Tag Archives: at dawn we attack

Midlands Metal Crusade

25th November at The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton.

Hils Ovations Midlands Metal Crusades have now become a regular and much looked forward to celebration of the Midlands metal scene and today’s event at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton see’s it’s seventh reincarnation ready to roar.

And getting today’s immense shenanigan’s underway were the exceptionally talented Devils Playground, who really have given their all this year and stamped their mark firmly upon the West Midlands local metal scene. With a stage performance awash in energy and attitude, it was easy to see why this band scored such a great hit at this years Bloodstock and with such talent and enthusiasm that continually seems to grow, I can’t wait to see what this band will bring about next.

Our second band of the day were the deliciously colourful SID who despite being a very recent addition to today’s line up, had a pretty hearty crowd of fans ready, willing and waiting for them to get up on stage and do their thing! SID’s set was as always, full of metal character and there is never a dull moment to be had when these guys are around as their stage presence is equally as charismatic as their music.

Next up and a firm favourite of mine were Netherhall. I wholeheartedly admire this band as they bring to the airwaves a uniqueness that is born out of a progressive creativity which just seems to know no boundaries. Today’s set from Netherhall held The Slade Rooms captive and was an absolute pleasure to experience.

With 5.30pm fast approaching, it was time for relative newcomers Torqued to take to the stage. But having described them as that, there was absolutely no denying that the ability, experience and no bullshit approach that these guys have for their metal, is propelling them in exactly the right direction – and fast!

Marking the mid-way point of the day were Master’s Call and here we have a band whose brand of blackened death metal is both brutal and disturbing to the point of perfection. Lead singer Shayan, cuts a menacing dark figure on stage, which most definitely adds to the impressive stance that this band deliver.

Our next band to take to the stage were Fire Red Empress and recent months have seen anticipation growing for the release of the band’s outstanding album, ‘Black Morphine‘, which I have to say is something they can TRULY be proud of. With several tracks included in tonight’s performance, their thirty minute set flew by way too fast but I’m very pleased to say that Fire Red Empress will be back at The Slade Rooms again for Hils Ovation on 20th January 2018, so get that date down in your diary now as this gig will be one that your really don’t want to miss!

Fire Red Empress – ‘GIANTS’ Official Video.

2017 has been quite a year for Vicious Nature and just as their popularity continues to grow, so do they musically and for me, the set that they delivered tonight was one of the highlights of the day. It’s always great to see a band enjoying their performance as much as their audience and factors such as that really do fuel the anticipation for what comes next, which I understand will be a new EP so I shall definitely look forward to that!

Our penultimate band of the day were At Dawn We Attack and with their endless energy and adrenaline free flowing throughout the entirety of their set, these guys really put their own stamp of excellence to the day. With guest vocalists also joining them up on stage, their was no shortage of community spirit to be enjoyed which was really quite something to be a part of.

And without further ado, it was time for our guest headliners of the day to hit the stage and much to the audible appreciation of The Slade Rooms audience, that is exactly what Orange Goblin did. With a small army of Orange Goblin troops in attendance, there was no denying that they got the performance that they came to see, with songs such as ‘Scorpionica‘, ‘The Filthy & The Few‘ and the rather epic ‘Red Tide Rising‘ being included within tonight’s set list choice and bringing today’s top notch event to a rousing close.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 22nd October 2016.

This evenings Hils Ovation event is set to be quite a night and getting tonight well underway were Koncept from the Tamworth and Telford areas, and here we have a band whose name serves them well, as it describes their metal perfectly. Koncept brings together the experience and influences of Jamie Gibson, Craig Beniston and Sam Evans and tonight’s seven song set provided much food for thought as it captured the bands creative approach well and certainly gave me an appetite for more. The band released their debut album ‘Closure’ back in April of this year and this is a must to check out if you haven’t already!

sam-evans-koncept

With a pretty much last minute slot opening up in tonight’s line up, our next band Parkhurst made quick work of stepping up to the plate and even though it’s only been a matter of weeks since their last appearance at one of Hils Ovations night’s, there was no denying how much their confidence had grown over that short time frame. There was also news of a forthcoming EP from the band, although there is no firm release date for it as yet but to echo the words of Jak Bunney, ’Just as long as we get it, that’s all that matters!’

jak-bunney-parkhurst

The midway point of the night saw Unhinged take to the stage and in advance of seeing them play live, they’d been described to me as ‘quite a lively bunch’ but even within the first ten minutes of their set, it became blatantly apparent that that description was most definitely an understatement. Lead singer Mike Hodges wears the crown of lead singer and front man exceptionally well with the kind of energy that has you falling over your feet just trying to keep up. And speaking of feet, he is definitely the one and only person I have ever seen lick the soles of somebody’s shoes whilst they’re still wearing them!! The rest of the set saw Mike raising hard punking hell from various positions within the Slade Rooms and by that I mean whilst hanging onto the lighting rig, pacing around the room or precariously sitting on the shoulders of enthused supporters. The bands set was certainly a community affair as many were eager to show their support, including Bryan Hancox from At Dawn We Attack who was game to share the mic for a song or two! I’m not sure whether the bands name (Unhinged) represents their on stage persona or whether it describes the state they leave the audience in, but either way they were excellent tonight and I loved ‘em!

mike-hodges-unhinged

Now by normal standards, Unhinged would be a hard act to follow but with Broken Jaw primed and ready to roll next, normal didn’t even come into it as these guys will never be called shy when it comes to shenanigans! The bands set tonight not only included their self penned songs but also a rather unique cover on ‘Summer Nights’, the memory of which is going to stay with me for a long time to come. And once again, there was no holding back others from joining in with the band and it was pretty cool to see members from the other bands in tonight’s line up quick to join in. Broken Jaw are a fantastic band to go and see live and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do!

nutzie-shelley-and-lee-stockwell-broken-jaw

Our headlining band At Dawn We Attack are all regular faces on the West Midlands metal scene and having seen them play live before on numerous occasions, it was already a done deal that these guys were going to be worthy headliners tonight.

bryan-hancox-at-dawn-we-attack

Amidst the strains of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ and cheers of appreciation, At Dawn We Attack took to the stage and laid siege upon the Slade Rooms with their nine song set that included melodic metal core tracks such as ‘Nooses For Neckties’ and ‘Capitulate’. It was clear that the band greatly value all the support that they receive and Bryan Hancox captured this sentiment perfectly, when he asked the audience to give themselves a round of applause as it was because of them that they got to do all of this.

chris-meddings-at-dawn-we-attack

In addition to the fact that all five individual bands put 100% into their sets tonight – and then some, the one stand out memory I shall carry with me about this gig was the way in which everyone just gelled so well together both on stage and off. Tonight’s event contained the kind of camaraderie amongst the bands that truly was awesome to witness and something that will leave it’s mark for a long time to come.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Destroyed Beyond Belief

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 1st April 2016.

Tonight’s event is a bitter sweet one to say the least, as after many years of writing and playing great metal plus being party to far more antic’s than will ever be repeated outside of a padded cell, The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton was set to play host to the final gig of Destroyed Beyond Belief .

Destroyed Beyond Belief

This evening was important in another way too, as it was an opportunity to say thank you to friends, fans and fellow musicians for being part of the story, so each and every song that was played tonight came straight from the heart. And getting things well under way tonight were Decimate, who gave us a set of metal so brutal that not an ounce of mercy was shown.

Nick Smith - DECIMATE

Our second band of the night were At Dawn We Attack but this time with a twist in their tale as in the absence of lead singer Bryan Hancox we were treated to an inspiring bounty of guest appearances at the mic which really was something to behold. Recent years have provided us with several main stream super groups, whose line ups can vary as they see fit and I have to say I love that concept, but never more so than that which I witnessed tonight as in that same vein, At Dawn We Attack were formidable!

Danny Bailey - At Dawn We Attack

Destroyed Beyond Belief first raised their heads back in November 2011 and since that time they have consistently been a band whose contribution to the local metal scene and beyond, has in my opinion, been one of great significance. At each and every gig of theirs that I’ve attended, it has always been such a pleasure to lavish in the strength of their combined ability for songwriting, stage presence and priceless sense of humour and most notably for me being their appearance at Hils Ovations Midlands Metal Crusade III back in December 2014.

Edd Bailey - Destroyed Beyond Belief

Tonight’s set list also reflected the great catalogue of songs that Destroyed Beyond Belief have given us and included tracks such as ’Blind Faith’, ’Embrace The Flames’ and of course, no gig would be complete without the inclusion of their epic track ‘Destroyer’.

It was also bloomin marvellous to see the familiar faces of Sandman and Marie up on stage tonight and to have the final chance of seeing them all together again for one last time.

Sandman

The message of this, their final gig being a means of saying a huge and heartfelt thank you to all those who have supported them over the years was without doubt, felt loud and clear by the entire Slade Rooms audience and a message of great appreciation for the band was equally returned by all those present.

Sean Westwood - Destroyed Beyond Belief

When all is said and done, there are some reviews you really don’t want to write and that has certainly been the case with this one for me. I will remain ever hopeful that the passing of time will see these guys back together on stage again but for now, nothing will ever change the fact that Destroyed Beyond Belief closed the last page in their final chapter on an emotional high and to quote the last line written on tonight‘s set list: “Lie Down – Try Not To Cry – Cry A Lot”.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.