Queensryche: The Motion Bristol
With the car packed and all travel arrangements in place, a quick trip across the Severn was the ideal precursor for our annual trip to Catton Hall for Bloodstock Open Air.
Opening the evening were upcoming Portsmouth based outfit Dendera (8) whose recent album Pillars Of Creation certainly whet the appetite here at MoM. A truncated set as a result of some technical difficulties demonstrated why we are particularly enthused about these guys. Full out Maiden influenced metal, Dendera have captured a sound that really resonates with the classic heavy metal fan whilst still sounding fresh and new. The guitar work of Stephen Main was excellent, ably supported by David Stanton, Bradley Edison and drummer Andy Finch whilst the vocals of Ashley Edison were most impressive, with the combination of Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson most apparent. Playing tracks from the aforementioned Pillars and previous release The Killing Floor, Dendera received an enthusiastic response from the crowd. Definitely worth checking out live.
A quick change around and then it was time for some Californian thrash from the always enjoyable Death Angel (8). Kicking off with Left For Dead from the most recent The Dream Calls For Blood, Death Angel tore through their 40 minute set at full throttle, ripping into the back catalogue with Claws In So Deep and Buried Alive which combined well with the current tracks Son Of The Morning and title track The Dream Calls For Blood. Having reformed in 2001, Death Angel have been consistently good live for many years with original member and totally engaging frontman Mark Osegueda seemingly thrilled that there was a good turn-out. In a venue which appeared to be predominantly there to see the headliner, Death Angel worked the small stage effortlessly, with the twin thrash attack of original guitarist Rob Cavenstany and Ted Aquilar shredding viciously. Driving rhythm section Will Carroll and Damien Sissan maintained the momentum with Osegueda prowling the stage and delivering a quality vocal performance. Closing with the aggression laden Thrown To The Wolves from The Ultra Violence, Death Angel once again demonstrated their standing in the thrash world.
Having seen the revitalised Queensryche (7) really hit the mark at Hard Rock Hell last November, I really wanted to see the band again in the live arena. Unfortunately, vocalist Todd La Torre was suffering with a very heavy cold and struggled throughout the short set. Opening with Night Rider, it was clear from the off that La Torre was really going to find the set hard going and whilst his voice didn't let him down, it was evident that this was really hard work. Breaking The Silence and Walk In Te Shadows followed, La Torre hitting the high notes with apparent ease despite the cold and guitarists Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton ensuring that they took up the slack with some brilliant guitar work. Old classics featured heavily, with some of the very early Queensryche music particularly pleasing to the ear; En Force and Warning to name but two. New track Arrow Of Time sounded interesting and received a good reception but as always it was the music from Operation Mindcrime which received the best response; The Needle Lies and Eyes Of A Stranger getting particularly warm receptions. Closing with Queen Of The Reich and The Lady Wore Black, Queensryche finished strongly and La Torre in particular proved that the show must go on.