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 Hell/Beholder - Live Review From The Rescue Rooms In Nottingham, UK

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Join date : 2014-02-25
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PostHell/Beholder - Live Review From The Rescue Rooms In Nottingham, UK

The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK Wednesday 2nd July 2014


Before I start writing this I have to make an apology. I wasn't down as Press for this event. I paid my way like everyone else because I'm a big fan of both bands. Usually that means letting my thinning hair down, having a pint (or three) and meeting up with mates just to enjoy myself. All of that did happen, however, this was such a damn fine gig that I thought, "sod it, I'm still going to do a write up", hence the photos are not brilliant because we didn't have all the proper gear with us. So excuse picture quality (taken on my phone!), but you are still getting a review so don't moan too much!

As usual, The Rescue Rooms were boiling, especially as it was a hot evening, so it was a trip to the bar first before checking out the stage. What was immediately noticeable was Hell had brought so much equipment that Beholder would be pushed right to the front, drums included. This proved to be the case, but as they squeezed onto the space available there were no frowns, just huge smiles all around. A good crowd had already congregated to watch this Coventry & Leicester based five piece and this performance proved why they have such a good following!

If you've never heard Beholder then it's time to remedy that mistake. They are a thunderous Heavy Metal beast managing to take Traditional British Metal, mix it with a more Modern sound and top if off with some Thrash creating something that could stop a squadron of Scorpion Tanks in their tracks. Vocalist Simon Hall is a mountain of a man, with a voice to match, but the size of the grin on his face during this gig told you how much this support slot meant to him and chatting with him briefly afterwards was an absolute pleasure! He also jumped down from the stage on a couple of occasions to join various people in the crowd.

Guitarists Scott Taylor & Martyn Blackwell scythed through the riffs and solos like a hot knife through butter and the rhythm team of Si Fielding on bass and Chris Bentley on drums (It was actually great to see a drummer that near to the front of the stage) were tighter than a camel's arse in a sandstorm! Beholder didn't have a huge amount of time to play with but they made the most of every single second and anybody in the crowd who wasn't familiar with them at the beginning sure knew about them at the end of this bulldozing and crushing set. I'll be seeing them twice more this year and I cannot wait. In the meantime their two excellent albums 'The Awakening' (2009) and 'The Order Of Chaos' (2013) are going to be on heavy rotation in my house and I suggest you check both out!

After getting some air and heading back into position it was now apparent that the crowd had swelled quite a bit in size. Considering this is Festival season it was great to see so many people had made the trip to see Hell (this was a warm up gig for their London appearance in Hyde Park two days later alongside Black Sabbath). Mind you, Hell are an incredibly special band, with an incredibly sad and tragic back story and to finally see them getting the credit they deserve after so many years is a joy to behold! In the five or so years since re-emerging thanks to the efforts of Uber Producer Andy Sneap (who is also one half of the guitar team) Hell have released two extraordinary albums 'Human Remains' (2011) and 'Curse And Chapter' (2013), both of which have been my albums of those particular years and have established themselves as one of the finest live metal bands in this country as well as further afield. Their special headline 2013 gig in Derby, UK was, apart from Queen in 1986, the best gig I have ever attended and this wasn't that far behind. This stage wasn't anywhere big enough to take their entire production, but as good as that is, Hell don't really need it. In Dave Bower they have one of the most focussed, entertaining and downright superb frontmen in music. It's a total performance, with his acting and theatre work coming right to the fore and that's without mentioning his incredible voice which is very similar to original vocalist Dave Halliday (R.I.P)

It's not just Dave though, the rest of the band Kev Bower (Guitars, Keyboard), Tony Speakman (Bass), Tim Bowler (Drums) and Andy Sneap are utterly captivating, you just cannot take your eyes off any of them, and the music, well the music is magnificent! When Hell were first around, as an underground band in the early 80's, they were so far ahead of their time that people didn't understand them, but now people really get what they are about and it's about bloody time. All that went wrong tonight was the heat messing about with a couple of the in-between song sound samples, but hey, what are warm up gigs for, if not to iron out the niggles! One thing you would have noticed, if you were at this gig, was the amount of other bands and musicians who had come to watch Hell and that is testament to how many have been influenced by them over the years.

As usual I cannot say enough good things about Hell without sounding like a total fanboy, but then I am! I would still tell you if something wasn't right but I've never seen this bunch deliver anything other than class personified and Beholder were the perfect support act! What a fabulous evening with great friends and I cannot wait to revisit Hell when they support Saxon on their UK Tour later in the year! Stunning!

More pics of HELL

BrutifulEnt's HELL album on Photobucket

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley

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