Review: Severed Heaven w/Organized K-Hos, Cyb3rnator, Aonia, Alice in Thunderland @ Shades 29/04/12

By Adam

For the past few, possibly several months, Yorkshire-based webzine Valkyrian Music have been putting on shows. Well, the one on 29th April was certainly their most unexpected show with an eclectic line-up. Originally advertised, the line-up was Cyb3rnator, Infernal Creation, Aonia, Alice in Thunderland and Severed Heaven. However, when it came to the show, this was not the case due to last minute line-up changes.

Opening up the event were Driffield-based Organized K-Hos. While they are talented musicians, it was their vocalist and their use of covers throughout their set that really let them down. They were followed shortly after by, Cyb3rnator, an 8-bit dubstep duo from Goole, took to the stage and proved to be an engaging follow-up to the opening act. Cyb3rnator's use of Gameboy music mixed in with the dubstep parts of the set were an interesting mixture and their vocalist was one of the best I've heard in a while. Hello Roxy Ritcher and the duo's cover of Lady Gaga’s Judas were my favourite parts of the set. I will, also, add that Tyla-joe certainly made playing music on a Gameboy look exciting as he rocked out on stage with a first generation Gameboy in his hands.

So, with grungey styled rock covers and dubstep out of the way, it was time for operatic metallers Aonia to take to the stage. No one really could have guessed how they would have gone down with a clearly post-hardcore orientated crowd but the crowd certainly loved them. The snarling guitars worked well with the soprano vocals of the vocalist and the softer keyboard melodies. City Of Shadows and A Warrior's Tale (which was dedicated to the event organiser because, in the words of Aonia's frontwoman Melissa "he's a Viking") were the strongest performed songs.

Alice in Thunderland proved to be just as awesome as Aonia with their classic rock sound meeting an early Destruction-Testament style of riffs topped off with melodic vocals, which proved to go down well with the crowd. Severed Heaven were running late but when they finally took to the stage, the proverbial hell broke loose in Shades on that Sunday night. Whilst the five-piece, all female black metal outfit ploughed their way through doom metal laced riffs, roaring basswork and heavier than an elephant drumming, the crowd formed several human pyramids, a wall of death and one hell of a pit. Severed Heaven's frontwoman looked almost demonic on stage as she screamed like a mythological banshee. As their set went on, everything became heavier, more brutal and dangerously exciting.

All of the bands certainly deserve kudos for their excellent performances but Severed Heaven were a cut above the rest of the bands. For those of you who haven't yet had a chance to see Severed Heaven, get off ya asses and see them in June when they return to Bridlington. Once you see them, no other band will ever compare to their performance or live sound.