Martin Walkyier’s Viking Funeral Crashes Into London

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Metalhammer
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Martin Walkyier

Martin Walkyier spews some venom. Pic: Anna Zurek

Having been postponed from last year, Martin Walkyier’s Viking Funeral saw the British metal legend finally make it back for a second round of his charity event. But as Dave Ling reports from the Islington Academy, there were some serious problems in the ranks…


Martin Walkyier held his first Viking Funeral in Nottingham in 2012. In the words of the former Sabbat and Skyclad and current Clan Destined frontman, it “started out as a birthday drink and grew into an all-day festival with 13 bands playing for free in order to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.”

Last September Walkyier tried to repeat the idea with benefits in London, Birmingham Dublin as he said goodbye to his Skyclad past, tapping the Italian band Elevenking to perform tunes from the groundbreaking pagan-metal band for a final time. Those shows were cancelled, but Walkyier and Elevenking pledged to try again.

Days before this London gig, events descended into a shambles. Citing “reasons that go beyond our will and control,” Elevenking pulled out. On show day, fans arrived at the Academy to learn with the additional absence of Ravens Creed that an original bill of five bands has shrunk to just three, including brand new brand new name. It’s a complete clusterfuck.

Considering the circumstances, SECOND RATE ANGELS [5] do okay. Playing melodic thrash with a mix of clean and growled vocals their style is a little disjointed but an audience of maybe 50 people is pretty responsive.

EXUMER [7] are back in the UK after 26 years. Place The Weakest Limb from their 2012 comeback disc Fire & Damnation up against Journey To Oblivion and Possessed By Fire from 1986’s debut of the same name, and an unmistakably Teutonic approach has changed little during that time… except the hairstyles. The band plays well and deserves better.

A clearly refreshed Walkyier appears to introduce the final act. The veins in his forehead bulge during an expletive-peppered diatribe against politicians “who are too busy financing wars to keep people alive and preventing child abuse”, the “Bank of Wankers who get all their bonuses and take all our money” and rebuking Elvenking, “who used to be friends of mine”. This is no longer the case. Walkyier alleges that his 80-year old mother paid half of their fee up-front “out of her life savings” only for the Italians to demand the full balance by email a few days before the gig. “I’m sorry, nobody gets paid before they play,” he seethes.

Martin Walkyier

Martin Walkyier and M:Pire Of Evil up in arms. Pic: Anna Zurek

Walkyier’s principles are beyond criticism but nobody likes to be ranted at, especially by a drunk man. Luckily, M-PIRE OF EVIL [7], the band featuring former Venom members Mantas and The Demolition Man, save the day with a skull-crushing display of metal that bassist/vocalist The Demolition Man (AKA Tony Dolan, once of Atomkraft) refers to as “old-skool”. Peppering a selection of tasty Venom standards such as Die Hard, Blackened Are The Priests, Temples Of Ice and Welcome To Hell with their own tunes is a smart move. Tight, noisy nuggets of metal, Demone, Metal Messiah and Hellspawn are no mere stopgaps, either, and Walkyier returns to the stage, looking marginally calmer but tries – and fails – to get the crowd to chant, “Martin’s mum wants his money back”.

Music comes to the rescue once again as Walkyier leads M-Pire Of Evil trough a final trio of Venom bowel-looseners – Black Metal, Countess Bathory and Witching Hour to conclude a night of supremely captivating entertainment, often for completely the wrong reasons.


from Metal Hammer
via Amit Sharma


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