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Friday, 24 August 2018

A View From The Back Of The Room: BMF 666 Legions Charity Event For S.O.P.H.I.E (Live Review By Paul H)

BMF Metal Forum Charity Fundraising Evening, Fuel Rock Club

Organised by two of the BMF Metal 666 Forum administrators, Craig Preece and Jenny Lou, this was a post-Bloodstock event with the sole aim of raising extra funds for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation; a worthwhile cause which we all support. Four bands gave their time and my understanding is that over £175 was raised. A grand effort less than a week after the Bloodstock Open Air Festival had concluded.

A busy city centre but as openers Crainial Separation (8) kicked off the evening with their usual brutal death metal, there were few punters within the darkened stage area. Even though Ray, Chris and Sam had destroyed the Jagermeister Stage at Bloodstock seven days earlier, the guys showed little signs of fatigue or arrogance and once again ploughed through their catalogue with the usual gnarly panache. Maintaining enthusiasm after such a momentous occasion was challenging but credit to Cranial Separation who delivered their set with as much enthusiasm as they had a week before. Time to now expand the repertoire and kick on to the next level.

Manchester black metal outfit Deus Mori (7) were next and a new one to me. All credit to the band who had made the effort to travel a long way for this event. Their snarling black metal was greeted with enthusiasm by the slightly larger crowd. Black metal done well is sublime, black metal done poorly is dreadful and Deus Mori sit somewhere towards the former. Their set improved as it progressed, with the enthusiasm of the band impressive. I’d be interested to see these guys again if only to check out the ridiculous sight of the fringed bass player who looked more like he should be in The New York Dolls whilst the lead singer, Mr Dødsklokken I’ll have you know, looked more like an angry panda and as anyone knows, pandas suck.

Why The Crimson Brigade (4) are so highly thought of is beyond me. Their stage outfits were borderline drag queen, their music flooded with backing effects including drum machine and synths, and to be honest, it was difficult to establish if this was a karaoke band. The two members who did camp it up on stage gave it their all, swaggering around the stage but although I’ll give them full marks for effort, I’ll need to be convinced at another viewing.

With Fuel now their second home, Agrona (9) are now a well-oiled machine (And often very well oiled!) but with the weight of their superb debut album now fully behind them, they are also now turning in stellar performances whilst making it look supremely easy. Frontman Taranis commands the crowd from the front of the pit, effortlessly roaring his way through a set which is now crammed with solid tunes. The rest of the band are focused and intense, with Kreulon making a rare foray off the stage as the heat intensified. A special guest in the shape of steve Jenkins, the lead singer of Democratus added heft to Storms End and as the band thundered through to their final song, once more it was a joy to watch a local band who are likely to blow the beer out of Beermagedon next weekend.

A superb cause, a chance to catch up with some old and new friends, and all for the princely sum of £5. Fuel should have been rammed. It wasn’t. And that is something we need to address. Other than that, a great night and the perfect pick up after BOA.

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