Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Madder Than A Full Moon Dog

Starjack Entertainment

Forget Bloodstock Open Air, the Download Festival or even the Sonisphere Festival. For my money there's only one festival in the whole of the U.K. that I now have on my bucket-list and that's the Full Moon Dog Festival! This 2013 film, which carries the fitting tag-line "A film more nasty than a dose of pox -- a 'moment in time' in British rock history", serves as a remarkable documentary of the 2012 Full Moon Dog Festival that took place at at The Cockpit venue in Leeds. This annual festival helps keep the memory of Asomvel founder/front-man Jay-Jay Winter (tragically killed in a road accident in 2010) alive while simultaneously highlighting some of the true heavy weights of the British hard rock and heavy scene and giving new, up-and-coming bands a chance to showcase their skills in a live setting. Directed and co-produced by the amazing Deborah Robinson (Winter's sister and the wife of Asomvel' guitarist Lenny Robinson) and featuring  live footage of not only Asomvel, but the one and only Orange Goblin, this documentary is filled with so much heavy metal goodness it's hard to know where to even start! As I just mentioned the live footage let's start there. Besides Asomvel (whose song "Full Moon Dog" was not only used as the title of this UK festival, but also opens up the live footage on this disc!) and the almighty Orange Goblin (who prove once more why they are true legends!) we're treated to live cuts from Mercenary, Dark Forrest, Eliminator and Stiletto Farm (just to name a few). Now, while the official trailer to this cool documentary calls this a "film that your parents will hate" I actually watched a good chunk of this film with my own teenagers and we all found something different to enjoy about it. When you stop and consider the fact that these are two teenagers who (these days at least) are more into Top 40 then rock music (I know, where did I go wrong?) then that says a lot about how well-constructed this documentary is! And with my 15 year old daughter now showing interest in the music of both Stiletto Farm (which incidentally feature's Deborah's oldest son Steven (aka: Stel) on guitars and lead vocals!) and Dark Forrest I consider it time well spent together as a family! Speaking of which, "Madder Than A Full Moon Dog" comes across as a real family affair not only in the sense of all of the various family members involved, but also in the way in which all of the other bands and the fans themselves come together to honor the memory of the late Jay-Jay Winter. There is an abundance lot of love and respect shown towards both Jay-Jay Winter and his band Asomvel and this documentary does a wonderful job of showing how much of an impact this sorely-missed musician had on everyone he came into contact with. That of course brings up another cool aspect of this film and that is the various back-stage interviews. It's a bit of a toss up as to which I enjoyed more, Orange Goblin's numerous backstage chats or the various cuts with Asomvel's own Conan. They both present different perspectives of Jay-Jay Winter's impact on the scene, but I'm actually going to give the nod of approval towards Conan as this (appropriately-nicknamed) big man/vocalist/bassist offers up great insight as to how Jay-Jay influenced him. This ex-Deathwing bassist turned formidable front-man is (more or less) the host of this whole event and if you thought he inspired fear and respect on Asomvel's latest release "Knuckle Duster" then you should hear him take full-command of Asomvel classic cuts like "Full Moon Dog" and "Stone Cold Stare" in a live-setting! Hot damn this guy is a mad beast on the mic! I've got no doubt that somewhere Jay-Jay Winter is smiling on in approval and content in the knowledge that his heavy metal brothers are carrying on the mission that he started so many years ago! Without giving too much more away (as there are more then a few neat surprises to be found within this documentary!) here is the track-listing for this DVD:

 ·"Full Moon Dog"- Asomvel
· "Stone Cold Stare" - Asomvel
· "Death before Dishonour" - Stiletto Farm
· "Black Shadow" - Mercenary
· "The Wizard of Alderley Edge" - Dark Forest
· "Stand for Something" - Orange Goblin
· "We Rule the Night" - Eliminator
· "Drudgery" - Asomvel
· "Black Trinity" - Triaxis
· "Round Up the Horses" - Orange Goblin
· "Tales of the Ost" - Stuka Squadron
· "Blow Me" - Screaming Eagles
· "They Come Back" - Orange Goblin
· "Womb to the Tomb" – Asomvel

As I'm relatively new to the party that is Asomvel (I just discovered them this past year, but now have an overwhelming desire to acquire their whole back-catalog so any help from fellow fans/collectors in that regard would be greatly appreciated!) I can't really say they sound better then ever. Still, they absolutely killed it on their few live cuts as did Orange Goblin! Stiletto Farm are another band that just recently crossed my path (you can check out my review of their latest single at the link below), but their live cut, "Death before Dishonour", showed exactly why I find them to be one of the more new and exciting heavy rock bands out there! Mercenary, Eliminator and Dark Forest all prove more then capable of keeping the metal spirit alive and well and left me with quite the dilemma. How do I possibly go about adding all of these group's to my personal music collection without breaking the bank? And that definitely goes for Triaxis as well. Winning the "Where have you been all my life" award for best new female-fronted heavy metal band this UK-based act is lead by the stunning Krissie Kirby and provides further proof that "Madder Than A Full Moon Dog" is one hell of a cool DVD to add to your personal collection! Off-hand I can't think of anyway in which this documentary could have been made better although I do wish that the DVD set would have come with an optional digital download of the various live performances. That's a minor gripe though and takes nothing away from this fitting tribute to the remarkable Jay-Jay Winter. After watching this DVD I find myself more determined then ever to travel overseas. With the 2013 Full Moon Dog festival having just wrapped-up I now have a year to try to plan a trip over for the enviable 2014 event. Like I really needed another reason to visit the U.K.other then Dr. Who, but I digress! How I'll pull if off though is the real question, but with Asomvel and their extended "family" (Stiletto Farm and Stone Cold Kill) headlining the scene over there it's one journey that I'd move heaven and earth to accomplish! In the meantime I'll be doing my best to uncover new British hard rock and heavy metal bands to share with all of you our faithful readers and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone who loves British metal to check out this well-crafted documentary! You can find out more about it here:

Read my review of Stiletto Farm's latest release here:

Check out my review of Asomvel's "Knuckle Duster":

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