Review by Andy Boden
Sworn to Oath hit The End in Birmingham on night three of an 18 date tour of the UK, in support of the release of their new EP Leave You For Dead released on 7th November. Whilst it is a stunning piece of contemporary power metal, it only goes part way to telling the story of Sworn to Oath live. But first, the supporting cast…
Birmingham based 2nd Side Made was born early 2010, and have rapidly developed a distinct sound, delivered with a good humour and plenty of energy. Described under the catch-all of Alternative Metal, 2SM are a whole lot more than that, bringing quality good time rock music and bellowed angst to the party. As the set developed, the songs got tighter, culminating in the renditions of the tracks from their recently released EP, Backburner being the stand out track for me.
Dauntless hit the stage running, delivering a blend of retro-feel pop and out-and-out metal, one minute sounding like Squeeze, then switching to hard edged, fast paced rock’n’roll in a heartbeat. Tight and energetic, the Wulfrunian three piece have bags of potential, frontman Andy P has a fine voice and can play a mean guitar, whilst cohorts Josh H (bass) and Steve (drums) provide a powerful and dynamic rhythm section. Well worth checking out if they’re round your way.
Twisted Species are well established on the Shropshire music circuit, and are now stamping their authority on the wider Midlands scene. The Telford based quartet has a finely honed sound reminiscent of the Seattle sound of the 90s but yet a million miles away. The key to the magic is in their diverse musical tastes – funk, blues, metal, grunge – all of these influences are evident, but the synergy produces a sound that is all their own. Bleed for Me, Here I Stand and Power Struggle steal the show, fine rock music for the modern age.
Sworn to Oath first came to my attention earlier in the year when they opened for Marty de Mona at the Slade Rooms. On that occasion they wowed the crowd with a devastating display of intensely powerful metal that earned them a headline slot on this, the latest Emma Scott presentation. From the get-go, the pace is relentless. Towering vocals over feverish guitar, and pounding, driving drumming from the rear, complimented by vocalist Toms six string bass adding extra depth to the sound. But this isn’t noise for the sake of it; this is carefully crafted mayhem in the Bullet For My Valentine mould. Only better. I kid you not, S2O hit you between the eyes with a frenetic, melodic, energetic blast of power rock-cum-metal that will live long in the memory. For a three piece line-up, the sound is awesome, and would be just as much at home in an arena as it would in your local pub. Take my word for it, you WILL be seeing more of these guys. Buy the EP, see what all the fuss is about.
So there we have it, another splendid evening of heavyweight riffology from two of the Midland finest and two of the Midlands ‘ones to watch’. It really doesn’t get much better than this; the Home of Heavy Metal still leads the world in producing fresh young talent. I have seen the future, and it’s all good!
Sworn to Oath play Birminghams VuDu on 26th November.