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Morgue Orgy + Imperial Vengeance + Warlord UK + Korvus + Musta Talvi @ The Old Wharf, Digbeth - Sat 20th February 2010

Review by Chop
Photos by Tony Gaskin

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To give this evening its full title of “DJ Beerman in association with Black Scorpion Promotions Presents...” seemed a little over the top, so please excuse me referring to the gig by the band names only.  While the headlinders didn't appear until shortly before the witching hour, there were several bands to whet the discerning metal head's metaphorical whistle.

Musta Talvi were first up and a combination of a grief stricken four year old needing her bedtime story and an earlier than scheduled bus resulted in me missing their set. Suitably chastised by Andy and Dan on my arrival it's only fair to report their presence. Respected sources tell me that this was the best set they've seen from them for quite some time. Next time you play I'll do whatever's necessary to be there! 

“Intro – Whispering Words Of Resolve”, “Untitled 1”, “Untitled 2”, “When The Cleansing Fire Reigns”, “Forced To Survive In Shadows”, “Persistence Of Snakes”.

in the studio are a one man band as it were, with Sam Korvus playing all instruments, providing all vocals, and writing/arranging all the songs. Chatting to Sam shortly after their set, he informed me that this was this particular line up's first gig. If they can stay together and get a few gigs under their belt, they could cause quite a stir amongst the darker forms of extreme metal. Apart from a glitch when the gremlins decided that keyboard loops were not going to grace their performance, this was a stunning display. By way of reference think black metal – minus corpsepaint – with vocals from the Satyr school, and music leaning on Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, and even My Dying Bride's darker moments, and you'll have an idea where they are pitched. Three new compositions from the imminent new album were aired along with the title track from their 2007 release. First time I've seen them but I'm sure it won't be the last – powerful, brutal, and intricate in equal measure.

“Bringer Of Light”, “Delusions Of Grandeur”, “In The Name Of Lucifer”, “Perfect Imperfections”.

Warlord UK
appeared at the first Grindhouse gig at Scruffy's last week despite several members of the band being far from well. Still suffering they again took to the stage less than 100% - not that you'd have known. On this circuit Warlord UK are as dependable as they come and delivered another fine performance. A lengthy introduction led into the aptly titled “Maximum Carnage” which set the tone for the rest of their stint. Combining the chug/slicing approach of Megadeth with the aggression of Slayer is what Warlord UK are all about – and they delivered it once more with finesse. Musically they get tighter with each performance, tempo changes are subtle but handled deftly, and some of the double bass patterns are unusual to put it mildly. Killing Joke's “The Wait” was the lone cover and worked well. Their originals were stylish yet savage – hopefully the new album that's in the offing will propel them onwards and upwards.


“Maximum Carnage”, “Disintegration”, “Theatre Of Destruction”, “Suffer In Silence”, “Alien Dictator”, “Change”, “The Wait”, “Life”, “Evil Within”.

Imperial Vengeance
in the studio comprise David Bryan and Charles Edward-Alexander (aka Hedger, guitarist in Cradle of Filth). Add two guitarists in the shape of Elle and James, and a drummer (another James) playing to a click track and you've got their live line up. David played bass, whilst Charles took on the vocal duties. Variously described as aristocratic rock, gothic, dark or black metal, they clearly have a sense of theatricality – their military themed outfits were a welcome change. After the air raid siren intro the band played a myriad of musical styles, most recognisably in the style of Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir. The guitarists had contrasting styles and unleashed a series of blistering and fluid solos throughout. Their sound could have been better – bass was booming and there were general feedback issues too – otherwise they supplied a stylish, highly technical set, which included melody and groove at times as well. Final track was the infamous Madness cover which was stunning in its execution. A doff of Charles' hat signalled his departure and sure enough off he trooped whilst the band concluded matters musically. Thoroughly entertaining.

“6th Airbourne Division”, “Cwn Anwwn”, “Unto That End”, “Aristocratic Sex Magick”, “Night Boat To Cairo”.

Morgue Orgy
had opened on the same bill as Warlord UK at Scruffy's and, despite a scarily long soundcheck, got the worst sound of the night. No such worries here as they blasted their way through another hugely entertaining set. Eclectic seems to be the fall-back word to describe their approach, and for all the times I've seen them, it probably comes as close as any single word to summing them up. Blending various styles of extreme metal together effortlessly where many others would fail, their musical proficiency is unquestioned. Also without question is how much they collectively enjoy their time on stage. The set leant heavily on the recently released EP and flowed well. Including a King Diamond cover was a brave move but they pulled it off well, “Eye Of The Witch” breaking up their originals. Due to start work on a full length album later in the year it will be interesting to see what 2010 has in store for them – they're certainly creating enough interest at present. Let's hope this continues as the year unfolds.

“The River And I”, “Arkham Waltz”, “Such An Unsuccessful Abortion”, “Emperor Mang”, “Eye Of The Witch”, “Argyle Smithereens”, “I Shit On Your Grave”, “The Black Of Hearts”.

Dawn, Ian, and Jim came up trumps again with another fine evening of varied metal entertainment. All involved in making the evening happen should be applauded. With the (very) occasional blip the sound was as good as you'll hear on this circuit too. Those fortunate to be in the packed 'Wharf witnessed a cracker. If you haven't been to one of these nights yet keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming events.

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