HRH NW Chapter Launch 2nd July 2011 Rascals, Bangor.
Bangor in North Wales may not be the obvious choice to launch a Hard Rock Hell Chapter but once the diehard legion of fans had arrived, clinked a few glasses and posed for the obligatory Facebook bound photos we climbed the stairs to watch the first of the triple bill acts: Inferno – who surprisingly are not far off the 10 year mark, having formed in Holyhead around 2003, the band being last minute replacements for Blind Ambition who had to cancel.
Inferno’s sound is powered by Jay Lee on drums who could give any Philthy “Animal” Taylor mould drummer a run for their money with his relentless skin bashing but the quality of musicianship all round and genuine songwriting talent is what shone through with set highlights “Water into Wine” and “Judas” springing to mind and “old” fan favourite “Are you Alive” sandwiched neatly in between a couple of newly penned tracks drew a truly memorable set to a close.
Next up Kickstart Kitty launch into a set opener “Ignorance to Bliss” with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer! Koda’s vocals moving from clean to growl seamlessly. To the band’s credit, their sound is very difficult to pigeonhole with progressive mixed with out-and-out metal and loads in between demonstrated by set highlights “Factory Flesh”, “The Coping Mechanism” and set closer “Obsession” which ended with Koda launching himself into the drum kit and nearly breaking his back! Luck plays a big part in a lot of bands careers in today’s saturated market but these boys definitely deserve a chance at a bigger stage – great stuff indeed.
Headliners 15 Times Dead are well known to the Hard Rock Hell community so their mighty trek down from Glasgow was much appreciated. Scott Watson, the Ritchie brothers and Wullie truly come alive on stage and take no prisoners with their skull crushing, brain mushing riffs, this is what Metallica would sound like if they were still good, it really is that simple, from set openers “Through These Eyes” and “No Friend of Mine”, the awesome “Driven By Hate” and “I” the power surge is relentless and all performed with genuine smiles and crowd banter – it really doesn’t get much better than this. The classic “Bullethead” drew the set to an unwanted close and a well deserved barrage of cheers and applause.