Yet another great event put on by the organisers of Bloodstock, featuring a quality bill of British and European metal.
First up were Italy's Warchild and as ever these guys were fired up to deliver. In fact they seemed to cram the endless energy they put into a full length set into the brief five songs tonight. Part of this was down to new bassist Domenico Bottalico. Frank Janniko was a great player, but Bottalico, who tonight acknowledged our country by wearing an England rugby shirt, adds an additional presence to the band.
If you could have only picked four Warchild songs then you would have surely been satisfied with tonight's set. Life Goes On is a real statement of intent, whilst Nothing To Share and Starless Sky blaze along with pure metal class. The Preacher for me is Warchild at the top of their game, but tonight we are introduced to a new song with the chugging The Last Dreamer which was certainly up to scratch.
Warchild set list:
Life Goes On / Nothing To Share / The Last Dreamer / The Preacher / Starless Sky
Through gritted teeth of determination Andrew Troth announced to the crowd "I'm f**king up for this" and there was no doubting that assertion as Reckless Tide launched into a set of manic German thrash.
The band feature two vocalists, with Troth handling the lower range growls and Kjell Hallgreen the higher range and occasional clean vocal. Whilst these two may be the voice of the band it was guitarist Susanne Swillus that the photographers were falling over each other to photograph. Portly, co-guitarist Oliver Jaath, in Kreator shirt, is probably more the expected look of a Germanic thrasher, but the pair link up well, down-picking like their life's depended upon it to the likes of Death Train.
A quick crowd poll has Metallica beating Kreator for the choice of cover and a speedy version of Motorbreath followed. The band have already appeared at Wacken Open Air and with a guest appearance by Annihilator's Jeff Waters on their recent Repent Or Steal Your Fate album, it would seem Reckless Tide are on the ascendancy.
Reckless Tide set list:
Desperation / Misery / Equality / Self Destruct / Death Train / Motorbreath / Lebende
When there's a few bands playing it always seems that at least one band suffers from technical difficulties and tonight that fell upon Season's End. Opening song Touch was blighted by problems with the issue seemingly with Becki Clark's monitors which concluded with a trip to the sound desk. Things picked up from there on, however it appeared the bad start had wrong footed them somewhat with between song banter replaced with discussions with the sound engineer
As I had said in my recent review of Autumn, the female fronted gothic metal genre is becoming rather saturated and there has to be one or two casualties. However, with songs as strong as Ghost In My Emotion and the variety of Nothing After All, complete with pedal to the floor section, Season's End are one of the best bands of this genre our country has to offer.
Hopefully the band will get a better rub of the green for their mainstage Bloodstock appearance in September.
Season's End set list:
Touch / Into The Flames / Nothing After All / A Ghost In My Emotion
By contrast it doesn't take a brain surgeon to master the sound-desk for Fourwaykill. The band are masters at mixing staccato and groove in a manner that would have had Dimebag nodding in approval.
Opening with their video track, 24 Hours To Die certainly grabbed the crowd by the balls and like a pitbull with lockjaw they never let up. With his blonde mowhawk, vocalist Chris is the focal point of the band. The 6 point 6,6 of Trigger saw him crawling across the stage and such is his command that when he orders the crowd to move forward before Deadweight, not one person disobeyed.
Jay, Rob and Podge leave Chris to his madness, not to say that they are redundant however, as the three combine tightly to make the likes of Reclamation Right a joy to behold.
The band are currently working on a new album, fittingly titled Aggressor, and if the title track aired tonight is anything to go by then Fourwaykill appear to be getting even more vicious. Roll on Bloodstock Open Air.
Fourwaykill set list:
24 Hours To Die / Trigger / Removing Face / Deadweight / Tappin The Vein / Reclamation Rite / Aggressor / Anti-All / Discipline
It's just shy of a year since I first caught Panic Cell and in that time I have managed to catch them live on eight occasions. You'd expect with essentially the same set of songs at some point during those gigs the band would be less than 100%, but that has never happened (check back my reviews if you don't believe me!).
Perhaps inspired by their support of a blistering Testament the previous night, Panic Cell seemed to up a gear tonight. A brief instrumental opening built anticipation for the set which commenced with Damn Self Pity. Rather than play carbon copies of their recorded material, the band appear to be stretching out and actually improving their songs, with Nothing featuring an excellent twin guitar salvo from Harjeet Virdee & Kelly Downes and some tapping during The End.
Lee Turner's ratatat drum intro gave way to a brutal Shallow and Utter Madness was as catchy as ever. Once again, bassist Bobby Town and vocalist Luke Bell were playing tricks on each other with tonight's game consisting of spitting water in each other's faces. As fittingly The End closed the evening a massive mouthful of water exploding into Luke's meant Bobby took the honours in that game.
Panic Cell deservedly have the honour of opening Bloodstock Open air this summer and either side of that are the small matters of appearances at both Download and Wacken Open Air.
Panic Cell set list:
Instrumental Intro / Damn Self Pity / Nothing / Shallow / Utter Madness / Save Me / Away From Here / The End