Friday 16th March
The first band of the day was Arthemis.
These guys are from Italy and being the first band on i really wasnt expecting too much from them, to say i was blown away was an understatement.
Their energy and stage presence was outstanding and had the crowd on their side right from the first note. Vocalist Alessio Garavello had a great singing voice with some serious power metal screams throughout the set. The energy and composure of these guys was truly outstanding and was a great wake up for all who were hungover from the night before.
They seemed to have quite a large following judging by the crowds reaction to them, so for them being on first seemed very strange but this didn’t matter at all as they were great fun to watch. 8/10
The next band of the day was Heavens Basement.
Some home grown talent, these hard rock guys from England certainly exploded onto the stage and began ploughing through their set and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. Having toured with bands all over Europe with bands such as Papa Roach, Buckcherry and appearing at Sonisphere and Download I was very shocked that the crowd really didn’t seem to enjoy what was happening on stage.
Apart from a few obvious fans the rest of the crowd really just seemed to stand there not really getting into it.
This was a shame because these guys really had some great stage presence and certainly knew how to rock out on stage. 7/10
The next band we caught was the mighty Chimaira.
Its been a long time since these guys have played over here but you wouldn’t of guessed it from their set. Their brutal metal sound that they are so easily recognisable from is still there, the set was as tight as tight can be and the crowd certainly loved every sweat fuelled minute of it.
Mark’s vocals at times did sound a bit tired but to be honest when your screaming into a mic as powerfully as he does i think that can be forgiven.
Every track throughout the set was a barrage of energy and extreme aggression.
The pit got extremely violent at times and even circle pits opening up all over the hall. Its great to see these guys playing over here again and judging by the crowds response they shouldn’t leave it too long before coming back. 8/10
The next band of the night is Paradise Lost.
These gothic metal titans really need no introduction. Tonights show was absolutely amazing, playing tracks from pretty much all their albums in the back catalogue.
Paradise Lost seem to have a new energy about them on stage and in their music, I think this comes from the injection of new drummer Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates and Ex Cradle of Filth) who really gives the bands heart beat a new and harder beat all together.
Tracks like their now legendary As I Dies and Once solemn really smashed some serious power in the pit, also mixing it up with tracks from their One Second album too. A few tracks from their new album were played which went down a treat with the crowd.
To be fair though, with the stage presence of this band there isn’t a thing these guys could’ve done wrong tonight, it was outstanding to say the least! 10/10
Following Paradise Lost is the legendary Anthrax.
Hailed as one of the big four it was great to see these guys playing a smaller venue such as pontins as oposed to the bigger stages at Sonisphere.
Here it all seemed so much more personal and so much more could be taken from the gig by the fans.
From the outset Anthrax just unleashed their brand of thrash metal upon the crowd playing a mass of tracks spanning their extremely long but amazing career.
The power and energy of vocalist Joey Belladonna was enough to make you feel tired just watching him run around the stage, singing, headbanging and jumping all around. 10/10
Even more thrash follows with British thrashers Evile.
These guys have gone from strength to strength over the years and have played a huge part in bringing pure thrash back into the scene.
Tonight’s show is a non stop balls to the wall lesson in how to totally destroy those that are left standing in the pit. There wasn’t one person in the crowd not headbanging or jumping about during the whole of the set, drinks were spilt and bodies were flying all around.
This really was a great sight to see and really shows that there are still some bands around pumping some real metal back into what is becoming a very stagnent genre at the moment.
It seems the more Evile play the more fans they get and the bigger they get, lets just hope at some point other bands start out and take note of these guys and begin to create more hard hitting metal. 9/10