This weekend sees the O2 Academy in Birmingham play host to HRH Metal, the heaviest of the HRH family of festivals. Across two days and three stages it celebrates some of the best of local talent in the Academy 3 and then some national and international metal on the main and 2nd stages.

With so much on show it’s hard to pick highlights so we’re going to go with two bands per stage, per day.

Main Stage Saturday

Evil Scarecrow. It’s the obvious choice and it’s the best choice. When combining comedy with metal it’s easy to slip into a pile of steaming crap, Evil Scarecrow are the best in the world at doing comedy metal and their repeat appearances at Bloodstock stand as testament to this. Metalheads can be serious folk, but these guys get everyone punching, jumping, kicking and scuttling.

Collibus are the next band we’d recommend in here. So many genres are featured on the lineup and some female fronted progressive metal just seems to fit in so well. Having played most of the major festivals you can think of they’ll tear the main stage a new one…which will be awkward as they’re the first band of the weekend.

Main Stage Sunday

HRH have laid their cards out early on the mainstage both days with Kaine playing early on the Sunday. Hailing from my favourite acronym based genre, NWOBHM, these guys will probably be tearing the mainstage another new one, merely hours after the staff put it back together.

It would be unfair to not mention Elvenking next really. Their brand of folk infused power metal may just be too much for the main stage in Birmingham. They’ll be a good way to kick start your evening.

Second Stage Saturday

GraVil are kicking off the second stage on day 1 and it’s obvious they’re going to be a hit. Fast past drums and guitars and huge vocals – this lot ooze metal.

Warcrab are up not long after and are likely to leave you feeling like you need a wash. Their furiously dirty death/sludge is going to be one of the memorable sets of the weekend.

Second Stage Sunday

Hitting the second stage Sunday with their last ever show as a band is the wonderful Torous. Local lads playing their last show at the biggest metal festival the city plays host to. How can you not want to be there to say goodbye?

Closing the stage on the Sunday is Footprints In The Custard. With more hair than all of the women in your family, these guys are fun and heavy. What more could you want at 10pm on a Sunday?

Third Stage Saturday

Metal 2 The Masses alumni The Face Of Ruin will be getting the third stage moving on the Saturday, but this one will be a show with a difference for anyone that’s seen them before. Head on down to find out why.

On just after your faces have been ruined are Metaprism. It’s probably worth sticking around for these guys as their more melodic metal and softer vocals, both male and female, may bring you down a bit after TFoR. Or fuck it, just go mental for this lot too!

Third Stage Sunday

Because there hasn’t been enough on stage theatrics so far, Sunday afternoon sees Trivax take to the third stage. Formed in Tehran, these death metallers won’t leave anything on stage and you should get down there and be part of it.

Closing the third stage are Dead Hands. Not really sure what you can say about them apart from ‘I like it but I don’t know why’. If these guys are on form they could be the band of the weekend. Is it worth risking not seeing them?

So there it is. 12 bands you should see. We’ll be there all weekend. Come say hi!

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