Saturday 17th December 2005 – Thatched House, Stockport
Allerjen, Sevenyearsdead, In Pain Die, Attica Rage, Bison Hammer, Mantra, Luntara and Hamerex
The doors to the Thatched House opened promptly at midday and the inaugural Raised Horns Fest was set to open with local band Niliath taking the stage. Unfortunately and without any comment or contact of any kind, Niliath did a no show and the day was off to a bad start. It started slowly too, for at this early time barely anybody was in attendance except a couple of bands (Hamarex, Luntara & Mantra) and a few fans good enough to travel with them.
So as the clock struck half past one, the fest finally opened with Hamarex who had travelled across the Pennines from Wakefield. A few people had milled in by now and Hamarex put on a great display. An hours worth of old school metal very much in the vein of Iron Maiden. Excellent riffs and a strong baseline made up for the singer who through no fault of his own wasn’t the most audible. Towards the end of the set standards slipped ever so slightly and a lot of ear screeching feedback could be heard but they made the best of an early set and impressed all who watched. Hamarex leave Stockport with a hard earned 6 out of 10.
The show continued with Kent band Luntara, replacing the drum kit for a beat box Luntara add a new flavour to the day and a nice variety to the occasion. By now the boys from Allerjen plus a few others have shown up and the crowd begins to grow. Those in attendance are enthralled by Luntara’s catchy beats and captivating lyrics and peaked with the ever popular Mind rape. If that wasn’t enough, suave looking suit wearing Dan, the security man goes down a treat too. Luntara with a fantastic set get 7/10.
The Yorkshire invasion continued next with the sludge laden stoner metal band from Scarborough, Mantra. This trio of musicians pick up a lot of friends with this set and guarantee themselves a place on the Raised Horns January mini tour. Very much along the same lines as Black Label Society or Raised Horns favourite The Inbreds, Mantra have heads banging within seconds with fantastic riffs and one of the most awesome young drummers on the scene. Watch this space because Mantra is going to take the scene by force. A hard earned and thoroughly deserved 8/10 for the Scarborough trio.
Local boys Bison Hammer (Formerly Orchid) hit the stage next. Bison Hammer have brought a decent following and the venue is starting to fill up nicely. With a slightly screamo edge to their style Bison Hammer sound good but have a hard job topping the previous band. But it’s a decent set with catchy riffs and strong baselines earning the Bison Hammer boys 6 out of 10. Check Bison Hammer out at The Thatched House, 15th January, presented by Raised Horns.
Next up is one of the true highlights of the day, and Raised Horns was proud to present for the first time ever in England, hailing from Glasgow, the mighty Attica Rage. The now pretty much full Thatched House stands on in awe as the Scottish four wow them with their terrific old school melodies and a refreshing blast of head banging goodness. How to end an already astounding set? Simple, play your best song, in this case Back To The Old School and then to finish, Iron Maidens most famous song, Fear Of The Dark. Its their first time here and Rage make a grade A impression. Attica Rage, 8/10.
Time to get heavy, very heavy in fact and it doesn’t get much heavier than Liverpool’s finest In Pain Die. Ferocious vocals, grinding riffs and bone crushing aggression that some of the other bands lacked. In Pain Die aren’t the most popular on the band on the day but a good set none the less. 7/10.
So with two bands to go step up the band of the day, the local boys playing their local venue, the awesomely talented Sevenyearsdead. A big thank you and all our thanks go out to SYD after on the same day, singer Jez and guitarist Pete suffer a tragic family bereavement yet still muster up the strength to hit us with the set of their careers. By now the place is jammed full and SYD blow everyone away. All the favourites ring out into the rafters as well as a few newbies which will feature on a new SYD album hopefully to be released in 2006. A simply stunning hours set with SYD, as always. 10/10
And so the day draws to a close and Raised Horns Fest has come from a slow start to a great success with a packed venue, great bands and an excellent atmosphere, and to top it off its another Raised Horns favourite Allerjen. Another heavy display from the Allerboys, with their thrash metal style tinged with a melodic doom metal feeling. Theres something for all Transformers fans with Until All Are One and Fire In The Sky; as well as Damnation Festival Severed Promotions Mike Hyslop giving vocal contribution for Nowhere and Courage Will Find You. Its a fun filled set withsome great songs. A hard earned 9/10 for Allerjen