Winter Rocks 2022: The Big Bad Review

We spent two days at Sheffield’s amazing Corporation for a weekend filled with great rock music. The wonderful people at UPSTGD not only put it all on but invited us along to enjoy the festivities and tell you all how great it was! Join us as we review Winter Rocks!

Opening up the stage on the Friday we have the awesome Shadow Smile. I’d see the name around a fair bit this year but hadn’t had the chance to check out their stuff. I came away a huge fan and with a tee shirt to prove it! The heavy, borderline metalcore band opened the stage up in style and proved to be a tough act to follow. Whether it was their older material or their newest single, the crowd ate every bit of it up. It was surprising too. Given that it was a NWOCR event, the crowd loved the heavier-than-usual day.

Next up were Birmingham’s own Endscape. Just before they put out their much anticipated new single and EP, the guys play a blinder of a set to almost bring the year to a close. Just Shadow Smile, the crowd lapped up everything the band gave them and were clear fans of the band going into the event. The bands fuzzy, heavy, electronic-based sound translated surprisingly well to the small venue. It’s an odd choice to fit into the NWOCR and UPSTGD scene, but the crowd loved it and the band looked to enjoy themselves too! Another band I’ll be checking out more of in the future!

Having driven all the way down from Scotland for the event, She Burns Red took to the stage amid a sea of their fans. It was clear they were clear crowd favourites from the get go. Ripping through their impressive back catalogue, the band’s talent and effortless charisma held everyone in the palm of their hands throughout. Their sound was so interesting too. Whether it was hard rock, punk, grunge or metal, it never got boring and was constantly awesome to hear. Another amazing set from a band that should be on the up and up with their next release!

Sub-headlining the event were good friends of the company, the theatrical metal juggernauts Ward XVI. This being the last stop on the bands much heralded Metamorphosis tour, they put their all into it and it really showed. From the set to the outfits, everything was on point, and their stage-show was the best I’d seem them put on. From the props to the very real chainsaw, their now trademark huge Mother character walking the crowd and now having her cut open live on stage too, this was the perfect horror show masterpiece. How the band can coordinate all of this, and come up with it all, as well as write their excellent music is honestly incredible.

And the show really doesn’t take away from how good the music is, either. From the riffs to the great drumming and Psychoberrie’s amazing vocals, everything sounded top notch. I cannot wait to see where the bands story and stage show go from their third album, and I’m so glad I got to see them one more time on this tour!

Check out our review of the last time we saw them here.

Closing out the night were the band everyone was here to see, the unstoppable goth powerhouses, South of Salem. We at Overtone have seen them at various festivals over the last 13 months, but this is a very different band to the one that graced the stage at Hard Rock Hell or Call of the Wild. There was a definite air of confidence and assurance to them now. They were still very thankful to be there, but knew they deserved it and knew everyone there loved them.

And for good reason too, they were fantastic. The band ripped through an hour of some of their best tracks, from ‘Let us Prey’ to ‘Pretty Little Nightmare’ to the always crowd-favourite ‘Cold Day in Hell’. They were polished, professional, and played perfectly to the adoring fans. This is how you close out a day at a festival. These guys are rightfully going to be massive, and sooner rather than later.

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