Sunday is meant to be a day of rest, but HRH Metal didn’t quite get the message.
HRH Mag’s Richard Holmes reports on another noisy day in Birmingham as he delivers his Day Two wrap:
Speaking after their show, Sodom’s Tom Angelripper told us that keeping all of the band’s fans happy was an almost impossible task, given the depth of the Germans’ back catalogue. Yet the thrash masters certainly gave it a good go…and their loyal legions didn’t look disappointed come closing time.
Highlights? Where do you start? The rampaging, proto-black metal of Blasphemer carved the venue into pieces, Agent Orange was a firestorm of whirlwind thrash, M16 stomped HRH Metal into quivering submission. The trio will also have been pleased to see the rabid reaction to newer material such as show opener In Retribution and Caligula, which slotted in seamlessly into a setlist strewn with classics.
We may never see Sodom playing at the Grammys with a gyrating Lady Gaga, but who cares? Messrs Angelripper, Kost and Freiwald certainly don’t. They know their place in thrash history is assured and thanks to performances like this, are still living up to their illustrious name.
Blast From The Past
Booting huge green balloons into the audience, spraying party foam, generally having a right old giggle… yep, it could only be Lawnmower Deth. The crossover thrashers may have formed back in ’87, but the ensuing years haven’t diminished their infectious energy, as songs like F.A.T. proved. Metal can be too serious for its own good at times, and you need Pete Lee and the boys to bring it down a peg or two.
Donkerkarnuffel. They may dress like murderous circus-folk, but this quartet weren’t clowning around as they hit the third stage. Armed with tracks like Bedlam At The Big Top, The Londoners sprayed a bloody mix of death metal and grindcore out into a lively crowd… and HRH Metal lapped it up.
Forget Eddie or Vic Rattlehead, Hell had singer David Bower, who at one point strode on to the stage atop a pair of giant furry goat legs… and wearing colossal devil horns. You don’t need an automated mascot when you have a showman like Dave fronting your band. He even threw in a little bit of self-flagellation too…
Cover Of The Day
A tribute from one power trio to another, Sodom delivered a barnstorming cover of Motörhead’s Iron Fist, Tom Angelripper even adjusting his mic position for Lemmy-like authenticity. They are Sodom and they play rock ‘n’ roll.
And speaking of Mr Kilmister and co. The Heretic Order had the third stage roaring along to Killed By Death, as their version of the ‘head classic blasted out of the PA.
Ones To Watch
It may be early days for The Heretic Order, but they certainly deserved their place as third stage headliners. Why? Because they fired up a packed room with high octane, punchy, metal-plated rock ‘n’ roll. Because of the stage presence of Lord Ragnar Wagner, who exuded confidence and brought no shortage of theatre to proceedings. Because they can write fine songs like Snake. Watch them rise.
Derange look like an exciting proposition too, with the Londoners impressing with their soaring melodies and djent-like grooves.
And There’s More…
UK black metallers Winterfylleth have always been a powerful live act – thanks in most part to the sheer grandeur of their music. Yet Sunday’s set showed that the band are continuing to hone their skills, especially vocally, and the results were outstanding.
Speaking of black metal, it was a shame that more people didn’t make it to the second stage to see Brits Hecate Enthroned unleash the forces of darkness – The Pagan Swords of Legend was particularly impressive.
*Images By HRH Mag Festivals Photographer Simon Dunkerley