Co-authored by Phill ‘Krav’ Krawiec and Steve Fallows.
There was a time when March used to be about daffodils, St. Patrick’s Day, Mothers’ Day and the occasional chocolate egg but not any more. March is now the month of Hammerfest and everything else pales in insignificance, this year sees the fourth incarnation – “Hammer Of Thor”.
Team TINAS has been wetting themselves in anticipation at the thought of seeing the likes of Anthrax, Skindred, Amon Amarth, Paradise Lost, Evile and so much more ear candy than you can poke a cotton bud at!
Here’s where you will find members of Team TINAS in varying states of sobriety, if you see them say hi and buy them a drink:
Stage two – Thor’s Stage
Saracen (22:00 – 22:55)
Let’s start off with Saracen. Their first full length release, “Heroes, Saints & Fools,” was back in 1981, since then they have released four more albums, including their 2011 offering “Marilyn”. Now the five-piece are ready to embark on a journey to provide a fantastic set of new and old hits for the die-hard fans of the band or new and more intrigued metal fans.
The Sanity Days (23:05 – 00:00)
Following on straight after are another band that is ready to quench our thirst for more metal, The Sanity Days. They are ready to unleash some extraordinary riffs upon our unsuspecting ears and shred tirelessly throughout their set. Most of the band were members of Onslaught, so I have no doubt that they will bring a whole host of incredible energy and tunes. This is one band to look out for on the Thursday night music binge, oh yes!
Stage One – Battle Stage
Paradise Lost (21-15 – 22-30)
Depressing, melancholic and certainly iconic, the doom metal pioneers Paradise Lost are arguably stronger than ever before. Thirteen albums down including their latest offering, “A Tragic idol”, which is due for an April release, and many performances on the biggest stages of the metal industry.
The doom merchants will mesmerise and enslave the crowd to the very core of their dark souls. Expect heaviness and darkness in equal measures from Paradise Lost.
Anthrax (22-45 – 00-15)
There is no stopping the majestic Anthrax since welcoming Joey Belladonna back into the fold and the sheer brilliance of 2011’s “Worship Music”. A back catalogue that stretches over thirty years and despite several changes of vocalist throughout their career, Anthrax’s status as one quarter of The Big Four of Thrash Metal was never in question. Hammerfest IV is the madhouse and Anthrax are set to drive their fans insane!
Evile (00-30 – 01-30)
Would it be the best decision to inject a little vigour into your bones to end the first night of Hammerfest IV on a massive high? The answer is a big yes! Their successful Five Serpent’s Teeth fresh on the shelves and receiving never-ending acclaim, Huddersfield thrashers Evile are set to explode onto the stage with their modern thrash metal melodies. Their live shows get better every time Evile, so what better way to close the first night of Hammerfest IV, with a bang!
Stage Two – New Sounds Stage
Arthemis (15:00 – 15:45)
The next band ready to take over the Second Stage on Friday will be, Arthemis. Formed in 1999 the band is ready to unleash a mix of heavy metal with thrash metal for a floor-filling show. The Italian quartet of shredders will not disappoint as they will play career spanning set taken from their six albums. I would definitely keep an eye out for these guys.
Sci-Fi Mafia (16:00 – 16:45)
Stage two on Friday will also be bringing a little bit of UK Electronic/Industrial Metal from Sci-Fi Mafia. They will introduce quite a unique spectacle of their music and give an alternative feel to the festival. It’s one band to look forward to who will be interesting to see and listen to, especially the tracks from their debut album.
Fury UK (18-00 – 18-45)
The blazing Manchester three-piece Fury UK are ready to delight Hammerfest IV again. Infusing their classic metal and hard rock influences, their work has taken Fury UK far and wide, gaining a legion of fans across the globe. With three entertaining albums under the belt with not to mention the relentless touring and inspiring words from Y&T’s respected guitarist Mike Meniketti, they’re a crowd pleaser absolutely not to be missed!
Asomvel (19:00 – 19:40)
Travelling from Harrogate to Hammerfest IV whilst stopping for a few beers and JD along the way, we have the almighty fast paced rebel heavy metal band Asomvel. Their Motörhead like influences will certainly be a crowd pleaser, if not, well according to Asomvel ‘These guys calmly walk on, bludgeon your senses with a baseball bat and then retire to the bar, leaving you with what’s left of your mind in a pool in your pants’. So yeah, a welcoming band I might add, but in all seriousness though, the band will certainly lift the ceiling and raise hell.
Slam Cartel (19-55 – 20-30)
After gaining backing from the likes of The Cult’s Billy Morrison, London’s Slam Cartel released their debut “Handful Of Dreams” last year and their popularity has been steadily growing ever since. Their brand of simple, honest hard rock should draw a pretty big crowd and should be a grand part to the evening.
RSJ (21-35 – 22-10)
Looking back at their history in the British metal scene, you can’t help but feel a little awe-struck at what such a young band like York veterans RSJ has achieved. Flowing through heaviness to pure hostility to raw beauty with their varied style, different sensations are set to explode as soon as the first chord strikes. Watch out in mid 2012 when RSJ release their mini album entitled “Higgs Boson”, you’ll see publications, festivals and gig-goers ranking them highly in their end of year polls.
Achren (22:30 – 23:20)
All the way from Scotland, we have the brilliantly yet brutally named Achren, who will be regurgitating some monstrous black/death metal for our listening pleasure. For the extreme metal fans out there, this will be a band that will have so much energy and speed, that they will leave you craving for more.
Evil Scarecrow (00-25 – 01-20)
The scariest thing to come out of Nottingham since ‘Torvill & Dean’ claims Evil Scarecrow’s (Stage Two, Fri, 0025 – 0120) biography and surely that is enough to convince people to check out Dr. Rabid Hell and his band as they amuse the late crowds. They balance their parodies with some damn fine songwriting that should mean an entertaining hour for anyone with a love of all things metal. With influences ranging from Cradle Of Filth to Europe, there should be something for everyone in attendance.
Lawnmower Deth (01-35 – 02-30)
Nottinghamshire’s thrash maniacs Lawnmower Deth continue their run of festival shows during their comeback, with this late night slot on Friday. After a couple of spots at recent Download and Damnation festivals, their post headliner slot will be perfect entertainment for the drunken masses.
Look out for some of the covers that gave the band their break in the early nineties like Kim Wilde’s ‘Kids In America’ and the Squeeze classic ‘Up The Junction’.
Stage Three – Fresh Blood
Kyrbgrinder (12-55 – 13-30)
Another London based rock band, this time with a neat line in chunky metal riffs and hooks. Kyrbgrinder (Stage Three, Fri, 12.55 – 1330) have gained somewhat of a cult following, expect a batch of tunes from their impressive “Cold War Technology” album, the three piece led by drummer/vocalist Johanne James have a decent live reputation and should get people moving despite the early set time.
Trucker Diablo (13-45 – 14-30)
Be warned, make sure you have a full pint as the Northern Irish hard rockers Trucker Diablo take to the stage, as they simply “love to drink beer”! Of course, they also love to play sublime rock and roll tunes. Gaining praise from none other than Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot, a guest appearance by new Thin Lizzy front man Ricky Warwick, on their debut album “The Devil Rhythm” and an honourable recommendation by Twister Sister’s Dee Snider at their 2011 Download Festival performance, affirms that Trucker Diablo are much more than your average hard rock band.
The Gentlemen of Distorted Sound (14-45 – 15-15)
The Gentlemen of Distorted Sound (Stage Three, Fri, 1445 – 1515) bring their sleazy blues-rock to North Wales and should impress amongst a strong afternoon line up on the Fresh Blood stage. A decent mixture of different classic rock styles, a good band well worth checking out.