Sonisphere 2011 - The Other Stages, Friday - Knebworth

With passes obtained and a quick reconnaissance of the site completed, an exploratory venture to the Bohemia stage for some actual music was rewarded with a dose of mindless emo punk courtesy of Lower Than Atlantis; horrible derivative nonsense for the kids missing the likes of HIM, it gets even worse as Glamour Of The Kill follow them with their pristine leather jackets and second-hand songs.

Finally something heavy rears its head, but not before The Black Dahlia Murder frontman Trevor Strnad has to entertain the crowd whilst certain technical difficulties are overcome. But once the band are unleashed, the half hour of blistering death metal they treat the packed tent to has circle pits breaking out as fast as the music.

The bright evening sunshine might be at odds with the blackened hardcore of Seattle’s Black Breath, but their boisterous noise draws an ever-growing enraptured audience at the Jagermeister stage. Decidedly more exciting than they are on record, this has the feeling of one of those joyous little finds for the lucky folks that happen across this black hole of heaviness tonight.

The mass of frustrated metalheads outside the Red Bull tent unable to gain entry is as large as the expectant horde who have squeezed in for progressive hardcore superstars Protest The Hero. And no wonder, as the wondrous Canucks, even minus an unfortunately very ill guitarist, put on a spell-blinding display of fretboard wizardry, with energetic and versatile frontman Rody Walker directing proceedings in what is one of the highlights of the weekend.

The Defiled have a large gathering back over at the Jagermeister stage, which is not entirely surprising given the recent hype surrounding them. Very clinical industrial-lite metal in the vein of Marilyn Manson is the order of the day, but it appears more time and thought has gone into the “shocking” make-up and costumes than writing the songs as they plod through a very dull and boring set of abject clichés.

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