Having returned from a weekend of metal in the North of Wales (Prestatyn to be precise) it was incredibly difficult to get back in the swing of things after such an amazing weekend. However trying to review one festival by oneself is nearly impossible, so for the most part as I focus on a lot of underground bands than the main big ones. I mean everyone knows how good Anthrax and Chimaira are live, so focused on the smaller bands such as Achren and Slam Cartel.
So first up on the Thursday night for the pre-party Firebrand Super Rock I am guessing weren’t to happy about being put on as the first band off the bill as it was the time when check-in was officially meant to start, so later on in the evening they pulled their van round to the chalet’s to play their own very special show for us. For me this was one of the definite highlights off the weekend as it was one of the most unexpected moments off the weekend. It also turned me onto them, so their plan definitely worked.
Following on from them, I headed over the Stage 2 and watched Dirty DC (8). With their full dress up with the school boy outfit, they really looked the part. They sounded extremely good but they are a cover band, and to headline the first night off the festival, it feels like a slight rip-off.
Friday night is where the real fun begins, and the first band I get over to see is Arthemis (9) on the 2nd stage. They were amazing and the vocals were absolutely spot on, which for power metal, is generally quite hard. These are definitely a band to watch.
Following on, and opening up the main stage were Diamond Plate (5) who for being only 18-19 and opening up the main stage it is quite a mean feat, and maybe the band weren’t ready for it, as they seemed a little lost on stage.
Slam Cartel (7) were on at the same time as Waylander and Chimaira, so they lost quite a lot of their crowd to these bands. Which is a shame as their energetic brand of southern rock was pretty good. Some parts were slightly off key and they have some pretty damn good songs.
Following on were Paradise Lost (8) who were really good, but they unfortunately lacked a lot of stage presence, but with their style of music, it wasn’t really needed. Played a lot of their classics mixed in with some of their newer works.
Anthrax were on after but I made the strategic decision to go see Achren (10) who for me were the highlight of the weekend. It was just unfortunate they lost a lot of their crowd to Anthrax as they were absolutely intense and brutal.
Following on were British thrash up and comers Evile (9) who are becoming quite a name on the live scene. My only disappointment for them was the fact that they played the exact same set as when I saw them last back in December.
Saturday kicked off with Cerebral Bore (7) who hadn’t slept since playing in Northen Ireland the previous night, so this wasn’t their best show and they cut the set short which was hugely disappointing.
Following on were Senser (3) who were absolutely horrendous, the only good thing about them were the riffs, but apart from that, I couldn’t stand them.
After taking a little break from the bands to go and get some food, I headed over to the 2nd stage to go and see Mortad (8) who were on top form, but they lost their crowd to Dream Evil which was disappointing. It was an extremely intense show but ended up with Somi sounding like she was losing her voice.
After missing Dream Evil I went and saw Amon Amarth (7) who whilst putting on a good show, could have done with better sound.
Finishing off the night and the weekend were Skindred (10) who had the crowd acting like putty in their hands. Benji was on absolutely top form and they absolutely killed the whole festival.
When Sunday came around it was time to head off home and back to normality with a 4 hour train journey. This was definitely one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.