Cannibal Corpse The band everyone had come out on this now very snowy night to see, American Death Metal outfit Cannibal Corpse, undoubtedly one of the founding fathers of the Death Metal genre we all know today.


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Opeth Tonight we venture into the world of progressive metal; specifically of the Nordic variety. The 02 Institute in Birmingham presents us with Enslaved from Norway, a band that has been on the radar since the nineties and has a large back catalogue to choose from. The headliner tonight, Opeth, have garnered much success in their 18 years since formation, with frequent changes in style along the way.


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Thy Art Is Murder Tonight I visited the 02 Academy Birmingham to catch Australian Deathcore giants Thy Art Is Murder with support from After the Burial. It became evident from the moment I arrived that this was a very popular one, Academy 2 was rammed.


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Limp Bizkit My fingers were well and truly crossed that I would be able to review this show. Limp Bizkit are a band I have loved for a long time but never actually made it to see, not sure why that is. With Crossfaith supporting I was expecting great things, and with Baby Godzilla, whom I was assured were fun, I was set for a goodnight.


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Children Of Bodom Friday night and another curfew gig – here we go again. Despite the 5.30pm door there was a reasonable turnout to witness the first band of the night, although a disturbing trend with sound issues detracted from their, and the rest of the line-up's, dynamics...


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Hammerfest III Anticipation doesn't even come close as the journey unfolded towards the first festival of the year. It may not have been under canvas, but yours truly and uber-tog Gobi were like school kids at the prospect of what was to come. Alcoholic oblivion? Rhetorical question. The finest that metal had to offer? Oh yes, and then some... uncharacteristically blue skies were overhead as we arrived. Check in was swift and cheery, and Roman soldiers and ladies in togas had got to be a result. Enough said – add whatever witticism you feel appropriate... Enough of the pre-amble, to the bands...


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WATAIN Talk about an extreme stylistic clash. My last review job was reviewing the high-energy, youthful post hardcore of Your Demise in front of a packed, clean-cut Academy III. Tonight however couldn’t have been more of a shift, with both Watain and Shining dwelling in the darkness, providing an eye-raising double-headed mix of depressive Scandinavian black metal and disturbing nihilism. Both bands have gleefully courted controversy throughout their respective careers, and welcomed it with both open arms and open veins.


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Bonecrusher Another year, another Bonecrusher. Would it live up to its name, or would it fall in an embarrassing heap on its metal arse? Kicking off the night were Angelus Apatrida an old school thrash band from the land of the current football World Cup champions. Thrash from Spain? Are you mad? Well, actually, no. Their efforts were diminished by one of the sludgiest, bass-heavy, sounds heard in a long time. Thrash relies on crispness and crunch, and so much that they could have wished to achieve was lost instantly. The relentless double bass drum onslaught boomed alarmingly and negated any bite that the guitars may have had. Don't get me wrong they were still entertaining, with all the prerequisite thrash components being firmly in place, but you couldn't help but wonder how murderous they could be with everything in their favour. Bearing in mind the early start, the pit erupted into life midway through their second track at about 6.25pm so clearly they were doing something right. One to keep an eye on for the next time they visit these shores...


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Metal Hammer Razor Tour Next up was Scottish heavyweights Bleed From Within fresh from their European tour with All That Remains & Soilwork. Playing a lot of their new material at first the crowd were going wild with circle pits and lots of crowd surfing taking places with vocalist Scott Kennedy getting right in with the crowd passing the microphone out to singing fans who were loving every second of this amazing performance by the band. After playing tracks from Empire & Humanity their set ends with Scott throwing himself front flipping into the crowd landing on everyone in sight to massive applause.


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The Imperial Never Say Die! Tour 2010 When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Or, when there’s no more room in a sorely over-populated hardcore scene, they’ll whack seven of ‘em on a bill and send them on the road. The Imperial Never Say Die tour is yet another HC package bill that seem to be quite the trend, and for good reason.


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Ghostfest DAY 2 Headliners Gallows stepped onstage 25 minutes late, lapping up the air of anticipation which permeated the room. They dedicated a song to Yorkshire in honour of their headline performance in Leeds, renaming ‘London Is The Reason’ to ‘Yorkshire Is The Reason’ which had the crowd chanting along. They played almost an hour of their trademark sing-along hardcore punk, peppered with Frank Carter’s uninsightful, cheeky and cocky banter.


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Ghostfest DAY 1 Headliners The Acacia Strain stormed onto the stage with one goal in mind: to make a much noise as possible. As vocalist Vincent Bennett announced ‘We are a very angry fucking band’ they ripped into a sound that epitomised their hatred. The American deathcore band decided they would dedicate a song especially to the UK Hardcore and straight edge scene. The crowd reacted well to the headline act’s aggressive performance.


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Napalm Death It seemed somewhat fitting that just a week prior to the latest open day for the Home of Metal project - set up to celebrate the heritage of Birmingham's heavy metal pioneers - that Napalm Death set up shop at Birmingham's impressive new venue - The Asylum in Hockley - for a one-off and long-awaited hometown show...


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