Review by Tony Gaskin, photos by Rob Stanley
When does something “traditional” earn that title? Is there a rule? A standard? Well I’m throwing caution to the wind here when I say that the now traditional Friday night party theme kicked off a weekend of metal madness in the depths of leafy Worcestershire. My hesitance to use that word is understandable when you realise that Beermageddon is only in its third year, but feels like it’s been around forever.
As I mentioned at the start, the Friday night has a definite party feel to it. Many metalheads arriving or already here (there was a warm up gig the previous evening in Birmingham featuring Skreamer) are meeting up with like minded devotees probably for the first time since last year. Hearty hugs and salubrious salutations resound around the campsite as the drinking and merry making gets under way, which was helped along in no small way by the delay in musical proceedings with the first band that was due on still stuck in Bank Holiday traffic on the notorious M6, apparently a nightmare of a journey from north of the border for Razorblade Smile and a mini bus full of rampaging Scots. Anyway, as is the way with these things the Razors got their set shunted to opening up tomorrow so no drama there and second band on the bill Achren finally got things under way.
This particular Clan had negotiated the Sassernach highways with slightly better luck than their brethren and with a set of blistering blackened metal entertained the early crowd who were well into the party mood and there was plenty of head banging as Achren released a barrage of new tracks from their latest release The White Death.
Next up were Worcester’s Fury, who could count this as a local gig, so strong support was expected and it proved to be so, as the first night revellers thoroughly enjoyed some modern British Thrash. Another band who have a new album to tout, and the new stuff off The Lightning Dream sees the quartet raising their game to a whole new level, and tonights red hot performance is as good as I’ve seen from them, no longer pretenders but real contenders.
So exit Fury and enter Furyborn! But there any similarity ends. Furyborn bludgeon us with pure unadulterated Melodic Death Metal. Jut Tabor is the first real showman of the weekend and his raw power and energy on stage perfectly matches the rest of the bands ferociousness. Some nice shredding comes from the fingers of Walker and Hodge who show off the technical ability of this band.
With three solid performances so far, Skreamer must have been relishing the chance to close out this first night after a real bumpy ride leading up to this weekend. Drummer and guitarist issues sorted, the highly rated band just wanted to get up there and show the critics and fans alike that Skreamer were well and truly alive and kicking.
Front man Sam Morter looks the part as he stands on his raised podium, confident and cool, with his wing man and joker in the pack Serg Ronchetti, pumping out those bass beats alongside him, you know that this is the heart of Skreamer and it will take a lot to bring this band down. As it is they have found two solid replacements in the form of Huwy Williams who can pound the skins as hard as anyone I’ve seen (apart from IHYM’s Bez) and Nathan Carnell on the other six string. Whether these two guys become the permanent replacements time will tell, but they certainly have fitted in nicely in the short time they’ve had.
A packed room gives the band all the accolades they deserve as they plough through a storming set with the chant of “Flesh and Blood” resounding around the festival and the finale of a wall of death to the repetitive strains of “stop your bitchin’” was one of the weekends highlights.
In a grass roots festival where many of the bands are unsigned or underground then you sincerely hope that bands like Skreamer will attain some sort of success as they clearly stand out, a class apart.