Sonisphere 2014 @ Knebworth, UK

Sonisphere 2014 SATURDAY

Opening the Main Stage on a Saturday morning might not seem like the easiest task to do, but UK’s djent monsters TESSERACT (4/5) don’t seem to bother much about the possible hangovers that might reduce the size of their potential crowd. Despite the early hours and multiple headaches, TesseracT guys manage to gather quite a crowd and put on a show fuelled by huge bass sound, out-of-space melodics and sharp guitar riffs.

With their most recent singer Ashe O’Hara out of the picture and their previous singer Daniel Tompkins back in the band, TesseracT appear to be in a great shape and rather excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the ones to open the 2nd day of Sonisphere 2014.

TesseracT, sounding stronger than ever, prove that Daniel Tompkins being back in the band is, most definitely, a positive thing. Performing five songs off their debut EP Concealing Fate while also throwing in “April” off their first album One, TessercT put on a show to entertain and please any of the bands true fans. (Anna)

Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception
Concealing Fate, Part 3: The Impossible
Concealing Fate, Part 4: Perfection
Concealing Fate, Part 5: Epiphany
Concealing Fate, Part 1: Acceptance

Sonisphere 2014
Sonisphere 2014

You’d be hard pressed to find a band which has the metal community so divided as BABYMETAL (4/5). You might go into this thinking “It’s an abomination against Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag”, but for us, that all changed after seeing BABYMETAL play the Main stage.

Take the ‘cute’ element away, and the music itself is legit, and can hold itself against a lot of today’s bands. Their song “Megitsune” is a great example of just that for you to see where we’re coming from.

The ‘cute’ side, however, can be a bit much at times though – imagine a whole set of anime intro music (those of you who get the reference will understand how grating that potentially can be). The choreographed dance moves, though, makes this into a spectacle, and all the cuteness can be overlooked, as everything else proves that they can hang with the best of them at such a big stage like this. (Ryan)

Babymetal Death
Gimme Chocolate!!
Catch Me If You Can
Ijime Dame Zettai

Striding confidently onto the stage, the procession of GHOST is strong in front of a huge crowd of both curiosity seekers and devotees.


Opening with the anthem “Year Zero” the nameless ghouls perform flawlessly through a set list taking material from not only both their albums, but also their recent EP of covers; and “If You Have Ghost” proves to be a loud and proud fan favourite below the dying Knebworth sun.


As the set draws to a far too early and emotional close with the ritualistic “Monstrance Clock”, it is undeniable that the Swedes have earned their spot on the main stage, and are deserving of an even higher ranking on the bill.


Next band we get to catch on the Main Stage are thrash metal legends ANTHRAX (5/5) appearing at Sonisphere 2014 for the second time already. As always, one of the best live metal acts around and, also, one of the most fun metal bands to watch live, Anthrax are in great shape and ready to smash it once again.


After their very successful appearance on Bohemia stage on Friday, Scott Ian’s presence, his inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm is thoroughly captivating, while Joey Belladonna simply owns the stage by throwing countless devil horns towards the crowd gathered to see them play the Main Stage.


Classics, like “I Am the Law”, “Indians” and “Antisocial” get the crowd beyond excited as the band oversees few serious circle pits opening up across the Arena. “Man On The Silver Mountain” has already become an important and significant part of Anthrax performance as a remembrance of the legendary musicians Dimebag Darrell and Dio and celebration of their legacy that still lives on to this very day.


Anthrax clearly still got what it takes to put on a show that’s loud, aggressive and full of endless positive energy to put everyone at the festival in a great mood. …Just what the doctor ordered! (Anna)


I Am the Law
Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t
Got the Time (Joe Jackson cover)
In the End
Antisocial (Trust cover)

Next up on the 2nd stage are CARCASS (4/5) delivering a performance of no gimmicks, no thrills, just all out fury!


The melodic death metal titans, are ferocious, yet some might say their set was too short, and ended just as they were about to hit their stride.


But the band, as always, shows their class when their previous drummer Ken Owen takes to the drum stool for the finale. Considering the horrible brain haemorrhage business he went through back in 1999, the feels level in the crowd is at an all-time high. (Ryan)


Corporal Jigsore Quandary
Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
Unfit for Human Consumption
This Mortal Coil
The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills
Captive Bolt Pistol
Ruptured in Purulence / Heartwork (with Ken Owen introduction)


It was business as usual for SLAYER (4.5/5) who came, destroyed and conquered.

No offence to the late Jeff Hanneman, but there’s something about Slayer playing live with Gary Holt (Exodus), which makes them up their game.

It was clear straight from the get go that this is going to be a different story to Slayer headlinging Bloodstock Open Air 2013 the previous year, and by that mean – Slayer manage live up to their status as one of the greatest bands in metal to the fullest. (Let’s be honest here, heir performance at BOA 2013 was quite terrible, wasn’t it!?).

Slayer performance at Sonisphere is as good as it gets given the circumstances. Yes, it’ll always be the same set, but when it contains such gems as ‘Dead Skin Mask’, ‘Angel of Death’ and, of course, ‘Raining Blood’, who cares if it’s the same set as 10, 15 even 20 years ago!? (Ryan)

Hell Awaits
The Antichrist
Hate Worldwide
Mandatory Suicide
Captor of Sin
War Ensemble
Seasons in the Abyss
Dead Skin Mask
Raining Blood (without the last part)
Black Magic
South of Heaven
Angel of Death

Sonisphere 2014
Sonisphere 2014

IRON MAIDEN (5/5) are a band that needs no introduction. Imagine a set where every single one of your favourite Maiden songs are squeezed into a 90 minutes long set.

Every metal head has grown up listening to Iron Maiden, and for the band to churn out chunks of magic one after another is an absolute delight, which quite frankly, was missing the previous times we’ve seen Maiden.

You name it – ‘Aces High’, ‘The Trooper’, ‘Fear Of The Dark’ – the list goes on and on and on, and today Iron Maiden make sure that all songs are played to perfection. Yet, what else do you expect from a band of their stature!?

There are no bad points during Iron Maiden set, except one; the lovely view a tall guys back for the majority of the set, curses for being so vertically challenged! (Ryan)

Can I Play with Madness
The Prisoner
2 Minutes to Midnight
The Trooper
The Number of the Beast
Phantom of the Opera
Run to the Hills
Wasted Years
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden
Aces High
The Evil That Men Do




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