Tour of Insanity 2006 Review

Saturday 1st July 2006 – The Lockwood, Huddersfield

Icarus, Hallowed Point and Hamerex

Saturday 01st July was the first date of “The tour of insanity” which kicked off in Huddersfield, the home town of both Icarus and Hallowed Point. The turn out wasn’t bad, although it only takes a handful of people to make the Lockwood pub look like it’s packed out!

Hamerex opened the show and despite being the opening act seemed to play the longest set, causing Hallowed Point to cut their set short. Having seen Hamerex a couple of times in 2005 with ex – bassist Elliott, I at least had something to compare them to. I suppose in all fairness they haven’t gotten any worse, but they certainly haven’t improved at all in the 7 months since I last saw them.

Chris appeared to be struggling at times with his vocals although warmed up a little towards the end of the set. I think that with a little voice coaching and a lot of practise, they could have a decent singer in him, as he clearly has power and energy in his voice, but he just isn’t hitting the notes or using his voice as well as he could be doing.

While they have some undeniably catchy songs which have great potential, the entire band looked bored throughout their set with very little energy flowing on the stage. If Hamerex hope to progress, they must seriously work on their stage presence and invest in some voice coaching for Chris! 4/10

Next up were Hallowed Point. This was their first ever gig with their new line – up since undergoing a complete change of direction, image and name earlier this year. Being the first time seeing them as Hallowed Point, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, especially as they were playing without a bass player.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this thrashing trio. The music was tight and well rehearsed. Andy’s vocals are aggressive and put me in the mind of Schmier (Destruction). They play hard, they play fast. Their music conjures up images of mosh pits full of sweaty, long haired, ripped-sleeve, patched jeans and leather clad 80’s thrashers in a dirty, dingy, metal club!

Their style is very raw with some elements of death metal sprinkled in for good measure, although not enough to detract from their clear thrash sound. If you like your thrash raw, you will love these guys! Of course, this was only the beginning and there is still much room for improvement, but they certainly heading down the right path! Definitely one for the Destruction, Dark Angel, Sodom fans amongst you. 6/10

Icarus, were the headliners of the evening, although, for the majority of their tour dates they will be opening. To look at them, you would not imagine lead singer/guitarist Chaps to be in a heavy metal band, as he has such a clean cut, even trendy image so it’s understandable how they attract so many ladies to their gigs! As soon as they start their set it is apparent that he is more than just a pretty face and he is perhaps one of the most talented young guitarists around and he isn’t afraid to show off his fancy fretwork! It’s nice to see a band having a laugh up on stage too as they sing parodies about getting attacked with ice cream to the chorus on their song “Brainfreeze”.

One thing about Icarus, is that I wouldn’t say you have to be into a certain style of music to appreciate them or their performance. They are one of those bands who can appeal to people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Their set comprises a healthy mixture of original songs and covers including Iron Maiden’s “Phantom of the opera”, Alkaline Trio’s “Radio” and a Black Sabbath medley. Their original songs take classic hard rock, along with modern metal and a dash of punk and throw it all into the blender! My only real criticism of this band is that I don’t think their own songs particularly stand out, although they are still very young and have plenty of time to experiment with their sound; and they certainly have talent on their side! 7/10

David Heward
Metal Team UK

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