It’s Good Friday, the sun is shining and the drinks are flowing. London might be basking in the heat but something wicked this way comes. The gates of Whittingham Asylum have slowly creaked open and the inmates have been let loose. Ward XVI are in town and have gathered at the Electrowerkz for a night of mayhem.
Ward XVI… one of the hardest working bands that still remain unsigned. Across the country, fans extol the talents of this motley crew. Having built up a solid fanbase thanks, in part, to their much-lauded live antics, they pushed on in startling fashion with the release of their second album, Metamorphosis.
Released in September 2020 to rave reviews from every corner of the press, it seemed like it would push them upwards and onwards. Which it did, to a point. Then along came ‘you know what’ to bring the music business grinding to a halt and for an unsigned, DIY band like Ward XVI, it could have been the death-knell.
Thankfully, it wasn’t and they waited patiently in the Asylum for the chance to finally unleash the Metamorphosis tour. Which brings us back to London and the sweatbox that is the Electrowerkz.
Public transport engineering works, road closures and more be damned. There was no missing Ward XVI tonight but it did mean we didn’t make it in time to see Aliceissleeping but we were there in time to see the fascinating and impactful Death Ingloria.
Not so much a band that you listen too, but rather a band you experience. Heavy and thought-provoking rock music, Death Ingloria tell stories. Expressing that through a multi-media experience. Its not just the music, it’s the comic artbooks and animations too.
Here, we get the mini-album, Death Ingloria II: Death by Admin played in full, with a screen telling the animated stories between songs. It’s pretty spectacular even if the connection between those watching and those on stage doesn’t quite mesh.
Still, it piqued our interest and we’ll be keeping our eyes on Death Ingloria going forward for sure.
Watching Ward XVI turn the stage into their own nightmarish vision sure gets the blood pumping for what is about to happen. You almost wonder if they need to put this much effort into their shows, but that’s what they do and goodness, is it appreciated.
When we saw them play Bloodstock 2021, we came away thrilled and elated but recognised that 30 minutes just wasn’t enough for the full power of Ward XVI’s story-telling to be appreciated. The world of Psychoberrie, her story, needs time to breathe. It deserves to be heard in unflinching detail and here, at this show, that is exactly what we got.
From the simply incredible stage show that features all manner of madness. To the music, that goes from heavy metal head-bangers, electric carnival anthems, elaborate and cinematic rock grandness to serious and horrifying tales of wickedness, dripping darkness and filled with evil intentions.
Ward XVI deliver a phenomenal show that puts the silliest smiles on every single person’s face there. Infinitely watchable and impossibly listenable, tracks like Mister Babadook, Burn the Witch and Cry of the Siren are confirmation that Ward XVI are as good live as they are on record.
Have you ever been part of a circus pit? Ward XVI deserve all the success in the world but importantly, they’re earning every bit of it.
24 hours after staggering out of the Electrowerkz, the buzz from this show is still in place. That’s not something that happens often and any attempt to think of reasons not to give this a 10/10 falls short. So, there it is. Ward XVI put on one of the best shows this year so far.
Isn’t it time you became an inmate?
Ward XVI at Electrowerkz, London (15/04/22)
Ward XVI - 10/10
Death Ingloria - 8/10