High Voltage Festival: Preview (2011)

Tis a mere week away and here at Adrenochromemusic we are excited! This festival is in our own back yard, shouldn’t have to deal with scrotty festival toilets, slumming it in the campsite with the plebs or dealing with camping gear that 10 pints won’t even make comfortable. No! Thirty minutes on the tube back to your own bed. Yes! The line-up isn’t too bad either.

Brummie heavy metal veterans Judas Priest will headline the main stage on the 23rd. Thirty-one years after they sealed their reputation as one of the world’s great festival acts with their performance at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock event at Donnington Park, the band have chosen High Voltage as the sole UK festival date on their ‘Epitaph’ farewell tour. Yey.

Unfortunately Priest will clash with doomsters Electric Wizard, who are headlining the Metal Hammer stage and have an unrelentingly crushing sound which surely cannot be missed. Wizard have a rich history and are steeped in mysticism and Liz Buckingham (schwing!) on guitar is a total babe. I know which stage I’ll be standing in front of when the headliners start. Hopefully though there may be some tim to catch a chunk ‘o Priest at the end of Wizard’s set.

Progressive metal titans Dream Theater will headline the main stage on Sunday and High Voltage will mark the first UK performance of their new line-up following the departure of drummer and founding member Mike Portnoy. Mike Mangini (Annihilator, Extreme, Steve Vai) has come in to keep Portnoy’s drum stool warm and looks to be settled in a great band that suits his ability and personality alike.

Here’s the first episode of their search, follow to youtube for parts 2&3:

But probably the most exciting act of the weekend will be sludge pioneers Neurosis. They have undoubtedly influenced a wide array of artists through their experimental and atmospheric style and almost singlehandedly defined vast extremes of heavy music popular today. Creatures from the deepest depths indeed!

This festival really has a lot to offer us fans including Slash, Jethro Tull, Thin Lizzy, Sylosis, Spock’s Beard, Caravan and Queensryche. But it is sad to see that the Metal Hammer stage has taken a back seat somewhat, though not much could beat a final afternoon of clutch, Opeth and Down one after another… The definite emphasis on the other stages this year suggests to us that perhaps the organisers were bricking it about having another rabble of raucous metalheads descend upon Victoria Park for a second time, though rest assured, while we appreciate their organisational efforts, we fucking love our riffs and beer so remain confident at the presence of a horde of metalheads evermore as rambunctious and unruly as before, rap tap tapping, tapping at the festival door.

Anyway ‘tis a brilliant festival with a satisfyingly diverse line-up and should be a goodun. Watch this space, more from Soni and High Voltage to come.


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