Hammerfest really gets going on the Friday with more metaheads arriving
and the big guns are here to blast us into oblivion. I took the sensible
option of taking it easy the day before as today was going to be a busy
day for myself having to conduct a few interviews and also to check out
as many bands as humanely possible. Professionalism is the order of the
Queen Victoria pub, the Guardians Of Andromeda are commencing
battle at midday. One of many new battle metal bands ready for a fight,
the Guardians Of Andromeda have sharpened their swords in honour to
Manowar and Turisas and have some of the finest battle songs you will
hear on these British lands. Although their battlecry is from backing
tapes there is no disputing the excellence of their songs. Great fun,
their destiny will come sooner than expected.
Mercy House were something special, sounding like Judas Priest
overdosed on painkillers with some Halfordesqe deadly screams and
grinding riffs. This time last year everyone was talking about Furyon,
next year it will be the Mercy House. Killer metal, how it should be
their own stick of rock from Blackpool were Ravenface who were
actually babyfaced but had some manly deathly growls and head shattering
drumming. Like their home football team, things are looking up for
thrashers. Annihilation is coming your way.
were keen to make an impression judging by the amount of posters the
band had plastered everywhere. Arceye played to a packed house
displaying their hunger for metallic thrash and the boys earned
themselves a sponsorship deal with Dean Guitars after today's
time to leave the Queen Vic as my partner in crime Mr John Oakley was
arriving on site and I had to go and meet him to direct the fellow to
our chalet. The DJ Beerman was staying next door and we became friends
at last year's HRH as we were then room mates.
first batch of interviews were successfully out of the way I caught a
glimpse of Holy Grail most of the whom started life in
White Wizzard. Playing old school heavy metal with a hardened edge, the
Californians lived up to their promise of slaying a few dragons in Wales
thrashers Sylosis kept the younger thrash heads more than happy
and the band are getting tighter than ever.
metallers Wolf came out with all guns blazing looking sharp with
their Flying V guitars. The band played some skull crushing metal with a
tight sound harking bark to traditional heavy metal. Songs like 'I
Will Kill Again' and 'Speed On' was pure metal mayhem.
most dressed as Romans the day before, today many had faces painted in
red and black markings for our Viking heores Turisas who raped
and pillaged Prestatyn with this performance.
conquering performance where Turisas were out for blood. During their
cover of 'Rasputin' I was still capable enough to do the high kicks of a
Russian Cossack. The battlecries for 'Battle Metal' from the crowd could
be heard from the Valley's of Wales to Holmgard and beyond.
were a cut above the rest and gave a master class in metal. Even at 90
minutes their set was too short.
'Blood Of The Nations' is a return of form to their classic heyday. New
singer Mark Tornillo does a fantastic job snarling his way through these
classics. I got my air guitar out for 'Princess Of The Dawn', 'Fast As A
Shark' was a neck breaker, and we all showed the sign of victory for the
anthemic 'Balls To The Wall'.
that performance finishing past midnight Hammerfest punters were still
feeling restless and wild and over at Stage 2 Tarrie B was giving
us a dose of her band My Ruin. Tarrie B still has the dominant
approach and like me had been enjoying the Jack Daniels although hers
was purely for medicinal purposes to smooth her throat.
had a long dark night in front of the barrier rather than singing on the
stage itself, as she wanted to be close to her adoring fans as possible.
A cover of AC/DC's 'Have A Drink On Me' went down well just like the
the main stage were Latin American metalheads Ill Nino who
whipped up a storm creating a mega mosh pit. Looking at half the
audience it was little wonder that Ill Nino have named their new album
'Dead New World'. Although Hammerfest resembled a zombie movie at this
time of night their was still plenty of life in everyone.
rather ironic that the night previously a Metallica tribute band were
closing the night and tonight a band that Metallica would later cover
had the honour of closing Stage 2.
Blitzkreig had their self titled tune covered by Metallica on the
'Creeping Death' E.P. I was creeping death myself this time of night and
sadly too blitzed myself to take any notice of what was happening on
place to make friends at the Hammeredfest is the smoking area outside
and over the last few years I have made many friends here. However
for some bizarre reason everytime someone I knew came outside (i.e every
minute) they got a rendition of Saxon's Denim And Leather, and soon
everyone was joining in one big happy chorus for long into the night.
and leather...they go together...It was YOU, that set the spirit free.''