It may have been threatening ice and snow outside on Saturday 24th February 2018, but, with around 100 crammed into the ‘cosy’ surroundings of The Vault in St Peter Port and geared up for some heavy metal, that was very easily forgotten.
Granite Wolf got things going in suitably heavy form and, while it was clear most were here more for the headliners, they were soon getting a positive if somewhat subdued reaction to their brand of hardcore infused metal.
Frontman Tom ‘Shinfo’ Domaille was in chatty mode, something that doesn’t always work but, with this already ‘spirited’ crowd, did, while Mark Mercier and James Ogier’s dual guitar assault (and assault is a good word for this kind of sound) cut nicely through the noisy bar.
There were points where the songs ran the risk of merging together but their particular brand of beer fuelled rifferama was good all the same and the last two tracks, Fat Rats and Booze Hound, which added a more solid groove, were the stand outs.
Having played Chaos a couple of times, as well as going down a storm at The Vault once before, Northampton metallers Stormbringer hit the small stage with all the hard rocking clichés you could shake a studded leather glove at.
I will admit to not having really enjoyed their sets at Chaos but, in these more intimate surroundings, it’s hard not to get swept up in the fist pumping, horn throwing, atmosphere they create.
Frontman Jimi Brown is an undeniable character in the style of the metal greats and knows how to work this audience, well geared up to party, very well while his compatriots bring a fittingly rocking sound at the heaviest side of what could still be considered pop-metal (I don’t mean that as a dirty word).
With the audience onside it was no surprise that they kept heads banging (and drinks flowing) and, while they still didn’t entirely win me over, it’s hard to argue with a response like they received for over an hour here.