Black Country Metal Fest @ The Robin 2, Bilston – Saturday 2nd March 2013


_DSC8005Review by Cath Holland, Photos by Tony Gaskin

Dawesy – Aceldama

When a fledgling festival is first conceived and born there will always be a question mark over it especially in the current gloomy market. Will it succeed? Will it be back? Well the guys at Midlands Metalheads have answered both of those questions. Last years inaugural event proved successful enough for them to put on a second here at the Robin 2.
Although it kicked off mid afternoon, we arrived just in time to catch Hardcore act Ku Ru pummeling the tea-time audience with a short sharp shock approach of fast aggressive no nonsense tuneage. No time to bed ourselves in gently then, a great way to start the evenings entertainment.
There is no genre elitism here, all forms and styles of Metal are represented in one way or another and after the brutal assault of Ku Ru we next had the melodic heavy rock of Birminghams Aceldama. They provide us with a set full of power ballads and head banging anthems, plus a bit of fun with their metal take on the Pointer Sisters classic, “I’m So Excited”.

Wayne Dorman – Dakesis

Quick change over and we had the equally impressive Dakesis. Their original take on European Power Metal has won them a legion of fans around the country, they are incredibly talented and the epic songs get everyone involved. The twin ax partnership of Wayne Dorman and Matt Jones must surely be one of the best in the underground scene, and “Valhalla” is the best quaffing song ever!
Time for a new band alert!! Well new to us anyway. VandalierS (yes they do spell it like that) hail from the Walsall area from what I can gather, but trying to find out about them has been a bit of a struggle, it seems these guys want to have that air of mystery about them!! Musically though they were superb. Strictly speaking I wouldn’t class them as a metal band, more classic rock influenced modern alt rock style, think Zep crossed with Biffy. Tight as the proverbial, heavy and soulful, a real eye opener and pleasant discovery.
So as the evening reaches it’s penultimate act, we can look back at what we’ve had so far. Hardcore, Melodic Heavy Metal, Power Metal and Alt-Rock, can’t grumble at that unless you were hoping for a bit of Black or Death Metal!!
Awake By Design fall into neither of those categories though, the up and coming Midlands band are creating a bit of a stir with their more Progressive Power Metal, soaring guitars and symphonic keyboards create a back drop to some epic tunes and the ABD fan club are massed at the front lapping it up. Their second album is about to land and don’t be suprised if you see a lot of press on these guys in the near future.

Matty – Obzidian

The climax to what’s been a great day is reached when Midlands Metalheads favourites Obzidian take to the stage. Front man Matty has been one of the main driving forces behind this event along with the team at Midlands Metalheads Radio and he must feel justifiably proud has he walks out onto stage to lead his band into a crushing set of thrash infused metal, a mix of crowd favourites, new tracks from the “Damned Eternal” EP and some fun moments with a Pantera medley. It crowns a triumphant day which shows that with a lot of determination and passion for what you believe in, then anything is possible. Hopefully this event will go on for many years to come, who knows maybe a two day fest next year? All you need to know though that this was and will always be a day for Metalheads brought to you by Metalheads.

More photos from the day can be viewed below or here