Opening up tonight’s show is The Raven Age, a band that have made some waves in their 5 years together including being awarded Best New Band by Planet Rock in 2017 and support slots with the likes of Mastodon, Ghost, Anthrax and Tremonti. With the band being founded by the son of an Iron Maiden legend (you can do your own research there), you could be forgiven for expecting to hear a very Maiden inspired sound but, thankfully, the guys have carved out their own style and serve up a harder, more metalcore set of songs. This is only the second gig for new lead singer Matt James, but if I hadn’t been told this beforehand I wouldn’t have noticed, as he seems very comfortable on stage and his performance is excellent, forgoing all the usual metalcore growling tropes which usually put me off the genre. It’s a solid 40 minute set and one that shows that The Raven Age are definitely living up to the hype.

Savage Messiah have been very busy lately. With the release of their latest album Hands of Fate, to support tours with Cradle of Filth and sold out shows in Japan, the London based four piece are taking all opportunities that come their way.

After a protracted intro sequence that involved “It’s A Long Way To The Top” played in full, then the THX Dolby Digital stinger, then another song snippet, the Savage Messiah guys finally take the stage and get down to business. Recent album Hands of Fate takes centre stage for the majority of the set and once again displays the band’s love of hard rocking, heavy riffing tunes that hark back to classic bands like Judas Priest with touches of Metallica and Megadeth et al. thrown in for good measure. Even with these influences present and accounted for, the Messiah gents manage to make things sound fresh and current, with excellent vocal deliveries and solid, chunky riffs on offer at every turn. There is a slight lull in proceedings when a guitar solo makes an appearance, but I’ve never been a fan of them in live settings, and this is the only gripe I have with what is a very good and engaging performance overall.

Remaining UK Tour Dates:

04/17 – Newcastle (UK) – O2 Academy 2
04/18 – Birmingham (UK) – O2 Academy 3
04/19 – London (UK) – Underworld

Check out Savage Messiah’s video for the song “A Wing and a Prayer”.