Tag Archives: mallen


With support from Mallen and The Blacklist Saints.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 26th August 2017.

Tonight’s Hils Ovation gig is looking set to be one of a kind and headlining here at the O2 Academy3 are none other than Devilfire, most ably supported by Mallen and The Blacklist Saints.

With The Black Hounds having to step down from tonight’s line up at the last minute, this evening opening set came courtesy of The Blacklist Saints. Having not seen this band before, tonight’s set was a mighty fine baptism into their undeniably raw blend of punk’d rock ‘n’ roll and also a great introduction to the rawkus style of songs that their debut album ‘Intro Extro‘ holds firmly in its grip. Highlight of tonight’s performance for me, was the track “Est ’83” which definitely brought their set to an end on a high.

It’s been way too long since I last saw our next band Mallen and I have to applaud them loudly for the set that they delivered tonight, as all their hard work, commitment and self propelling determination really stood out in their on stage presence this evening. With several of their newer tracks featuring strongly in tonight’s set, I highly anticipate that their new and forthcoming EP will be striding out in exactly the right direction for Mallen but it was good to hear some of their older songs and once again, ” Welcome To The Edge” hit the spot for me.

And so we come to our headlining band of the night, Devilfire and to say I had been looking forward to seeing them live for the first time is most definitely an understatement! There is quite a buzz around this band and quite rightly so, as the combined talents of Alex Cooper, Baz Blackett, Davey Bennett, Lars Wickett and Richard Bloomer-Davies is the kind of line up that is guaranteed to produce an abundance of melodic hard edged rock that just squeals success!

With their new album “Dark Manoeuvres” due for release 6th October, tonight’s set from the band gave a blazing representation of it’s greatness and with songs such as “Waiting For A Rockstar” and “She’s Like Fire” having the kind of anthemic greatness that lasts even with time, Devilfire are set to take the rock scene by storm.

So reflecting back over this evening’s gig, I can’t help but feel slightly in awe of these three marvelous bands, who put on quite a show for us tonight. I’m quite sure that every local music scene has it’s talent but if what I saw and heard tonight is representative of the Midlands, then we most certainly are firmly on the map!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 25th June 2016.

There was a host of good reasons to head on over to the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham tonight, as the latest Hils Ovation event was set to deliver a headlining set from Vicious Nature, along with some pretty impressive support from The Mighty Wraith, Spreading The Disease, Aramantus and Mallen.

The first band up on stage tonight and a firm favourite of mine, were the West Midlands based band, Mallen. Mallen’s signature sound is one of pure class that never fails to capture all the qualities of the heavy rock genre within a wealth of talent that these guys and gal possess. Tonight’s set from the band included tracks from their EP ’Ignite’ and also gave the O2 Academy3’s audience the opportunity to see them perform live, their forthcoming new single which is an absolute gem. If this is a taste of the new music that is about to emerge from the band, then positive things are set to happen to Mallen for sure!

Kelly Mallen and Dann Pritchard - Mallen

I’ve been hearing lots of good comments made about our next band Aramantus and tonight’s set was the first chance I’ve had to catch them in well over twelve months and with their current line up presenting Nyah Infill at the helm, believe you me – this band rocks! The band describe their music as progressive groove metal which certainly gives them a sound that will appeal to many and as for their performance tonight, they lacked nothing in their on stage ability either!

Nyah Infill - Aramantus

The are two things that you will never hear Spreading The Disease being described as – the first thing being boring and the second, being tame, as the energy that this band radiates on stage goes way beyond the meaning of intense. I think it’s also fair to say that it would take an exceptionally large stage to contain lead singer Adam May, as once that mic is in his hand he turns into a man on a mission to get as close to the audience as possible and when it comes down to making a connection with people, he definitely scored a big thumbs up at the O2 Academy3 tonight. This bands profile is growing fast so make sure to check them out first chance you get.

Adam May - STD

Our main support band for tonight were The Mighty Wraith and any which way you choose to take this band, whether that be live or listening to their recorded material, they always deliver metal that is loaded with charisma. Matt Gore is the kind of front man who always puts everything into his performance and tonight’s set from the band saw them clearly enjoying their time on stage as much as the audience did and when it comes down to capturing the very essence of live music, you really can’t hope for more than that!

Matt Gore - The Mighty Wraith

Tonight’s ultimate performance came courtesy of the West Midlands based metallers Vicious Nature and whenever these guys take to the stage, you are guaranteed a set that will leave you with a lasting impression every single time. The bands line up includes Andy Pyke (Vocals), Andy Southwell (Guitar + backing vocals), Mark Culley (Bass) and JB on Drums and between them, these guys notch up a collective history that resonates the impressive wealth of their ability.

Andy Southwell - Vicious Nature

With the added bonus of tonight being the chosen event to launch their new DVD ‘Ex Cineribus’, myself and all those present had further reason to be here and the bands appearance tonight not only gave us the chance to catch tracks from it performed live, but also to pick up a copy of this little beauty first hand.

It’s dam near impossible to identify a favourite track from Vicious Nature performance tonight as each song had a character of it’s own but I have to say that their delivery of the new single ‘The Silence That Kills’ went down an absolute storm, but then that is exactly how these guys roll.

Andy Pyke - Vicious Nature

I left the O2 Academy3 tonight one very happy bunny, with the added bonus of a freshly purchased DVD that delivers all which it promises and a quote from Andy Pyke that just about summed up tonight’s event – “ You’re coming to see the future, not the past”.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

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.