four bands having given their all, the time was upon us to vote and send two bands onward and into the semi-finals, and a huge shout going out to Lynus and Identities for making it through to the next round.

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

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

HRH Metal

KICKS OFF 2020 IN STYLE!

HRH Metal IV – Metal Meltdown – is just less than 3 short weeks away, but the event just gets bigger and bigger, with 3 more bands added to the line-up, and a live pre-festival in-store event confirmed for the Friday evening!

Added to the already impressive roster are German heavy death-metal five-piece Nailed to Obscurity. Known for their melancholic and dynamic brutal sound, the band have been lauded for their ability to mesmerise audiences into profoundly experiencing every note and every word of their set.

Also added to the weekend, Vice are a no-nonsense hard-hitting modern metal outfit from Bury, and are HRH veterans having graced HRH Metal and Hammerfest stages in the past. Influences include Machine Head and Meshuggah, so expect an incendiary set from these guys.

Finally, Mage – hailing from Leicester – step in to replace Saturday’s Stage 3 headliners Dead Label who sadly have had to withdraw from the event. Attendees of HRH Doom vs Stoner IV will testify that Mage are one of the heaviest live acts around.

These bands join Rhapsody of Fire, Equilibrium, The Three Tremors, Evil Scarecrow, Lord of the Lost, Skiltron, Xentrix and 35 other incredible metal bands at Birmingham’s O2 Academy on 15th and 16th of February 2020.

If that wasn’t enough, HRH Metal are proud to announce something brand new – a live pre-festival in-store event at Europe’s largest dedicated entertainment centre – The HMV Vault in Birmingham’s Dale End. Taking up 25,000 square feet, the new flagship HMV store hosts the first ever HRH Metal pre-show with 3 incredible bands.
HMV Vault Poster.jpg

Taking the stage for this unique event will be local up and coming stoner-metal trio Flex Bison – Brum based melodic metallers Secrets of Mariana, and headlining the evening will be London metalheads Enquire Within. This is a completely free entry event, but strictly limited to 250 places so make sure to arrive early – Hard Rock Hell Radio DJs will be spinning the tunes from 2pm, and the first band is due on stage at 5pm.

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

GWAR

With support from Childrain and Voivod at KK’s Steel Mill Wolverhampton 2nd December 2019.

Tonight, see’s me heading to Wolverhampton to one of the best live music venues around, that being KK’s Steel Mill, for an evening that I anticipate to be one never to be forgotten as this is the night that GWAR come to town!

With doors opening at 6.30pm sharp it was a bit of a rush on a working day but one well worth the effort, as our opening band Childrain, made the perfect start to what was destined to be a great night. I know very little about the metal scene in Spain, but after seeing and experiencing Childrain, this is something that most certainly needs exploring further as not only is their melodic style metalcore in a class of its own, their on stage presence had me gripped and thirty minutes was just not long enough for my liking!

Second on tonight’s bill were Voivod whose long standing musical career has earned them quite a following, not only in their country of origin Canada, but also pretty much world wide. With well over thirty years of progressive metal composition under their belts, tonight’s set list was a one hour whistle stop tour spanning the bands history and included tracks from several of their albums including ‘Post Society’, ‘Overreaction’ and ‘The Unknown Know’. As with any such long standing existence, there has been an evolution within the bands writing composition and it was interesting to hear the varying influences within their music, all of which contained the kind of rich and emotive content that was greatly appreciated by tonight’s considerable sized audience.

On stage, the passion, enjoyment and energy from the band lacked for nothing and it was fantastic to see the band enjoying their time on stage as much as the audience were.

When it comes to seeing a band live, being entertained is as important to me as the music itself and tonight’s headliners GWAR, are most definitely in a league of their own when it comes to doing just that. I can’t think of any other intergalactic aliens who push the universal limits of social decency as far as these guys do but that is GWAR and if you’re someone who is easily offended, then KK’s was the last place you needed to be tonight! That said, all social norms had clearly been parked outside in the real world and tonight’s audience were well and truly ready to be beamed up to another planet.

I have waited a long time to see GWAR and my expectations paled into insignificance compared to the reality of being stood less than two foot away from them in the pit, as these guys had left nothing to the imagination with neither their stage show or costume wise – imagine Predator blissfully crossed with an adults version of the Teletubbies and you’re on the right track! GWAR were most definitely masters of our universe tonight and with their endless array of gore, shock horror and bodily fluids being dispersed across an adoring audience, I don’t think the smile left my face for the entirety of their set.

As for their music, these guys clearly know what they’re doing but the fact that there was so much going on, both on stage and off did distract my attention from it but hell, if I want to focus on their songs there are fourteen albums I can listen to and countless videos I can watch in the relative normality of my home, as tonight was all about the experience and what an experience it was!

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

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.