FESTIVAL REVIEW: Download Festival 2022 Part II


My Saturday at Download began over at the main stage where I caught the retro new wave of classic rock act Those Damn Crows, a band who have amassed a significant following in Wales thanks to appearances at the likes of Steelhouse Festival and other rock-oriented affairs. Possibly one of the smallest acts to perform on the main stage this year, the band spared no expense offering a fantastic wake-up call with some unremarkable if solid hard rock tunes. The day’s proceedings then continued firmly in the rocky territory with a southern, slightly heavier twang with Black Label Society, in their first festival appearance on UK soil since 2015, and with less of Zakk Wylde’s expectedly lengthy and tiresome soloing. Don’t get me wrong, Zakk was still doing his usual thing, but with a much-needed addition of percussion, making the moments of instrumental wankery much more palatable than usual.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Download Festival 2022 Part I


After a prolonged absence from the British metal scene courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic (save for a scaled-back pilot event in 2021), Leicestershire’s iconic summer rock, punk, and metal weekender, Download Festival returned to Castle Donnington in a maximalist blaze of glory, packing in a full-scale 5-day experience with some familiar favorites, hotly tipped up-and-comers and some of the best international acts that rock and metal scene has to offer.

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REVIEW: Manchester Metal 2 the Masses – Heats 1-7 – Rebellion Manchester


After the last few years of false starts and other covid related shenanigans the Manchester Metal 2 the Masses is once again underway. You probably know the drill, across the UK and slightly further afield, there are competitions held by Bloodstock festival. Unsigned bands compete in a battle of the bands format across the regions, and the winners get to play on the New Blood stage at the festival itself.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Dawn Ray’d – Agvirre – Underdark – Gospelheim – Live at FAC251, Manchester UK


First time at FAC 251 and it was a little strange. First impressions, it’s a strange little venue, steeped in Manchester history. This is the building that New Order famously built, and the Happy Mondays infamously destroyed. Being largely at the heart of the Manchester party scene it’s not exactly noted for hosting many metal gigs, but with Manchester still in the process of re-opening some of the regular places aren’t quite open yet. Continue reading


The European Metal Festival Alliance to Host Streaming Events This Summer


A consortium of European Metal Festivals, hurt by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have banded together to do some good and to create a unique online event for both bands and fans! Continue reading


LIVE REVIEW: Amon Amarth – Arch Enemy – Hypocrisy: Live at Birmingham Academy


There’s a wonderfully surreal moment in The Simpsons when Abe Simpson inexplicably proclaims, “the Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!”. Well, tonight in frosty Birmingham, that’s exactly what’s happening. Hailing from the land of Abba, Ikea, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, three of the finest exponents of melodic death metal have landed in Blighty to bang heads and kick bottom.Continue reading


FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2019


Now in its nineteenth year, the annual metal pilgrimage to Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Hall in Derbyshire was joined this year by a very special, but highly unstable, guest.

The weather.

Yes, I know it’s England in August, and we should be more than accustomed to inconsistent weather conditions, but this really was something else. Tents too hot to be inside one moment were waterlogged the next. People soaked to the skin by sudden, torrential downpours were suffering sunburn minutes later. Grass turned to mud, mud became rivers, and the unprecedented winds would go on to cause problems all of their own.Continue reading


SOS Fest XII – Part I: Live at The Longfield Suite


Time for one of the highlights of my year, the rather excellent SOS festival. A festival envisioned 12 years ago by Lynne Hampson of Rocksector Records as an antidote to the plethora of family un-friendly festivals around at the time. Continue reading