Heavy Scotland 2017 Sunday Review

The sun is out for the second day in a row (must be our summer) and we’re damn ready for day 2 of Heavy Scotland. It’s shaping up to be a cracker and there are a handful of bands we are extremely excited about seeing in bonnie Scotland. Local lads Disposable, German Thrashers Destruction and the legend that is Blaze Bayley. Throw in a whole hosts of as-yet unknowns and the scene is set for the heaviest sabbath in Edinburgh since Arthur’s Seat last blew it’s top.

Making our way back to the venue we were greeted once again from the lovely bunch of people on the doors. The early arrivals were mingling around, checking out the day’s band merch offerings and generally easing themselves in gently via the bar. Just before the bands started, we caught up with some friends out in the food court/outdoors area and the general word on the street was that everyone loved yesterday And are incredibly optimistic that Heavy Scotland has been and will continue to be something special.

Lucifers Corpus-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-10First on today are Lucifer’s Corpus, who shook the place from it’s slumbers. This local bunch took part in the “metal is not dead” competition and earned their place here at Heavy Scotland the hard way.

And after seeing them live we TOTALLY understand why they won. Things start off with an “I know it’s Sunday, you’ll be feeling rough”, before the band deliver a Heavy Metal hangover cure. The band sound tight but, understandably, look a bit nervous about the occasion. Fair enough, they’re the opening act and a relatively new band, and it’s still only early but they don’t hold back and reward the fans who dragged themselves out of bed with a formidable display of power and passion.

Yep, it’s only early but the crowd show a lot of love for Lucifer’s Corpus.

For a band on so early in the day, Disposable are in party mode. Cackblabbath are fans of the Edinbugh youngsters and, judging by the crowd reaction, they have grabbed everyone in the rooms attention. Full throttle, hair windmilling, jumping about the stage like crazed creatures.

Where do they get all the energy from (especially as at least one of them hadn’t had an early night in preparation for the big day (we’re looking at you Jack).

Disposable-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-12“Give yourself a round of applause coming out.This is the first time this has happened in Edinburgh. We are Disposable. This is our home town. This song is called Disposable”

Disposable have always been really good, but as a wise man said “what the fuck has happened to Disposable? they used to be wee boys playng Slayer songs, bit here they are fucking brilliant”.


“Anyone here specifically here to see us… This song is for you. The next one is for everyone. \m/

Addiction = Pit.

It’s only 2 in the afternoon. This is mental!!!!! What a show. And just when we thought we had seen it all, Andy smashed his guitar on stage, and found out how hard it is to actually smash a guitar. It didn’t look very broken but sounded painfully expensive. We would later find out that he is leaving the band and this was his exit strategy.

So far this weekend its been all Doom, despair, death, a theme definitely emerging.

And then…

Shiraz Lane-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-25Shiraz lane happened. A gift from the glam rock gods and a breath of hairspray laden fresh air here at Heavy Scotland. The tides are turning for we have Finish heavy metal and they have brought the peace and love. Now we are talking. The injection of sleazy heavy metal has given Heavy Scotland a new dimension and the crowd are loving it. If the response is a bit subdued, the band know exactly why.“You are not drunk. In Finland we drink through the day.”

Aye, this is Scotland, we never drink.

Loads of crowd interactions and participation. I’m sensing much love for Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row. This was a welcome change from the thrash and death metal. For their last track, the lead singer and guitarist came off stage and ran through the crowd without missing a note. Yep, we’re back in the 80’s and loving it.

At the bar, Team CB exchanged notes but agreed on one thing. We were not expecting that at all.

Evil Invaders-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-1Next up, Evil Invaders delivering a consignment of speed metal from Belgium. It’s becoming obvious that today is completely different from yesterday’s vibe, theres more of a party vibe and there are loads of new faces in crowd, mostly punters who were in Glasgow yesterday for Lords Of The Land. Evil Invaders are enticing people in form out in the sunshine and we’re really liking what they have to offer.

Out in the food court, there’s word going about that theres gonna be a legend on stage. Something about Maiden and Wolfsbane. That can only mean one thing, it’s Blaze Bayley time. You know those “the place sprang to life” cliches that reviewers have to use? Well that, exactly that. As Blaze’s band come on stage (looking suspiciously like Absolva) the cheering starts, and it never really ends unless it’s interrupted by a whoa-oh-oh-ohhh. After the big build up, the man himslef comes on stage. The stage lights are on full, no fancy effects, no smoke and no gimmicks. Futureal gets us underway on a short, sharp blast through the man’s career highlights including a generous helping of solo stuff, a touch of Wolfsbane and, to wrap things up, A Man On The Edge. The place is properly bouncing, and the chants of “Blaze Blaze” show just how much the Edinburgh crowd are loving it. You can see why he got the Maiden gig, Blaze commands the crowd’s attention effortlessly while Chris Appleton does the necessary guitar god bit, throwing the shapes and ripping out the solos.

What a performance.

Blaze Bayley-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-9

“Thank you I am honoured. An honour and a privilege. Overjoyed we were invited here”. Blaze has always had a place in the Scottish metal fan’s hearts and today he returned that love 10-fold.

Gauntlet down, somebody top that.

The whole mood has changed…. no more of that angry, shouty stuff 😉

Ingested-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-22

Uh-oh, spoke to soon…. Restoring the cosmic balance with anger, energy and indecipherable lyrics, Ingested unleash the slam death metal on a crowd who look, mostly, a bit bewildered. As soon as they came on and started playing Team CB exchanged “that” look as this is undeniably an acquired taste. It sounds like a demonic possession with the roars and growls backed up by thunderous riffs. Alas this isn’t the time or the place and there is a general exodus out into the sunshine. Ingested’s target audience may be thin on the ground here, but the ones who are there are clearing loving this. Not for us though, so we leave the still mostly refusing the orders to open the pit up and head outside.

Just as we were leaving, I heard “I want to see a Pit. Don’t be scared don’t be shy.” I want my comfort blankie and teddy right now. I’m not shy, more scared for my life….

Ingested split opinion with the Heavy Scotland mob. Some really enjoyed, others like me, erm, less so.

Just last week, Team CB embarked on a trip to the Welsh Valleys for Hammerfest. Whilst their, we caught up with German Thrash legends (and one of their big four) Destruction. Today we are about to see them on Holy Ground. Today the lineup has musically been a bit of a dolly mixture but Destruction appear to have united the crowd. It is packed in here.

Just as we were leaving, I heard “I want to see a Pit. Don’t be scared don’t be shy.” I want my comfort blankie and teddy right now. I’m not shy, more scared for my life….

Ingested split opinion with the Heavy Scotland mob. Some really enjoyed, others like me, where a bit perplexed.

Just last week, Team CB embarked on a trip to the Welsh Valley’s for Hammerfest. Whilst their, we caught up with German Thrash legends (and one of the big four) Destruction. Today we are about to see them on Holy Ground. Today the lineup has musically been a bit of a dolly mixture. But Destruction appear to have united the crowd. It is packed in here.

Destruction-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-7

“Finaly Scotland has a heavy metal festival”. Now when we’d seen Destruction in Wales they were good, not great but here in Edinburgh they were frankly fucking brilliant

Yep, the big man summed it all up and Heavy Scotland get’s the teutonic thumbs up. They even know how to play to the Scottish crowd. Lead singer Schmier gets a beer on stage, takes a swig then asks “who wants a beer”. He throws it into the crowd with a “catch it” but the intended recipient fumbles the catch and drops the bottle on the floor.

“Must be England’s goalkeeper.”


Bad ass German Thrashers and a sense of humour and it seems like the whole place is chanting the band’s name. This is by far the best reception of the day More and more people are here to see Destruction and we scream ourselves hoarse on command for “Nailed To The Cross”…

“Need a bigger mosh pit for last song. Can you do that Edinburgh?

Ask and you shall receive. The crowd oblige Destruction’s set comes to an end on an ear splitting, earth shattering high.

Fintroll next. After doing the obligatory google search we figured that they are not unlike a blackened Korpiklaani and, as it turns out, there has been some collaboration between the two. We love Korpiklaani so we are positive Fintroll’s combination of folk and black metal would work for us.

And we were spot on.

First thing that sticks out about this band is well, the obvious thing sticking out the side of their heads. Think Yoda ears which look great on stage, but slightly odd when standing outside having a fag. Combine the prosthetics with cool facepaint, add a bit of folk music with black metal vocals and thats’s Fintroll. They sing in Swedish, but that doesn’t stop this Scottish crowd (with some folk from all over the world) joining in. They have loads of fans here and we quickly “get” why, this is as catchy as Ebola and you can you can dance, sway and jump about. Forget that black metal tag, the vibe in the room is fun and lighthearted and we’re all loving it!

Finntroll-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-15

It may be about 3 years ago since Fintroll last played in Scotland but by god it’s good to have them back.

Another band down… only one more to go and for the Grand Finale, it is the mighty Arch Enemy. When it was announced that they would be headlining we were, if truth be told, a little underwhelmed but that’s just us being, erm, wrong. The usual scientific t-shirt poll alone proves that a lot of people are here for one thing…. Arch Enemy.

Arch Enemy-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-45

Before that we have a quick nip up to the signing area to try and convince Destruction to play more in Scotland, then we made way front and centre for the big finish.

Femke Fatale comes on stage with Heavy Scotland organiser Caitlin. The crowd goes mental. After a heartfelt sppech thanking everyone there for their support and praising the organisers, Caitlin says what we’re wanting to hear.. “See you next year”.

We will be there, with bells on \m/

When Arch Enemy come on the place erupts and the place applauds and cheers. The band come on and tease us with the intro before Alissa makes her entrance demonstrates to the doubters exactly why they’re a bill-topping band. Wow. How the hell does someone discover they are capable of making that sound? Arch Enemy are a world apart from the band we saw last time, and a lot of that has to be down to the presence on the right hand side of the stage. You want a proper guitar god? well Arch Enemy have one. Ladies and Gentlemen, bang your heads for Jeff Loomis. All I know is that I am part of something special. Arch Enemy are owning Heavy Scotland, the pits have opened up and Alissa is amazing to watch. Clad in a leather- fringed corset cat-suit thingymajig she prowls the stage with an intensity that has to be seen to be believed.

Arch Enemy-Heavy Scotland-Iain CackBlabbath-28

The crowd wouldn’t let Arch Enemy leave but in the end we had to come to grips with the fact that Heavy Scotland was done, and it’s be a full year before we could do all this again. As we left the venue and set the controls for the heart of home, we got on to the subject of “well, what did you think”

And what else could we think, this had been brilliant An eclectic and well organised Metal Festival in Scotland. A wide array of bands, local and all, covering all the bases and, of course, names like Fleshgod Apocalypse, Destruction, Behemoth and Arch Enemy on the bill.

Caitlin, you have done mighty fine \m/

Same time next year?