I am now a full-on member of the Retribution staff and will be doing Monthly Interviews with the headline bands, as well as gig reviews and promoting all the bands each month on my radio show.
So this month was at the Stags Head a venue I know well as my DJ friend Warren used to do Metal Warriors Metal Club there when it moved from the London Stone. I used to do my club Into The Pit at the Stone too so it was a bit of a MW reunion.
Unfortunately, because I was doing an interview I only caught the end of the Eight Lives Down set, which had a female vocalist who was going from clean vocals to growls and screams, it seemed different and interesting.
So first up for me was SYMBOL OF ORION a London based band who are originally from Nepal.I described them as being Death/Prog. A real energetic in your face performance, great musicians and they look young too so future could be bright.
Next up are a band I reviewed a couple of years ago when they played Retribution at the Unicorn. Viking Metallers CALL OF FENRIR. So to start off with a funny thing happened earlier in the evening when I was interviewing DBM. The vocalist of COF didn't realise we were doing an interview and sat down and started talking to us, a funny moment which I have kept in my interview as I never edit them lol. So my first thought was how is all the band going to get up on that small stage, and the answer is they couldn't. So the vocalist and Bassist were doing their thing on the floor which was great as the vocalist was able to get up close and personal with the crowd which had a great effect. Since I last saw them they have changed their line up with a new vocalist who seems to be more aggressive with full-on growls, also I don't remember the female guitarist/violinist doing vocals before so that was a nice touch. They were again a great fist-pumping fun Viking Metal experience.
Next band up were co-headliners FORGED IN BLACK A pure unadulterated Metal band from Essex. Unfortunately after a couple of songs, one of the guitarists had to quit. Having had hand nerve ending problems. So they were down to one guitarist who then had some sound problems very bad luck. At least you could hear some ripping Bass. This didn't deter the band and they Forged on ahead (pun definitely intended). In no way did this take away from a great performance, a top frontman with a great voice and a very professional band with great musicians.
Last up were the mighty DEAD BEFORE MOURNING from Surrey who I had the pleasure to interview, top guys. With their mixture of old and new school Thrash, having experience musicians mixed with some younger players gives them that nice balance of old and new. They have their fast numbers but also some slow catchy riffs and singalong vocals. A great set with some new material, the crowd were really into it. A great finish to the night.
So to conclude a great night as far as music goes, and the crowd were pretty responsive. The only thing that needs to improve is the audience numbers. It's the usual thing I guess for underground Metal but if we want to see bands keep playing and promoters continue putting on these events we need to get the crowd numbers up. The venue as much as I like the Stags Head is a little bit in the middle of nowhere which might of had an impact on numbers. Never the less go support your Metal Cheers DJ Elric for Metal Devastation Radio