AIM PRESENTS... THE HARDROCK & METAL COALITION
Great Escape Festival's first ever showcase
for Metal + extreme rock.
2015 saw The Great Escape Festival celebrate it's tenth birthday and
Rock in most of it's many forms has been well represented over the years
especially within the Alternative Escape programme. There have been
sponsored stages by Rock Sound Magazine featuring bands such as Don
Broco, Marmozets, Sonic Boom Six, The Blackout, and more besides but
there has never been a specific event for bands of a seriously heavy
nature. There has always been a distinct lack of Metal and the Great
Escape has never been seen as a festival for the more extreme and heavier
guitar bands. That was to change this year though with the addition
of the festival’s first ever showcase of its kind... the “AIM
Presents… Hardrock and Metal Coalition” event at Volks venue
on the seafront, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to take
some photos. If you didn't go along here's a taste of what you missed
The first band on were Elegies,
a twin vocal six piece melodic hardcore band. With music made in equal
parts crushing and atmospheric, discordant melodies swapping with heavyweight
riffs, the vocal tag team of Tom Hoyland and Sam Gibson prowled the
floorspace like caged lions, roaring in the faces of the ring of people
trapping them in front of the stage. Songs like the impressive “Throne”
proved they have an ear for a memorable chorus hookline too. I photographed
them before the show also, for a portrait which will be added to these
pages very soon...
Line continued the show from where Elegies left off but refused
to be contained to just the stage area. The only band member who did
remain on stage was drummer James Coggin, the others introduced the
band’s Mathcore style to every corner of the venue in person.
Guitarist Usama Rafique even played a song standing on the bar countertop.
It was an insane show, and if you had not heard the band before you
will certainly remember the experience. If you are still grieving over
the day The Chariot split up The Colour Line may well make you feel
a whole lot better. I have a set of photos to upload which I'll be doing
in the not too distant future. Keep an eye out for those.
Celebrating their earlier signing on the beach to Best
Before Records, Press
To MECO took to the stage looking understandably pleased for themselves.
The band’s punkier edge and more traditional songwriting approach
was in contrast with the evening’s previous bands but no less
hard hitting. Particularly impressive were the vocal harmonies which
sounded spot on throughout. I saw the band again at Camden Rocks a couple
of weeks later and they sounded great then too. More pics from both
these gigs will be uploaded soon with a link added here.
Also on the Best Before label was the next band to take to the stage,
with a return to a slighter harder sound, the vocal melodies giving
way to occasional screamed parts. They sounded tight even though bass
player Stephen Crook spent much time throwing himself around, climbing
the PA stack at one point and doing handstands and caterpillar break-dance
moves at the end of the set! Songs from the new album Truthseeker sounded
just as good in the live setting. Hopefully they’ll be the ones
that enable ACODA to grow to bigger stages.
The headliners for the evening were Savage
Messiah, adding their old school thrash metal sound to the mix of
tonight’s variety of styles. It’s a genre that can be quite
unforgiving where only the tightest bands can really impress. Savage
Messiah are one of the tightest on the scene, thanks to Andrea Gorio’s
outstanding double bass drum footwork. This gig was no exception as
guitars and drums locked together to stunning effect. Dave Silver’s
voice was in top form too hitting the high notes with ease. It all made
for a perfect way to bring the evening to a close.
I really hope this event will be back again. It's important for these
more extreme music genres to be properly represented at such an auspicious
music industry showcasing event as the Great Escape. Bands like these,
who put on enthralling live shows as standard, keep the live circuit
buzzing and continue to push the boundaries when recording new music.
More power to them I say!
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