Sacred Mother Tongue @ 02 Islington Academy II

10th September 2012
Review by Wolf Shankland
Photos by Michelle Murphy

I’m starting to like this venue, as it’s nice and quaint. It may not be as big as O2 Academy I, or Brixton, or Wembley, but tonight was a special one, as it’s the release of Sacred Mother Tongues new EP “A Light Shines On” and for those who haven’t heard it yet, its pretty dam fucking good!


Darrens vocals are cleaner than ever and Andy James’s guitar work is still number one in the field, but I’m not reviewing the EP; I’m reviewing their massive EP launch!!


So let’s get this mother fucker on the road shall we??


First up to the plate are heavy rockers, “Mercy House” and wow these guys really know how to put on a show! Shame they were the opening slot but still, so much energy coming from this band. With a kind of Alter Bridge but heavier sound to them, the vocalists soaring vocals really brought the place to its knees, and even though it was slow starting, “Mercy House” got the crowd going.

Mercy House
Mercy House

With hair flying, microphone pounding, guitar riffing and what can only be described as bliss, the boys played their hit single “Greed” and all the sudden the crowd woke up!! Finally, I know its Monday but come on!! But nether the less, “Mercy house” Put on a fantastic show and I can’t wait to see these guys again.

Mercy House
Mercy House

Right, rehydrated…thanks to some beers! I’m ready for our next support act; ‘Cypher 16’.

These guys are young, fresh and new. An innovative rock band that use electronic and metal with a dash of industrial, and a bit all over. One minute you’ll be thrashing away with your hair down and it would suddenly stop! Eh!?? But they were good, it was an interesting mix they were doing and they did it well. Now this is one of their many different gigs with big artists.

In the past they played with LACUNA COIL, MUDVAYNE, HEAD P.E and IN THIS MOMENT, so these guys have really made a name for themselves. The thing that got me was the bassist, he was a big crazy guy who flung his bass round like it weighed fuck all, but what got me was the fringe, I’m sorry but it was far too long and everything, no disrespect, just cut it off!! Thanks guys!! But all in all a good set.

No, the bar again, and I bumped into the vocalist from “Mercy House” he noticed me head banging at the back and applauded me for being the only one doing it at the start. I replied, you were just that good, and you were. With half an hour to spare I decided on taking a look at the merch stall which was heavily guarded by some tall, bald bloke, nice guy though and I had to say I really liked the new SMT t-shirts, though I was modelling my SMT: Proper Fxxkin Metal cut off but still, nice.

But now it’s the band of the hour, the ones we’ve waited for, yes, it’s SACRED MOTHER TONGUE:

Sacred Mother Tongue
Sacred Mother Tongue

Opening with a track I’ve not actually heard of before, “Demons” and I had to say, it was fucking good. A proper powerhouse song, full of wicked licks and blistering vocals from Darren. They were just like I remembered them, a sick ass band that know how to get the crowd going.

Darren likes to interact with the crowd now and again and tonight he wanted to let the crowd know he was there and he wanted their full support in this next one off The Ruin of Man “Anger on Reflection” the crowd boomed with excitement, the front row singing along with Darren, air guitaring with Andy, and making more noise than the drums and bass!!

Sacred Mother Tongue
Sacred Mother Tongue

A the next one is a new one and it’s the song “The City I Crying” which is their live song from the new EP. Its one hell of a tune, powerful hooks left right and centre. But the next song really had the crowd on its knees “Two Thousand Eight Hundred” one of their first singles released this was one of my personal favourites, so of course I was belting out the chorus!! “I FEEL LIKE DYING INSIDE!! TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED and Thirteen years I thought we had a lie!! ALONE IN THESE FOUR WALLS” Or something like that.

Another newbie; the melodic “Bleeding out” I love the intro this song, and they did it perfectly on stage, the soft guitar followed by the noise that was Andy James!!

Next up is two more ff The Ruin of Man: first of the play is “The Suffering” an all in all great song of the album, it’s none stop and powerful, which is why the follow up is fantastic, “FORCE FED”.
I first heard this song on an Ed Stone compilation years ago, it was dedicated to underground bands and it made me think that these guys from Milton Keynes way have really made a massive name for themselves, an album, EP and signed to EMI Records!! Epic!!

Sacred Mother Tongue
Sacred Mother Tongue

Now we come to the last few songs, and I promise you, they were belters!! First, new song “Seven” blasted out over the amp, this was the first song to be played on Youtube and via the band facebook from the new EP and it got such good press, and why the fuck not!!! And to follow that is another newy, “Evolve/Become” and what a song and what a way for the band to finish off their landmark, epic set of the evening… Wait, it’s still early… We want more!!

As the crowd chant “SMT!!” Over and over again, either the roadie or the promoter (not sure) came on stage and egged us all on to get one more song out of them, and they did not disappoint.
SMT came back to the stage to announce a song they haven’t played live for almost 6 years!! Ladies and gentlemen, “COWBOYS FROM HELL!!” And it was perfect!!!
They nailed everything down to the T!! Dimebag is sitting up in Valhalla thinking “Dam Andy you is sick man!!” And he was!!
As the song finished, the crowd roared with excitement. SMT took their leave, and the crowd began to leave. What a gig!!
SMT really had the crowd moving and put on an astounding show. A big shout out to the boys at Cypher 16 and the powerhouse rockers at Mercy House.
This was an amazing night!

Anger on Reflection
The City Is Crying
Two Thousand Eight Hundred
Bleeding out
The Suffering
Force Fed
Cowboys From Hell