Rock Altitude: Highs and Highs

While the eyes of metal are turned on the UK’s Bloodstock this weekend, there have also been some serious riffs emanating from a mountaintop in the heart of Switzerland. My full review/band interviews will follow on Broken Amp, but in the meantime here are a few pics and a quick round up from ‘metal day’ at Rock Altitude.



  1. Meeting Zeal & Ardor. Manuel Gagneux may be a genius, but he is also kind, humble, and a pleasure to talk to.


2. Nostromo. Ok I’m a little biased since Nostromo are my boys, but they were truly mesmerising. Precision riffs like machine gun fire.


3. Children of Bodom. The Finnish melodic death gods were the headline act, and also happen to be my favourite band. They played some deep cuts tonight from their earlier albums, and I shed a real tear during ‘Every Time I Die’. Gorgeous. Have I ever told you they are my favourite band? Can I tell you a few more times?

4. Underside. This young Nepalese band were a last-minute replacement for Walls of Jericho, and they were surprisingly heavy and brilliant. Definitely one to watch.

5. Meeting some lovely Swiss bands (Silver Dust, Impure Wilhelmina and others). I did a bunch of interviews in French and probably made a complete arse of myself, both grammatically and otherwise.


Cutest Moment: Henkka from Children of Bodom reaching down mid-song to fist-pump a headbanging toddler on the front row and give her a souvenir pick.


My Alexi Laiho interview being cancelled. ‘Never meet your heroes’, they say, but yesterday I planned to do just that, the enterprising press officer at Rock Altitude having secured me a dream interview. It seemed too good to be true, and it was. I spent hours preparing and getting incredibly nervous, and went to absurd lengths to get there in time (I changed my flight and broke the speed limit), but after an hour of waiting… the record company vetoed it at the last minute. No-one’s fault, and such is life, but oh the emotions. Given that I literally worship the man perhaps I’m not the best person to interview him anyway- I might have fainted…

The only other low was, in the words of Alexi Laiho, ‘the motherfuckin’ cold and rainy-ass weather’, but those clever Swiss had all the arenas covered, so nothing could get in the way of a truly exhilarating night of top-quality metal.



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