DAY TWO and with scores of hangover victims getting right back on their horses and medicating themselves with hair of the dog, it's not exactly the ideal setting for Hampshire goth metallers SEASON'S END (KKKKK) to be stealing the show with a jaw-dropping display of beautiful, elegant dark hymns. But that's just what they do, and by God do they do it well, making an acoustic set by ex-Magnum half-pint BOB CATLEY (KK) seem even less interesting. Fortunately, AFTER FOREVER (KKKK) are on hand to redress the balance thanks to some impressive female vocals and the most operatic version of Maiden's 'The Evil That Men Do' you've ever heard.
For those who fancy something a bit heavier, AMON AMARTH (KKKK) deliver the Viking metal goods big style, causing a mass outbreak of headbanging to their almighty tunes of war, before CATHEDRAL (KKKK) doom it up something rotten. Even with a shorter set than usual, there's nothing to complain about with the earthshaking grooves of 'Ride' and 'Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)' getting so many booties shaking. WITHIN TEMPTATION (KKKK) are as visually grandiose as they are sonically with their onstage pillars and light show, and bring a fantastic close to another year at the best metal soiree in Britain.