O2 Academy3 Birmingham 2nd May 2015.

Tonight’s Hils Ovation gig really is a bit of a big deal from me, with at least four very good reasons why – Destroyed Beyond Belief, Haerken, Morgue Orgy and of course, the one and the only, Beholder.

Destroyed Beyond Belief have fiercely championed the West Midlands metal scene for many a year and even though they are well renowned for their mischief and misdemeanors, there is always one thing that they are totally serious about, and that is their music. From my mouse hole perspective in the O2 Academy3 photo pit, it felt like tonight’s performance was stoked to the max, as it delivered an edge and an energy that seemed borne out of the sheer elation of being back up on stage. A great set from DBB to start off the night and one that the band can definitely be proud of.

Sean - Destroyed Beyond Belief

From out of the mists of medieval times, (and the snaking haze of the O2 Academy’s smoke machine) arose our second band of the evening, Haerken. Haerken are as much an experience as they are a superb metal band with their attention to detail in the delivery of their set, capturing an age and an aura that transverses the chronicles of time. This may have been the first time I’ve seen them play live, but it certainly won’t be the last as this was one crusade that I will certainly be following!

Reverend Benjamin - Haerken

Our third band of the night were Birmingham’s very own Morgue Orgy and boy, oh boy do these guys know how to take thrash to a new level! The O2 academy3 was blissfully subjected to an onslaught of metal that was savage in it’s delivery, brutal in it’s ebb and intense in it’s message which all in all, makes for the most cranial of experience! Morgue Orgy are a great band to see live, so keep those eye peeled for dates yet to come and bring ya sense of humour with you as these guys enjoy a joke or two aswell.

Gray - Morgue Orgy

So, with no further ado, the moment I had been waiting for had arrived as our headliners for tonight and renowned ambassadors of the holy metal grail, Beholder, took to the stage. From the moment that the band stepped on stage to the dying refrain of their last note an hour and a quarter later, the intensity of their metal and the passion and core beliefs that lie within it, were all consuming.

Simon Hall - Beholder

Their set list tonight included a selection of material from their previous albums aswell as a smattering of songs that are still yet to be recorded and released. And there we have it folks, as Beholder will be heading back to the studio with the intention of having a new album ready for release hopefully later in the year – and that will definitely be something to look out for!

Si Fielding - Beholder

Tonight’s gig really was one of those night’s where all musical hopes and expectations were exceeded and if that ain’t one of the greatest joys of live music, I’ll eat my hat!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.