The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 30th May 2015.
The Midlands Metal Crusade has fast become an event that is a must do for many a metal head and with each one that has passed, the band line ups just seems to get more and more impressive. Today’s happy shenanigans will herald the fourth chapter of the crusade and word has certainly spread as was evident by the queue of people outside The Slade Rooms, all waiting for the doors to open at 3pm.
And it all kicked off today to the wailing intro of sirens and pulsing drum beats as our first band of the day, Hostile laid siege upon the days early birds – and let me tell you, they were absolutely brutal. Today’s set was fierce and ferocious, as was the merciless performance of frontman Jay Mills whose raging vocals cut to the core with every note. It really is no wonder that Hostile have the following that they do and these guys made for an awesome start to the day.
Next up on stage and a new experience for me were At Dawn We Attack. Frontman Bryan Hancox could easily make a good case for criminally insane should the need every arise, as his pacing and vocal intensity throughout their set was incensed at its very least. Champion performance from the rest of the band aswell and great to see a few familiar faces aka Belvedere Bailey and Chris Meddings back up on stage again.
Burden Of The Noose were our third band of the day and after the anxious and unavoidable delay of their bass player, his timely arrival heralded the unleashing of one tempestuous metal performance that kept the Slade Rooms‘ audience captive for it‘s entirety! The time really did fly whilst Burden Of The Noose were on stage, resulting in their set being over far too quickly for my liking so do go check this band out – but beware, it will be brutal!
Rogue Reflection were next to take to the stage and also bringing about the second appearance of the day from lead vocalist, Jay Mills. Their set lacked nothing in energy or crushing force and served to deliver an affluent blend of both covers and original material. A great performance from Rogue Reflection and one hit like an absolute storm!
Amongst the many bands whose music heralds the true strength of the Midlands metal community, Left For Red are a band whose reputation and ability is praised by many and their performance tonight proved exactly why that is the case. From the onset of their set and amidst the chants of their intro track, the Slade Rooms gave Left For Red their full attention and in return, Left For Red gave us an outstanding set which included two fierce favourites of mine, namely ‘Mercy Flight’ and ’Kneel Before You Die’. The next few months see’s quite a few festivals in the Left For Red Diary, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we get to see them back up on stage again.
Tonight see’s much cause for celebration for our next band Husk, as after many months of studio time and mixing, their new EP ‘Plague Of Man’ is ready for it’s launching and today was the day! This EP really is a great representation of the collective cleverness that is Husk and their set tonight marked this well. Front man Bob Taylor is a bit of a wizard behind the bass and watching him play, equally matches the pleasure of listening to the bands music, which in my book makes Husk a band that really deserve some serious attention. Next outing for the band is a support slot for Biohazard on July 8th back here again at The Slade Rooms and that‘s a date for your diary folks, for sure!
The world is full of many types of craziness and then there is Evil Scarecrow! Their kind of craziness is the kind that brings along with it a carnival of good times and tonight, maximum participation was on just about everyone’s agenda. The bands set included a heavenly body of tracks – all of which were well known and much loved by many, with ‘Dance Of The Cyclops’ and ‘Crabulon’ shaking the Slade Rooms chandeliers like I don’t think I’ve ever seen then shake before. There is something outstandingly special about Evil Scarecrow – maybe it’s their ability to release one’s inner metal head child or it could just simply be that they are one hell of a great band, but whatever it is, it definitely worked for me!
Today’s Crusade really has been such an awesome and fantastic event and still we had out headlining band of the day, Heart Of A Coward, yet to play. This in itself and in my opinion, speaks volumes about the reputation of Hils Ovation and also that of the Midlands Metal Crusade, as Heart Of A Coward are no strangers to venues whose capacity is several times larger than that of The Slade Rooms – but still they chose to come here today and to play for one very appreciative crowd. Our set from the band tonight was laden with the kind of primal brutality that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and the commanding presence of frontman Jamie Graham was intense to say the least! Definitely a superb ending to an outstanding day!
Well, it’s certainly been one hell of a blast today and as I head for home, I’m clutching the flyer for the next one tightly in my hand, as no word of a lie – that one is going in the diary as soon as I get home!
Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.