LIVE REVIEW! Ovation Music Management Presents...O2 Academy, Birmingham

July 3, 2017

Whilst we cover a lot of the bigger tours that come to the UK here at The Revival we also appreciate that all of those bands have come up from somewhere. Ten, fifteen, twenty years ago most of those household names were playing small clubs in their local towns, growing their fan bases and starting their careers.


Here in deepest darkest Birmingham, Ovation Music Management put on monthly gigs, showcasing those small bands putting in the hard slog now, so that in fifteen years time they'll be headlining those big venues we all know and love. If your in the West Midlands I encourage you to check out these monthly shows, you'll be amazed at the talent OMM's Hilary is nurturing into the next big thing.


June's showcases features a killer line up of five bands you've not yet heard of but soon enough you'll be wearing their merch! 


Opening proceedings are Free Sun Rising a four piece hard rock/heavy metal outfit from here in Brum. Fronted by

Gavin Leach, a giant of a man, towering over the stage with a presence similar to Ben Ward of Orange Goblin fame and with vocals to match. Guitarist Michael O'nions, wielding a custom Zakk Wilde guitar pulls off some stunning solos throughout the set as the band are obviously eager to showcase his talent. The overall sound of the band is your traditional heavy metal sound, delivered perfectly to a full room early doors.


Black Country lads Seventh Era are the next to take to the stage. Similar in style to the previous act, in that they play hard rock/heavy metal. Obviously inspired by Iron Maiden with guitar solos Dave Murray would have been proud of. Front man Russel Hayes throws out some traditional 80's metal vocals. Stand out song for me is Fast Sally, a bluesy number, great vocally and lyrically and highlighting the skills of drummer Chris McMahon. Their short set finished off with The Beast With, a fantastic numbers with a dark sounding bass intro. Wonderful!


Chemikill turn up the heat in an already sweltering venue as they take to the stage. A female fronted five piece. Fast, heavy and very very loud. The drum beat goes up a notch, keyboards are added to the mix and the fan base they've brought with them goes wild. Less traditional and more modern twist with this outfit, thrash metal riffs acompany vocals that are anything but. A mix that works so well, battering the senses for a full 30 minutes. 


Hailing from Coventry, Scattering Ashes notch the pace and volume up again. There's a strong hint of thrash oozing from this beast. They take the brave decision to play a set built entirely on material from their new album, which they have yet to record. A full set of debut songs, they come across as a tight-nit well regarded outfit, not one dropped note amongst the throng of new numbers. Majestic duelling guitars pour out frenetic thrash riffs, bassist Dan Brennan the ultimate showman holding the rhythm section to account. Vocalist Steve Smith offers the ultimate thrash growls but mixed with melodic interludes. A well rounded performance that will no doubt help win over a plethora of new fans, myself included.


Aramantus, bring their own blend of female laden groove metal into tonight's mix. Despite the band members young age, they've been on the scene a while and their fanbase allows them the opportunity to headline this excellent evening of heavy entertainment. Vocalist Nyah commands the stage, not afraid to own it and draw the crowd into their world. Bassist Cici injects a large fusion of funk into the bands heavy sound, I would guess taking a heavy influence from the Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea, as that distinctive slap of the bass strings is on show in abundance. All of this merged in with some edgy riffs and the awesome talent of Alice Bates on drums produces a rich, heavy sound, well rounded and perfectly delivered. 


Of all the bands on show tonight, Aramantus stand head and shoulders above the rest as the ones who are ready to take that next step up the heavy metal ladder. The talent depth in the West Midlands in deep, with all 5 acts showing tonight they have go that it takes. Hopefully in due course they all get their big breaks, but for now we can enjoy them in the wonderful intimate settings that Ovation Music Management put on for us.


Take a look at the below gallery for more photos!





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