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 Rock & Metal Circus Festival - 9/22/2013 (Day 3 - Part 2)

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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 2)

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

Here we go then, we were on the final run of bands leading up to the conclusion of the first Rock & Metal Circus and I'll leave a few thoughts until the very end!

Up next on this second mammoth day of action were Balls Deep from Stoke-On-Trent, UK. They get the prize for best band name of the weekend and also put on one of the most energetic shows I've seen this side of Pantera. Hold on you say, they have a harsh vocalist! Yes, they do, but this is exactly how to do harsh vocals. Rich 'Bez' Beresford still has passion and diversity in his delivery and that makes a huge difference. Couple that with the superb and thoroughly groove laden metal onslaught from the rest of the band and you have a winning combination!

Watching Meta-Stasis for the first time was like running headlong into a maze blindfolded! They are a Technical/Experimental Death Metal band, or as they call themselves Alien/Psycho Metal. Looking like they've escaped the clutches of Leatherface to team up with Slipknot they delivered by far the most extreme set of the weekend. There was too much going on for me to fully understand what they are all about, I need to be more familiar with the material, but they displayed absolutely staggering musicianship and I'll certainly be checking out their album!

LIfer, from South Wales, are a band I'm more than familiar with. I've chatted with them a few times in the past, I saw them destroy Bloodstock 2011 and Hammerfest 2013 with their Southern Doom and Sludge laden grooves and Sunday's prize for funniest offstage band goes to them. Fresh from another Bloodstock appearance they played the only way Lifer know how and that's heavy as lead and brilliantly. Vocalist 'Scriv' is a monster frontman and every line he spits makes you feel like your dodging bullets. Along with guitarists 'Web' & 'Leeroy', bassist 'Sam' and drummer 'Greg' they are like a battering ram of pure energy. Their Facebook page describes them as "catchier than a truck full of bare breasted STD ridden nuns" and I'm not about to disagree!.

A band I'm a huge fan of are Reign Of Fury. I love my thrash metal and there are some excellent newer bands coming through who's sound hark back to the early days of the German, British and Bay Area greats. Reign Of Fury are one of the best and they put on another sterling performance. They did seem a little more static than when I last saw them about three months ago, but they did play without resident bassist Matt Earl who was unable to make the trip. Their songs are killer though and in 'Magic' Dave Humphries they have a superb drummer and very interesting person to chat to!

If Balls Deep provided the most energy as a collective over the course of the weekend then Sam Morter, vocalist with Skreamer, easily won the individual award. Christ, you could run a power station off of this guy and he would still have more to give. Skreamer are another band who have huge and thunderous classic metal riffs but mix them up with harsher, more modern sounding vocals and it works a treat. There were more than a few very tired people in the audience now but Skreamer didn't let go until every last ounce of energy and sweat was squeezed out of them. Great stuff!

What do you do if your album has just been released to great press and you want to celebrate the fact? Well in Wretched Soul's case it was play two gigs in one day! They had already appeared at London's 'Hammer Smashed Fest' earlier in the day and arrived just in time to play their second set and guess what, they were great. Wretched Soul play old school Death/Thrash Metal but they have just enough of a contemporary twist to engage fans young and old. Another fab band and plenty of praise from me for managing to play both festivals! Can I also apologise to them for lack or photos. I'm afraid they just didn't come out!

Enemo-J were a fairly late replacement band (and they have already been confirmed for next year's lineup). They play a more modern sounding 'metal' mixing influences such as Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot and Machine Head with samples. I have to say that the vocals of Craig Hartwell are of the shouted type I'm not so keen on but he, and the band, do put on an extremely energetic show and female guitarist Danielle T'arna is very good!

Collapse were given the dubious honour of headlining the Sunday night and of course being the final band of the festival. I say dubious honour because Sunday Headliners at events, such as this, don't get the best crowd. Many people are extremely tired and sitting down or packing and plenty of others have already left because it's back to work on Monday morning. However, Collapse still put on a good set of Death/ Thrash infused metal with plenty of groove, although bringing their own sound man did them no favours as he just wasted time getting to grips with the desk!

There we have it then, the first Rock & Metal Circus. It was a brilliant weekend, with hardly any issues from anyone whatsoever and the weather was good. It's a shame that not all of the bands got huge crowds but that will change as the event grows and according to the figures it was a respectable number that turned up over the course of the three days. Roarrock deserve huge credit for pulling together such a top quality lineup but I don't think I'm the only one to say that the events on Saturday and Sunday started too early. Of course Roarrock wanted to provide value for money (which they certainly did), but considering everything was on one stage nearly 50 bands is an awful lot to take in. A few less bands next year with a 12.00-1.00pm start time, and a slightly earlier finishing time on the Sunday, wouldn't be seen as a backwards step by any means, because increased activity outside with more stalls would fill the gap and more people would be around for the later Sunday bands!

It was an absolute pleasure to be there for the first one and for it to be the first live event I have covered. All of the Roarrock staff and crew deserve medals for not only running everything pretty much perfectly but also for pulling double duty as security for the event. Huge thanks must also go to the members of Black Acid Souls who tirelessly helped tech for all the bands, as well as loads of other jobs and of course many thanks go to the staff from the Stoke Prior Club. Atmosphere wise it was incredibly relaxed with bands and fans able to talk freely and mingle, let's keep it that way please! Lastly, I would like to thank all of the bands for putting on such great performances and for so many of them to come over for a chat or an interview. Helen and I were made to feel extremely welcome by everyone and we cannot wait to be back again next year to do it all again!

Review written for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

*All photos by Helen Tilley

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