Eyes Of The Raven

With support from Influens, Obzidian, Christgrinder and Rawkas.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 24th November 2018.

Tonight’s Ovation Music Management gig has all the makings of being one of a kind with a rather fantastic line up that includes Eyes Of The Raven, Influens, Obzidian, Christgrinder and Rawkas – impressive or what!!

Getting this evenings shenanigans underway were Birmingham’s very own Rawkas and just as their name suggests, these guys have a sound that is packed with both raw energy and heaps of magnificent moodiness which certainly hit the spot tonight. With the band having released an EPAll Your Ghosts‘ earlier in the year, tonight’s set was a great taster for it and if you want to check this and Rawkas out for yourself, just head on over to their Facebook or Bandcamp pages for a right proper ear full!

Our second band of the night were Christgrinder and if you enjoy your metal dark, love your metal to have attitude and relish the experience of seeing a band whose performance will have you entranced from start to finish, then PLEASEEEEE go check out Christgrinder! Tonight’s set saw the band suited, booted and grasping Satan firmly by the horns, amidst lashing of sordid guitar riffs, a back line that ricocheted across the O2 Academy3 and vocals that captured the very spirit of black metal. Having not seen or heard these guys before, this first encounter was one I won’t forget and also one I can’t wait to repeat!

The next band to take to the stage tonight were Obzidian and here we have a band whose long standing presence within the metal community stands tall and quite rightly so, as their intensely adrenaline fuelled metal goes way beyond impressive. Front man Matty Jenks truly commanded the stage tonight, with his delivery of the set showing man and music completely enmeshed as one and in my opinion, that takes a very special kind of skill which really was quite something to behold. Sadly, the bands set was cut a little short due to a technical failure but one thing for sure and despite that, Obzidian certainly did themselves proud tonight.

Our penultimate band of the night were Influens and yet again, here we have another well respected and much talked about band within our metal community. Tonight’s set saw the band starting a new chapter of their evolution, now as a three piece. And not only did they raise their tried and trusted flag of groove infused metal, but they also gave us the chance to hear some of their new material and to see the shape of the great things yet to come from Influens.

And finally, we come to our headlining band of this evening, the one and only, Eyes Of The Raven. It’s been quite a while since I last saw these guys however lasting impressions never fade away and having repeatedly watched the video ‘Crown Of Serpents‘ which was released earlier this year, I felt there was something pretty exciting happening here!

Live tonight, Eyes Of The Raven took their music and performance to a whole new level – ABSOLUTELY off the scale in fact! They looked different, their musical precision was in a league of its own and they sounded better than ever. The one thing that did remain unchanged was the straight, honest connection these guys have with their fans, they may not boast about how good they are but the response they received from their audience, most definitely said it all for them.

2019 is already set to be one hell of a year for Eyes Of The Raven and you can catch up with them supporting Orange Goblin at KK’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton on 8th Feb, HRH Metal O2 Academy Birmingham – which takes place over the weekend of 16th/17th Feb and then 28th Feb, when they are back again at KK’s Steel Mill for Wolverhampton’s M2M first heat – bring it on!

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

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.