Tag Archives: devil’s playground

Uprising 2019

Sunday 15th September 2019.

And so we come onto the third and final day at Uprising IV festival in Leicester and after a high intense atmosphere on the Saturday where Napalm Death tore the O2 Academy a new one, I headed back to the Firebug with my fiancé, intent on seeing a ray of talent burst out onto the music scene.

As with a three day music festival there wasn’t much of the night before hangover to deal with so it was straight into today’s second on the bill, Devil’s Playground. Tempting you into a void where an angelic voice draws you in only to be met by the devil himself, you’re drawn into a world that gets your heart pumping with amazing riff’s that set the scene. Each song has an energetic background that makes classic British metal which speaks volumes to your soul.

Still buzzing from an amazing set, we get ready for Dishonour The Crown who are an instantly ‘in your face’ band who leap into action. Standing still is nearly impossible as this band tells you how it is and with nothing held back, you’re ready for a battle in which the band shows no mercy.

As we wait for the next band to start, a confident Firouzeh dressed in black sets up to captivate and control her audience. Control the Storm are seventh on the bill and deliver a story teller’s night where darkness meets the light. This band have their own original genre which draws you in, with the added bonus of presence on stage that brings an enlightening instrumental background.

After grabbing a quick drink to recover, we set ourselves up for Fraction and their mix of thrash, progressive and groovy metal. Fraction are a tightly knitted band with a very strong following, who were already in the zone and waiting for the set that followed and gave us a wealth of songs that brought out a range of emotions through their lyrics.

We finished our night with Prognosis. After meeting this band at Bloodstock in the VIP bar in 2017 we were very excited to see them live again and already had high expectation for them. We were not disappointed and were blown away once more as they destroyed their set. A progressive metal band with a stoner vibe and one of my favourite bands from this evening who we look forward to seeing again in the future.

After finishing the Uprising IV festival with Jay Hawkins, who was a great mentor for me to take on the Sunday on my own, we were both left in awe of what the metal music scene has to offer and I genuinely can’t wait until next year and do another Uprising Festival again.

To see more photographs from the day, be sure to check out music224 over on FLICKR.

Review and Photography by Masaaki Black

HRH Metal

Sunday’s live review of stages 2 and 3
O2 Academy Birmingham 18th February 2018.

With the dust still settling from the rather excellent day one of HRH Metal 2018, Sunday’s bands were raring to go and getting things well under way over on Stage 3, were Devil’s Playground. Taking a few on stage technical difficulties all in their stride, Devil’s Playground ignited the audience into action with a forty minute set that was built to impress. With Leanne sadly missing from the bands line up today, Katie King from Cenfora owned that mic in her absence and all in all, Devil’s Playground set the bar pretty high for all those about to follow.

Next up on Stage 3 were the Nottingham based band, Incinery who brought about our first taste of thrash for the day. With their fast, furious and merciless metal assault prevailing, the crowd did not hold back their appreciation and this was most definitely a set that went down a storm!

With today’s events over on Stage 1 getting underway at 3pm, the pressure to be in two places at the same time commenced and resulted in me only catching the last few songs of Vice’s set but what I did see and hear was pretty impressive, as was their performance and the way that this band gel so well together. Discovering new bands is a real draw to HRH Metal for me and this band is one that I will certainly be looking out for in the future.

In these parts of the West Midlands, our next band up on Stage 3 are pretty much everyday hero’s so it was no surprise at all, to witness The Mighty Wraith playing to a pretty packed out hall. With their adrenaline fuelled metal ramped for maximum impact, the atmosphere in the room was fantastic and judging by the size of the smile on vocalist Matt Gore’s face, this was one gig that they will happily reflect on for a long time to come.

Trivax next and here we have yet another West Midlands based band who stand in a league of their own, with their blackest of metal taking on a life of its own. There is an addictive air of intense turmoil to be experienced within this bands music, which I find to be both foreboding yet magnetic when caught in it’s grip – an excellent set from Trivax and one of my favourite performances of the day.

Nightmare World were next to pick up the metal gauntlet and deliver a set that was both charismatic and melodic in it’s style. The band have announced that they are now intending to start work on a second album so do keep checking their Facebook page for more news on that aswell as future gigs.

Sadly, with all three stages now in full swing by the time I galloped back to Stage 3 to catch Skarthia, they had just finished their set so apologies to the band for not making it back there in time to see them play live. I did however manage to catch the rather fantastic Sister Shotgun and I have to hand it to Chloe Ozwell for completely owning this set and if you like your metal laced with lashings of rage, vocal power and va-va-voom, then Sister Shotgun are just what you’re looking for!

Closing out Stage 3 in their own unique and unforgiving style were Dead Hands, whose performance tonight was nothing short of savage! Dead Hands have a wildly alternative approach to their sound and I found myself making the comparison to the now disbanded band Heck, who also had that same crazy ability to detonate on impact. With Stage 3 having been a hive of activity over these past two days and having provided the most discerning of metalheads with some pretty awesome bands to relish, it would only be right to go out on a ferocious high and that was exactly what happened – courtesy of Dead Hands.

With Stage 2 getting underway at 5pm in the O2 Academy’s upstairs hall, I briefly managed to catch the most brutal of attacks courtesy of Swansea’s own, Lifer. This band have quite a reputation for producing a tempestuous onslaught of combined thrash metal, doom and southern style rock that sits within a league of its own and from what I witnessed of their performance today, this bands metal is seriously good!

Over the years, I have had the great pleasure of seeing the birth and to follow the journey of many great up and coming bands and Torous, who were next up on Stage 2, easily sit within that category. Tonight’s set from the band served a very special purpose indeed as it was to be their final performance, so it was destined to be a bitter sweet event from the start. Bathed in blazing white light, the visual impact they delivered was as spectacular as their music and all in all, it was an amazing and emotional epitaph for both band and audience alike.

The final band that I managed to catch over on Stage 2 were Attica Rage and this set also held great meaning to all those present, with it being the final performances for guitarist Stevie Bell whose impending departure was announced last month. Hell bent on making this an occasion to remember, Attica Rage gave the audience an A+ set and as with many of the other bands who played over this two day event, they certainly gave HRH Metal their all.

In addition to stages 2 and 3, I also caught some pretty awesome performances over on Stage 1 today and if you would like to check out more of the photos from all three stages, then just hit the link and check out the gallery over on Flickr!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

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.