No better way to ring in the bells of 2016 than with a weekend music festival. That’s exactly what Throne Fest provided us with; a 2 day spectacle showcasing the very best underground metal acts from up and down the country.
And with a line-up as hot as this one, there was no better place for people to be after a strenuous, post-Christmas-blues filled week back at work. So through the slush and snow, everybody – including ourselves – flocked to The Classic Grand for the event.
The Recovery kicked off with a solid set of tunes featuring catchy rhythms and great dual vocals that served as a nice warm up.
But the moment Lifelines got started, the energy picked up within the room big time. These guys obviously went in with an attitude where it didn’t matter they were on so early, they were still going to give it their all in the brief time they had and leave an impact.
And with that, they delivered a monumental performance with a live presence that was off the charts. The crowd were clapping and banging their heads, the first pit was unleashed and it all capped off with vocalist Paul journeying into the crowd, very briefly getting his surf on and climbing up the walls of the venue.
The band had just set a high standard for the rest to follow.
We never got a chance to check out last-minute addition Perpetua beforehand but they did impress with a bunch of forceful numbers notable for some cracking bass lines and hard-hitting drum beats; in particular, the final song Resistance was left ringing in our ears long after they were over and done with.
It had been 2 long years since we last seen From Sorrow To Serenity but they proved that they have only gotten better with time. Among the smoke and blinding strobes, they dished out their colossal brand of progressive groove metal, in which the people got singing along and the hardcore dancers were out on full force; primarily for i9 and Antithesis.
Topped off with strong vocals and slick technical riffs, it was an incredible 20 minutes that only got us more buzzing for their upcoming new album, which we predict is going to make huge waves and make 2016 a significant year for the band.
We had been dying to see To Kill Achilles for so long now but the wait was worth it. They erupted onto the stage and were quick to make their mark as they fired out one insane tune after another in mind-blowing fashion.
Frontman Mark took full control of the crowd and had them in the palm of his hand, whether it was encouraging two-stepping out of them or getting (literally) face-to-face with ourselves at the barrier.
It went by so fast but it was a crazy, fun as hell ride while it lasted. There was no doubt – To Kill Achilles had just stolen the show.
We were buzzing with anticipation as Shields made their way on, and there was no other act on the bill that had a tighter chemistry than this quintet did. They were in sync with each other all the way, especially Joe and Sam who rank as one of the best clean-scream vocal combos in all of the UK.
In addition, every track off the Guilt EP blew us away live as they did recorded, and all in all it was quite the entertaining experience.
After Martyr Defiled got done with a shortened yet wild set that had the rowdy crowd going berserk and bouncing all over, it was now time for the main event: Heart Of A Coward. For the past few years, the guys have worked hard to build into one of the country’s most prominent metal outfits, and they truly cemented that fact at this show.
They sent the packed venue on an hour long frenzy that never ceased throughout. As they dropped a mixture of tunes from their latest record Deliverance and classics such as the likes of Shade, Nightmare and Deadweight, all eyes were on them.
It didn’t matter if it was folk at the front, the inhabitants of the massive pit in the middle, spectators far at the back or even the bar staff at the sidelines, not a single head was turned away from the band as they delivered fierce vocals, electrifying guitar work and intense rhythms.
It was a chaotic, deafening affair, but we wouldn’t have expected any less from Milton Keynes’ finest, as they capped off the first day of Throne Fest on a blistering high note.