Event: S.O.S. Festival 2015 (Day One)

Bands: Triaxis, Collibus, Obzidian, Amethyst, Vice, Kill or Cure

Venue: Radcliffe Civic Hall, Radcliffe, Manchester

Date: 17 July 2015


No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks, it can only mean one, this School's Out For Summer or as we know it S.O.S. Festival 2015.

With the festival now in its 8th year and now expanded to 3 days, with 27 bands on the main stage and 20 acoustic sets over the three days, and all for only £15.00 for a weekend ticket.  This works out at around 40p per band, this is without a doubt, the bargain of the century for sure!

With a 2 1/2 hour journey down to Radcliffe checking to the hotel, a quick wash and brush up and slipping into our glad rags meant that we arrived as festival openers Manchester’s Kill or Cure set was just coming to a close, who by all accounts got the weekend off to a great start.

So the weekend for us didn’t really get started until Bury locals Vice hit the stage and hit it running, with their thrashed out guitars and no holds barred old school metal, as Tom Atkinson, Jack Trelawyny, Simon Robershaw and Connor Summers powered through a short but impressive set, with tracks from the current EP and new track ‘Sloth’, a really ballsy slab of hard edged metal that blew away any cobwebs I’d had left-over from the journey down.  

S.O.S. festival over the past few years has included an acoustic stage, so while the main stage crew gets things ready for the next band, there's always plenty of musical delights to keep you occupied. So first to hit the acoustic stage this year, sponsored by Metal Nation Radio, were Reverted, who after a 7 hour journey up from the capital, kept the rock flowing before Amethyst hit the stage.  

Now then, Amethyst hit the stage running and it was plain to see why the band have been chosen for this years Bloodstock Newblood Stage, as like Vice before them, they unleashed the metal from their latest EP 'Acts of Betrayal'. 

The band also announced that Chris would be leaving the band and Bloodstock would be his last performance with the band, but today the drummer rocked big style, pounding the skins to 'Never Say Die', 'Retribution' and new song 'From The Fire'.  Again like Vice before them, the bands short set was an impressive barrage of no holds barred metal.   

Next up were Obzidian from Wolverhampton whose Thrash inspired set to be honest was a tad too heavy for my tastes, so off to the bar we went in preparation for the next band Collibus.

This years festival not only highlighted the Rocksector roster, but also this year featured some great female fronted bands, the first of these was Collibus headed by the powerhouse vocalist Gemma Fox.

The band's set consisted of tracks from their album 'The False Awakening', kicking off the set with massive ‘The Fallen’ and instantly Fox’s unleashed those massive vocals that just filled the venue. The band's powerful drive metal styling continued with the excellent ‘Thoughts In Vain’, the storming guitar fuelled ‘Dead Inside’ and rounding off the set in style with the albums blistering title track ‘The False Awakening'.  Another short but very impressive set from another hot Manchester band.

Day one of this years festival was brought to an impressive close by South Wales finest export Triaxis, who delivered what was to be the finest set's I’ve seen from the band.  Krissie's vocals never sounded better and the guitars of CJ and Glyn just exploded from the off, while the powerful rhythm section of Becky and Giles delivered the perfect foundation for a set of great Metal.

The set kicked off with 'Liberty', the opening track from their latest album 'Zero Hour', as I said before, Krissie’s vocals were just superb and her stage presence was simply awesome, never have I seen her so comfortable and in control. 

The set continued and it was straight into the excellent ‘Sand and Silver’, again taken from their 'Zero Hour' album, as both Glyn and CJ lit up the fret-boards on this one.  The new material kept coming as they ripped through the more melodic metal of ‘Stand Your Ground’.

It was back to the rip-snorting Heavy Metal with the riff laden ‘Terraform’ and the bass driven ‘Victorious’, 'Death Machine' before unleashing the excellent title track ‘Zero Hour’, which was where the band really showed us all just what they can do with this ten minute plus epic.  On album it's just wonderful, but live it's even more impressive.  A complex track full of wonderful arrangements that ebb and flow and this was for me, the song of the set.

'Black Trinity' was up next before the band rounded off their set in style, as they put their very on stamp on Rainbows ‘Stargazer’. The crowd just went wild on this one. All in all this performance was no less them phenomenal. The delivery of the songs was stunning and the sound was amazing throughout the whole of their set. 

Such was the quality of the set we hardly noticed we’d now entered the early hours of Saturday. With Friday under now wraps I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the weekend had to offer.

Review by: Barry McMinn




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