My second night out in a row at the Underworld and another early start meant Designs Of Chaos were just finishing their riff plummeting set as I strode in to prop up the bar, however it was soon chocks away as the Stuka Squadron were on a mission to blitz London with some vampire shock horror war tactics.
This Germanic WWII looking lot have a comical edge with some serious Maiden-esque galloping riffs. Singer James Duke Fang-Begley is in your face and barking out the orders with his sword inches away from your chest and he's backed by some seriously heroic guitar work. The band are spitting blood in our faces and deliver a diz-busting set with 'Volga Bridge' and 'Zabulon's Inferno' showing signs of greatness.
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Now, my very good reason for being down the front was I was awaiting the debut English performance from those girls of Swedish Heavy Metal, Hysterica.
Their only previous appearance on these isles was a visit to Prestayn, Wales for the Hard Rock Hell Festival two years ago.
The girls didn't disappoint. In singer Anne De Vil, they have one of the best female vocalists since Jody Turner of Rock Goddess. Boy, can this girl sing. An effortlessly delivered high vocal range that can bleed your ears dry.
On guitar there's Bitchie who plays some clean razor sharp cutting solos. Bassist Satanica is an exact younger model of Girlschool's Jackie Chambers in her tight leathers and keeping it together at the back is the nicely named Hel-in.
Since their debut album 'Metalwar' the band have lost one guitarist and have brought in a keyboardist in Marydeath which I feel dilutes the Heavy Metal sound of this band somewhat.
Playing a set largely consisting of tracks from their as yet unreleased second album 'Art Of Metal' was a brave move. This was a great headbanging performance and I'm sure Hysterica will be back next time as headliners.
Nightlord are one of those thrash bands who never broke through to the big time, simply because they are British. Although being at the back end of the scene didn't help matters either.
Some seventeen years on the band are back together and playing to a crowd discovering the thrash bands outside the Big 4 for the first time. New songs 'Sin Eater' and 'Turn Of The Tide' proved Nightlord still have a lot to offer.
As the band took us through a trip down memory lane with 'Cult Of The Moon' I was retiring to bar to get aquainted with those lovely girls from Sweden who, for me, were the band of the night.
The Final Book
Practice Makes Perfect
Vote For Me
Twisted Out Of Mind
Turn Of The Tide
Cult Of The Moon
Dark Night Dame
Heels Of Steel
Fighters Of The Century
Force Of Metal
Message From The Dark
Spirit Of The Age
We Are The Undertakers
Breaking The Walls
Tales Of The Ost
We Drink Blood