Black Tongue w/Ashen Crown, Blood Church, and Tumanduumband, The Gifford Arms, Wolverhampton 03/10/2021

Black tongue At The Gifford Arms Poster

Black Tongue
w/Ashen Crown, Blood Church and Tumanduumband
The Gifford Arms, Wolverhampton
03/10/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

It’s been a long time since I have ventured to the Midlands for a gig and my third time visiting Wolverhampton. Tonight, took me to The Gifford Arms, a fantastically gothic themed pub where the owners have clearly put a lot of thought into making this place stand out from the other pubs in the area and other venues across the UK. There are so many details to take in, from the giant bat above the beer garden to the throne by the main bar. It’s truly a place I would recommend visiting.

TUMANDUUMBAND

Tonight, is a heavy affair as it’s the final date of Black Tongue’s UK tour. While the venue (upstairs) may seem a little on the small side it does provide a more intimate feel to this gig. This plays right into the first band of the nights hand. Two piece Satanic/Doom outfit Tumanduumband from Stourbridge. Sadly, issues with the bass led to a lengthy delay at the start of the gig and with a curfew on the night this isn’t a great start but can’t be helped either. So, before I start, I am not the biggest fan of the doom genre and with there only being a bassist and a drummer I am apprehensive on what to expect. The whole show begins with eerie drones from the bass while the drummer begins to baptise members of the audience with blood and chant ‘hail Satan.’ This immediately sucked me in and once the music kicked in the whole feel felt incredibly dark, more so than most black metal I listen to. I felt like I was at a cult meeting. This is an interesting concept and one I did enjoy but it did feel a bit out of place on this bill and the ‘Hail Satan’ chant did get a bit tedious after the first four times.

https://www.facebook.com/tumanduumband

BLOOD CHURCH

Next up was Blood Church from Telford. This is a band I have been following for quite some time and was lucky enough to catch them on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock this year. They were one of my highlights from the stage as well, so my expectations were high. On first viewing of Blood Church, they are all coated in corpse paint much like you would expect from a Black Metal band, though once the haunting twang of the guitar intro ended and Chris (vocals/bass) shouts ‘let’s get this shit going Wolverhampton and the first track kicks in, you will not find conventional black metal but a hybrid of Deathcore, Black Metal and Slam all being done on ironing boards (8 string guitars). From that first note this is an onslaught and the whole venue turns into a brawl, front to back, side to side, there isn’t a single person standing still. The breakdowns these boys have created are amongst the heaviest in the scene right now topped with a vocal range that many of the top vocalists in deathcore would be jealous of. This all makes it an intense, heavy and simply incredible set and one of the most enjoyable I have seen this year.

https://www.facebook.com/BloodChurchBand

ASHEN CROWN

Ashen Crown has been at the forefront of the underground metal scene for some years now, it’s easy to see why as well. Not only have they got a great social media presence but their music is fantastic. Their take on death metal isn’t reinventing the wheel but sounds fresh. The harmonies throughout each solo are almost beautiful and do put a smile on your face. These guys are also the most interactive band of the night, actually wandering into the crowd on the rare occasions a pit isn’t blocking their path. With the previous two bands being a bit slower in overall tempo it was quite nice to have a bit of speed on the night, they really lifted the energy of the evening even if they didn’t quite get the reaction Blood Church before them did. Ashen Crown managed to secure a slot on the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock this year and from this performance it’s easy to see why. They are engaging, fast, tight and technically on point. These guys already are on the up in the underground scene and with performances like this, they will continue on the up.

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk

BLACK TONGUE

While the support bands tonight have been fantastic, there is really only one reason we are all here, the down-tempo, Hull heavy-weights, Black Tongue. They have been making a name for themselves by being brutally heavy and relentless in their aggression. Tonight, is no exception. I thought the pits for Blood Church were carnage but I hadn’t seen anything yet. At this point I’m probably one of only ten people in the room not in the pit, bodies are literally being flung everywhere, nearly taking out the P.A. system, the bar and even the band themselves. Black Tongue perform with such precision, all done through a laptop meaning the drums aren’t your standard acoustic kit but a more modern electronic kit and there isn’t a guitar cab in sight. It’s a very interesting set up which sounds fantastic for the most part but in places can end up sounding a little too artificial for a live show. They were also plagued with every guitarist’s worst nightmare, a broken string. While they did their best to fill the time by getting the crowd to tell jokes, it did take a while and I think deprived us of a fair few songs. Nevertheless, the full set was relentless, they completely owned this stage and probably every stage they played on the tour. Black Tongue are by far the heaviest band on these shores and are the perfect band to either snap your neck to or snap someone else’s neck to.

https://www.facebook.com/blacktongueuk

This was a long day, Wolverhampton is a fair drive on a Sunday night, but it was worth it. The venue was sublime, the bands were fantastic and this made it one of the best Sunday evenings I have spent in a long time.

LINK:

https://www.facebook.com/GiffardArms

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

The Alma Inn September Showcase 2019 – The Alma Inn, Bolton – 28/09/2019

00 Alma Inn September Showcase Poster

The Alma Inn September Showcase 2019
The Alma Inn, Bolton – 28/09/2019
Review by Beth Jones

There is simply no better way to spend a wet and dreary late September day than listening to live music in a pub full of people. The Alma Inn September Showcase took place in these very conditions – the really fine rain that gets you properly wet was falling when we arrived, and we were glad to get in and grab a pint, sadly not an alcoholic one for me – I was driving, and settle in for another nine bands from the thriving underground metal scene. The line-up was more eclectic than the last showcase we attended, and two of the names on the bill were household regulars for us – Thrashatouille and Scars Of Remembrance, who we always look forward to seeing, however we were also eager to see some new names, and the day was to start with one of these.

OND
This young band from Leeds were here to start the day off in style, and they did just that! Calling their style ‘progressive spooky filth’, they whipped up the crowd with their lively and bouncy tunes that were perfectly fitting for their hyperactive charisma. I would say they were a great example of classic heavy metal, with a more modern and progressive twist. Their look and youthful exuberance took me back to the Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne’s World and this made me happy. They are all extremely talented musicians too, and reading their bio on Facebook, I have learnt that they released an EP in 2018, and are currently working on their album, which I shall very much look forward to hearing! What a great way to start the day! Well done lads – four thumbs up from me and Rick!

01 ONDhttps://www.facebook.com/ondband/

Thrashatouille
We have seen these guys on a number of occasions now, and they are always dependable for a tight, but bonkers, food-based show and this performance was no exception. Front man Rob Sutton pulls some of the best faces ever, as he describes to us, through the medium of song, the pain of brain freeze, explosive chilli shits, and his love for red velvet cake. All this is backed up by the rest of the motley chefs, adorned in their chefs’ whites and crunching out banging tunes, which makes for a wonderfully nuts image to behold! I recently reviewed their EP “Rise Of The Bludgeonaise”(read it here: https://ever-metal.com/2019/06/21/thrashatouille-rise-of-the-bludgeonaise-ep/) and I can confidently say they are the same bonkers foodies on stage as they are on recording, and should definitely be a staple in any metalhead’s diet, and even if you don’t like their music, which I very much doubt, it is always immensely pleasurable to watch Rob smash a Red Velvet cake into his face at the end of their set!! Tasty!!

02 Thrashatouillehttps://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille/

Blood Church
Next up were Blood Church, a blackened death metal outfit from Telford, who we knew of, but had not seen before. They have obviously thought a lot about their look and it is dramatic; Full corpse paint, and blood capsules made their genre instantly recognizable even before they had started playing! Thankfully their music lived up to their look, it was dark and doomy in places, but not dirgy, which was good. They took us through a 30-minute set of chunky, down tuned, roaring tracks which ate into your soul in a pleasurable way! Having spoken to front man Chris Thomas before the gig, it was quite amazing to see the transformation on stage – from a mild mannered and unassuming gent, to a crazed maniac fuelled by carnal rage, savagely emitting guttural roars and screams! I think he was possessed by the ram’s skull effigy with light up eyes that adorned the front of the stage! They were finalists in this year’s West Midlands M2TM and it is easy to see why they made it that far – they put on a very good show and we really enjoyed it!

03 Blood Churchhttps://www.facebook.com/BloodChurchBand/

Today, They Are Older
Today, They Are Older – mathematically correct, but the name didn’t give us many clues as to what they were about! We found out pretty quickly when they fired into their first song! They bill themselves as progressive post hardcore, and that is exactly what they are – djenty rhythms and riffs, and screamo vocals. They were very lively and three members of the band spent a lot of their time playing and pitting in the crowd at the same time, which was fun, but I moved out of the way a little as I didn’t fancy getting impaled on a guitar whilst trying to get a picture of the vocalist – I’m too old for that shit now! Fetch me my slippers and a mug of tea will you?! Whilst this style isn’t really my bag, there is no denying that they were very good and very tight, and I can definitely see the appeal that they have to the younger generation! They are full of anger and rage, and it comes out with a bang in their performance. If you like this style of music, you need to get out and see these guys sometime soon.

04 Today, They Are Olderhttps://www.facebook.com/TodayTheyAreOlder/

Whipcord
We were taken from modern to classic next, with Whipcord, this being their comeback show after a few years’ hiatus, and appearing on drums with them was none other than local legend and workaholic, John Badger! This was the first of two appearances by him today, because organizing shows just isn’t enough is it John? (Think we should rename him Dennis Waterman – ‘Write the feeeme tooooon, sing the feeeme tooooon’ [NB if you haven’t watched Little Britain, look this reference up!]) Anyway, I digress, so this was Whipcord’s come back show and they were here to bring us some classic hard rock, and that is exactly what they did, much to the pleasure of us oldies. With some great harmonies and melodies, they certainly gave the day a different flavour, although they did look a little serious at times on stage but coming back after a break is a tough thing to do, so I will let them off! I would certainly like to see them again.

05 Whipcordhttps://www.facebook.com/whipcord/

Scott Beveridge Project
Again, this is another of those bands that we had heard a lot about but had never seen. This was also Badger’s second outing on the drums – getting in practice for his ‘Drumming Up Change’ charity event coming in a month or so. Scott Beveridge Project (SBP) is the brainchild of front man Scott Beveridge, backed up by a variety of musical heads who appear in other bands too – kind of a supergroup of the Manchester Underground scene! Drawing influence from some of the great heavy metal musicians, their sound is good honest heavy metal, complete with widdly diddly solos, headbanging riffs and Hetfield style vocals. They are the sort of outfit that you know what you are getting, and I like that – it is comforting! We are definitely going to be checking them out again at the earliest opportunity. Loved it!

06 Scott Beveridge Projecthttps://www.facebook.com/ScottBeveridgeProject/

Asylum City Zoo
I was starting to hit the wall a little by this point – I’ll say it again, I’M OLD AND BROKEN OK?! But enjoyed these guys even if my outward persona looked like I had gone into stasis animation! They describe themselves as Beardcore/Stomp/Welly Metal, and I have to agree! I’m not entirely sure what that is, but I can definitely say that they are it! It is kind of early Metallica, with a more modern twist and better vocals! They were very tight, and they have a definite idea of who they are, which is always good to see. This assumption is also backed up when you visit their website, which is very nicely done – I recommend checking it out! I had to duck out and have a sit down about halfway through their set, sorry guys – I can’t hack the pace, but I really enjoyed their sound and next time I see them I promise I will watch the whole thing! In the meantime, I am going to digest a bit more of their music, which is available on their website, as it is right up my street!

07 Asylum City Zoohttps://www.facebook.com/asylumcityzoo/

Scars Of Remembrance
These guys were our North Wales M2TM winners this year, and their sound just gets better and better each time we see them. It was touch and go whether they were actually going to be able to perform here, as vocalist Mike Edwards was delayed, and the band were unsure if he would arrive on time – frantic reorganization ensued including which parts of the vocal duties would be taken on by guitarists Daniel Dawson and Mark Harris, and some nervous pacing from drummer Ben Burke and bassist Karl Ditcher, however Mike made it in the nick of time, and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief! AND they managed to do it again – they turned their anxiety into an absolute stonker of a performance that had the whole place bouncing. They mix together classic and melodic styles, with screamy death vocals, and pepper it with some groove, to create a unique sound that we love. Never be afraid to be different. Spot on guys – top show once again.

08 Scars of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

Beyond Salvation
Our final band for the evening was Beyond Salvation – again another band we had heard great things about. Fronted by Jon Pedley, of Pedley Art, they are a four-piece technical thrash outfit from Manchester and are a huge part of the Manchester scene. Fast paced and meaty as hell, they make a huge sound that you can’t help but get involved in, with Jon’s roaring vocals and some epic guitar work from both Jon and Arun Kamath hypnotizing you into a thrash trance! As regular readers will know, I am picky when it comes to thrash – some of it floats my boat, most of it doesn’t. I am pleased to say that Beyond Salvation fell on the correct side of my metaphorical fence, and I am very happy about that! We had to duck out a little before the end, as the tempestuous weather was closing in, my body had finally hit the wall, and I still had to drive us back to Wales! But what a smashing performance to finish off a great day – again nice one guys.

09 Beyond Salvationhttps://www.facebook.com/beyondsalvationthrash/

And that was that! We hobbled off to the car, via the kebab shop, and set about the drive home (which was absolutely horrific, and I wanted to cry, I may add!). Yet again we had had another day of fantastic music. The day did have a couple of mild irritations for me though. Firstly, the sound – the whole day was slightly marred with technical issues. A lot of bands were complaining that they couldn’t here themselves on stage, and fiddling with leads and swapping mics became a bit of a theme for the day. That being said, this highlighted the quality of all the bands, as they still gave brilliant performances despite the issues. My only other gripe was the state of the ladies’ loos – I believe the expression is ‘fucking gopping man!’ I’m not posh, but I do like to have some home comforts when I go to a gig, and I can’t do horrid toilets! Sort it out please!

Apart from that, the whole day was great. Thanks again to the venue and organisers, and we look forward to coming back again soon!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Badgerfestpromotions/
https://www.facebook.com/alma.inn/

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

Blood Church – The Alma Inn September Showcase – 28/09/2019

 

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.