Heroes before the 'Storm

It’s hard to tell where The Hollow Earth Theory fit in. Caught between Grand Magus and those awaiting TYR, it’s a bit of a no-man’s-land place to be. There were a handful of fans propped up against the railings, but the room was maybe half full, if you crammed people together. Even so, THET put all they have on the stage, rushing to the front together for the first scream.

Naturally, they’re another band with a new album to promote, so there’s an outing for the popular ‘Hero Before Dawn’. Despite the initial reception, THET are a powerful presence on stage, and can get the room hand-clapping along pretty easily. The set only slows down when they insist on doing a shout out to all their favourite bands of the weekend, which is admirable, but isn’t helped by the other fair generic banter from the stage. “Want something heavy?” frontman Nathan J. Biggs asks the audience. Nope, we’re at a metal festival entirely by accident. But their versions of ‘The Serpent’ and ‘Transmission’ are short, sharp and very welcome shocks of radio-friendly metal.

Close to the end of the set, Biggs announces that he hasn’t had a drink all weekend, a statement which seems to stun the (already slightly tipsy) audience, and that the after-show drinks would mean “Epic fail!” Now that’s dedication to your craft, not drinking the weekend before a performance. Or it would be, if he didn’t then stop to take a swig from a can between songs. Epic fail, but if you’re going to fail, that’s the way to do it. As the set ends with the band thanking us profusely, it may be possible we’ve warmed to THET’s ambitious pop metal. These guys are on the way up.