Gig Review - Hard Rock Hell III - Friday
Imicus - S3
The sound in the pub is better than yesterday and Imicus take full advantage to produce a solid and professional set. Thumping out 'Visceral' and 'Inveigle', both sides of their debut single, Imicus have an interesting take on contemporary metal, with a foot in nu-ish metal and the other firmly planted in classic rock, Imicus make good hard music, modern enough for the youngsters and tuneful enough for us older buggers.
You can get a free download and stream some other tracks at the Imicus scrobbler page.
Arthemis - S3
Italian power/thrash outfit Arthemis have been together for around ten years, during which time the UK and USA were seduced by the inferior sounds of emo, nu-metal, crossover rap and the poor song structure of a lot of contemporary rock. Europe though kept on producing bands like this who can write a decent song, who play big fast riffs, proper solos, vocals that are actually sung and the odd chorus to sing along to, Arthemis therefore are a properly entertaining metal act.
With 5 albums behind them already, Arthemis produce a short 'best of' set of real metal that gets the crowd well warmed up, a good set from a proper metal band.
Voodoo Johnson - S3
Pretty good, if I have a slight criticism it is that some of the songs were slightly too long and sounded a little samey. However, I'm just listening to 'The Longest Day I Ever Wasted' on their website and it sounds bloody great, so perhaps some of their finesse was lost in the pub sound.
Voodoo Johnson scrobbler page, you can stream songs here.
Dead Against The Rest - S3
I just caught a couple of songs from these guys, the music was good and the singer seemed very positive, good vocal projection and they were quite entertaining.
Hanging Doll - S3
Hurrah, some female vocals at last from the lovely flame haired Sally. HD are a symphonic goth metal band with rather too long songs sometimes, for a first experience of them anyway, shorter and snappier might work better than epic, but decent music and they were certainly a nice change of pace halfway through the afternoon.
You can stream some songs at their MySpace page.
Waylander - S2
Musically Waylander were better than I was expecting, and allowing Mrs Beecher's creche class to apply their scary war paint was a nice touch, but no points at all for that most hoary of all metal cliches "We don't like organised religion and I'm sure you agree," well, no actually. Waylander churn out a very heavy style of folk metal, but the vocals came too close to extreme metal growling for my liking.
You can stream songs at the Waylander MySpace.
Attica Rage - chalet gig
There are about 120 people loitering in the drizzle waiting for the AR chalet gig to happen, but delays caused by a lack of amps and a drum kit see half the folk wander off before they get started, I think the gig did go ahead but I'd left to see DAR on stage 2.
Die Apokalyptischen Reiter - S2
Easily the highest WTF ? moment of the weekend so far is achieved at the start of DAR's set when a man wearing spiky budgie smugglers and a gimp mask takes to the stage and twirls his whip for a while, how strange. He is followed by a slap bald bloke with a long pointy beard clad as some sort of cavalry officer, these merry chaps are respectively, keyboard player Dr. Pest and singer Fuchs from DAR.
DAR's music is a dark and solid, industrial tinged almost extreme metal, but with enough rythm to keep us trad metal fans happy. Fuchs especially proves to be a tremendous entertainer, bounding around the stage from side to side, climbing up the speakers, waving flags and exhorting the crowd to shout louder. I have not heard of Die Apokalyptischen Reiter before but I thought they were very impressive, good songs, a great live performance and definately a band I'll be looking out for.
Stream songs here at their MySpace page.
Hysterica - S2
Good and honest metal, even if the lyrics are a bit throwback/cheesy. The all girl Swedish five piece gain a decent sized audience on stage two, despite being in competition with Gun on stage one. They pump out half of their debut album Metalwar with admirable pomp and intensity, including the title track plus other similarly old school sounding titled tracks 'Girls Made Of Heavy Metal', 'We Are The Undertakers' and 'Bless The Beast.' Simple but effective verse chorus solo metal, Hysterica's uncomplicated style combined with a passionate approach is well received by the HRH crowd.
You can stream songs here at their MySpace Page.
Black Spiders - S2
I saw Black Spiders supporting The Wildhearts in September, they were good then and on a bigger stage the Sheffield lads are bloody great. Awesomely heavy but tight and controlled so their sound stays defined and doesn't descend into a blur of noise.
'St. Peter' is the high point of a ferocious set, RATT are playing over on S1 but a sizeable crowd are here to see Black Spiders. This was another storming performance from an up and coming band that every real metal fan should have on their watch list.
You can listen to Black Spiders here on their Scrobbler page.
Logan - S1
Not really my cup of tea, Logan were rather pedestrian sud stadium rock, and although the music was good, the singer must never be allowed to cover Sabbath's War Pigs ever again.
Gun - S1
Even with Toby Jepson singing I only found time to see two songs by Gun, though they seemed to be warmly appreciated by the S1 crowd.
Korpiklaani - S2
Nice hats lads, and a sizeable turn out for the Finnish folk metallers, I've seen the band live before and again I thought they were quite decent without being anything world shaking.
To be expanded....Terrorvision, Monster Magnet,