Sonisphere 2014: Raging Speedhorn

Grind things up a bit

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Headlining the Jagermeister tent on the final day of Sonisphere are a band making their welcome return to live shows - Raging Speedhorn!

As the sun beats down on the main arena of Sonisphere there’s something darker lurking in the blue tent in the corner. The purveyors of British grindcore Raging Speedhorn are taking their first steps on stage together for over six years and the half-full big top is hot with anticipation as they plunge head and fists first into The Hate Song.

The sound is a little off to begin with as the vocals are lost in the mix but it’s eventually rectified and we can go back to having our ears punished by two vocalists who look like they could punch the trunk off an elephant.

Despite being a special event in the band’s history and a headline set, it’s an understated affair. Strobe lights and a backdrop of the We Will Be Dead Tomorrow artwork, it’s back to basics DIY - even down to the reminders to check out their Facebook page and buy their merchandise.

Frank Regan stands at the front of the six men on stage in a t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Volume over talent’ - something Speedhorn have by bucketload that gets the moshers moving down front - but not after a bit of goading. “We go away for six years and mosh pits disintegrate” shouts John Loughlin as a circle pit grows wider and wider between the two pillars holding up the big blue structure.

The crowd begins to thin from the back as the set goes on as Speedhorn have the unenviable task of running just before Metallica take to the main stage. Something the band are acutely aware of and proudly state that ‘Tallica “used to be good.” Which is at odds with Speedhorn who are as good as they used to be this evening. The odd sound issue didn’t help and the slightly inactive audience didn’t help, but this is a solid 45 minute grinding backhand to the face. Let the raging continue.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.