Festival 2014 (Day One)
Absolva, Savage Messiah, Monument, Lord Volture, Asylum City Zoo, Eternal Breath, Bloodyard,
God Damn Electric, The Idol Dead
Venue: Radcliffe Civic Hall, Radcliffe, ManchesterDate: 19 July 2014
in its seventh year, for many S.O.S Festival marks the
beginning of Summer and this year's line-up was one of the
most diverse and compelling, as Rocksector Records
impresario Mark Appleton once again brought together some of
hottest new talent around, as well as many household names,
all under the one roof over two very hot and very humid
days, for lashings of blistering Hard Rock and Metal.
One of this year's festival opened up for us with Leeds
based The Idol Dead. Lead by the effervescent
frontman Polly Phluid, this quintet set about delivering one
of my favourite sets of Day One with their no-nonsense Punk
with plenty of Soul.
up with a waste no time rocker, the band obviously had a
mindset for the day of hit 'em hard, hit 'em fast and leave
them wanting more.
that’s exactly what they did, every song hit the mark as
the set continued with the storming ‘Six Feet
Under’. Even when Tim broke stuff on stage (guitar
strings), the band never missed a beat, as they stormed
through with ‘The Summer That Never Was’ and the
definite crowd favourite ‘Travellin Man’. The band
really set the festival alight and definitely won a fair few more
fans than they started out with today, us included, and with their 3rd album due out
later this year, the band are definitely one of the bands to
watch out for in 2014/15.
the high octane rock n' roll it was time for a little
acoustic interlude as the God Damn Electric
entertained on the acoustic stage, before the savage metal
assault that was Bloodyard who led by the angsty vocal might
of Donna Hurd, delivered a monstrous attack on the senses.
the Lancastrians hit the stage running with 'Set To Fall' and
'Reclaim', before the massive 'Hellbound'.
the Lancastrians hit the stage running with 'Set To Fall' and
'Reclaim', before the massive 'Hellbound'.
one point during 'Hellbound' Hurd disappeared off stage joined
the crowd, then ventured out of the main hall into the foyer
and beyond, drumming up the crowd and like the pied piper
and brought forth a multitude of metalheads to gorge on their
hard hitting metal. The punishing metal assault continued
with 'Epitaph' and continued through to the dark 'Dead
this wasn’t my usual cup of tea, Hurd was just
unbelievable. She showed today that female fronted Heavy
Metal isn’t all big hair and leather shoulder pads, this
girl can stand up with the best of the male frontmen any
was back to the acoustic stage for round two from the God
Damn Electric before returning to the Dean Hocking stage for
Belgium’s Eternal Breath, led by founding members
Andy Polfliet and guitarist Marino Decaluwe. Although
Polfliet started out as guitarist in the band, he now fronts
these Belgium metallers, along with Brecht Debrouwere on bass
and Kenny Geerts on drums.
opened up their account after the massive intro with 'Vengeance For Our Disrespect’ and continued to deliver
that typical Euro Metal big riffing sound with the likes of
‘The Joker’, the trash infused ‘Shadows Of The
Dark’ and 'Mass Domination', before rounding things off with
‘Your Pissing Me Off’, which despite the all ages crowd
Polfiet had the crowd showing the middle finger in their
up on the main stage were Asylum City Zoo and judging
by the number of people donning their t-shirts, this band had
a few fans in the crowd. Considering the band had only in its just
formed at the start of 2013, this was a good sign for any
band led by lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mark, aided and
abetted by Rishi on lead guitar, Tom on drums and the man of
many hats, Bobb (and beard) on bass guitar, delivered as solid
set of modern heavy metal.
by the bass toting Bobb, the band set about their task
delivering solid no nonsense Heavy METAL with the set taken
from the debut EP, with frontman Mark's vocals the perfect for
this style of metal. Moody yet sonically superb.
donning different hats for different songs, he will need a
larger wardrobe once the band release a full length
album. Like The Idol Dead, one of the bands of the day.
band who REALLY impressed on day one were the next band Lord
Volture from the Netherlands, who delivered old school
metal as it should be, with more than a nod to early Judas
Priest right down to front man David Marcels black vest top
and leather pants. The six string twin guitars of Paul
Marcels and Leon Hermans providing a twin guitar attack,
which was married with the bombastic rhythm section of Simon
Geurts on bass and Frank Wintermans on drums.
band brought the big guns out today as they opened up with 'Where
The Enemy’s Sleep’, then it was straight into ‘Tiaga’,
their 2011 album 'Never Cry Wolf’, featuring a great slice of
twin guitar driven metal, before continuing with 'Wendigo',
another stunning track
from 'Never Cry Wolf. Frontman David stooding centre
stage while delivering a mighty vocal, all the while the twin
guitars kept that Priest feel about things at fever pitch.
a new album due out later this year it was time for a sample of
things to come, with the massive ‘Taklamakan’ and the
equally impressive ‘Line Em Up’. If this is the quality
of Metal coming out of the Netherlands then long may it
continue. I you like your metal old school, no frills,
riff laden and
thunderous, Lord Volture are the band for you.
up on the bill was the UK’s Monument. After missing
these guys as this years PPM Fest in Belgium, I was determined not miss
out on them this time around. The guys did not fail to
impress as I and rest of crowd were treated
to some classic Metal Brit style.
in East London by frontman Peter Ellis, the bands aim was to
bring back the true sound of British Heavy Metal and today
the did just that.
Ellis on stage were Lewis Stevens and Dan Baune on guitars,
Matt C on drums and taking up the bass was Furyon’s Alex
‘Nickel’ Bowen stepping in for Chris Dale.
Brits showed how it's done on this small island of ours by
kicking off with the storming ‘Fatal Attack’,
while instantly Ellis began to prowl the stage like a blood hungry
bulldog intent on taking no prisoners.
rampaging metal continued with the title track off the new
album ‘Renegades’, flying the flag high for British
Metal and continuing to do so with the excellent ‘Carry
On’, with Ellis again delivering a monster vocal.
was then time for the title track off the 'Renegades' album,
which is an all guns blazing old school riff laden metal meant for
headbangers. Then it was time for one of the songs of the set, the
magnificent ‘Crusaders’. It was time for Ellis to
leave the stage momentarily to get his breath back, as the rest of the
band went into an instrumental, before Ellis returned to the
stage and together so that the band could give a rip snorting version of Deep
Purples 'Black Night', in tribute the late great Jon Lord.
band rounded off a great set in style with the stomping
‘Rock The Night’. It may have been a few months in the
waiting, but I finally got to see Monument at
their very best and it's good to see the future of
British Heavy Metal is in such good hands.
up was another band I really wanted to see, Melodic Thrash
Metallers Savage Messiah.
band led by guitarist/vocalist Dave Silver really set the
already hot venue on fire with their unique brand of Thrash
infused with classic Heavy Metal.
the set in glorious fashion with the rip snorting
‘Iconocaust’, the first of many from the their 'The
Fateful Dark' album, the ballistic metal continued with
‘Scavengers of Mercy’, with the twin guitars of Silver
and Joff Bailey bringing back that Bay Area Thrash back with
a vengeance. The titanic riff building continued with the
current single ‘Hellblazer’, which saw the pair simply
burning up the fret boards, while the thunderous rhythm
section of Mira Siama and Andrea Goria on bass and drums
respectively, delivered a powerhouse back beat for the
new album's material continued with the thumping ‘Cross of
Babylon’, before the title track ‘The Fateful Dark’.
This is where the guys mixed the Thrash side with their more
melodic side. This had to be my favourite song of the
was back to the heads down full on Metal with the excellent
‘The Cursed Earth’, which really got all the headbangers down the
front going, before carrying on with the lick laden
‘Minority Of One’. The set closed in a blaze of
glory with the title track of their ‘Insurrection
Rising’ album, the only song on the setlist not taken from new
album, which saw the Dark Pope himself making an appearance
throughout the son and rounded off one of the standout sets of the day.
Now it was only left
to the headliners to top this one.
with a buzz already around the place regarding the
headliners Absolva and their extended line-up for
today, I was sure that Chris and the rest of the band would
go for broke and they just did that.
first thing you’d noticed tonight was the inclusion of a
rhythm guitarist, who as he tuned up his guitar before the
set, turned a gave a wry smile to the crowd and a cheer went
out for Fury UK/Iced Earth’s Luke Appleton, who joined
brother Chris, along with Martin McNee and Dan Bate, as the
power trio became a power quartet and set about a fourteen
song set that just blew me and rest of the crowd away.
up after the intro with ‘The Devils Mouth’, which by
chance is also the opening track off the new album 'Anthems
of the Dead’, and instantly all the chemistry between the
two brothers came rushing back. With the pair smiling from
ear-to-ear and really enjoying playing live together once
again, as Chris announced ... “We are Absolva and we play
set continued with 'Victimiser', another song taken from their new album
and another fantastic slice of pure guitar driven Heavy Metal,
before the title track off said new album, ‘Anthems of the
was then time for the first song from their 'Flames of
Justice' album with the epic ‘Free’, which gave Chris
and Luke a chance to trade licks, before returning to the new
album for the barnstorming ‘Killing Season’. Then it was
back to 'Flames Of Justice' for 'From Beyond The Light’, as Chris showed us
how a heavy metal guitar should be played.
the night rolled on it
was time to unveil the second guest appearance for tonight, as
none other than Saxon’s very own Doug
Scarrett joined the guys on stage. After a big thanks to
everyone who helped made S.O.S. happen, it was on with the show,
as the power quartet became a quintet for ‘Only When It's
Over’. Then Chris introduced Luke which got an even bigger
cheer than when he introduced Doug Scarrett and it was back
to the full on metal once
more with another epic ‘Silent Sacrifice’.
melodic side of the band came out with the excellent
‘Taste Of Blood’ and in true Heavy Metal style we were
treated to a McNee drum solo, as the quiet man of the band
unleashed pure hell on his kit, much to the enjoyment of all,
which led nicely into the storming ‘Flames of Justice’.
The time had come to unleash the mighty metal that is ‘Code Red’, before Scarrett returned to the stage for ‘Soul Remains’, as he unleashed his six string fury along with Chris and Luke. With Absolva there is no portentousness of leaving the stage, standing in the wings and waiting for the crys of more. This band is all about momentum and the momentum continued at break-neck speed with the excellent ‘Never Back Down’, before rounding off the set and Day One in perfect style with a Ronnie James tribute and an amazing version of 'Heaven and Hell'. I’m sure if Ronnie was looking down he’d be giving the guys the horns, as today Metal was king.
Review by: Barry McMinn & Little Linda
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