Hellyeah and Raveneye at Islington Academy, London - live review
Venue: Islington Academy, London
Metal supergroup party like it’s the early 00s
While it’s not a sell-out tonight, the Academy floor is busy enough for Brit rockers RAVENEYE  – and the showy trio make the most of it. On record they offer a more varied spectrum of noise, but tonight they stick to a straight-up, riff-heavy, pub-friendly brand of rock’n’roll. It isn’t going to have anyone clawing their eyes out in amazement, but with singer/ guitarist Oli Brown soloing his way through the pit, they make an impression on a potentially hostile crowd. It isn’t much busier by the time HELLYEAH  come onstage, but it’s fair to say there’s much more excitement for one of metal’s less heralded ‘supergroups’. Mudvayne’s Chad Gray is charismatic enough to elevate the band’s no-nonsense groove metal to something beyond mere by-numbers mosh fodder, and while it’s hard to envision Vinnie Paul’s crew making a drastic leap above venues like these, the swagger injected into the likes of Be Unden!able and Human shows there’s ambition behind the simplicity on show. Hellyeahknow their audience and know it well. Tonight is a fine example of a big, dumb, fun-ass metal gig, and although they’d be best leaving the ballady stuff at home next time, it’s hard to argue against the few hundred beaming faces steaming out of the venue. Here’s hoping they can produce something truly special next time out.