HRH Doom Vs Stoner Review — O2 Academy in Sheffield

We have just returned from the Hard Rock Hell’s HRH Doom -v- HRH Stoner Inaugural Weekender – stunned, deafened, but happy.

The stoner/desert metal scene — which includes psychedelic rock,  acid rock and doom metal — is a subgenre that deserves its own weekend in the North.

So congratulations to HRH head honcho Jonni Davis for having the courage and clout to put this Festival in the City of Steel.

The new 2 day, 2 stage, 2 brand ‘city experience’ at the HRH Northern base — O2 Academy in Sheffield — was 1st and 2nd October 2016.

The super weekend featured 30 bands over 2 days with multiple HRH Hotels on O2 Academy Sheffield’s doorstep for the infamous HRH community — which is the most friendly [yet rawking] — community on the planet.


The whole weekend led up to Swedish Doom Lords, CANDLEMASS who made a rare appearance…

UK heroes ORANGE GOBLIN also headlined  [they played a sensational set & were terrific… ]

As were the arresting and sensationally groovy ELECTRIC CITIZEN. We also loved the ridiculously aggressive RAGING SPEEDHORN and the mighty ANGELWITCH.

Standout acts for us were the stunning REGULUS, the immensely exciting OHHMS and the treat that was KROH. We were also blown away by the heavy-heavy experience that was CONAN.

Our only criticisms were that VODUN and DESERT STORM [both long-time RAW RAMP favorites] were on the ‘wrong’ stage…  in the upstairs room — it was not just rammed but stupidly hot and uncomfortably feverish. Yes, we know this is rock ‘n’ roll. But really, is this the best that can be done fore these amazing acts? This stage/room is unpleasant.

Moreover, the beer at The Academy was not only of poor quality, but also more expensive than down the road.

This led to Sheffield’s town being filled with good-looking folk  hunting for better beer prices. The downside of this ‘leakage’ from the venue was that some of the wandering tribes missed their favourite performances. To be fair, the good folks of Team HRH did their best to sort-out some good drinks prices , but their best efforts seemed confounded by brash bar staff who never seemed to have the ‘deals’ available.

Nevertheless, this was a fantastic weekend of magnified riffs, sludgy hardcore rhythms and psychedelic groove-based atmosphere.

We like it dark, hard, and in vast quantities… filled to the ash-brim with distinctive style and sledgehammer loud proportions. So, for us, this was the perfect weekender!

Words & Pictures: Neil Mach 2016 ©

One Comment

  1. Neil Marsh

    Thank you to all involved in staging this weekends HRH NWOBHM 2 day weekend O2 festival.
    We came down from Sunderland and had a fantastic time. Some great bands and great, likeminded people.
    All the best,
    Neil and Jenny.

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