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 Rock & Metal Circus Festival - 9/22/2013 (Day 3 - Part 1)

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostRock & Metal Circus Festival - 9/22/2013 (Day 3 - Part 1)

Rock & Metal Circus Festival, Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club, Bromsgrove, UK
Sunday 22nd September 2013 (Day Three Part One)

Waking up early on a misty Sunday morning I made a trip to the outside toilets to discover that was where most of the crane flies appeared to be resting. It was like walking into an Alien breeding area on the 'Nostromo'!! (I know, I watch too many horror and sci-fi films). With the feeling I was being watched by several hundred pairs of tiny eyes I made my way back to the tent to prepare for day three of the festival! After a while a few people started to appear looking a little worse for wear, which only proved what a good Saturday we had all enjoyed. There was to be no rest for the wicked though, and with the crew already on hand to prepare for the arrival of the first bands it was all systems go as today would see another sixteen acts from a variety of genres!

Unlike some reviewers, I was on a mission to see every band, so even though this final day wasn't musically split like Saturday I am still going to review it in two parts!

As befits a nice relaxed Sunday morning, the first artist on stage was 'Esme' and her acoustic set. A very attractive, funny and lovely lady she is, but I'm afraid her voice did absolutely nothing for me whatsoever! Again this is just personal preference as opposed to her actually being bad. Esme does have a good following so you might think completely differently from me.

Putting an acoustic set on first was very thoughtful of the organisers, or so I thought, but it was all a ruse to lull us into a false sense of security because then Spiral Dive hit the stage and delivered an excellent set of balls out, dirty Rock & Metal which woke the crowd into something resembling human! Any thoughts of sore heads or aching limbs were swiftly banished as fists started to pump and heads started to nod. Normal service had been resumed and so had the drinking! Well done Spiral Dive for delivering a great gig at an ungodly hour on a Sunday morning!

With everyone now looking a lot less like an episode from 'The Walking Dead' Schemata Theory arrived. They are a six pieced metalcore band from Reading, UK and as you should all know by now 'core' music isn't my thing, but Schemata Theory, with their twin clean and harsh vocal attack are actually very good. They injected a lot of different styles into their music, had plenty of energy & groove and were very tight. Apparently this was only their 8th gig so a huge amount of praise must go to the band for coming across so professionally!

How do you describe The Mariana Hollow? That's a question I'm still trying to answer over three weeks after witnessing them. Hauntingly beautiful are the two words that keep coming to mind and those words can also describe lead vocalist Rebecca Spinks who has one of the most unique voices and deliveries I've heard and seen. This is certainly not your average female fronted metal band. Progressive, Gothic, Alternative, Metal, Rock and other genres are all delivered with a cohesive sadness and passion that's difficult to explain but I'll try with another sentence. The Mariana Hollow are superb, imaginative and unique!

I only managed to catch some of Designs Of Chaos set due to an interview but I'll say two things. Firstly, after The Mariana Hollow's excellent set, just about any band would have struggled to compete, and secondly whilst Designs Of Chaos were tight, and thanks to the sound guys had an excellent mix, their brand of core tinged metal with barked vocals sounded like far too many other bands around these days and there was nothing to distinguish them from the crowd.

Returning from my interview, I managed to catch the second half of Silent Descent's set. Musically they are quite an interesting listen (they describe themselves as Trance Metal!), but once again I was let down by the harsh vocal parts. Even though they utilise sung choruses, harsh vocals also need to have variation. Screaming at the microphone at one volume like it's not switched on just doesn't float my boat. It's an issue I have with many young bands these days!

As I waited for Splintered Soul to arrive I realised just how tired I was. That feeling didn't last for long though because they were absolutely fantastic. Their female fronted power/progressive metal had heaps of Celtic and Film Score influences and the whole band looked thoroughly ecstatic to be playing which invigorated the crowd. Vocalist Erica Mengod is tiny in stature but massive of voice and rather than a second guitarist the band have the gorgeous Sally Jo on six string electric violin and damn can she play! With an album release imminent Splintered Soul are very definitely a name to watch out for!

Diaries Of A Hero are another young band who could be described as alternative metal. It means that the vocal delivery (even though they are better than some) doesn't really do much for me, but...they do have something that makes them stand out from their peers and that is plenty of riffs, melody and fabulous guitar work. Sometimes great musicianship gets lost behind the singing but with Diaries Of A Hero it shines! If you are an Alt/Modern Metal fan then this is the band for you.

With eight acts down but still eight to go on this final day could the Rock & Metal Circus Festival 2013 keep the momentum going? You'll have to wait just a little bit longer to find out!

Review written exclusiely for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

Schemata Theory, The Mariana Hollow, Designs Of Chaos and Silent Descent photos by Helen Tilley

Esme, Spiral Dive, Splintered Soul and Diaries Of A Hero photos courtesy of Rob Nankivell

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