A celebration of all things NWOBHM, BroFest has been one of the significant heavy metal success stories of the last few years. Started back in 2013, initially as a one-off, its overwhelming popularity has seen it return each and every year since. Staged in the well-appointed students’ union building of Northumbria University in Newcastle, it’s a fanatically purist pilgrimage taking place in one of the historical engine rooms of British heavy metal.
Although Malc MacMillan’s go-to bible The NWOBHM Encyclopedia includes entries for over 500 bands, most of them split up half a lifetime ago, many of their members either resolutely retired or long since graduated to the great gig in the sky. The inaugural BroFest, however, clearly demonstrated that there were enough NWOBHM acts still plugging away in pubs and clubs to populate a modest festival bill in a similarly modest venue. And so it was that BroFest #1 brought together the likes of Holocaust, Avenger, Spartan Warrior, Black Rose, Tysondog and many more for a joyous weekend of neck-snapping nostalgia. From the get-go, the organizers also showed an uncanny knack for persuading long-defunct bands to reform specially for the event, some of whom have since stayed reformed and even … Read More
For the country that gave heavy metal to the world we don’t do so well in the way of big festivals. Gone are the hairspray and cocaine-fuelled glory days of the ’80s when the titans of the genre would descend on Castle Donington for the Monsters of Rock festival and full-scale tours spanning the length and breadth of the island seemed ten a penny. We don’t fare badly but nowadays Donington is more synonymous with the Download Festival than being home to the real heavyweights (bar Sabbath and Maiden naturally), and you’ll be lucky if a UK tour is comprised of more than four or five dates.
Metal is built firmly on its underground scene – this has been the case since time immemorial – and as always it falls to this underground to remind the true of what metal really means. Lucky for us here in the UK then that the fans are taking the power back, and though unable to parade a collection of bands on the scale of Monsters Of Rock, the likes of Brofest in Newcastle and Live Evil Festival in London are standing defiant in the wake of mediocrity and plastic music by showcasing raw talent … Read More
Formed only a year ago by singer/guitarist Víctor M de la Chica of melodic metallers Moonlight Fear, this Andalusian powerhouse strip things back to an early heavy metal vibe on their recent EP ‘Return To The Witches Castle’ so it’s no surprise that Brofest came a-calling to book them to represent the new breed at a fest dominated by reunions and special one-off performances from the veterans of the old school. Telling us the band was the result of “an idea rattling round in my head for a few years”, Witchtower, who also feature Jesus on bass, Edu on drums and Chinchilla on guitars, are “totally influenced” by heavy metal from the late ’70s and early ’80s, with a strong influence from Angel Witch, Diamond Head and Tygers Of Pang Tang
Victor can’t wait to touch down on British soil, especially playing alongside his heroes. “This is a really big chance for us,” he says. “We are very glad for this opportunity, from here we say ‘thank you’ to all the Brofest crew. I did Witchtower based in that classic sound, most of the bands on the bill influenced my rock ‘n’ roll way.”
He goes on to reveal that, “we are … Read More
“I see the light shining” sung TUDOR SHELDON on Virtue’s 1987 demo ‘FOOLS GOLD’, but it’s us that sees the light now, shining bright from that most sought-after yellow cover. Seek (and destroy) no more, No Remorse from Germany have made VIRTUE readily available and DAVE SHERWOOD tracked down the band to ask if we’ll ever get to see them live… and to give the only mention of Skindred that will ever appear in our pages.
At Iron Fist we are fascinated with the weird and wonderful; from knowing about Phil Lynott’s guest appearance on Heavy Load’s ‘Free’, to discovering Slayer’s first ultra-rare release: ‘Satan Laughing As You Eternally Rot’ which simplifies to SLAYER. So we were ecstatic when we discovered an official re-issue of Oxford’s unsung heavy metal heroes: Virtue. They were active towards the back end of the NWOBHM prime time but were pushed into never ending pit of trend-influenced bands. It has only been in the last four years that their 1985 ‘We Stand to Fight’ single has gone viral in the metal community; and so with its original release (costly and pressed to a minimal number) it was only a matter of time until a label were wanting … Read More
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