HRH Metal 2019

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 17th February 2019.

With the momentum from yesterday still riding high and fueling the enthusiasm for day 2, 1pm sharp saw me back over at HRH Metals Stage 3 to catch our opening Sunday band, Seven Hells. And if there was anyone still semi-conscious from the previous day, then they couldn’t possibly have stayed that way for long as Seven Hells brought down a reign of metal which was utterly immense in stature and performed with undeniable skill. This guys are certainly leaving some big footprints across the up and coming music scene and today’s set was a brilliant example of Seven Hells doing exactly that.

My next must see band on Stage 3 were Awake by Design, whose long standing presence has provided many a fan with a great live music experience and songs that stay with you long after the last note is played. The thing that I have always admired about this band, is their ability to deliver this huge melodic metal sound that just seems to thrive upon their attention to musical detail and the tireless energy that front man, Adrian Powell seems to posses never fails to breathe life into an audience. Today’s set delivered the great hope that we will be seeing more of this band in 2019 and with some new music rising up on the horizon aswell, Awake By Design look primed for a very productive year indeed.

My next pit stop was to be over on stage 1, where Fury were going down a storm – but then don’t they always! When you combine great metal with big personalities and add in a sprinkle of Va Va Voom, the outcome is something that you have to be part of and the proof of that could be heard loud and clear from the impressive size audience present. My only regret was not catching today’s set in full but I’m sure they’ll be plenty more opportunities to catch the band again live as Fury were simply born to perform.

With time marching on and stages 1 and 2 now in full swing, time became more pressing but one band that I was desperate to see today were Netherhall. Today’s set from the band marked two big occasions for the band – 1. their first time appearance at HRH Metal and 2. after having been lead vocaless for quite some time, tonight’s set would provide the debut performance of Matthew Preston in this prominent role. The progressive metal power in the music of Netherhall, always seems to capture the attention of those experiencing its presence and Matthew clearly seemed to be under that same spell too, as both vocals and music gelled superbly together.

Stage 2 was the next stop off point for me to catch local hero’s Left For Red. With their set already in full flight, it was a bit of a battle to get to the pit and one thing for sure, the HRH Metal army knows a great band when they see one. Up on stage the momentum, riffs and vibrant metal groove was running at full steam and clearly the band were enjoying performing as much as we were enjoying watching them. HRH Metal is a great ambassador for supporting the talent of up and coming bands such as Left For Red, so here’s hoping we get to see them back again for next years event – over on Stage 1.

You know when everyone who’s seen a certain band tells you how brilliant they are and every review you’ve read about them seems to hold the same opinion? Well for me, tonight was my first chance to catch THAT band live – Witch Tripper! Hailing from the Nottingham area, this hard working trio are known to never let any dust settle on one of their performances and the set they delivered over on Stage 1 was everything and more I’d hoped it would be. With endless energy, sweat and raging riffs by the bucket load, Witch Tripper certainly owned that stage and boy, did that audience love them too. Band of the day for me and an experience I can’t wait to repeat.

The remainder of my day was spent on a whistle stop tour trying to photograph as many bands as possible across all three stages – a busy day for sure but today’s line up really was quite something, as was the support and hard working endeavors of all those behind the scenes who make events like HRH Metal happen.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.