Last night’s Emma Scott Presents gig at Birmingham 02 Academy was one of the best ever, for all concerned. Well organised and well attended, running to schedule and maintaining a high musical standard and a great buzz throughout. Five great bands played, with Skies in Motion opening. Thrashy instrumentals and deathy vocals, Skies in Motion were a good choice of opening band. Their energy and enthusiasm were infectious and got the metal vibes going and whilst the vocal style wasn’t to my particular tastes, they couldn’t be faulted on stage presence, attitude or motivation. An effective intro to the night.
Wraith played what was, in my opinion, their best performance yet. Launching straight into their set with their trademark fervour, they treated us to some new tracks – ‘Fury of the Norsemen’ and ‘When it Rains’, amongst some more familiar material. The new tracks were simply stunning and every track was just loaded with metal quality of the highest order. Azz’s guitar riffs are reminding me more and more of Slayer, with every performance! Always a good thing, where metal’s concerned! Wraith are one of those rare bands whose music hooks you instantly and keeps you wanting more. They improve with every performance and I can’t wait to hear the new album! (Due out in December). Check them out on www.facebook.com/wraithband/ .
Valous continued the high metallic standards with a totally epic set, oozing with professionalism and high energy. The confidence with which they took to the stage has to be applauded and this is another band whose drive and passion for their music is blatantly evident. Valous also win a lot of points for their ability to reach and engage with their audience, but above all, for the quality of their songs. My personal favourite has to be ‘Dreams are Meant to Be’ and I recommend their Rebirth EP. Great to see another talented Birmingham metal band showcasing and Valour are another firm favourite for me. They can be found on www.facebook.com/valous.birmingham or on www.valous.co.uk .
Steeltrooper gave it their all and rocked the place to the core, as always. Playing their newest live material, ‘Reaper Ride’ and ‘Eyes of Destruction’, amongst some tracks from the debut Eternal Warrior album, their set was pouring and pounding with metal power! Great to see the guys clearly loving what they’re doing and growing in confidence all the time. The riffs seem to get more and more furious each time, as does Gaz’s drumming. (I’m loving that fab drum roll during ‘Reaper Ride’) and I’m always going to Love Owen’s passionately melodic, yet slightly growly raw vocals! Trooper just do it for me, every time! They are on www.facebook.com/steeltrooper .
Only the Good closed the night, with a highly proficient set, introducing some new material in addition to their older tracks. A well moulded team, their chemistry was evident, as was their passion. The ‘Time Flies’ EP was showcased, as was the ‘Make my Day’ EP. Considering the fact that poor Aaron had been ill all week with throat problems, his vocals were amazingly strong and no one would have known! A tight band, gradually growing progressively heavier, Only the Good are nothing if not driven. Find them on www.facebook.com/onlythegood666 .