Hils Ovation

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 28th May 2016.

Tonight’s Hils Ovation gig has the making of a rather spectacular night, with performances lined up from Netherhall, Pelugion, Martyr De Mona and the remarkable Fire Red Empress – and you couldn’t want for much more than that!

Netherhall were our first band of the night and for me, this was a much anticipated experience as I had yet to see them perform live. With the band comprising of two former members of Glassbullet, I was holding my breath as to whether or not I would feel their evolution and for the first ten seconds I did have doubts, but those doubts were quickly erased as not only did they look different but they sounded different aswell. Netherhall’s sound is still heavy but with a deeper emotive edge to it that on occasion sent my mind reminiscing back to the classic strains of Robert Miles and never in a million years would I have expected that! Am I excited about what the future holds for Netherhall – yes, I certainly am as there is something very special emerging here and I can’t wait to see where it takes them!

Paul Berry - Netherhall

It’s been way too long since I last saw Pelugion and shame on me for that but tonight’s set was well worth the wait, as their performance was as wild and untamed as I’d hoped it would be. With their track ‘Serpent’s Mistress’ being a particular favourite of mine due to it’s mesmerizing guitar riffs and the brazen vocals of Andy Sweeney, I was pretty chuffed to hear it played in the bands set tonight. It was also particularly cool and pretty brave of the band to include a cover version of Megadeth’s ‘Symphony Of Destruction’ which was just about ten minutes old but then that’s Pelugion for you – fearless and creative to the point of no holds barred.

Andy Sweeney - Pelugion

Our penultimate band for tonight were Martyr de Mona who have been very firm favorites of the Midlands metal scene for a fair few years now but even with that degree of familiarity for regular gig goers, these guys always deliver a set second to none.

Josh Wooldridge - Martyr de Mona

Tonight’s performance at the O2 was indeed outstanding with the energy both on and off stage radiating an atmosphere that was nothing short of exceptional and the kind of experience that you really don’t want to end. You can catch Martyr de Mona at several great events over the forthcoming summer months, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Louis Hale - Martyr De Mona

Time certainly is flying by for Fire Red Empress with it only being a matter of six short months since Jen Diehl made her debut appearance in the band at last years Midlands Metal Crusade and already Fire Red Empress have a new album which is just about ready for launching. Tonight’s set promised the opportunity to hear a host of new material from it along with a few firm favorites and for me, that was something not to be missed!

Ben Picken - Fire Red Empress

With the stage swathed in fiery red lights, the band were welcomed onto the stage loudly by the audience of a pretty packed out O2 Academy3 and what then followed was a completely addictive set that was nothing short of compelling to see and hear. This band have never lacked in the stage presence department but with Jen Diehl’s character, confidence and vocal ability truly shinning through, I can wholehearted predict that Fire Red Empress are destined for many great things yet to come.

Jen Diehl - Fire Red Empress

I left the O2 Academy3 tonight feeling like I had just witnessed something quite special, as not only had the bands given 110% but there was an atmosphere of excitement in the room which had rolled out across the audience and band members alike. And that my friend, is exactly what the thrill of live music is all about!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.