Event: S.O.S. Festival 2016 (Day Two)

Bands: Attica Rage, C.O.P. UK, Vicious Nature, Lord Volture, Dakesis, A Joker's Rage, Aonia, Soma Dark 

Venue: Longfield Suite, Prestwich, Manchester

Date: 16 July 2016


After a good nights sleep and a hearty meal, it was back to Prestwich’s Longfield Suite for Day two of this years S.O.S. Festival, for another full day of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.  

Unfortunately Crowsaw had to drop out of today’s show because of a serious illness of their drummer Mark, but the show must go on and with a little change in timings, the first band to hit the stage on Saturday were Soma Dark.  

These Progressive Prog Metallers got the day two off to a flying start as they opened the day with ‘Star Destroyer’, with frontman Dan Buxton providing two very different vocals styles, the traditional metal with the more cookie monster vocals style.  Where some bands have two vocalists, Soma Dark only need one.

The set continued with ‘Landing a Punch’ and my personal favourite of the set ‘Sundown Pt1’, with the twin guitars of Arun Kamath and Stuart Armriding trading licks throughout.  


The band kept their Progressive Metal edge with ‘Rats’ and ‘Freight Train’, before hitting us with the single ‘Tempus Deum’ and 'In The Between’, before finishing off their set with 'Lies Behind' from their debut album ‘Begin’.  As with Beyond Salvation the previous day, these guys blew off the cobwebs and got the day off to a great start.

Every year S.O.S. Festival introduces us to some great new bands and this year was no different, as Bristol’s Idestroy really made us sit up and take notice.

Led by the vocals and guitars of Bec Jevons who is joined by Becky Baldwin on bass and Jenn |Haneef on drums, regulars to S.O.S. will recognise bassist Becky from Triaxis, but this is just one of the many band's Becky’s in, this time performing with pop-punksters Idestroy as they delivered one of the surprise sets of the day.  Mixing the sound of the Runaways with a touch of Shirley Manson, the band put an impressive set which included songs taken from their 'Vanity Loves Me' EP and a whole lot more.  

The girls no nonsense approach was great to see and hear as they rocked through the set, with 'Idestroy', ‘Vanity Loves Me’ and ‘State of the Art’ all hailing from the bands debut EP, all getting rapturous cheers from the bands new found fans here today, us included.  It was hardly surprising that as soon as they finished their set a crowd gathered around their merch stand to check out and purchase what the band had on offer.  

As with all S.O.S. Festivals Mark and Lynne try bringing all the genres to the fold and now it was time for a complete change of style, as Doncaster's Symphonic Metallers Aonia hit the stage.

The seven piece band are led by the twin vocals of Mellissa Adams and Joanne Kay Robinson, the pairs Operatic vocals brought a whole new sound for the day, as the rocked through the songs from their two previous EP’s 'Sunchaser' and 'City of Shadows', as well as even throwing in their own version of 'Over The Hills and Faraway', made famous by Gary Moore and later covered by Nightwish.

Highlights of the set had to be ‘Sunchaser’, the darker more reflective ‘Nightmare' and the epic set closer ‘Prophecy of the Fallen Kingdom'.  To be honest I have soft spot for the whole Symphonic Metal genre and with the right festival like The Female Voices or Dames of Darkness, this band would go down a storm.   



Next up were another of the surprise packages of this years S.O.S. Festival, York’s A Jokers Rage, led by the Zakk, the band donned their Gameface’s and set out to show how Rock n' Roll should be played.  

Those of us who can remember Zakk from his Kid Ego days know what a great frontman he is, as he simply oozes energy from every pore and tonight he gave his all, leading the charge with the fantastic ‘Bounce’.

From here on in he had the crowd at his mercy.  There was no going back as the band continued to tear through the set with the likes of ' The Masquerade’, the superb ‘Just Another Ghost’, the rocking ‘In It For The Kicks’ and  ‘Temptress’.  The latter giving Zakk the opportunity to show off his dance moves, as he strutted his stuff all over that stage, (for a big guy he sure can dance!).  The set was rounded off in style with one of the best covers of the weekend, as the band put a Hard Rock spin on TuPac and Dr Dre’s ‘California Love’.  

This set turned out to be one of the performances not just of the day, but of the whole weekend, and a definite firm favourite with the vast majority of the crowd present today.  Definitely one of the best bands of the whole festival.  If you love a good rock show, then check out A Jokers Rage, this band have a big future ahead of them if today is anything to go by.  


Sadly I missed Ritual King due to being tied up with interviews, however I heard they gave a spirited performance from those that did manage to catch them.

From the Hard Rocking the music changed once again as Birmingham’s Prog / Power Metallers Dakesis hit the stage.  Led by the power vocals of Gemma Lawler, the band set out to conquer to Manchester crowd with their intense metal. With their new album 'The New Dawn' only just released earlier this year, the band showcased some of the album in today's set, as well featuring songs from their 2011 album 'Trail by Fire'.

The band totally owned the stage with the mighty ‘Destined for the Flame’ and the massive ‘The Great Insurrection’, as Matt Jones ripped up a storm on guitar, with Amie Chatterley and Adam Harris pounding out the massive rhythm section on bass and drums respectively.  

It's easy to see why this band has shared the stage with the likes of Blaze Bailey, Edguy and Pagans Mind.  They have that whole Prog / Power Metal vibe down to tee, although the song of the set for me had to be the 11 minute epic ‘By the Fading Light’.  This was the band's piece de resistance, a truer example of the power and majesty of this band you will not find and a song that rounded off their great set.  

Now to the first international band of Saturday and a band making a welcome return to S.O.S. after a two-year absence, the mighty Lord Volture from the Netherlands.

When they first played S.O.S. they were one of the stand out bands of that year and we've been keeping a watchful eye on their development ever since that day.  So we were excited to hear they would be returning again this year and hoped singer David Marcelis and rest of the band could deliver the goods and delight us again with their performance.  

I never doubted David and the band as they brought their old school classical Heavy Metal to the masses, opening up their assault on the senses with ‘Where the Enemy Sleep’, which instantly had the crowd behind them with their horns raised and heads a-bangin’.

It was then over to their 'Never Cry Wolf' album for the excellent riff fuelled ‘Minutes To Madness’, with David Halfordesque vocals filling the venue, with brother Paul and Leon Hermans just firing out mighty lick after mighty lick.

The power infused metal continued with ‘My Sworn Enemy' from the bands latest release 'Will To Power', which was actually the first time the band had played this song live and it went down an absolute storm.  The set continued from 'Will to Power' with another riffing storm in ‘Taklamakan’.  Keeping with that album they continued with the excellent no nonsense Heavy Metal of ‘The Pugilist’ and ‘Line ‘em Up’, before finishing off the set with something from their 'Beast of Thunder' album, the superb ‘Hearts of Steel’.  Again the twin guitarist traded fiery lick after fiery lick, all of which wrapped another monster set from the Dutch men and again elevating them to being one of the best bands of the festival.  Let's hope they aren’t such strangers to these shores in the future, as we just absolutely love this band.    

Well the old school Metal continued on Day 2 with Birmingham’s Vicious Nature, with a band consisting of ex members of Marshall Law and Cloven Hoof, they certainly had pedigree behind them.

This was another old school Heavy Metal band who set about continuing where the mighty Lord Vulture left off.  It was clear that former Marshall Law frontman Andy Pyle could still bring the heat, as they whipped up a veritable storm with the likes of ‘Salvation’, the bass laden ‘Dream Stealer’ and the massive ‘Breathless’, before rounding off the set with the cover of Sabbath’s ‘Symptoms of the Universe’.    

Next up was a band that I have followed for many years and know them to be one of the hardest working UK Metal bands around.  I am of course talking about Sheffield’s very own C.O.P. UK. (Crimes of Passion UK) .

As a die hard fan I have seen this band grow and grow over the years, and they have developed their own brand of Melodic Heavy Metal that has seen them tour the UK and Europe extensively, expanding their fan base across the globe.

Today it was time for Manchester to taste what Dale, Kev, Charles, Scott and Andrew had to offer.  The astute of you will notice I’ve not included keyboardist Henning Wanner in this, that's because he was unable to attend today’s show, but fear not as the band still delivered on hell of a set.  

The band lifted off in true COP style with 'The Core' from their excellent new album 'No Place For Heaven', from the off Dale dominated the stage interacting with the audience from the very first line.  The band's intensity and passion was on full display and this well oiled rock n' roll machine just ruled the stage.

The band continued with one of my favourite Crimes of Passion songs, the stunning ‘Body and Soul’.  Dale once again showing off those powerful and passionate vocals that have become the life blood of Crimes of Passion since he joined the band, with the twin guitars of Charles and Andrew trading licks, while the mighty rhythm section of Kev and Scott brought in the thunder.

It was clear that Dale was born to be a frontman, he has the stage presence to woo the heart and soul of even the hardest crowd.  The band's impressive set continued with ‘Love is to Die For’ from their ' To Die For' opus, which showcased perfectly the bands more gentler melodic side, as well as Dales passionate vocal.

The pace was picked back up as the bands showed their metal with ' I Think I Can Save You’, another stunning track from the ' To Die For' album, then it was back to the new album with the stunning ‘My Blood’, before continuing with the storming ‘Catch Me If You Can’, before returning back to ‘To Die For’ for ' Blown Away'.  Again another stunning slab of Melodic Metal.  

The band gave a shout out to their sound guy before rounding off a great set with ' Accidents Happen, Even Here'.  The band delivered big style and performed a set worthy of a headliner.    


But the headliner spot today has already been reserved for Scotland’s Attica Rage, who were another band returning to S.O.S. after some four years, and with the latest album 'Warheads LTD' getting high praise, what better way to kick off the set than with the opening track ‘Beyond the 45’.  

As the intro of the theme from Rambo First Blood faded out, it was heads-down rocking from start to finish.  Then it was straight into track two off the new album ‘Falling Down’, again hard hitting rock from the Scots before rolling back a few years to their 'Road Dog' album for ‘Contradictions’.

The heady bass lines rocked the room as the band returned to the new album for the hard hitting 'El Chupacabra', before rocking out the very Sabbathesque ‘Warhead LTD’ itself.  

The band showed their darker melodic edge with ‘Haunted’, keeping that melodic metal edge going with ‘Ashamed’, before the set was rounded off with rampaging ‘Back to the Old School’.  The band left the stage as cheers for more rained around the Longfield Suite and so more we got, as Day Two was rounded off with a thunderous cover of Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’, which was the perfect end for the second day.  Could Day Three go beyond?  YOU BET IT COULD!  



Review by: Barry McMinn, Photos by: Little Linda




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