O2 Academy3 Birmingham 16th February 2019.
Now in it’s third year, this event appears to be going from strength to strength and seems to be attracting the metal elite! Although I was only able to attend the Saturday, there was a total of 21 bands available for me to experience! Sadly, I couldn’t cover ever single one them in this review so I feel it more beneficial to pick out the bands that really impressed me, in the hope someone of influence might read this review and also appreciate the fact I’ve mentioned these bands and book them for their event or festival, because let’s face it, summer is fast approaching and there’s many events ahead of us!
The first band to really impress me were the French outfit Temnien, simply because they’re from France! This is a country not really known for its metal acts but the global success of Gojira may have sparked a metal revolution among the young men and woman, in the country? These guys pack a mighty punch, a brutal assault to the senses, which was a relentless barrage of metal – riff after metal riff! I think it’s also safe to say they enjoyed their set up on stage 3, here in Birmingham, the birth place of heavy metal!
Starting over on the main stage were Ballsdeep, with their second appearance on this stage and this tells me, they’re doing something right! Personally, I think these guys deserved to be higher up the bill than they were, as they are a quality metal act, ever professional and all round great guys, who produce great metal! Having a whole 50 minutes to impress the crowd, they did just that. If I was to ask one thing, from their up and coming new album, that they’ve recently announced, it would be to consider writing a ballad! Strange request, I know, but throughout their 50 minutes set, it was all at the same tempo and speed! Forgive me for sounding old, but as much as I love my metal, I can’t help but think of the likes of Slipknot, Metallica and even Slayer, who’ve managed to slow it down, in their own style and vary their live sets. It’s just a though lads but I do love what you do!
Internal Conflict are a band I’ve covered many times over the years, ever since their first appearance at the Intake club for a metal to the masses event, where they impressed me greatly. Since then, they’ve successfully played many great shows and many great festivals, which they greatly deserve. Between playing the first ever Uprising and seeing them here today at HRH Metal III, they’ve enrolled the services of a new (for them) drummer, the mighty Chris Bentley who I know all too well, from his days in Beholder! Cut this guy open and he would bleed metal, it’s just in his blood! His playing style has helped to solidify this band, stepping them up to a whole new level! They are now a formidable force of nature and one to be reckoned with! I’m expecting big things from this band and with the backing of the team around them, that will soon become a reality!
The next band that literally melted my face off, was Finnish band Lost Society, playing on the main stage! I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Samy, the bands lead vocalist and guitarist said this was their first time touring the UK, or it’s been a long time since their last tour! I never knew this thrash monster even existed, until today and I love my thrash! The bands energy levels were high, as was the atmosphere, before, during and after their set! They even managed to get a wall of death going! Since appearing at HRH, they’ve announced they’re to play Download festival this June, which is great for them! It might even afford the band a new pair of jeans…between them! haha!
The award for most entertaining band of the day – other than Trollfest, goes to ‘At Dawn We Attack’ as their set was absolute bonkers and very enjoyable to watch, as a spectator! Self proclaimed non photogenic metal front man Brian Hancox is anything but! What a character he is, with his dreadlocks flying through the air, whilst administering wrestling moves on a poor unsuspecting stage 3! These guys also play thrash metal, with a twist! I know our own Sue loves these guys, so for me to finally see them play live, was a real treat! Hope to see you again, this year!
The last band of the day, happen to be the final band to feature in this review/round-up from the Saturday at HRH Metal III and they were Trollfest! Many of my colleagues had asked if I’d seen them when they played at Hammerfest on the Mash & Barrel stage, which unfortunately I hadn’t, but they all said how much fun this band are. During my research on the band, I noticed they only sing in their native Norwegian language, which did put me off a little bit! When they took to the stage though, any preconceived notions I’d had of the band disappeared amid the chaos and mayhem that is Trollfest! Lead singer Trollmannen, greeted us as Her Majesty’s Royal Metal Festival and gradually introduced us to the, now known as fairies, within the band, but on the day, I thought were dressed up as Disney princesses, as he was dressed up as a king, his crown being the largest balloon head piece, I’ve ever seen, which kept falling off! If entertainment, during a live show, is your thing, then these guys are the band for you!
As ever, many thanks to the team that makes up the HRH family. It was great to meet Toby as well, who takes over Claire’s role although it was sad not to see her here this weekend! Until the next one, stay metal and crazy for that matter!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins.