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Concerts I've seen

Wacken Open Air Wacken
2.5/5 In Extremo 4th August 2018
4/5 Dimmu Borgir
3.5/5 Helloween
3/5 Sólstafir
4/5 Dalriada
3/5 Arch Enemy
3.5/5 Ensiferum
2.5/5 Steel Panther
2.5/5 Skiltron
4/5 Die Apokalyptischen Reiter
4/5 Riot V
3.5/5 Love Bites

Wacken advert Wacken ticket

Wacken Open Air Wacken
4/5 Running Wild 3rd August 2018
4/5 Lee Aaron
3.5/5 Nightwish
4/5 Doro
3/5 2 Cellos
3.5/5 Leaves' Eyes
4/5 Firewind
3/5 Fozzy
4/5 Epica
3.5/5 Amaranthe

Wacken advert Wacken ticket

Wacken Open Air Wacken
4/5 Judas Priest 2nd August 2018
3.5/5 Exit Eden
3.5/5 Danzig
3.5/5 Visons Of Atlantis
3/5 Monstagon
3.5/5 The Privateer
3.5/5 Vince Neil
3.5/5 Tremonti
3/5 Dokken
3.5/5 Skyline
3.5/5 Ganaim

Wacken advert Wacken ticket

Wacken Open Air Wacken
3/5 Jesper Binzer 1st August 2018
2.5/5 Fish
3/5 Bannkreis

Wacken advert Wacken ticket

4/5 Control The Storm Red Rum, Stafford
2.5/5 Synthetic 29th July 2018
2.5/5 Cenfora

Control The Storm advert

2.5/5 Helgrind Club 85, Hitchin
3.5/5 The Mighty Wraith 21st July 2018
2.5/5 Spectral Darkwave
??/5 St Fenton The Tainted

Helgrind advert

A night of bands being put on for Ian's 60th birthday. I didn't arrive in time to catch St Fenton The Tainted, so my night started with Spectral Darkwave. They're a band that participated in the Hitchin M2TM rounds, and can perhaps best be described as playing doomy industrial metal. There's a clear steampunk visual element to their performance, but they didn't really stand out. I'd watch them again, but wouldn't go out of my way to do so.

The Mighty Wraith were the primary reason I'd made the trip. I'd seen them a few times before. As a power/trad metal band, they're always going to appeal to my tastes. Despite a relatively sparse crowd, the band managed to whip up support and had the crowd joining in at the relevant points. Once again, the highlights were "Dragonheart" and a cover of Maiden's "Number of the beast".

Following that were headliners Helgrind. They're a band I'd heard of by name, but knew nothing about. They were described to me beforehand as the UK's version of Slayer. In truth, they were better than that description might imply, playing very traditional thrash, straight out of the '80s. The guitar work was quite impressive in places, and with better vocals, they could be an interesting band. But ultimately, they fell a bit flat for me, and I left part way though their set in order to make it home at a reasonable hour.

Retribution Alive The Big Red
3/5 Neuronspoiler 20th July 2018
3/5 Agresiva
4/5 Neverworld
2.5/5 Raze

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3.5/5 Dorja The Actress & Bishop, Birmingham
1/5 Resurrection Men 14th July 2018
??/5 Kanada
2/5 Air Drawn Dagger
??/5 The Wild Strays

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4/5 Dorja The Lounge 666
3.5/5 Death Valley Knights 12th July 2018
??/5 Dirty Ol' Crow

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Metal 2 The Masses London The Dome
2/5 Courtesans 20th June 2018
2.5/5 Dirty Ol' Crow
3.5/5 Prolapse AD
2.5/5 Serpentyne
3/5 Dead Before Mourning
1.5/5 The Brood
??/5 Annunciation

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3.5/5 Hollywood Vampires Wembley Arena
3/5 The Darkness 20th June 2018
3/5 The Damned

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4/5 FyreSky The Unicorn
3/5 Aonia 19th June 2018
1.5/5 Mortimer's Wish

FyreSky advert

Stone Free The O2 Arena
3.5/5 Shot Through The Heart 16th June 2018
4/5 Scorpions
3.5/5 Megadeth
3/5 Buckcherry
3/5 Orange Goblin
3.5/5 Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics
3/5 Stone Broken
3.5/5 Daxx And Roxane
2/5 Warrior Soul
3/5 Dirty Thrills
3/5 Triggerfinger
3.5/5 Anchor Lane
2.5/5 The Picture Books
3.5/5 Killit
??/5 Pete Spiby & The Beat Alls
3/5 Nitroville

Stone Free advert Stone Free advert Stone Free ticket Nitroville photo Killit photo Killit photo The Picture Books photo Anchor Lane photo Triggerfinger photo Dirty Thrills photo Warrior Soul photo Daxx And Roxane photo Stone Broken photo Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics photo Orange Goblin photo Buckcherry photo Megadeth photo Scorpions photo Scorpions photo Scorpions photo Scorpions photo Shot Through The Heart photo Shot Through The Heart photo Shot Through The Heart photo

Download Donington
??/5 Neck Deep 9th June 2018
??/5 Thy Art Is Murder
3.5/5 Guns N’ Roses
??/5 Mayday Parade
??/5 Plini
??/5 The Maine
??/5 Parkway Drive
??/5 Knocked Loose
4/5 Black Stone Cherry
??/5 Being As An Ocean
??/5 Malevolence
3/5 Babymetal
??/5 Massive Wagons
4/5 Thunder
??/5 Asking Alexandria
??/5 Shvpes
2/5 L7
??/5 Rolo Tomassi
2/5 The Temperance Movement
??/5 Sleep Token
??/5 Bury Tomorrow
??/5 The Faim
??/5 The Struts
2/5 Higher Power
??/5 Corrosion Of Conformity
??/5 WSTR
??/5 Monster Truck
3.5/5 Anchor Lane
3/5 Lawnmower Deth
3.5/5 Whiskey Myers
2.5/5 Tigress
??/5 Death Blooms
??/5 Von Hertzen Brothers
??/5 The Pink Slips
??/5 Powerflo
??/5 The Bottom Line

Download advert Download advert Tigress photo Whiskey Myers photo Lawnmower Deth photo Anchor Lane photo Higher Power photo The Temperance Movement photo L7 photo Thunder photo Babymetal photo Black Stone Cherry photo Guns N' Roses photo Guns N' Roses photo

3.5/5 Janet Gardner The Underworld
4/5 Sister Shotgun 28th May 2018

Janet Gardner advert Janet Gardner advert Sister Shotgun photo Janet Gardner photo

More Than A Memorial Scruffy Murphy's, Birmingham
4/5 Dakesis 12th May 2018
1.5/5 Absinthropy
3/5 Winter Storm
3.5/5 Opus Mortis
1.5/5 Rise Of My Empire
2.5/5 Cyberaptor

More Than A Memorial advert More Than A Memorial advert Cyberaptor photo Rise Of My Empire photo Opus Mortis photo Winter Storm photo Absinthropy photo Dakesis photo Dakesis photo Dakesis photo Dakesis photo

4/5 Fury The Dev
3/5 Eternal Fear 10th May 2018
3/5 Black Emerald

Fury advert Fury advert Black Emerald photo Black Emerald photo Eternal Fear photo Eternal Fear photo Fury photo Fury photo Fury photo

3.5/5 Apparition The Robin 2, Bilston
3.5/5 Winter In Eden 6th May 2018
3/5 Serpentyne
4/5 Control The Storm
2.5/5 Alice In Thunderland
3.5/5 The Loved And Lost

Apparition advert The Loved And Lost photo Alice In Thunderland photo Control The Storm photo Control The Storm photo Serpentyne photo Winter In Eden photo Apparition photo Apparition photo

3.5/5 Leaves' Eyes The Dome
2/5 Mayan 28th April 2018
3.5/5 Almanac

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4/5 Kim Wilde Koko
2/5 Lawrence Hill 26th April 2018

Kim Wilde advert Kim Wilde advert Kim Wilde advert Kim Wilde ticket Lawrence Hill photo Kim Wilde photo

3.5/5 Angra The Underworld
3.5/5 Operation: Mindcrime 17th April 2018
3/5 Halcyon Way
??/5 Ravenscry

Angra advert Angra advert Angra ticket Halcyon Way photo Halcyon Way photo Operation: Mindcrime photo Angra photo Angra photo

Metal 2 The Masses Reading The Facebar
2/5 Gutlocker 15th April 2018
1/5 Mercury's Well
3.5/5 Kamikaze Test-Pilots
3.5/5 Winter's Edge
3.5/5 Ghost Of Machines
1/5 King Minos
2.5/5 Cipher

M2TM Reading advert Cipher photo King Minos photo Ghost Of Machines photo Winter's Edge photo Winter's Edge photo Kamikaze Test-Pilots photo Mercury's Well photo Gutlocker photo

4/5 Seven Sisters The Black Heart
3.5/5 Toledo Steel 13th April 2018

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3.5/5 Cellar Darling The Boston Music Room
3/5 Diamond Black 5th April 2018

Cellar Darling advert Cellar Darling advert Cellar Darling advert Cellar Darling ticket Diamond Black photo Diamond Black photo Cellar Darling photo

Darker Days The Musician, Leicester
4/5 Star Industry 24th March 2018
3/5 The Last Cry
3/5 Red Sun Revival
4/5 The Faces Of Sarah
2/5 The Glass House Museum
3.5/5 Auger
??/5 Siberia
??/5 Last Dusk

Darker Days advert Darker Days advert The Glass House Museum photo The Faces Of Sarah photo Red Sun Revival photo The Last Cry photo Star Industry photo Star Industry photo Star Industry photo

Hammerfest Hafan y Môr, Pwllheli
??/5 Donkerkarnuffel 16th March 2018
??/5 Red Rum
??/5 Forged In Black
??/5 Sepultura
??/5 Morti Vivendi
3/5 Critical Solution
2/5 Obscura
1.5/5 Goatwhore
??/5 Ohhms
??/5 Limb
??/5 Death The Leveller
3.5/5 Blaze Bayley
2.5/5 Acid Reign
3.5/5 The Heretic Order
4/5 Triaxis
??/5 Jukebox Monkey
1.5/5 Ballsdeep
2/5 Redwood Avenue
1.5/5 Fit For An Autopsy
3/5 Sergeant Thunderhoof
??/5 Callus

Hammerfest advert Hammerfest advert Sergeant Thunderhoof photo Fit For An Autopsy photo Redwood Avenue photo Ballsdeep photo Triaxis photo Triaxis photo Triaxis photo Triaxis photo The Heretic Order photo Acid Reign photo Blaze Bayley photo Obscura photo Critical Solution photo

3.5/5 Blaze Bayley The Underworld
3/5 Faith In Glory 3rd March 2018

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3.5/5 As Night Falls 229 The Venue
2.5/5 Serpentyne 1st March 2018

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3.5/5 Rhapsody Islington Academy
4/5 Beast In Black 26th February 2018
3.5/5 Scarlet Aura

Rhapsody advert Rhapsody advert Rhapsody advert Rhapsody ticket Scarlet Aura photo Beast In Black photo Beast In Black photo Rhapsody photo

3.5/5 Freedom Call The Underworld
3.5/5 Power Quest 25th February 2018
4/5 Hanowar

Freedom Call advert Freedom Call advert Freedom Call ticket Hanowar photo Power Quest photo Freedom Call photo

HRH Metal O2 Academy, Birmingham
4/5 Grave Digger 18th February 2018
??/5 Footprints In The Custard
??/5 Dead Hands
3.5/5 Attica Rage
1.5/5 Memoriam
4/5 Sister Shotgun
4/5 Dakesis
??/5 Elvenking
3.5/5 Skarthia
??/5 Torous
3.5/5 Power Quest
??/5 Nightmare World
??/5 Lifer
2.5/5 Trivax
3.5/5 Kaine
3.5/5 The Mighty Wraith
2/5 Fire Red Empress
3.5/5 Vice
2.5/5 Incinery
2/5 Devil's Playground

HRH Metal advert Devil's Playground photo Devil's Playground photo Incinery photo Vice photo Fire Red Empress photo The Mighty Wraith photo Kaine photo Trivax photo Power Quest photo Power Quest photo Power Quest photo Skarthia photo Dakesis photo Dakesis photo Sister Shotgun photo Memoriam photo Attica Rage photo Grave Digger photo

HRH Metal O2 Academy, Birmingham
2.5/5 Alestorm 17th February 2018
4/5 Fury
3.5/5 Evil Scarecrow
??/5 Elimination
??/5 Desert Storm
??/5 Ironrat
2.5/5 The Dread Crew Of Oddwood
??/5 Warcrab
4/5 Metaprism
2/5 Hærken
3.5/5 Cypher16
2/5 The Face Of Ruin
4/5 Monument
??/5 Gravil
??/5 Sodomized Cadaver
1/5 Ballsdeep
2/5 XIII
??/5 Masters Call
4/5 Collibus
3/5 Wrath Of The Gods
1.5/5 Ashen Crown

HRH Metal advert Ashen Crown photo Wrath Of The Gods photo Collibus photo XIII photo Ballsdeep photo Monument photo The Face Of Ruin photo Cypher16 photo Hærken photo Metaprism photo Metaprism photo The Dread Crew Of Oddwood photo Evil Scarecrow photo Fury photo Fury photo Alestorm photo

4/5 Serenity The Underworld
3/5 Visions Of Atlantis 14th February 2018
3.5/5 Sleeping Romance
2.5/5 Secret Rule

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4/5 Accept Koko
3/5 Night Demon 8th February 2018

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4/5 Therion Islington Assembly Hall
3.5/5 Imperial Age 3rd February 2018
2/5 Null Positiv
2.5/5 Midnight Eternal

Therion advert Therion advert Therion ticket Midnight Eternal photo Null Positiv photo Imperial Age photo Imperial Age photo Imperial Age photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo Therion photo

3.5/5 Gloryhammer Islington Academy
4/5 Civil War 27th January 2018
4/5 Dendera

Gloryhammer advert Gloryhammer advert Gloryhammer ticket Dendera photo Dendera photo Civil War photo Gloryhammer photo Gloryhammer photo

4/5 Firewind The Underworld
4/5 Rage 21st January 2018
2.5/5 COP UK

Rage/Firewind advert Rage/Firewind advert Rage/Firewind advert Rage/Firewind ticket COP UK photo Rage photo Firewind photo Firewind photo

COP UK were much like the last time I saw them. On paper, they should do well. They have most of the right ingredients in place. But somehow it just doesn't work, and they leave me cold with their brand of melodic metal. Admittedly, they weren't helped by a poor mix, but event allowing for that and even a set closing cover of Journey's "Separate ways", they failed to win me over.

Although the tour was nominally a co-headlining one, this show was billed as a Rage show, However, on the night, Rage followed the opener, leaving Firewind to end the night. The band were clearly not firing on all cylinders. Peavey had a fever and a cough and was struggling to sing. But he'd made the decision to play rather than cancel the show and I'm very glad he did. I suspect the running order was switched on the night because of concerns over Peavey's ability to make it through the whole set. That was helped somewhat by Marcos took over vocal duties for a few of the songs in order to give Peavey's voice a rest. In the end, the set was cut slightly short, but not by much. And it didn't matter. It's a measure of how good a live act they are these days that even with Peavey suffering, the band put on another very strong performance. Highlights for me were "Great old ones", and the obligatory "Higher than the sky" to close the set, featuring extended snippets of both Sabbath's "Heaven and hell" and Dio's "Holy diver", with Marcos once again doing a remarkable impersonation of the man himself.

Last year, Firewind had put on an outstanding show in the same venue, and I was optimistic of another good showing here. I was slightly concerned about whether they'd be able to follow Rage's fantastic performance, but I needn't have worried. Henning Basse is without doubt the best frontman the band have had, and he showed it again tonight. There was perhaps slightly more emphasis on Gus's guitar work than at previous Firewind shows, but as a fan of guitar wankery, that's a good thing in my book. Notable tracks here were "Head up high", "World on fire", "The fire and the fury" and ending the night with "Falling to pieces". At the end of the night, we'd been treated to two strong sets from two bands in their prime. A great night overall.

3.5/5 Lacuna Coil The Forum
19th January 2018

Lacuna Coil advert Lacuna Coil advert Lacuna Coil advert Lacuna Coil advert Lacuna Coil ticket Lacuna Coil photo Lacuna Coil photo Lacuna Coil photo Lacuna Coil photo

3.5/5 Operation Mindcrime The Garage
2.5/5 'Till Death Do Us Part 15th January 2018

Operation Mindcrime advert Operation Mindcrime ticket 'Till Death Do Us Part photo Operation Mindcrime photo

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