Category Archives: Gig reviews

The Prophecy,Nomads Son and Mortallicum at The Snooty Fox in Wakefield,West Yorkshire

Review: Glaston-Bury Festival

Glaston – Bury Festival. 10th Anniversary. Monday 28th August 2017

Glaston-Bury poster

By Jovi Hacker , 13 years for Metal Ashes of Phoenix


We were blessed with a sunny day for the 10th Anniversary of Glaston- Bury Festival. There were 130  bands playing in venues all across Bury Town Centre, which included 3 outside stages. There was the Peel Stage, that featured all the tribute bands – that always pulls in the crowd; ‘T’ other Stage, which had 9 bands performing; and, then there was my favourite stage – “The Rock Fairy Original Stage”, which was in memory of Sophie Lancaster and featured local bands from in and around the Bury area. We have a lot of talent!!!. There was a lot to take in and it is impossible to see all 130 bands, so I decided to concentrate mainly on The Rock Fairy Stage. (However I did manage to sneak to the Peel Stage to watch one tribute band!)


Sittin' Pretty

Sittin’ Pretty

After a few technical issues (generator not working) , the first band finally took to the stage. This was a band from Bolton and Bury called “Sittin’ Pretty”. I hadn’t heard of them before, but they were my find of the festival!. I would describe them as a 4-piece blues/rock band made up of 4 young men that are extremely talented. They played their own songs which included 24/7 and Take My Shoes. The lead singer was extremely expressional and owned the stage. You could see that he really enjoyed being up there and he had an amazing voice. This was an excellent start to the festival. I would recommend you check these guys out, they could go places.


Stone Temple Pirates

Stone Temple Pirates

I then decided to have a wonder across to the Peel Stage to watch a tribute band from Liverpool called “Stone Temple Pirates”. You can call me biased, but I wanted to see them as the Bass player used to play for one on my favourite bands that played the festival last year , but, unfortunately they split up earlier this year. I really wanted to go and see his new adventure!!!. There had also been technical issues on this stage and they were running over an hour behind. Because of this bands had to cut their sets shorter so they could catch up during the day. This did not affect the performances during the day. Stone Temple Pirates played 8 of the greatest hits of Stone Temple Pilots. The lead singer occasionally coming off stage to interact with the audience. They started off with “Crackerman”, where the lead singer used a mega phone. Brilliant start and they continued with other hits such as Plush, Sex Type Thing and finishing off with Slither. They had a good crowd who really seemed to enjoy them. If you are a Stone Temple Pilots fan, then I would recommend you going to see these guys.

Stone Temple Pirates (2)

Stone Temple Pirates


I then ventured back to the Rock Fairy Stage. Whilst en route I did manage to listen to the music blaring out in the other venues. I peeped in and could see that they were all full and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves. It was a great atmosphere and was very child friendly. Lots of family’s enjoying themselves.


Twisted Illusion

Twisted Illusion

Next up was one of my favourite bands, “Twisted Illusion”, whom I have had the pleasure of watching on several occasions and they have come along way since they played at the 101 bar at last years festival. They have recently performed at Bloodstock. Twisted Illusion, until recently, were a 3 piece Prog band fronted by the very funny and talented Matt Jones, Mark Wagstaff playing the Bass and a stand in drummer Philip Shacklady, as their normal drummer was unavailable. Philip has perfomed with them before and also features on their latest double album. He is not a bad stand in!!!!


Matt as ever, interacted with the crowd and their performance was faultless like always. They played some of their original songs such as “Hatred is a Virtue”, “Online and In Line”, and “Apocalyse #LOL”. They also did a cover of Tenacious D’s hit “Tribute”. This went down well with the audience, and of course Matt’s rendition of “Stairway to KFC!”. At one point they were joined on stage by a couple of young kids with their cut out guitars. Was cute to see and showed that their music can be enjoyed by people of all ages.


After going for a bite to eat, I then went back to The Rock Fairy Stage to watch



another band I had not heard of before called “Novustory”. They were a 3-piece female fronted band that unusually had no bass player. Despite this, there music still sounded good. I would describe them as an Indie Rock band. Whether this is true or not I’m unsure, but I was told that all 3 members were born on 29th February 1996!!. I really enjoyed their set which included their song “Going Home”. This is another band that I’m going to put on my ’must go and watch again’ list.




It was now time for the ‘old timers’ to take to the stage. Troyen were on next and were first formed in 1980, well before I was even thought of!. They are a NWOBHM band that reformed in 2014 after a 32 year break. Well these guys can rock!. Their set included their track “Future Friend”, which features on their new EP “Storm Child”.




It was not long after this that I went home absolutely exhausted! I really enjoyed the bands that I saw and wished I could have seen more of them. It’s a great festival and for only £7 for the whole day, it’s a bargain. It’s definitely family friendly and if you enjoy music, well it’s a must!. Lots of facilities in the area and easy to get to as it’s near the Metro Link and bus station and of course the car parks are free!


I can’t wait to see whats on offer next year.




Lordi Review

Peter Jones recently went over to watch Lordi plus support over at the Lemon Tree in Exeter.

Babylon Fire – Album Launch @ NQ Live 17/11/2012



Damagescape / I.C.O.N. / Derision

NQ Live, Manchester. 17th Nov. 2012


            It was getting a bit cold outside by the time I rolled up to NQ Live, but this wouldn’t be the case for long. DAMAGESCAPE were already on stage and I was gutted to miss the beginning as they are a band I’ve never seen before and I was really looking forward to them. However, my disappointment was short-lived as they strode through their brief set of five tracks with well-rehearsed professionalism and delivered them all to an appreciative crowd that loved every one of the their good, old-school style rock songs. A couple of the songs were ballads and lead singer and guitarist Gemma Fox’s sultry voice was just perfect for these.

            I.C.O.N. was next up on stage. Another band that were new to me, and was I in for a surprise! They assaulted my ears with a no-nonsense approach to performing their particular brand of Heavy Metal with brutal vocals and in your face shredding guitar. The rest of the band were no slouches either, with thunderous drumming and solid bass lines. For me, Mark Sagar on vocals was the star of their set. He was always encouraging the crowd to get going and participate one way or another, whilst delivering his vocals with growling efficiency.

            The crowd had been steadily increasing throughout the sets of the first two support bands and was now getting to a healthy size when DERISION fired up their set. And, they were LOUD! DERISION, to my eyes, gave the impression of being Lancashire’s answer to the Vikings; all long hair and beards, and totally unafraid to come out and commit violence in the name of their hardcore Heavy Metal. Their violence being made with screaming and shredding guitars, hammering drums that Thor himself would have been proud of, and bass that sends the sensation of cold steel passing through your body. The growling vocals just added to the immensity of this band. I thought they had that old school thrash sound in places that Evile have, (DERISION supported them at their recent Manchester gig), and some pleasant melodic tunage in places occasionally that fitted in nicely. All three support bands did their job of warming up the appreciative crowd well, and I would recommend going to all of them to you all; you will not be disappointed by any of them.

            There was just time for a trip to the bar, (it’s thirsty work watching all these bands, you know), and a natter with friends old and new before the sound of the evening’s headline act, and the main reason we were all in attendance, making final tuning adjustments grabbed our attention and engaged us in the jostle for position to best view one of Rocksector Records rising stars; BABYLON FIRE! They enter the stage to the intro of the instrumental track Gates to Oblivion before firing into The Clarion Call. This is the opening track from the debut album, Dark Horizons, and one I’ve heard them trying out live before they went into the studio to record said album when they supported Revoker earlier this year. It has improved since then and the live performance now was better than listening to the cd. The crowd were well and truly up for this gig, and they showed just how much by all the jumping around, head banging and fist-pumping throughout this opening and, indeed, throughout the entire set! Darkness Draws Me In opened up with some thumping drumming from Mark Cooper before Rishi Mehta and Ryk Swillo joined their frenetic sticksman on guitar and bass respectively. This song has a great mix of hard riffs and melodic interludes capped with powerful vocals from a frontman that prowls the stage all night like a tiger in a cage looking for an escape. Mark Dunford’s vocal skills have matured significantly from when I first saw them at SOS Fest in 2010 to a point where he has now reached the level that is perfect for that BABYLON FIRE sound.

            The night was all about the album, and we were treated to eleven out of the twelve tracks on the cd, (only Cycle Of Addiction was missing), plus Freight Train from their The Day The Angels Died EP, including my personal favourites of I still Remember, Shattered Crown and Stripped Away. Every song was greeted with immense enthusiasm from the healthy crowd who never stopped moving all night; proof that live music is still one of the best experiences you can have with your clothes on, (probably!). And, it obviously spurred the band on as you could see how much it meant to them to be playing the music that they have nurtured from the seeds of small ideas, through the conception of arrangement, and onwards to the birth of their opus and the naming of Dark Horizons, and the reception that each and every song received. This album rates as one of my favourites of the year, and one that I cannot ever see myself tiring of. It may have been a long time coming, but believe me, it has been more than worth the wait! And, by the way that merchandise was shifting; I’d say that those parting with their hard-earned readies were in agreement.

            Keep your eyes open for all the bands mentioned above; buy their music and go see them live. It’s better than watching them on video streaming sites and helps them finance any future releases.


BABYLON FIRE – set list

Intro (Gates to Oblivion)

The Clarion Call

Darkness Draws Me In

Blood In Blood Out

Stripped Away


Shattered Crown

I Still Remember

Wrath of The Fallen

Within The Mouth of Madness

Freight Train

Rise Through Babylon


James McPhillips

Exit State & Fantasist: The Railway, Bolton 03/11/2011

Exit State & Fantasist

The Railway music venue, Bolton

3rd November, 2011


             The first seed was planted way back in 2003 when Ollie, Seb and Robb all attended Manchester College of Arts and Technology. Ollie and Seb went on the form the band Idiom writing complex progressive music as a 5 piece. In November 2007, after a few years of solid gigging, Seb decided to depart to concentrate on other projects and unfortunately Idiom eventual came to an end due to various reasons in 2008. Ollie spent the following year searching for new musical influences and writing music with a more simple approach, focusing on song writing and pulsating grooves. This new material caught the attention of Robb (Previously of Post Modern Geisha), who expressed an interest in forming a band to get these songs out there! Ollie and Robb began searching for the right drummer to complete the power trio and it just so happened that their long time friend Seb was looking for a musical project to get his teeth into! This year saw them release their debut album, Gigglejuice.

                Fantasist took to the stage in their trademark black suits and, after a brief welcome, fired into their set opening up with X&O’s. This soon had their audience nodding their heads along to their own style of music that seems to go along the lines of Prog, but without any of the interminable freeform keyboard rhapsodies associated with that genre. Instead, they impressed us with their technical musicianship and ability to capture your imagination with catchy riffs and hooks, plus a rhythm section that can bounce you around the room and off the ceiling. They continued to play through their set with minimal chat, choosing to let the music speak for them. And, it spoke volumes. Guitarist Ollie often takes off from the stage and goes on a wander that meanders through the venue and audience alike, never missing a note, whilst drummer Seb and bassist Robb continue on stage sharing vocal duties. In fact, Fantasist is an unusual band in the way that all three members share lead/backing vocals, and surprisingly; it works!

                Towards the end of their set, they throw in one of the bravest cover versions of a song that I have ever seen. Not many bands attempt, let alone, pull off a cover of Rush’s Spirit Of Radio, but Fantasist did it magnificently much to the appreciation of all present. They finished off with Divide and left us in no doubt that they will get bigger and better.


BAND: Seb – drums/vocals – Ollie – guitar/vocals, Robb – bass/vocals

LABEL: Rocksector Records

SETLIST: X&O’s, Smokescreen, The Sleeper, Red, Time To Leave, Darkness, Ego, Drugstore Cowboy, Spirit Of Radio, The Divide.


                A video which reached the no.1 spot on the Kerrang! TV Chart Request Show; support slots with Blaze Bayley (Wolfsbane/Iron Maiden); Esoterica; Dave Evans (AC/DC); The Black Mollys; Forever Never; Witchfynde and Black Spiders; plus a full UK tour with Marseille; a successful debut album; a tour in Finland; and a place at Hard Rock Hell Ibiza Road Trip… with all that you could be forgiven for thinking Exit State has been around for years. However, the early success of their high-octane sound has been almost immediate, not least due to their crossover appeal to rock, metal, pop, punk, indie and alternative crowds alike. The line-up which released the first album, (Death Of A Rockstar), was; Roy Bright – lead vocals/rhythm guitar, “Texas” Peat Hicks – drums, Phil Ireland – bass/backing vocals, and Adam Stephenson – lead guitar. Adam left the band in Sept. 2011 and has been replaced for the remainder of 2011 by Ollie Cordwell of label-mates Fantasist whilst they search for a permanent lead guitarist. They are currently on their winter tour which culminates with a spot at Hard Rock Hell V in Prestatyn this December alongside Therapy?, Black Stone Cherry and more.

                The night’s headliners opened up with the title track of their second album, Black Veins; an energetic track, that sets their stall for the night. It’s going to be an ‘up and at you’ and ‘let’s see if you can keep up’ kind of night for us all. And for further proof of this, they move straight into Tonight Be Free without pause for breath. Both songs are shown appreciation by great cheers and applause from the healthy crowd, and deservedly so. Each band member throws themselves into each song as though their life depended on giving nothing but the best for those who have endeavoured to make the trip tonight, and failure was not an option. There was nothing to fear on that account as they acquitted themselves easily as the crowd returned their adjudication with cheers and tumultuous applause.

Singer/rhythm guitarist Roy Bright has the kind of voice that conveys all of his emotions into whatever he sings, giving us sad and soulful through to anger and rage, with a smidgeon of humour thrown in for good measure. Drummer “Texas” Peat Hicks bashes the skins furiously, working up such a sweat with his intensity in performance that he has to wring out the moisture from his shirt post-gig! Bassist Phil Ireland lays down an astounding rhythm all night, delivering an awesome accompaniment that compliments the rhythm guitar of Roy and lead guitar of Ollie Cordwell, (who is playing his second set of the night).  They move industriously through their setlist which includes their latest single – Check Out The Crazy, (which has an excellent accompanying video). They even manage to squeeze in an impromptu Ramones-style rendition of Happy Birthday for a fan and include her favourite track Circles as a present into their set as their gift to her. The night is a mix of tracks from both Death Of A Rockstar and Black Veins, and there is not a bad song to be heard throughout the night. This band is fast becoming more popular and is gaining a reputation for leaving their audiences crying out for more. Their songwriting and musicianship has vastly improved since I first saw them eighteen months ago, and they have the talent to go wherever their dreams take them. And, for the final song of the night, the enthusiastic crowd are treated to a cover of Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down and are joined on stage by Nigel Roberts, singer with Marseille, to give voice to this classic.

                It was a night where two fine bands exhibited their exemplary musicianship and ability to entertain an audience and leave them all with huge smiles on their faces, wanting to hear more. Keep an eye out for these bands; they will rocks your socks clean off!


BAND: Roy Bright – rhythm guitar/vocals, Phil Ireland – Bass/backing vocals, ‘Texas’ Peat Hicks – drums, Ollie Cordwell – lead guitar

LABEL: Rocksector Records

SETLIST: Black Veins, Tonight Be Free, Check Out The Crazy, And She Said, I Know Where You Are, In That Place, Circles, Bad Days, Lost Beyond Belief, Out In The Rain, Death Of A Rockstar, Tie Your Mother Down.


James McPhillips


Bio’s shamefully ripped from Rocksector Records.


Hails to all ye metal wariors and goddesses,

I know its been a while since I’ve visited here but it is me Sam form metal ashes team.

Well what can I say aboot theis years Bloodstcok other than it was immense.

Unfortunately Me and Marcus didnt get down to Catton Hall till Friday due to paid work commitments but hey we got there so thats something ay?

We could hear Devin while we were pitching our temporary homes for the metalmongous weekend ahead.

We couldnt park as close to our tent this year but this wasnt an issue because we were given the oppurtunity to hop in the little shuttle buses to ferry us and our weekends worth of camping gear etc to the presss and media camping area.

I got to check out WASP though.I wasnt sure what to expect really considering I’d not seen Blackie since the K.F.D tour way back when int 90’s sometime to a positively brimming Bradford Rios.

I have to say though that Blackie has still got it if you know aht I mean.He’s a living legend at that and it was an absalute pleasure to see him and the band putting on a wild performance for us at Bloodstock 2011.

Saturday was prety much non stop band watching/reviewing for me as most of my fave bands were on that day.

I was fortunate enough to be able to watch TAROT,FINNTROLL,IHSAHN,THERION,RHAPSODY of FIRE,IMMORTAL.

The weather was on our side for once too so we didnt have to endure the expected downpours predicted by the met!


Marcus Hietala and his bro’s band were  absalutely brilliant and what made it feel more like true metal was that they were both chugging away on their gaspers.

I have to say hat at some points when Marco was dialogueing with the fans/the crowd he did lose me and I was left there thinking where the **** is he going with this one now but it was all very clever word play and quirky humour so this amused me no end especially the sci fi reference to Moore Cock!!!!

That said though he even found time in his very busy press chedule to have his pic taken with none other than yours trully.The photo is ace and I cant wait to upload it onto website for all to see on the metalashesofphoenix page.


Onwards and forwards for more Finn metal.They really know how to get the crowd going do Finntroll I can say that much for em.The crowd were going nuts for them and so was I enjoying their positive ,up beat ,kinda pagan party metal.I love it because it allways gets people dancing and singing and having a great time which is what the metal is all about for me.


I have to admit that I was a wee bit excited to see Ihsahn and his band this day as I’ve always put Ihsahn on a pedestal musically as I think the  guy is very talented in the writing and composing departments.

I personally was surprised by what I heard and saw because I  was and I still am huge fan of Emperor so I dont quite know what to expect but the surprise was a positive one and I can genuinely say that I thoroughly enjoyed their set.Fortunately for me and unfortunately for my younger sister  I even managed to grab a fluke oppurtunity to have my pic taken with him while he was stood next to me watching another band.This pic is now on my facebook profile.My sister who was not amused and green at the gills told me to Put it away Sam because she couldnt weven bare looking at my pic without it being her in the pic(only kidding Alex!)For me this was an absalute honour and he was very obliging.


Whooooooahhhh!What can I say other than they were mind blowingly brilliant with their operatic style vocals and very quirky/period dress sense.

I think some of the people who were watching them genuinely didnt know what to make of them which was amusing to see as an innocent bystander but as a fan since Vovin it was terribly amusing to say the least.

I’ve seen Therion a coulpe of times on the continent and once in of all places old Bradford Rio’s.They were f’in immense then and in my humble opinion I think they’re even more immense now and have much more stage presence.I think for me THERION made my weekend all in all as I ‘m a fan of metal (obviously!!) and classical music so to have both genres in one band is amazing.I have to say aswell that Christofer is up there in my top 10 of metal geniuses along with Devin Townsend and Ihsahn.


Another goose bump filled set for me.The vocalist must have the most amazing voice in metal I’ve ever listened to.He was fantastic to say the least and cor blimey governer what a bleeding show did they put on for us.I stood fixated until the very last mnute of their set it has to be said as I couldnt tear my self away from this hugely popular and magnificent band.I know Lucas Turrilli is an amazing guitarist,composer and writer but the vocalist definitely switched me on wven more to the tunes of RHAPSODY of FIRE.I have a couple of their albums in my dense collection but I’m in need of more now because they were so brilliant!


If these guys didnt bring you back down to earth with a grat big bang then I dont know what would?I saw IMMORTAL many many moons ago again in the old Bradford Rios when they were at the peak of their fame really.I’ll never forget that gig man.A couple of unwittingly and unknowing fans jumped on tothe stage and whoa were they berated in public by the bans emselves for even daring to enter the same space as them.IMMORTAL’S words were something in the vein of “This is our f’in show and if you dont get off the f’in stage we’re going”.If this wasnt amusing enough to me thay even had fans on stage to make sure their hair was blowing in the right direction.How unintentionly funny were they to me back then??

Any way getting back to the here and now ay they still managed to ake me chuckle well belly laugh out loud oin this occasion with their crab dancing across the stage.I’ havent laughed so hard in ages.My sides were hurting for all the laughter.Alex and Dan had previously warned me about IMMORTAL’s crab dancing but i wasnt expecting them to be so funny.Putting that to one side though IMMORTAL were ground shakingingly and goosebumpingly dark,eerie,atmospheric and fantastic at the same time.Their corpse paint is brill and often imitated but these guys were the business to finish of a metal soaked Saturday evening at Catton Hall Bloodstock.

SUNDAY 14 th AUGUST 2011


I’ve seen Hammerall before at Wacken years ago but didnt take much notice of them then.Since Wacken tho things have changed and so have I!!

I stood and watched most of their set this time and amazingly enjoyed every minute of it I think because for me HAMMERFALL represent to me the true meaning of continental metal.I stood there thinking how lucky I was to be able to see them in my own country at my favourite metal festival


For me being the young age that I am this was a trip down memory lane to aerly 90’s at Bradford Rios when they used to pull in all the big names in metal of the day.

At the Gates at Bloodstock were intense,powerfull and amazing to say the least.

They gripped the crowd like nothing I’ve seen befoe and I’m pretty sure they ‘ll ahve made new friends and influenced people loads with their short set this evening.

AT  THE GATES were a blast that s for sure and they took me back somewhat to the arly 90’s but for all the right metalmongous reasons.


The legendary Motorhead gracing us at Bloodcstock with their presence on a Sunday night.Cant be bad!

Apparently somthing technical had brokenj only a couple of songs into thir set so Mr.Killerminster was not a happy rock n roller thars for sure.

Any way despite MOTORHEADS technical difficulties the show most definitely did go on and what a show it was.

I have to say that I was a little disappointed that they didnt stay on till 22:45 but hey its Lemmy and MOTORHEAD and they can do whatever the hell they like as far as I’m concerned.

All in all warriours and godesses this years Bloodstock was fangtastic to say the least and I cant wait till next year.

Its just so brilliant to see Blodstock growing into what it is from where it originsted from.I love it.

See you all there next year come hail,sun or rain!

SAM of the team


Playlist 12/07/2011

Seth ETC. – ETC.

Henceforth – Without The Sun

Amough Symphony – Osiris 1

The Treatment – Drink, Rock, Fight

Nightvision – Sob Story

Diamond Plate – Fool’s Paradise

Exit State – Check Out The Crazy

Dream Theatre – On The Backs Of Angels

Deftones – Beauty School

Chrome Division – Sharp Dressed Man (RISE OF THE PHOENIX)

At The Gates – Under The Serpent Sun

Exodus – Metal Command

Morbid Angel – Where The Slime Live

Lawnmower Deth – Seventh Church Of The Apocalyptic Lawnmower

Arthemis – This Is Revolution

Power Quest – Glorious

Wolf – Skull Crusher

White Wizzard – Demons And Diamonds

Leprous – Restless

Sonisphere review: part the 1st




            Got there on Thursday night after a four hour journey from ‘oop north’ in Yorkshire and was spoilt for choice for a pitch in the guest/media campsite. That wouldn’t be the case at the same time in 24 hours. Pitched the tent, chilled out with a cider or two before setting off to recce the arena. It took an age to reach it as the pathway had changed from last year’s event, enforcing us to a more circuitous route instead of through the Rock Royalty campsite. A flash of the wristband, and into the arena to be greeted by a myriad of food vendors on all sides, whose prices I shall not go into. To my left; the Apollo stage which would be graced by the Big 4 on Friday. To my right; the Saturn stage, where Airbourne would belt out their best in their inimitable way. So, off on a wander I went to familiarise myself with the layout and found that little had changed from last year. Bohemia was where I had left it and the Jagermeister stage was still at the bottom of the site. The fun fair was in full swing and all I could see that was missing was the Strongbow stage, and replacing it was the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage. Satisfied I wouldn’t get lost, retirement to my canvas abode for the weekend was sought and after a well-deserved beverage I sought my slumber.


Day 1: Friday

            Overnight, the weather had changed and it had belted it down with heavy rain which carried on intermittently throughout the morning. This didn’t bode well for the day’s entertainment. Off to the arena I did trot for another wander and to hook up with old friends and new. We went back to their tents in Red camp and I was shocked at the length of the queue to check-in. It was seemingly endless, and they had my pity at the time it was taking them to get in. Back into the arena and up to the Apollo stage to catch the special guests of the Big 4; Diamond Head. They played as well as I expected, no-nonsense NWOBHM! It’s a shame they don’t get a better slot as they play some really exciting music.

            First up of the Big 4 were Anthrax. There was a big crowd there in anticipation of one of metal’s greatest bands, and they didn’t disappoint the majority with classics such as ‘I Am The Law’, ‘Indians’, and ‘Madhouse’. Sadly, for me anyway, they weren’t as good as last year’s appearance here. Perhaps it was the absence of Scott Ian, (replaced by Andreas Kisser of Sepultura), but they didn’t quite hit the spot for me, although I did enjoy the set to some degree. Then, it was time for a break before the next act of the Big 4.

            Megadeth were up next; a band I’ve never gotten around to seeing live before today, and I was expecting big things from them on the 25th anniversary of one of their best albums – Rust In Peace. The crowd gave the band their due loud Sonisphere welcome and a louder roar for Dave Mustaine. He took to the stage wielding his twin-necked flying-v guitar, acknowledged the audience, and launched into their hour-long set. Maybe I was expecting too much of them, but, I managed to last three tracks before boredom kicked in and I walked away in search of other entertainment. Shame, really. I left feeling let down and totally apathetic about the band.

            I ended up at the Jagermeister stage to catch Slam Cartel part-way into their show. I saw this band here last year and was pretty impressed. Back then, they played good, old-fashioned rock music with a hint of their own style thrown in for good measure, and it was good to see they had progressed, refining their performance and giving their hearts and souls to their music. The debut album, ‘Handful of Dreams’ has many surprises on it and hearing some of the forthcoming release played live left me in no doubt of what they are capable of if they are given that chance. Their audience also knew they were onto a good thing and were very appreciative of every song in their short set. It didn’t feel like they had enough time to show their wares, and we were all left wanting more.

            I headed back up and over the hill to catch the mighty Slayer with my spirits lifted and the disappointment that was Megadeth a distant memory. Boy was I glad that I did! They were truly awesome, and I don’t say that lightly. Kerry king was all over the place and he looks even more intimidating on the three big screens. The crowd were truly appreciative of their performance and let them know about it. This only served to encourage Slayer into a more blistering and frenzied show. And then, when they just about seemed to be getting into their stride, it was over and too soon. It was a much better show over last year’s, and Metallica needed to be on top of their game, and more, to beat this.

            Then, it was Metallica’s turn to hit the Sonisphere stage. It had been a long time since last I saw them play, and I had to admit it was with a little trepidation that I settled in to be entertained. The field in front of the Apollo stage was now rammed, stretching back behind the sound tower, (good job they had put a big screen on the back of it!), and we were all eager for Metallica on their 30th anniversary. This was to be a show of something old, something new, something borrowed, and some kind of monster!

            James Hetfield prowled the stage only returning to the mic to growl out the lyrics to the tunes that have made them the masters of metal that they are. Kirk Hammett strode the stage, lightning licking at his fingers as the riffs flowed from his guitar, whilst Rob Treviso whirled about the stage like a dervish and seemingly as frenzied. Lars pounded the hell out of his kit as if to teach it a lesson and must have shed pounds in weight judging by the sweat and effort he was putting into it. When it finally came around to one of my favourite tracks; ‘One’, the intro was a barrage of sound, light and imagery to give you that feel that you were present on a battlefield. Truly excellent production!

            Towards the end of the set, Metallica were joined on stage by the rest of the Big 4plus Brian Tatler of Diamond Head as a very special guest. It didn’t take a genius to guess what they might all play together. James introduced Brian as one of the reasons as to why he got into metal in the first place before they launched into ‘Am I Evil’. It must have been a mammoth task to arrange so many musicians into some semblance of order to play such an iconic song, but it came off perfectly. It was awesome to see so many of metal’s master purveyors of mayhem and madness assembled together in one instance and to hear the opening riffs of the song played in unison was intensely electrifying. And, when it came to that solo, only one man on that stage could be expected to step up to the task – the writer of the tune himself, Brian Tatler. The crowd went ape, and every member of the Big 4 on stage looked as though they were enjoying every moment of it.

            After the stage had cleared, there was just time for one more song from the headliners before they bade us goodbye. For a performance that I thought started off slowly, definitely left me with a feeling of euphoria that would take more than a few ciders to quell. A magnificent end to the first day. Roll on Saturday.

James McPhillips

Evile, Elimination, Mutant and Bludvera @ Academy 2, Manchester. 090211

A rainy Wednesday night in Manchester was a suitable backdrop for a night of old-skool Thrash.
Unlike any city I’ve seen Manchester is one of those cities that is rising continuously for Music Education, with more colleges built since I last visited when Kelly Osbourne played either Academy 1 (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Anyway. Enough sight-seeing the History. It was all about sight-seeing the METAL with Myself and fellow MAoPS contributor James were the tourists.

Arriving late in Manchester we pursued into Academy 2 (where I last saw Chimaira tear up the stage years ago) and stepped in the middle of the first band of the night: Bludvera.
Bludvera, comprising of proper Old-Skool riffage and classic thrash beats, all amalgamated together to sound like a young outfit portraying Slayer, Sabbat.
As newbies to the night these guys are becoming a potential candidate to MAoPs and I award them 5/10 HeadBangs. Up next: Mutant.

London 4-piece Mutant rip through their set with songs from last years EP ‘Laserdrome’ and many others to erupt the mosh pit with their blend of sonic-speed riffs and contagious blast beats.
An excellent crowd pleaser to keep the night going with “Turbo Hyper Ultra Mega Power” and with some of the funniest wit coming from frontman Tom Luchensteiner, 8/10 HeadBangs deserves the treat!

Essex-based, Leather-clad mega thrashers Elimination failed to disappoint. Their setlist delivering a huge ‘War-Ensemble’ of metal madness cutting through the atmosphere that shakes the very foundations of the room. Battle Metal, Thrash Metal whatever you like to call it or brand it under they deserve 7/10 HeadBangs for a cool show :).

Finally Yorkshire’s finest Evile grace the stage with their mightly embraced fanfare intro to welcome them into the arena for battle and kicking of with ‘First Blood’.

Now, it was quite strange and sad to not see the band with bassist Mike Alexander rocking away tonight. Before Evile they were known to the underground world as Metal Mulisha – covering all songs by Metallica to name a few – and they were awesome and my band use to support them whenever they performed.
Drummer Ben was happy to mingle in with the crowd before they were due to come on, and I shared some memories with him detailing those days back then and sent my commiseration to him and the band. I was quite surprised that he still knew me after all these years and said that the band are happily and steadily moving on without bassist Mike since his death, and away from the USA tour supporting their release ‘Infected Nations’.

Meanwhile… Back to the present and “First Blood” tore up the mosh pit like a bat out of hell screaming throughout the night. New bassist Joel Graham provided part of the most devastating backline support alongside vocalist/ guitarist Matt Drake, and prepare themselves for thrash assaults for lead guitarist Ol Drake.
The gig is the best I’ve seen in a long time with the best quote from Matt about their new song they were showcasing for the first time tonight:

“We have a new song for you!!! The only trouble is we have no name for it! Can you think of any?”

For which the crowd came up with some titles with hilarious names. Finally for one night only one was chosen out of the hat: “Tossers Jobpot Cock and Balls”.

“Awesome. This song eveyone is called “Tossers Jobpot Cock & Balls”.”


Another classic quote from Matt nearing the end of the night the band were running over the curfew:

“We’re Evile and we are in trouble!”

Naughty indeed but 10/10 HeadBangs gets my vote.




The Prophecy, Nomads Son, Mortallicum at The Snooty Fox in Wakefield,West Yorkshire

Tonight Marcus Hind and myself Sam Lloyd had the priveledge and honour of being able to check out The Prophecy Nomads Son and Mortallicum at The Snooty Fox in Wakefield.

We would have loved to check out the previous bands but we were busy earlier today in the studio at Phoenixfm with the above mentioned bands doing a DoomFest Special.

Well what can we say.


We got there literally just in time to get to the bar purchase a beer and before we knew it The Prophecy were on!Ya!

They sounded brilliant all the way through their set which consisted of mostly Into The Light numbers but with a couple of back catalogue numbers thrown in for good measure from Ashes.

The place was packed and the crowd were going nuts for The Prophecy throughout their set.

I’ve not seen The Prophecy perform live since Bloodstock 2010 but this was great to be able to se em in my old haunt that is The Snooty Fox.

Before I knew it Matt Lawson and co were finishing off what looked and sounded like a pitch pefect set and oncoming were Nomads Son who we’d previously interviewed in the afternoon down at the studios at PhoenixFm.


All the way from sunny Malta to play here in good old Wakey.

They were great live and played numerous crowd pleasers.Albert worked the crowd well and they were begging for more by the end of their set.

Nomad Son played songs off their latest offering and from their previous album too much to The Snooty Fox crowds plaeasure.There was arms and hair flying about all over and lots of singing along.

Nomad Son were much loved by their crowd and I’m sure that if we’d have had more time the crowd would ahve gone crrrrrrazzzzzy for some more but hey on with the show we go.


I have to be honest in that I’d not listened to any of their material previously but I was blown away by how great they sounded.

They charged on to the stage like true Vikings and made it quite clear that they were more than ready to roccccccccccccckkkk!

Again The Snooty crowd were going bonkers for em and were shouting out song requests and various other obscurities.

The place was moving and Mortallicum were kicking out some fab tunes for us headbanging masses.

I have to say that all in all tonight was the best gig I’ve been to in a while at The Snooty.The sound for all the bands we saw was spot on.

  Thankyou Mr Shipman!

My only complaint is(lol) that it didnt go on for long enough.We could hve quite happily stayed for another hour or so getting into it and having a trully great time.

Thankyou to The Prophecy and their pals for a fab  night and lets hope we can see more of all the bands in the near future.

The Travelling Band,A Rookery

Now I know we’re e metal/alternative show but I felt compelled to review these as I thorughly enjoyed the gig and its all about promoting good music as far as I’m concerned.
This eve I dragged myself out of the house to see The Travelling Band and A Rookery.I say dragged because I was exhausted from lack of sleep the previous night due to there being a crisis at the place I work.
We ll anyway to cut a long story short I was very impressed with all the performers I saw including the young man who was their support act.
His lyrics were way ahead of his young age and his music very punchy but not punky if you get my meaning?
I’ve had the pleasure of watching A Rookery beofre at another one of The Doghouse promotions events.
Listening to A Rookery reminds me of Grace Slick or Nico circa 1967.They were much tighter this time around and gave Arden Road Social club and Doghouse customers a very good show.A Rookery performed an array of their songs including a couple of their new e.p.

Now these really did get the crowd going so much so that a few peeps got up on the dance floor to shake their stuff.
They played a lot of tunage off their back catalogue and a few newbies which were very interesting.
Check em all out on Myspace.
I’m sure you wil not be disappointed folks!