Openers Season's End are really developing into quite an exciting prospect. Their stagecraft is improving with every performance and their songs combine captivating melody with driving metal and enough intricacies to keep things interesting, with their musicianship beyond question. With vocalist Becki in superb form, the young Brits set high standards for the following bands to try and match.
I know that Leaves' Eyes have captured the heartws of many with their combination of whimsical folk and dramatic Euro metal, but they struggle to conjure up any energy or atmosphere on stage. The songs sound positively ordinary and only a guest appearance from Atrocity's Alex Krull, on 'Ocean's Way' really raises the excitement levels. Perversely, when Atrocity are on stage I seem to find watching Alex's outrageously long hair catching in the low-flying lighting rig one of the most interesting things about their set. The band all work hard and turn in a professional performance but to my ears the likes of 'Gods Of Nations', 'Enigma' and 'Blut' are resolutely average. Alex is definitely a good frontman and never stops exhorting the crowd to greater efforts and I'm briefly sucked in by the impressive 'Clash Of The Titans'. However, the effect doesn't last and the closing cover of Tears For Fears' 'Shout' is verging on the unforgivable.