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Live review: Wrongstock II

UK hopefuls and diehards rustle up the riffs

Evile on stage
(Image: © Derek Bremner)

The bill might be handpicked by one of the UK’s most respected metal producers, Russ Russell, but The Underworld isn’t full for REPRISAL [6].

Their death/hardcore hybrid wakes up the keenest punters, though. The masked men of SONS OF PACKINSON [7] are up next, and their music is just as excellently aggressive as their image. WAIL OF SIRENS [8] just take Band Of The Day with their old-school hardcore meets grind meets sarcastic stage banter mix. ERADIKATOR [6] struggle to continue the relentless pace, even though they have a nice line in Iron Monkey-level heaviness.

DERANGE [5] are stylistically the odd ones out. Their shimmering, prog-tinged tech-metal is received politely and nothing more. There’s nothing at all polite about STONEGHOST [8], who come roaring out of the traps as the first band that seem to have a real grasp of stagecraft today.

Karybdis don’t crank the volume up high enough

Karybdis don’t crank the volume up high enough (Image credit: Derek Bremner)

Last year’s New Age Of Old Ways debut owes as much to Mastodon as it does to Black Label Society, but live they take their cues from Pantera. KARYBDIS [6] are left choking on their dust, with a sound that’s more contemporary but strangely muted.

The venue is near full as headliners EVILE [8] peel out gem after thrash gem. They might never hit the commercial heights of their early days again, but, in this setting, they’re still the best recipe for whiplash.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.