Surprise success from metal maniacs
Panic Cell lulls us into a false sense of security with an oddball melody before kicking the drums in. But that's just the intro. Panic Cell look like they should be death metallers but no, it's heavy metal with trucker vocals that sound like they're made from gravel. A song made for being played live as the singer gets people clapping along when the song goes into a lull.
Then we get what I've been expecting – an aural battering with the drums from hell and banshee screaming. It is hard to know sometimes where one song ends and another starts, not that it matters. What does bother me is that I can't shake the feeling that they're sounding more and more like Metallica (not a bad thing, though). My god it's loud though, and we can even hear it at the back.
So, we get asked whether we'd seen American Head Charge and the crowd definitely shows their appreciation. So does the singer, calling them 'fucking great'. A superb riff leads into a monster of a track, except that actually it's unnervingly quiet for Panic Cell. It makes a decent change to have a mellower track (at least on the verse), giving us all a rest. This is melodic thrash metal at its best.
'We're the new Samaritans' they declare, and indeed they drop us a new song. They also thank all of us for turning up and supporting them, receiving another big cheer. Naturally, the new song is just as good as the old stuff. It's got touches of System of A Down (from 'Toxicity' era), but also really classic 80s metal – sounds awful in theory, but bloody fantastic in practice.
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We're loving it all from back to front, clapping and singing along like there's no tomorrow. How the hell are they not on the main stage?
To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 14 available.