Raging Speedhorn & Sworn To Oath Live At Birmingham's O2 Academy 3, 8th December

Just before Christmas, long time British metal underground favourites Raging Speedhorn were on the road for their first full UK tour in many years. Alongside them on the tour were more impressive UK talent in the shape of Sworn To Oath and Godsize. We sent Jamie Kinman along to enjoy the action....

Stourbridge four piece, Godsize [7] kick up a right stink to kick proceedings off. Before the first song has begun, front man, Kristian Chambers is marching through the crowd, barking into his microphone. Continuing through their set of heavy grooving riffs fuelled by an old school, no-nonsense, no bullshit attitude, Godsize are a perfect warm-up act for tonight. Not taking themselves too seriously, their music does the talking whilst Chambers gets to know the fans, having a swig of one man’s beer and fist bumping anyone that fancies it. Good vibes and mature, solid, stomping, sludge heavy riffs and a frontman who has the bite to match his bark.  

Second on, the best thing to come exploding out of Stoke in recent years, Sworn To Oath [8]. Having released their astounding debut album, Pillars, earlier this year, they’re out to prove a point. Showing confidence in their new material, the half hour set features sole cuts from the new record. Musically, everything is on point, they’re a trio that make an absolute racket, in the very best of ways. Each member of the band is pulling their weight, there are no passengers here, rolling through a set with many highlights but songs like Free Me, Gave Into God, Holding On and a nod of the hat in tribute to the late, great Dimebag Darrell, really stand out. Tom’s bass is as heavy as crashing concrete, Dave rips effortlessly through the riffs that define Pillars, whilst Tom backs it up with noticeably unique work behind the kit, providing the pivotal, thumping backbone of the band’s sound. Considering Tom’s suffering from a cold, his vocals are frighteningly good and Dave’s backing vocals are better than a lot of band’s lead vocalist. Although the generally older audience isn’t quite into it as the music deserves, it’s a safe bet that Sworn To Oath are walking away from this gig with a bunch of new fans.

Raging Speedhorn [8], capping the bill off with their hardcore but catchy assault of no-nonsense metal, they come out like true British bulldogs, with Frank Regen and John Loughlin snarling in the faces of the crowd whilst the guitarists rock back and strum out the band’s trademark teeth grinding riffs. The whole occasion feels like a celebration of this band’s work, the crowd are devotedly into it, lapping every second up. Sworn To Oath’s Dave Leese is side stage pouring beer down their guitarists throat, Regen’s getting up close and personal with the mob that stands before them whilst John Loughlin marches around the stage looking like an enraged beast. These boys aren’t new boys on the block, they’ve been here before and they know what they’re doing and it shows, Frank even managing to casually style out dropping his mic mid-song. It’s obvious that Raging Speedhorn have been a missed and long sought after entity for their fans and the vibe in the room is that everyone’s thrilled to finally be seeing another Speedhorn show.



Scribbled by:

Dweller of the deep, dark depths of Birmingham where four Brummies created this little thing called heavy metal. Music obsessed with an open mind, who's only claim to fame is that Tony Iommi lives a few miles down the road.