Category Archives: Recommended

Amplified Festival

Win complimentary Full Weekend tickets + Camping!!!!!
6th-8th July between Northleach and Aldsworth, Gloucestershire GL54 3PX.

Hang on to your hats folks as Amplified is fueling up and getting ready to bring you one hell of a great event this year. Taking place over three fantastic days between the 6th to the 8th July, in its rural setting between Northleach and Aldsworth, Gloucestershire (GL54 3PX) – this is one you don’t want to miss.

This years line up has been confirmed and what a line up it is, with all three stages rammed to perfection, so you can expect to see some of your favourite bands and also find a few new ones aswell – just take a look at this:

Friday’s line up: SOIL, Dust Bolt, Power Quest, Dead Label, Templeton Pek, The Kut, Torqued, Eradikator, The Dirty Youth, Slabdragger, Witch Tripper, Footprints In The Custard, Vic, Ashen Crown, Impavidus, Voodoo Blood, The Boston Shakers, Chasing Dragons, Honey, IDestroy and Proteus.

Saturday’s Line up: Evil Scarecrow, Jayce Lewis, Warrior Soul, Jinjer, Sinner God, Rival Bones, King Creature, As Sirens Fall, Psychostick, Bull Riff Stampede, Big Foot, X-Method, Animator, Seprevation, Fahran, Obzidian, Electric Eel Shock, Ten Ton Slug, Falling Red, Ragdoll, Pretty Addicted and Arcane Saints.

Sunday’s Line up: Therapy?, Sulpher, Jay Wud, Doyle, Mason Hill, Florence Black, Ramage Inc, Tequilla Mockingbird, Thirteen Stars, Evil Invaders, Xentrix, War Wound, Shrapnel, Twisted Illusion, Resin, King Leviathan, Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters, Welcome Back Delta, Hell’s Gazelles, Ward XVI, The Hyde Project, The Soap Girls, Phlox Jaw and Empyre.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW at www.amplifiedrocks.com/tickets but how about this – we have two full weekend + camping tickets to give away to one lucky person, you just have to follow these simple instructions to be added into the draw:

1.Just head on over to Music224’s Facebook page and find this post.
2.In the comments section under the post, tag in the person who you want to take with you to Amplified and tell us why you want to win these tickets.
3.Then share this post onto your Facebook page – we want to spread the good word about Amplified and the chance to win these two tickets as far as we can.

The competition ends at 11am on saturday 26th May and a lucky winner will be picked ?

Good luck to everyone entering and thanks for all your support in advance.

For more information visit www.amplifiedrocks.com

Oceans Of Slumber

Supporting Epica’s European Tour.

Firstly, apologies for not being able to get down to Nottingham’s Rock City early enough to conduct a face-to-face interview with you guys – I was very much looking forward to meeting with you in person. Sadly, the day job got in the way, but all was not lost as I managed to catch your entire set, which was great. Never have I witnessed a crowd so content with listening to a new band! Many here in the UK are probably only just discovering you on the strength of your new album ‘The Banished Heart’ which I can only describe as a masterpiece.

If I may, I’m going to ask ten questions, If you could answer them briefly, to keep it short and sweet, I’d very much appreciate it. I’d like to add this into my live review. I know you are busy touring the UK and Europe with Epica, so I can appreciate your time is precious which leads me onto my first question.

1. Were you invited to join this tour, or did you apply?

[Cammie] We were invited by Epica to join them on the UK leg of this tour. It came as a bit of a surprise but we were happy to join as we have a strong following in the UK as well.

2. Have you toured the UK much since the bands conception? If so, what is it about the UK you like and how do we fare compared to other countries?

[Cammie] Our first time through some of the UK was last year with Enslaved and Ne Obliviscaris. It went well and was great, so we were not hesitant to gig here again.

3. The band are primarily from Houston, Texas. How are you received in America, compared with Europe and the rest of the world?

[Cammie] We have a strong following in the US, but find the push and promotion for what we do stronger here in the UK and Europe. While there are a collection of fans for OOS all over the world, we continue to push forward to grow and spread our music.

4. It would appear the band enjoy playing the odd cover song. You’ve performed a version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ – why did you choose this song? You’ve also recorded a version of ’Nights in White Satin’, which appeared on your second album ‘Winter’. Why this song, by the Moody Blues? Performing covers is a great way to connect with people, who may not know who you are, yet tells them who you admire musically, would you agree? If not, why do you enjoy performing covers of other artists music?

[Cammie] I agree, doing cover songs is a great way to simultaneously show people who our influences are while connecting with them over songs different from what the band will create originally. It’s also our way of giving respect to those musicians and those songs that have played such pivotal roles in our musical development.

5. I’ve listened to all three studio albums and the latest ’The Banished Heart’ clearly stands out as being the most polished. I love the brutal honesty you’ve given us. However, is it hard to re-live those sad times or do you embellish each song every time you perform them, knowing you’re creating something truly wonderful from a dark period in life?

[Cammie] I find the more I perform each song the more meaningful it becomes as it changes from my singular experience to something I am sharing with those who relate to it from the crowd. I hope that by having created something so raw and real that it will find a purpose among those that need its catharsis.

6. My favourite track, off the latest album is ‘The Decay of Disregard’ that guitar riff is AMAZING. LOVE IT. Thankfully, you played it live last night (thank you): my question is, to anyone who wants to answer (please state who) which is your favourite track to perform live and to listen too, off the new album? Is there any chance of last nights set list as well please?

[Cammie] The most difficult, and my favorite song to perform, is No Color No Light. For me, the greatest gift of performing is the connection with the crowd. During this song I can often see teary eyes, or solemn faces and I know that we are all sharing in a moment of loss and hurt. When the song is finished there is this big sigh of relief we all share.

Set List: 1.Fleeting Vigilance 2.A Path to Broken Stars 3.Howl of the Rougarou 4.The Decay of Disregard 5.No Color No Light

7. I would have loved to have met Dobber, as I’ve read he is largely responsible for the bands sound and is a massive contributor, creatively within this band, so my question to him is, what lead him onto his musical path? Who inspired him to start writing music? Who influenced his sound? If any?

I grew up surrounded by music. My dad listened to old country, Motown, and doowop music from the 50’s-80’s respectively. My brother and sister were kids of the 70’s and that’s where the NWOBHM and blues music came from in my life. As a child I would be kind of cut loose with the radio and MTV which led me to seeing David Gilmour solo on Comfortably Numb at some live concert around 1986-87, which would make me 8 or 9 years old at that time.

Combine that with Franz Liszt and Wagner music from the Looney Tunes world and you arrive roughly to me now. Somewhat.

8. A question for Cammie Gilbert, how did you discover your voice? Were you always destined to be a singer? Does it come naturally, or do you have to work hard at it?

[Cammie] I suppose I came out of the womb singing. My parents met when my father was a church choir director and my mother was in the church choir. Having been labeled a very loud baby, always chirping and carrying on, I don’t remember a time before I sang. As I’ve come to this arena of performing and touring I’ve had to be more mindful of caring for my voice, but I try not to stress too much over being too technical or sounding perfect with a performance; for me that is time to show more emotion.

9. In your Facebook Biography, Dobber states; “We’d love to be heard by a wider audience and I know the audience for this kind of music exists all over the globe, but they’re hard to reach sometimes,” My question is, has this new album achieved what it is you was hoping for? From what I’ve read, from other music sites, who’ve reviewed the new album, they’re all giving it 10/10. Must feel good right, knowing people get what it is you’re saying?

[Cammie] Absolutely, it gives us hope to know the work and dedication that went into this album has affirmed OOS into the hearts and minds of more listeners. There was such a deep understanding of the depth of this album that certainly made us feel understood both musically and mentally. Refreshing to say the least.

Incidentally, Dom Lawson’s write up makes you sound very intellectual. Would you say that’s a true reflection of the band? Would you consider yourselves as being intelligent? In my opinion, It sure takes a great amount of talent, to produce the music you do. It’s probably a good thing we never met! Haha!

[Cammie] Thank you for the compliment. Intelligence can be a tricky thing to measure; I’d say we consider ourselves hard working. We work very hard and are always striving to get better and grow as individuals. We don’t like becoming stagnant in any way, whether that be with our music or our lives.

10. Where do you go from here? Having been through troubled times and still managed to come out of the other side, producing an amazing album (some are saying the album of 2018) regardless. Do you now purposely seek out trouble and strife, to help fuel your creative juices? Or will your next album take a new direction? Is life better, or is the world so messed up, there’s still plenty more you want to say. Honesty appears to have worked for you, will you continue being so honest?

[Cammie] Haha, there is no need to seek out any trouble or strife. Guaranteed it will always find a way to penetrate ones life. We found our stride within the process and internal searching of this latest album and we only aim to dig deeper and go heavier moving forward.

I look forward to reading your answers and I thank you for your time, in advance. Enjoy the rest of the tour, with Epica.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

HRH Metal

Sunday’s live review of stages 2 and 3
O2 Academy Birmingham 18th February 2018.

With the dust still settling from the rather excellent day one of HRH Metal 2018, Sunday’s bands were raring to go and getting things well under way over on Stage 3, were Devil’s Playground. Taking a few on stage technical difficulties all in their stride, Devil’s Playground ignited the audience into action with a forty minute set that was built to impress. With Leanne sadly missing from the bands line up today, Katie King from Cenfora owned that mic in her absence and all in all, Devil’s Playground set the bar pretty high for all those about to follow.

Next up on Stage 3 were the Nottingham based band, Incinery who brought about our first taste of thrash for the day. With their fast, furious and merciless metal assault prevailing, the crowd did not hold back their appreciation and this was most definitely a set that went down a storm!

With today’s events over on Stage 1 getting underway at 3pm, the pressure to be in two places at the same time commenced and resulted in me only catching the last few songs of Vice’s set but what I did see and hear was pretty impressive, as was their performance and the way that this band gel so well together. Discovering new bands is a real draw to HRH Metal for me and this band is one that I will certainly be looking out for in the future.

In these parts of the West Midlands, our next band up on Stage 3 are pretty much everyday hero’s so it was no surprise at all, to witness The Mighty Wraith playing to a pretty packed out hall. With their adrenaline fuelled metal ramped for maximum impact, the atmosphere in the room was fantastic and judging by the size of the smile on vocalist Matt Gore’s face, this was one gig that they will happily reflect on for a long time to come.

Trivax next and here we have yet another West Midlands based band who stand in a league of their own, with their blackest of metal taking on a life of its own. There is an addictive air of intense turmoil to be experienced within this bands music, which I find to be both foreboding yet magnetic when caught in it’s grip – an excellent set from Trivax and one of my favourite performances of the day.

Nightmare World were next to pick up the metal gauntlet and deliver a set that was both charismatic and melodic in it’s style. The band have announced that they are now intending to start work on a second album so do keep checking their Facebook page for more news on that aswell as future gigs.

Sadly, with all three stages now in full swing by the time I galloped back to Stage 3 to catch Skarthia, they had just finished their set so apologies to the band for not making it back there in time to see them play live. I did however manage to catch the rather fantastic Sister Shotgun and I have to hand it to Chloe Ozwell for completely owning this set and if you like your metal laced with lashings of rage, vocal power and va-va-voom, then Sister Shotgun are just what you’re looking for!

Closing out Stage 3 in their own unique and unforgiving style were Dead Hands, whose performance tonight was nothing short of savage! Dead Hands have a wildly alternative approach to their sound and I found myself making the comparison to the now disbanded band Heck, who also had that same crazy ability to detonate on impact. With Stage 3 having been a hive of activity over these past two days and having provided the most discerning of metalheads with some pretty awesome bands to relish, it would only be right to go out on a ferocious high and that was exactly what happened – courtesy of Dead Hands.

With Stage 2 getting underway at 5pm in the O2 Academy’s upstairs hall, I briefly managed to catch the most brutal of attacks courtesy of Swansea’s own, Lifer. This band have quite a reputation for producing a tempestuous onslaught of combined thrash metal, doom and southern style rock that sits within a league of its own and from what I witnessed of their performance today, this bands metal is seriously good!

Over the years, I have had the great pleasure of seeing the birth and to follow the journey of many great up and coming bands and Torous, who were next up on Stage 2, easily sit within that category. Tonight’s set from the band served a very special purpose indeed as it was to be their final performance, so it was destined to be a bitter sweet event from the start. Bathed in blazing white light, the visual impact they delivered was as spectacular as their music and all in all, it was an amazing and emotional epitaph for both band and audience alike.

The final band that I managed to catch over on Stage 2 were Attica Rage and this set also held great meaning to all those present, with it being the final performances for guitarist Stevie Bell whose impending departure was announced last month. Hell bent on making this an occasion to remember, Attica Rage gave the audience an A+ set and as with many of the other bands who played over this two day event, they certainly gave HRH Metal their all.

In addition to stages 2 and 3, I also caught some pretty awesome performances over on Stage 1 today and if you would like to check out more of the photos from all three stages, then just hit the link and check out the gallery over on Flickr!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.