Celebrating the best of British Heavy Metal

I first came across both Isolysis and Beholder at Hammerfest in March 2010; the raw energy and unique sound produced by both bands made them stand out to me and stay in my mind long after the festival had finished. When I heard that they would be playing a gig together, there was no way I was going to miss it.

I'm known for all the wrong reasons for my sense of direction that is, I have none! After half an hour of driving around Nottingham (including circling the venue three times looking for a car park) I arrived just as Isolysis took to the stage. Front-man Bane Isolysis looked every inch the metal star, growling into the mic for the final seconds of sound check. "Get some of this down ya fuckin' neck" was the cue for the number of people in the venue to multiply as the familiar melody of 'Ties That Bind' blasted from the amps, closely followed by 'New Disorder' and 'The Condemned'. As loud and passionate as ever, I couldn't hide the smile from my face, especially when Isolysis launched into some new songs that I'd never heard before. Indicating a new, more intricate direction for the band, I loved every second. Finishing off with the anthem 'Vampurity', every Isolysis fan in the room was singing along!

Absolutely top notch, I don't think I was alone in thinking that the set was way too short.

The crowd had grown yet again by the time Beholder took to the stage. Larger than life and twice as ugly, the Midlands heavy metal band aren't ones for the easily offended: having a pop at politics and the Pope among other things during their set, vocalist Simon Hall wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind and the audience (including me!) loved every second of it.

Beholder had the crowd eating out of their hand from start to finish. Metal horns and fists were raised to the air and a mosh pit even took over the small venue. Everybody was banging their heads, all more than keen to celebrate British Heavy Metal at its very best.

A fantastic gig that was more than worth the journey, I hope Beholder gets just as good a reception during the rest of their UK tour, they more than deserve it.

Isolysis will be headlining my Oxjam gig on Saturday 30th October at The Patriot Inn, Crumlin you'd be crazy to miss it!