Wildfire Festival 2015 – Worship Metal’s Full Weekend Review
Wildfire Festival turned up the heat over a long weekend that unearthed new treasures and proved that old dogs don't always need new tricks!
The Idol Dead  snapped all in attendance out of their hungover stupor at the ungodly hour of 11am but their Punk-infused Rock ‘N’ Roll proved to be ideal first-band-of-the-day folly while Death Valley Knights‘  full-bodied Heavy Metal thunder kept the blood pumping and their Black Label Society meets Judas Priest noise proved perfect for Wildfire. In direct contrast, The Rising Souls  on the 2nd stage were a revelatory semi-acoustic trio whose soulful Blues, and frontman with a voice that could rival Free’s Paul Rodgers (seriously), proved that powerful music doesn’t always need to stem from power chords. Exceptional. Bumped up to the Main Stage, Promethium  took a while to warm up but eventually their melodic Metal won over the audience while Solitary  pulled out all the stops to deliver one of the heaviest performance of the festival; butt-ugly Thrash played how it should be, without remorse and at lightning speed. Pteroglyph‘s  melodic Metal proved meaty, massive and most satisfying while Mason Hill‘s  classic rock stylings, replete with some scintillatingly cigar-singed vocals, held a collective hold over the second and main stage respectively. Press To Meco‘s  angular, stop-start rhythms were impressive but their attention-defecit songs ironically lost our attention at times. Die No More‘s  Black Album-era Metallica Thrashing marked the band out as ones to keep an eye on but their set sadly clashed with in-form UK Thrash pioneers Anihilated , whose positively feral Thrash attack felt all-too-short but still managed to throw in a few old classics – an abrasively thrilling “Chasing The Dragon” included – alongside some choice cuts from current album Anti Social Engineering. UK Thrash is very much alive in 2015 and Anihilated are leading the charge. On the second stage Big Foot’s  antics provided guts, groove and grins with a set that proved to be a weekend highlight. Funny as f*ck but with the songs to back up the ol’ tomfoolery, just imagine Jack Black fronting a decent band(!) and you’re half way there. Back to the Main Stage and it was at this point that proceedings quickly moved on to another level with Dutch Metal heroes (and they are, trust us) Lord Volture  triumphantly channeling Iron Maiden for a new generation. The future of real Heavy Metal is safe in these guys hands and if they’re not headlining festivals like Wildfire (and bigger) soon we’ll be very, very surprised. Spectacular. Waiting in the wings were NWOBHM journeymen Salem  who maintained the momentum by delivering one of the most honest, down to earth and refreshingly raw performances of the weekend. Finally receiving dues for their contribution to NWOBHM history the band are in the form of their lives and it’s no surprise that “Break The Chains” and “Forgotten Dreams” – from 2013’s album of the same name – had the crowd in raptures. Salem, on this evidence your time has definitely come. Maintaining a quality that really should have festival goers keeping an eye on 2016’s line-up, Lawnmower Deth  proved once and for all that if songs about egg sandwich’s and bouncing on Satan’s trampoline are your thing then they’re the band to call! Seriously, or not, these boys can’t half play and their Thrash funnies haven’t aged a day. Drawing arguably the largest crowd of the festival, Lawnmower Deth’s unique brand of skilled musicianship and low-brow entertainment was more than just a highlight, it summed up the good-time vibes of the entire festival. Bravo boys! If it had finished there, we’d have been ending the day on one hell of a high but while Ten’s  headlining performance proved to be polished, ridiculously slick and practically faultless it was ultimately bland and the crowd steadily thinned out as their set went on. A little too earnest perhaps but bum-numbing song length’s and a repetitive sound provided too little value after the sterling work of some of the day’s lower-on-the-bill bands.
What about ‘Line Of Fire’?
Missed ’em unfortunately, I was conducting an interview at the time. Couldn’t be in all places and sadly I missed Line Of Fire…..next time! \m/
Diamond head were superb, a great metal band,loved them
Perfectly put Billy, what a great set, looking forward to their new album \m/