Millennium of Blood - The Bear Tavern - Saturday 21st June 2008

The Chopmeister spreads his wings and turns promoter to launch the first of a series of extreme metal nights in Birmingham.

I Hate You More took to the stage first and bludgeoned their way through their set in customary style. These songs are sounding crunchier and more menacing with each performance. Crossed The Line was a murderous opener, the band maintained this level of ferocity throughout the rest of their time on stage. Very tight musically, they all looked as if they were having a ball and started the night off in fine fashion. Retrospect, Shame Will Be My Forgiveness, Decide, Shattered Existence, Bloodshed, Chokehold, and Unlock The Hatred completed a professional and thoroughly entertaining display. Great start to the night.

Hellfire. Unleashed their usual onslaught. Same set as witnessed on numerous occasions, delivered in trademark punishing fashion. The band featured three brothers tonight - Jay on vocals and Roy on guitar being joined by "our kid" Greg on bass, who was filling in for usual bass player (also) Greg who is still recovering from a painful back condition. Get well soon fella! Greg you played a blinder and you genuinely wouldn't have known you weren't a regular member of the band. Slick performance all round, Big Al was his usual mad self behind the drumkit, and Jay prowled around the front of the stage and gave his all. Roy I'm not going to leave you out! Solid as ever fella. Another quality set.

Slab. I'm running out of superlatives to sum these guys up. Every time I play their album it gets better (and I notice something different) and much the same can be said of their live performances. Yet another stunning set. Brave enough to start with a new song The Bite and good enough musicians to make it sound like an old classic they oozed quality throughout. Seriously if you haven't seen them yet check them out - Friday at the Giffard or Saturday at Costers, no excuses go!! Rest of the set was Devilwalk, Vines, Conspiracy, Facebreak, a devastating Chaos Bastard, Shot In The Street, Yi Zi Er Shi, a rare outing for Cogumelo Blue - wow!! and closer Tetradon. Quality end to a cracking evening.

At the risk of sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech I'm going to do a few thank yous. To the three bands first and foremost - great sets and thank you for your continued support. All the crew, especially Stu for providing a sonic wall of incredible clarity. My long suffering wife and "gig widow" Em aka Pink, thanks for putting up with my obsession! To all those who attended thank you for your support and hope to see you at the next one. And of course The Bear for their hospitality and supply of cold beer. Great night, onwards and upwards now to Millennium of Blood 2 - Saturday 2nd August, Adrenaline, Forlorn and Overproof - this will be a belter. Come on support local metal!!! Hope to see you soon.....



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