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13 November 2014

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You are in: Guernsey > Unsigned Bands > Reviews > Black Star Tattoo present Hard As Hell

Darker Shores' "man mountain" Big Phil.

Darker Shores' "man mountain" Big Phil.

Black Star Tattoo present Hard As Hell

One night and four of Guernsey's heaviest bands took to the stage at St Margaret's Lodge for a night simply dubbed 'Hard as Hell'.

On March 31st, at 8 o'clock in the evening, at St Margaret's Lodge, or as it is lovingly referred to these days "St Maggie's", the crowd outside was sparse as it seemed more youngsters are perfecting the practice of arriving fashionably late.

Dangerous Kids and Machine Gun Antics guitarist.

Dangerous Kids and Machine Gun Antics guitarist.

However the hoard of young rockers that had assembled outside the venue were spending their time ironically dancing to club music in the car park.
   
St Maggie's always appears to me in an odd juxtaposition, with its easy on the eye hotel style decoration it seems an unlikely place for a rock gig, but it never takes long for Guernsey's rock faithful to transform it into a black mass of stink and sweat.
   
Opening act tonight, new band Dangerous Kids and Machine Gun Antics took to the stage, however their metal-core style failed to engage the audience.

Dangerous Kids' two singers' vocals were lost on the crowd, and there was little to no movement from them, despite vocalist Ben's attempts to get them going. It's not as if they didn't look eclectic enough, with the tandem bleach blonde guitarists, and their two vocalists, but they seemed to be more about their look than anything else.

It wasn't long into the set when half the crowd retreated back outside where all seemed to be in agreement and although they sum it up well, their views are a tad too explicit for this write up.

Jack Fletcher of MyLastVictory.

Jack Fletcher of MyLastVictory.

Dangerous Kids have the potential to be a great band, if only they spend a little more time practicing and a little less time buying hairspray.
   
In a strange turn of events MyLastVictory, a band accustomed to headlining, are second on the bill. This obviously doesn't bother them as they open with deafening new song 'Desire, Deceived, Deceased' and it's all business from there and one song in the first pit of the night erupts.

Technically brilliant as always, MLV assaulted the crowd with a barrage of new material. Mixing melody with brutal vocals the band steamed through their set, and when crowd favourite 'Scars and Memories' came over the PA the pit doubled in size and there was pure mayhem as the pit spread out over the whole of St Maggie's dance floor.

The band finished their set with another new song entitled 'Black Pages' as yet another small but intense pit ensued, with front man Jack Fletcher stalking around his own pit. 

MyLastVictory inspire the mosh.

MyLastVictory inspire the mosh.

MyLastVictory will be a tough act to follow tonight as they prove once again why they are up there with the best bands in Guernsey.
   
Ferox were up next and with song titles such as 'Multiple Stab Wounds', '10 Thousand Bodies' and 'Recoil in Revulsion' they were, as always, a delight to see.

Ferox were technically sound as ever, their fast and simple thrash style being very effective which, when combined with singer/guitarist Matt's unique screams and bellows, becomes something spectacular.

Despite this it is a shame that the crowd movement descended to nothing more than head bobbing. The harsh, heavy and hammering thrash metal blaring across the room being more than worthy of a good pit, however the crowd seemed a little bit despondent at this point.

Matt of Ferox.

Matt of Ferox.

Four songs in and one dread locked maniac decided enough was enough and started a pit by himself, this broke the crowd deadlock and others soon folloed, but unfortunately it didn't last long.

Ferox were hard hitting and at points could be described as Slayer gone mental, they finished in a flurry of death metal but still failed to get the crowd they deserved.
  
It's quite an achievement that only a couple of months ago Darker Shores were a support act, but they have quickly cemented their place as one of Guernsey's premier metal acts and with the recent release of there debut album 'Majestically Terrifying' they were headlining tonight.

Not two seconds into the set and the largest and most violent pit of the night broke out all over the venue. Out of the blue, after the first song, the crowd disintegrated and it became apparent that it is home time for the majority of the young audience, but the dozen man pit continued into second song 'The Unspoken Truth'.

As the man mountain appropriately named Big Phil let rip with his tortured screams, accompanied by Darker Shores' booming black metal made mainstream bands of the same genre such as Cradle of Filth sound like a day at the nursery school.

Bob of Darker Shores.

Bob of Darker Shores.

DS pounded through a set of material from 'Majestically Terrifying' which was incredibly fast paced, largely due to drummer Daz being considered one of the fastest drummers on the island.

Despite the dwindling crowd Shores pounded through their set with far superior ferocity then anyone else tonight and the skepticism of My Last Victory's low billing had all but been washed away by Darker Shores' high tide of brutality.

The band finished with a blistering 'Prophecy of Annihilation', and after the set I got the views of front man Phil, "It's always nice to see the youngsters here, and they've been buying the CD so we're appreciative. It is a shame that they can't stay later but they'll have their chance to see us at the all day gig at L'Ancresse.
   
For everybody that managed to stay until the end, a real metal treat was dished out tonight, and we are reminded that Guernsey's metal scene really is flourishing at the moment.

Photos by Tony Robins.

last updated: 14/10/2008 at 16:03
created: 02/04/2007

You are in: Guernsey > Unsigned Bands > Reviews > Black Star Tattoo present Hard As Hell

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