Hils Ovation Presents

The Slade Rooms - 16th November 2013

Winter Storm with support from Awake By Design/ In Dantes Eclipse and Needle Poppets.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 16th November 2013.

It’s hard to believe that it was only seven months ago that plans to record an album over the summer months were first shared, and true to hopeful expectation, ‘Within The Frozen Design’ has laid bare a splendiferous collection of Winter Storm tracks. Representing an alluring concept that marks the journey of a being, and I quote, “Trapped in his own universe, which he believes he is designing and constructing, but as the story unfolds he realises it was simply all mere coincidence and in fact he had no control and therefore spirals into madness”, this album gives the listener an intriguing and thought provoking musical journal of the beings decline. Listening to ‘Within The Frozen Design’ and keeping this concept in mind, the power of the story grows as each song unfolds, and I found myself completely drawn in to the whole hypothesis of the experience.

Within The Frozen Design - Winter Storm

With such a strong aura around this album, tonight’s launch demanded a line up to match and with our opening act Needle Poppets, sitting well outside the metal genre, their set presented a very interesting conundrum. Comprising of Alex Jones on drums/backing vocals and Alec Bond on keyboard and lead vocals, this duo have whipped up an interesting story book enigma that is rich in artistry, delivered with acute proficiency and served with a dash of the theatrical edge. Did tonight’s audience take to their diversity, hell yes they did – and who wouldn’t as these guys are borne from the kind of DNA that once seen is not meant to be forgotten.

Needle Poppets

In Dantes Eclipse were next to take to the stage and without doubt, these guys and gal know how to throw rock, glam and a twist of the gothic into the mixing pot and turn out something that is wildly daring and easily habit forming. Tonight’s set saw them on top form much to the delight of The Slade Rooms’ audience, and with some impressive gigs already on their calendar for 2014, In Dantes Eclipse look set to take the New Year on a high!

Benjamin Jogee - In Dantes Eclipse

The inclusion of Awake By Design as main support to Winter Storm, really was a stroke of pure genius as these guys never fail to represent the finest of the finest within the glorious community of melodic metal for many a year now. Adrian Powell is a titan of a front man both vocally and charismatically and regardless of the restriction that the size of the stage presented to this six piece band, there simply was no holding back the combined musical force and vitality that is always Awake By Design.

Awake By Design

The arrival of Winter Storm on stage was announced by an instrumental overture that led us straight into the deep and foreboding world of ‘Dark Awakening’. Amassed with an assault of unyielding drum beats and the glacial coolness of Hannah Fieldhouse’s vocals, this song is rich in all things metal and shows Winter Storm on their very greatest form.

Hannah Fieldhouse - Winter Storm

As their set continued, it was a pleasure to see tonight’s audience give full appreciation to the band but with songs that reach such fine calibre as that found in ‘Afraid To Speak’ and ‘Universal Design’ the success of tonight’s album launch had always been a sure fire guarantee.

Winter Storm

Set list for this evening was: 1.Intro 2.Dark Awakening 3.The Embrace 4.Shadow Weaver 5. Afraid To Speak 6.Wasted Feelings 7.Gatekeeper 8.Universal Design 9.The Frozen Siren, with Firedancer as encore.

I don’t think tonight could be called anything less than an all round and complete success. The line up and individual performances of all bands involved could not have been sweeter and as for the album itself, ‘Within The Frozen Design’ is definitely well worthy of 110% of your attention!!

Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Lisa Billingham (billibee creative Ltd)