Category Archives: Gig reviews


With support from The Unresolved, Ghost Of Machines, Rawkas and 14 Pieces.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 27th July 2019.

I’ve been looking forward to tonight for what simply feels like AGES, as once again, Ovation Music Management has brought together a stellar line up of my kind of metal and hard rock, all under the roof of the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham.

And getting tonight’s event underway, were the Telford based band 14 Pieces who like to play metal hard, thrashed and notably heavy. I really love the way that this band capture an intensity in both their music and live performance and without doubt, these guys delivered an impressive set tonight. Good live music is a thing to be treasured and tonight’s set from the band saw them clearly on the greatest of form and making for an excellent start to the night.

Next up were Rawkas and you have to hand it to these groovecore masters as they certainly know how to capture an audiences attention, with songs that bring about a raging torrent of dark melodic riffs and vocals that graze the soul to its core. Tonight’s set saw Rawkas deliver five of their very best tracks, which included last years release ‘XVX‘ and the fantastic ‘Black Lagoon‘. If you’ve yet to check Rawkas out, then I strongly recommend you do and seek out these two tracks for yourself – you won’t be disappointed.

The one thing I really love about Ovation Music Management gigs is that you get to discover some pretty awesome up and coming bands and Ghost Of Machines most definitely sit within that category! Local to the Swindon area, this band have been together since 2014 and in those few years, they have developed a collective personality that manifests itself live as both visually dramatic and alluring in its presence. Their set tonight was a burst of none stop energy and rock, which manifested itself through the tireless vitality of lead singer Billy Bingham – a must see band for sure!

Our penultimate band for tonight were The Unresolved and with influences including Motorhead, Black Sabbath and T Rex, these guys certainly know how what it takes to make the hard rock roll. With a recent change to their line up bringing Thomas Gould (Vocals) into their fold, The Unresolved look and sound set to move forward in a very positive direction and have also recently released a new single ‘Here To Stay‘. If you like you rock to have that good time vibe and love great riffs aswell, then these guys are the band for you.

The West Midlands metal scene has seen bands come and go but there are also a number of great bands who have stood the test of time, with one such band being Chemikill who were our headliners tonight. Chemikill stand firm amongst our local masters of metal and their long standing presence has brought about an amazing catalogue of hard hitting metal that not only has stood the test of time but continues to be very current aswell. Tonight’s set from the band was a first class performance, with the vocals of lead singer Tracey Rand being an absolute pleasure to behold – when it comes to capturing the notes and interpretation of the music – this gal has exactly what it takes. Chemikill have more dates in their diary for September, so do check out their Facebook page for more information about these.

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Ashen Crown

With support from Mad Spanner, Blood Church and Grave Altar.

It’s Friday and time to blow the working week cobwebs away and I can’t think of a better way to do it than in the company of Ashen Crown, Mad Spanner, Blood Church and Grave Altar over at The Hole In The Wall in Shrewsbury.

Getting the metal underway tonight were Grave Altar and these guys didn’t waste any time with pleasantries, they just hit the ground running hard. With metal that consistently locks on to a rapid fire ricochet, this band not only looked but sounded like serious business and there was no let up throughout their set at all. Intense, powerful and just what you need to get a Friday night off to a great start.

Our second band of the night were Blood Church and having seen them play live on several occasions this year, they have fast become a favorite of mine. Nothing says more about a band than the audiences reaction and Blood Church tonight drew the audiences attention to the point of becoming a seething pit of bodies. I can’t remember the last time getting up close was such an impossibility and with a performance like this, these guys are well on their way to immortality!

There was something quite mesmerizing about watching our third band of the night, Mad Spanner. Maybe it was their appearance or the blatant craziness of Michael Randall but I found myself caught up in an experience that I can only compare to Beetle Juice the musical. Having said that, underneath this persona, there is a very competent band who have built an amazing metal world of their own creation which is thunderous, ravenous and quite eccentric. Once again, the audience were possessed and lapped up the invitation to mosh like their lives depended on it!

Our headliners tonight were Ashen Crown and with Kieran Scott also promoting the event, this was a busy night all round for him. There is a very tough core to Ashen Crown that drives a powerful hypnotic element to this bands metal and you can feel the intensity simmering, right up to the point when the explosion is unleashed and boy oh boy, did this guys deliver an (((earthquake performance))) tonight. With the band now heading into the studio to complete their debut album, this is one album that I can’t wait to hear and if you want to catch them live again, they will be launching ‘Osolescence’ at the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham on Saturday 26th October.

Tonight’s event has been one hell of a night for live music with great music, a fantastic atmosphere and an audience completely in tune with all of the bands. Born To Lose Productions have their next event lined up for 23rd August back here at The Hole In The Wall in Shrewsbury and believe me when I say, that is going to be a night you don’t want to miss!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.


With support from Recall The Remains, King Abyss and Elyrean.
The Hole In The Wall Shrewsbury 21st June 2019.

Tonight see’s my first trip over to The Hole In The Wall in Shrewsbury for a night of mind bending metal, courtesy of Gutlocker, Recall The Remains, King Abyss, Elyrean and Born To Lose Productions. Now this is one very cool venue, with its cavern like room being akin to that of The Flapper in Birmingham and in my mind, this kind of setting definitely makes for a great atmosphere and sound.

With an enthusiastic audience starting to arrive, our first band of the night was Elyrean, who had recently been added to tonight’s line up after Mystiek had sadly had to step down from this event. Elyrean have had an amazing few months recently, with their performances at Wolverhampton’s Metal 2 The Masses resulting in them triumphantly bagging a well deserved slot on The New Blood Stage at Bloodstock this August and that will definitely be one not to miss if you’re going! There is something incredibly right about this band – like they were destined to exist and tonight’s set saw their melodic thrash whip up a storm, with its perfect synchronization sounding just about as good as it gets. The band have a new album set for release later this year so keep checking in with them for more news on that.

Next up on tonight’s bill were the merciless King Abyss, whose aggressive blend of thrash was really quite something to behold! Hailing from Uttoxeter, King Abyss unleashed the kind of fury that was raw, intensely disturbing and had a depth to it which puts fire in the blood – and that was the perfect call to arms for those with a desire to mosh. With the stage and floor barely containing their magnitude, this was an all consuming set from the band and an introduction to this great band that I certainly won’t forget.

With so many great up and coming bands currently igniting the West Midlands metal scene, our next band Recall The Remains are without doubt, a band who burn very bright and one that I always look forward to seeing. Bringing metal and melody succinctly together is a blazing characteristic of this bands sound and whether you crave fast hair raising riffs or metal born melody – these guys have got it covered! Yet again, a fantastic set from the band and a very happy audience.

Our headliners tonight were Gutlocker from Woking in Surrey and having travelled quite a distance to play tonight, they were most definitely ready to blow some cobwebs away. With mosh pits in full flow and the bands personality shining bright, Gutlocker laid down a cyclone of a set and delivered a perfect metal assault upon us all. The band have a new video ready for release and if it half captures as much energy and temperament as they pack into their live performance, then bring it one – its bound to be a good one!

If this is the kind of event that Born To Lose Productions and The Hole In The Wall intend to put on, on a regular basis, then this will be a big boost to the local music scene and I shall certainly look forward to the next one.

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.