Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, December 30, 2013

Power, passion and professionalism and pounding from Stormzone and Maverick

TWO of Northern Ireland's finest joined forces for the last gig of 2013 at Diamond Rock Club and delivered an exhibition of power, passion and professionalism that delighted the packed Ahoghill venue on Saturday (28th December).

Stormzone and Maverick are bands at the top of their game, with the memories of the heyday of hard rock and metal in the 80s transformed into a rage ready for the vagaries of 21st Century.

While politicians were wringing their hands trying to pull a deal from the disaster that passes for contemporary diatribe this was a display of sheer glory in rock.

Maverick were born in the wrong age -they should have been striding the streets of LA in the 80s. Opening up with their title song it was a statement of intent, a rousing introduction backed by ready made fanbase at the front who travelled from Ballyclare for the event.

The twin guitar attack of Ryan and Chris laid down riffs and solos harkening back to the best days of big hair, while Richie (bass) and Mike (drums) clearly were re
velling in the opportunity afforded to them on this night.

Frontman David Balfour orchestrated the Maverick mayhem, and despite struggling with the lurgy - which at times affected his delivery - he more than made up for any slight straining with a power and commitment that heralded unanimous acclaim. It was the front man of Stormzone Harv who added to the acclaim by later urging the audience to back Maverick.

Selecting from their existing ep Maverick also unveiled a new track - Last Addiction - set for inclusion in their forthcoming album. They are a band on the upslope, rising towards further success they surely deserve.

While Harv offered Maverick his best, Stormzone, when on this form, are a force of metallic nature. Sheer power, professional from start to finish.

Like all good football managers know a successful team has a strong spine. With Davey laying down devilish drum lines, Graham playing like a midfield general on bass, and with Harv the on-form striker, wingmen Stevie and Dave were able to provide the axe pace.

Drawing on 2013 release Three Kings, and previous releases Zero to Rage and Death Dealer Stormzone are now at a stage that whatever is on the set list all tracks seem to hit the right nerve on the audience's pleasure glands.

Pass Loaning, Spectre, Fear Hotel and Death Dealer all featured, with Fear Hotel infectious invitation to take the "Exit to The Right" resounding throughout the Ahoghill night.

On the stage is literally Where Stormzone Belong. From Night of the Storm to Three Kings, throughout the set Harv led the fans a merry dance; with the metal only tempered by the more tender Beware In Time - a moment that showed the talent of the band in a delivering a diverse songscape.

While Maverick are the young pretenders brimming with passion Stormzone have taken that passion and pounded it remorselessly into a professional powerhouse of live old school metal glory.

The Diamond Rock Club has become a benchmark for local bands - if they can make it on the proving ground built by Derwin, Fiona, Paul, Tony et al then they can move on to take on any stage with confidence; Maverick are ready to do that; Stormzone are already there.

Power, passion and professionalism epitomise the ethos of metal. They were there in abundance on Saturday night.

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