Review and photos by Tony Gaskin
Another fine line-up of up and coming Midlands talent and been gathered together by Ovation Music for a night of Metal mayhem here at Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms.
Exploding onto stage with their usual theatrical aplomb was Wraith. Straight up, no frills heavy metal is what you get from Wraith, Matt Gore is the epitome of a flamboyant front man with his costume and props, but it’s not all about Matt’s antics the music holds it’s own and the crowd lap it up.
Up next and probably wondering if they should’ve gone on first, were a band new to me. Staffs based Hypothosis blend some classic metal riffs with a modern melodic metal twist. They have a duo on vocals and initially I wasn’t sure what to make of them, but they grew on me as the set progressed and the male/female vocal sparring sets this band apart from others. The rest of the band were technically flawless with great interaction between the two guitarists and powerful bass lines. I particularly liked the track Blameless, very Lacuna Coil like vocally. Definitely a band to look out for.
Another Staffs based band next in the shape of Power Metal outfit Steeltrooper who performed an intricate set that you would expect from a band in this genre with a hint of Prog thrown in for good measure, but like many bands in this branch of metal it all seems a bit too serious and stage presence is a bit stilted and wooden at times only livened up at the end by the bass player jumping into the pit. Their abilities are not in question, they just need to work on their stage act to generate a bit more atmosphere.
Penultimate band for tonight was Eyes of the Raven who on reflection didn’t have the best of nights, seemingly beset by technical and sound problems, but I saw enough here to be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Obvious Pantera/Down influences permeate through their doom laden metal. Chalk it up as experience then and move on!
To the main event then and Birmingham Melodic Rock quintet, Aceldama.
Having used their last couple of outings to showcase new material, this headline slot was going to be an opportunity to hear all the new tracks off the forthcoming release in full. Having a partisan crowd to play to can be a two edged sword, will they like the new songs? Have we alienated our fans? These are questions the band must have asked themselves, but I think they have very little to worry about. The new material still has the Aceldama feel to it, but you can tell they’ve thought long and hard about the song writing aspect. The composition and structures of the new tracks have raised the taken Aceldama to a new level. Best track of the night by far was the inspirational “Faith In Me”, which on it’s own will be worth the purchase price of the new disc, it has everything, powerful vocals, spine tingling riffs and above all commerciality.
An excellent night over all then, always happy when the headliners live up to their billing and always happy when I come across a new band the piques my interest.
More of Tony’s photos below