and CONQUEST OF STEEL
Live at The Underworld, London
29th May 2008
Live pics and review by HannTu
Summer has apparently begun in the UK, but I guess someone forgot to tell Mr Rain that. The only thing that could cheer anyone up on that drizzly, cold and windy Thursday evening was a good dose of pure, uncomplicated and cheesy heavy metal. Would the Swedes deliver, or would they fall as flat as the weather did? Read on…
CONQUEST OF STEEL
These five warriors from the depths of Bradford play straight up, true 80s heavy metal, taking their influences from Maiden (especially), Priest, Manowar and Accept. Throw in a bit of HammerFall (especially in the vocals department), and what you get are five very passionate lads who show their appreciation for true heavy metal with every chunky riff, every howling solo and every over-the-top ‘meh-taaaaaalll’ gesture.
Frontman Dan Durrant’s denim jacket would be the pride of any old-timer heavy metal fan, covered with Maiden and AC/DC patches and badges that mark the band members out as FANS instead of just players of heavy metal. They even played a cover of Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’, which really got the crowd going wild!!! Did I mention they were over-the-top? What with Dan’s constant rants against false metal and nu-metal, and his quite amazing array of stage props and gimmicks, including a skull with ‘blood’ (thanks to him, I’ve got a massive splash of cranberry juice down one leg of my jeans), an unbelievably massive sword and a huge totem pole of a sceptre!
They brought a contingent of fans and friends that really livened up the set, more than a normal opening band would. Warming up the neck muscles and getting the audience in the mood for Dream Evil wasn’t the hardest thing to do, but Conquest of Steel did it with great style and heart. Good stuff!
The mighty Dream Evil return to the UK after a tour here with Korpiklaani in November ’06 and a slot at Bloodstock ’07, and it’s about time! They have two new members: after the departure of lead guitarist Mark Black and drummer Snowy Shaw, they welcome Daniel "Dannee Demon" Varghamne and Patrik "Pat Power" Jerksten respectively. [Digressing slightly, I wonder what Snowy is up to now, considering Therion’s ‘break-up’, although I reckon a multi-talented musician such as he will always be in great demand.]
The Swedes are known for putting on a good show, and they did not disappoint. Kicking off with three songs from their latest (2006) album UNITED, they set the tone for the night. To be fair, it’s not hard to have fun at a Dream Evil show, when it’s evident that the band members themselves are having so much fun on stage. The last time they were here with Korpiklaani, the sound was awful to the extent that Niklas was visibly pissed off on stage. I’m happy to say that this time the sound was near perfect (for the Underworld at least).
With chant-worthy choruses like ‘Fire! Battle! In Metal!’, ‘Made of Metal’ and ‘Heavy Metal in the Night’, the tiny venue rattled with the audience trying to outsing Niklas Isfeldt. He’s an amazing frontman with a very good voice, although his various efforts to get some members of the audience to sing some verses met with mixed results. On the slower, more melodic songs like ‘Crusader’s Anthem’, he reclaimed the mike and showed us what his voice really can do. (‘Crusader’s Anthem’ was one of the best songs on THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL, and one of the best-performed songs on the night!)
The crowd booed and whistled as they left the stage after ‘The Chosen Ones’, although they were back sharp-ish to introduce their new drummer Patrik, who indulged in a little jam session with Fredrik Nordstrom playing the famous opening riff of Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’. With the night coming to a close, they played their most popular song ‘The Book of Heavy Metal’, which got an unbelievable reaction. However, both the crowd and Niklas fucked up a lyric at the break ‘To be or not to be!’ To be fair, the crowd put Niklas and the band off, and Niklas missed his entry. Ah well, we won’t hold that against him.
They didn’t play some really good songs, when the crowd was absolutely gagging for tracks like ‘M.O.M.’ and ‘Heavy Metal Jesus’. But it was a great night of just plain simple heavy metal. There’s a time for evil and blasphemous black metal, there’s a time for crushing and brutal death metal, there’s a time for melancholy and depressing doom, and a time for mindfuckingly extreme thrash. But there’ll always be time for the sounds of unadulterated and FUN heavy metal. We hope that they will be back soon!!!
Fire! Battle! In Metal!
In Flames You Burn
Higher on Fire
Let Me Out
Made of Metal
Heavy Metal in the Night
The Chosen Ones
Children of the Night
Chasing the Dragon
The Book of Heavy Metal
More CONQUEST OF STEEL
More DREAM EVIL
Thanks to Sarah Lees at Century Media UK for the photo pass!
Dream Evil – www.dreamevil.se/
Conquest of Steel – www.conquestofsteel.co.uk/