Megadeth @ Birmingham Academy – 22nd February 2008


Evile’s Matt Drake must be in his element. Originally formed as a covers band in Huddersfield, he and his mates now sees themselves opening for their heroes in front of a jam packed Academy. Not only that, but their half hour set of Metallica/Slayer-influenced speed metal has clearly won over the notoriously tough Megadeth crowd. Tracks like “Enter The Grave” and “Bathe In Blood” may be no-frills, dumbed down metal-by-numbers but they’re delivered superbly and the huge grin on Drake’s face says it all.

Job For A Cowboy’s brutal deathcore on the other hand seems to be about as welcome as a drum & bass DJ at your nan’s birthday party. The majority of the crowd just don’t get it. Pulverising riffs mixed with gut-wrenching incomprehensible vocals, the Arizona quintet’s sound is just too over the top for this more traditional metal audience. The band deliver a frantic and technically superb set, most tracks taken from 2007’s “Genesis” album, but tonight they’re mostly fighting a losing battle.


Celebrating 25 years in the business, Megadeth have become one of the mainstays of the metal genre. After being fired from Metallica, frontman Dave Mustaine has gone on to guarantee himself a place in the history books with his own band and he’s welcomed onstage with a massive roar of appreciation. He’s now surrounded by what almost amounts to a band of session musicians but that won’t stop the fans from lapping up every riff of every track, with classics like “Peace Sells”, Symphony Of Destruction” and set-closer “Holy Wars” sounding as slick as ever.


The stage looks every inch the set for a metal band to ply their trade. Huge drum riser, stacks of amps and an impressive lightshow with the four musicians lined up, hammering out a steady flow of solid metal gems before a sea of raise fists and banging heads. Visually there’s little to really hold your attention, the band opting to do their job competently rather than throwing any surprises into the performance. Mustaine’s snarling vocal delivery gives the songs that distinctive sound while his cohorts capably back him up.

A quarter of a century down the line and Megadeth 2008 may be a different beast to the band that delivered those early classic albums but on tonight’s performance there’s no sign of Mustaine retiring gracefully any time soon.


Words & Photos – Steve Gerrard

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1 thought on “Megadeth @ Birmingham Academy – 22nd February 2008

  1. “Visually there’s little to really hold your attention” – you still managed to get some great photos though, nice work.

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