Manchester Academy Heavy Rock and Metal Festival Review 18.01.13

Dusty Pop Entertainment presents a special event featuring ten Manchester bands over two stages, Club Academy and Academy 3. It is a great opportunity for starting out bands to showcase their music. What I wasn’t expecting was the bands on both stages to be playing at the same time. This made punters biased to who they wanted to see leaving some bands that may need the exposure playing to only ten or twenty people.

The festival wasn’t that busy, this may be because of the weather but for both venues put together, hold around 1600 people and there must of been around 300 at a push. The venue gradually got busier as the night went on.

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The line up consisted of ;

Headliners INCASSUM Academy 3 and SEVERENTH Club Academy.

The Buried and Broken are the first to hit the stage in Club Academy. They are a five piece band producing a more modern metal sound like Trivium, Killswitch Engage and As I lay Dying. This year they will be hitting the studio for the first time to record their first EP and continue to gig to get their music out there, no dates announced as of yet. The Buried and Broken played all original songs, Fade away, Endless Struggle, This is My Empire and Second Place. This is great but a cover would of been great to include in set to draw attention to the band and show the punters what they could do.

Revival were the act to open the Academy 3 stage. They kick the night into a more melodic beginning, with their vicious shredding and catchy melodies. They have a debut EP ‘The Darkest Days’ , February to April they will be writing for their new album and May will be their return. Tonight’s set list was Darkest Days, Better Left Unsaid, Gone Insane, Forever and Reborn.

Aftermath Eternal

Aftermath Eternal I hate to say are the most unprofessional band I have ever come across, calling people pussies because they weren’t head banging to the music, lead people to leave the room. There were a few that enjoyed their brutality and gave just as much back. There seemed to be confusion as to who was the front man, Joe  the vocalist or Mike the drummer, many of times when talking to the audience they were over lapping each other about different things, this was very confusing and became very unclear what it was they were actually talking about. Mike sung the melodic vocals over Joe’s growling. It was very Trivium, however Mike’s vocals were very weak as most of his energy was being put into drums so when he needed to hit the higher notes he could not get his breath. Joe is the newest member of the group, so after a lot of line-up changes the band now feel they are in a good place to start getting back up to scratch and heading back into the gigging scene. The set list included Where Is Your God Now?, a cover from Machine Head ‘A Thousand Lies’, The Betrayed, Rise Again, Claustrophobic and Judgement Day. 

Giants of The West are a four piece punk/metal band with underlying influences of 90’s grunge/punk/rock music. Well embedded influence is Offspring and Nirvana. At the minute there is no news of what Giants of The West will be undertaking this 2013, you can keep an eye out on their facebook page for any updates. Their set tonight included A Clear Panther Situation, Jam session, No Retail for Old Men, Ultimate Bandwidth, Arthur Brown, Crazy Eye and Friends.

Another Dead Hero are a grunge band with three albums under their belt, since I was watching Aftermath Eternal I just caught the last few songs of Another Dead Hero’s set. From listening to their recorded songs and to their live, live they sound a lot like Limp Bizkit, which is extremely strange, with a slightly more aggression. They are great musicians, however their songs don’t reflect their potential.    Tonight’s set included Change The Game, Fist Full of Anger, Infection, Stoner, Better Than That and I Don’t Care.

Seracrusis a four man band or should I say boy band, only young kids who were extremely passionate about metal, they are going down the route of a technical death metal band and hopefully releasing an EP this year. The members know the genre, maybe nervous got to them tonight playing to 40 odd people but they came across as individuals, rather than one set band, their songs sounded incomplete or coherent with each other,  within time and practice these boys can pull together a tight complex structure that death metal needs. The set was only short consisting of  Flight 11, Under the Guillotine, Black Honour and Requiem.

Candid Iniquity a metal band from Manchester and a renowned one to the locals. They are known for their aggression and their modern punch. This year they will be appearing at Rocksector’s SOS festival along with Trixais, Dave Evans and Babylon Fire. During their performance bass player Oliver Pietruch thought it would be metal to remove his pants and expose some what bright pink and black white fronts hmmm…sooo tonight’s set list Who Told Me, Staying Here or Moving On, A System, Obsinate, Is This England?

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Next up newly reformed Collibus with one cracking set, by far the best band, no showing off just pure good metal that drives movement. Gemma Fox the vocalist is a talented individual that holds the attention of the audience and holds a constant momentum on stage. They are heavy metal band with a progressive nature, guitarist Stephen Platt and Daniel Mucs forefront Collibus’ good reputation. Collibus will be releasing an album this 2013 with a debut music video and a tour more details to come. I recommend you check the songs from the set list tonight The Hunted, Insurrection, Break The Silence, Thoughts In Vain and Dead inside. All of which had the crowd ecstatic. 

To headline Academy 3 tonight was Incassum to whom are no strangers to this venue. Just released their brand new album for 2013 ‘Rite of Passage’. Front woman Sharleen Kennedy is known for her haunting growl and soaring vocals. They have a cross over sound of Lacuna Coil with Killswitch Engaged or maybe a splash of a heavier Evanescence. Their set tonight were a great mixture of songs from In Vain EP and brand new material from ‘Rite of Passage’ . Redemption, Blood Soaked Banner,  Demons That Dwell, History Repeats, Walk Alone, Cut Loose, The Beckoning and A World’s Fear.

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Tonight’s finale was Severenth. They are a band not to be taken lightly or trifled with, the vocal brutality from Peet Bailey and bass player Ben Jones are one of the bands striking features. There influences definitely drawn upon Roadrunners heavy metal bands with very similar characteristics and thematics. The one comment about tonight’s performance is the band are extremely tight but there is a lack of unity between them, no reference or expression to each other, it’s them individually and the spectators. Overall a performance that left one hell of a buzz in Club Academy, ending a night of fucking heavy metal.

Set List Severenth

The Question
Two Mirrors
Wayward Days
My illusion
Gods Game
Born To Suffer

All Pictures Courtesy of John McGibbon.




About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.