The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 18th June 2016.
It’s been quite a while since our last trip to the Slade Rooms but tonight’s Hils Ovation show certainly has a lot to offer with performances lined up from Evil Empire, Stranger In Death, Master Charger, Our World Below? and ultimately, My Brother, The Wolf.
And if you want to get a night off to an energetic start then Evil Empire are just the band to do it, as their formidable front man Dave Gwinnutt stands still for no-one. Following on from their recent album release of ‘To Punish And Enslave’, the band’s set tonight included several tracks from it, with ‘Gallows Call’ reigning down quite a hearty helping of groove metal which hit just the right spot with the Slade Rooms audience. It was also great to see how well this band gel together on stage and if that isn’t also a crucial ingredient of their success then I don’t know what is!
Our second band of the night were none other than Stranger in Death and according to legend, if you say the name ‘Beetlejuice’ three times, Mike Mooney will appear and sure enough, there he was – in one of the most spectacular purple suits you could ever wish to imagine! Stranger In Death are quite an experience to see live and have an impressive talent in the song writing department aswell, with ‘I Am The Hunter’ being a particular highlight of their set tonight.
The next band to take to the stage have consistently been creating quite a talking point on the music scene and are a band that I’m just a little bit chuffed to be able to finally catch live – that band being Master Charger. This bearded trio have a glorious depth to their sound that captures a multitude of heaviness which sits way beyond what you would expect a trio to be capable of and all of which just seems to roll out with natural born ease. If you’ve not checked out Master Charger before then I strongly advise that you do as they’re definitely a band to remember!
It’s been a busy few weeks for Our World Below? with the recent release of their brand new EP ‘Dwarf The Earth’ being a definite highlight and tonight, there was certainly a feeling good factor evident up on stage. Even with a few technical difficulties and a drum kit desperate to escape the grasp of powerhouse drummer Jack Skilton, I would happily say that tonight, Our World Below? were on their best form ever!
With our headlining band My Brother, The Wolf just about ready to take to the stage, it was quite obvious that there were a fair few people in the audience who were looking forward to their set and the band quickly set about proving why.
There is a healthy groove in the metal of My Brother, The Wolf that is fuelled by the duel attack of guitars, courtesy of Jay Rogers and Dan Wynne-Jones and superbly backed up by the rhythms of Pete Jorkowski on bass and Chris Conyon on drums. Much credit also needs to go to front man Adam Wakeman whose energetic performance and vocals simply set the songs alight and without doubt, these guys delivered a headline performance tonight.
Tonight’s gig made for quite a night, with each and every band scoring a direct hit with all those present – a great night indeed!
Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.