Hammerfest DieselKing@Hard Rock Hell United, Pwllheli, North Wales, March 13 2015

Diesel King don’t need hi-tech lighting or a fancy backdrop to put on one hell of a show – just a burly frontman who’s happy to get into a crowd’s faces and pull people kicking and screaming out of any lingering afternoon lethargy. 

Driving the quintet’s sludge fuelled juggernaut straight into the audience (at times almost literally), Mark O’Regan was a sight to behold, giving metal’s best frontmen a serious run for their money and sending any curious AOR fans running for the nearest dressing room. On this weekend’s evidence, O’Regan seems like an amiable chap, bantering away on stage and taking the time to chat to fans throughout the festival – but you wouldn’t want to get in his way when, straining at the leash, he’s roaring through tracks like Infernis or The Ancient and the Nameless.

Of course, there’s more to the Londoners than their formidable vocalist, with guitarists Geoff Foden and Aled Marc adept at topping NOLA-fried riffs with brutal crunch: they unleashed a filthy tsunami of titanic grooves throughout their HRH slot, almost veering into death metal turf at times. Indeed, if ever there was an apt name for a song, it is Diesel King’s Concrete Burial, which carried so much weight here that it threatened to send Pwllheli’s Richter scales into the red zone.

The band’s debut is set to be unleashed next month and it’s a fair bet that after this set, they’ll have a few more sales in the bag. A great festival act, a phenomenal festival performance – there may be no stopping Diesel King.

Richard Holmes

Exclusive image by John Burrows