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Hils Ovation

Martyr de Mona at the O2 Academy3 Birmingham 14th March 2015.

This weekend really does seem to be alive with opportunities to get out and see a great band or two but even with being so spoilt for choice, the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham was the place to be for me. Hils Ovation has once again set up a great night of live music, provided for us by Mallen, Go Primitive, Eyes Of The Raven and our ultimate headliners for tonight, Martyr de Mona.

It has only been a matter of weeks since I last saw our opening band Mallen at their own headlining event for the release of their new EP ‘Ignition’, but when a band writes and plays live music as well as this band does, every performance caught is one to be glad that you didn’t miss. Tonight, the band took to the stage amidst a roaring intro and went straight into the glorious second track of the EP ‘Welcome To The Edge’ and based upon all I’ve seen and heard from them over recent weeks, I do strongly believe that 2015 is going to be one hell of a year for this band. Kelly Mallen is the kinda female front person who you cannot fail to admire as she has the ability to be a vocal chameleon for each song as required, whether that be a ballad or a kick ass piece of raging rock ‘n’ roll so do get yourself down to one of their gigs or go online and purchase the EP, or even better – do both!

Kelly Mallen - Mallen

In comparison to Mallen, it seems like a million years ago since I last saw Go Primitive here at the O2 Academy3, but we are talking about back in October 2011 and the band I saw tonight were very different to the band I remember from back then. There were one or two familiar faces up on stage tonight but I must say there was no sign of them being stuck in the past as Go Primitive have a sound and a stage presence that is very much geared up to the here and now. Having just completed the recording of their new EP, tonight’s gig was a fine opportunity for Go Primitive to give us all a taste of what will be hitting the airwaves shortly, so keep your ears open readers as there’s a few tasty tracks heading our way, for sure.

Tomm E Williams - Go Primative

When it comes down to our next band for this evening, I can only describe Eyes Of The Raven as a band that you simply love to love. I shall forever hold in my mind the image of them dressed as Santa’s and Elves at Hils Ovations Christmas Metal Crusade and even though they were dressed in far more suitable attire tonight, their was no denying that their personalities remain just as large and just as all consuming as they did back then. Tonight’s set from Eyes Of The Raven was a whirlwind of tight groove infused metal – with a few cans of Carling thrown in for good measure and boy oh boy, did these guys own the stage tonight! Do yourselves a favour and go check Eyes Of The Raven out, you won’t be disappointed.

Eyes Of The Raven

2015 see’s yet another new year for our headliners Martyr de Mona and brings along with it many new and exciting happenings in the MDM camp. January brought along two nominations for the band at the Pure Rawk Awards in London – Ashley Leatherland, Best Drummer and ‘Influence & Persuasion’, Best Video, and February saw new axeman, Joshua Jones getting the thumbs up from the guys and making his debut live performance tonight – and if those aren’t achievements to be proud of, well I’ll eat my hat!

Joshua Jones - Martyr de Mona

Some things haven’t changed for the band and that’s all good stuff too as Martyr de Mona remain one of the major ambassadors and supporters of the West Midlands live music scene and the respect their endeavours have earned them shone just as brightly tonight as the glorious stage lights, with many a band member there to show their support and including representation from My Great Affliction, Left For Red, Valous and Stone Broken to name only a few.

Louis Hale - Martyr de Mona

Tonight’s set was an hour long excursion across the bands past five years and featured many a track from their two milestone albums. Highlight for me from their performance was hearing and seeing Martyr de Mona perform ‘Influence & Persuasion’, with it’s momentous drive and harmonies but that choice is a close call as each song performed tonight was a master class in execution.

Martyr de Mona

Of all the gigs that were happening this weekend, this was definitely the one to be at for me. Martyr de Mona, Eyes Of The Raven, Go Primitive and Mallen simply made for a fantastic musical match on stage tonight and the sound and lighting at the O2 Academy3 was probably the best I’ve ever known it – can we do it all again please??

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.