It’s not often I win anything but thanks to TBFM Radio I head to Cardiff to watch the first night of the inaugural Headbangers Balls Tour. A worthy set of events up and down the UK organised by Reign Of Fury vocalist Bison Steed (who survived his battle with testicular cancer) and the bands manager Andy Pilkington.
First up, Ebbw Vale bruisers and good friends of mine Fell On Black Days. Kicking off the night, Ends With Me featured guest vocals from Dave Malpas, their brand of metalcore got heads banging and the quickly filling venue hot and sweaty for all the right reasons. Vocalist Gavin Robinson has growls that could summon Satan himself to throw the horns and although the clean vocals were lost in the mix the boys powered through songs like Mea Culpa and blended new tracks such as The Day Everything Changed easily. 7/10
Next up the organizers and tour ever presents, Reign Of Fury. I must admit the name conjours up and old school Slayer-esque thrash band. But whilst these guys certainly thrash musically, their vocalist Bison is what really sets them apart. A mostly clean singer akin to any of the best 80’s metal vocalists, his passion for life and his bands music is infectious. Melodies soar. Solos and riffs are huge, technical and precise. Drums pound and weave seamlessly to create anthems that get all of Bogiez rocking hard! 8/10
After that double dose of manliness it’s time to get in touch with our feminine side as next up are female fronted Cardiffians Triaxis. First off, I confess how ashamed I am that despite the fact guitarist Glyn used to be in a band with me and is currently producing my bands album, this is the first time I’ve had chance to see the power metal behemoths. And as they tear Bogiez a new one from the first note of Under Blood Red Skies that guilty feeling turns to determination to not miss them again! Front woman Krissie is on majestic form reminding both the men and women to check their bits! Glyn and Claire trade riffs like it was going out of fashion and all too soon last song Black Trinity is leaving the Headbangers Balls crowd breathless for more! 9/10
Last but not least are Portsmouth death metal crew Bloodshot Dawn and sadly after Triaxis‘s onslaught, the crowd has thinned a little. Shame on them really cos the remaining pack are treated to an exercise in brutality! Tracks like The Quantum Apocalypse and Godless just leveled the Bogiez faithful and by the time they leave the stage sweaty grins are plenty and all hope this happens again next year! 8/10
Photo courtesy of HEADBANGERS BALLS