Arch Enemy: Will To Power European Tour
Wintersun – special guest
Tribulation – support act
Jinjer – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
31/1 – 2018
Live pictures and review by: Anders Sandvall
And so it was time for the Swedish melodic death/thrash metal titans of Arch Enemy to take on Europe. It was about time for the band to tour in Sweden, it’s been a long time since the act paid their Swedish fans some attention. Sure, the band has performed at festivals here in Sweden but they haven’t toured under own name since 2011. Last time I saw them perform on their own must have been after the release of KHAOS LEGIONS back in 2011. This time the tour kicked off in Munich Germany and the first date in Sweden was the Malmo show at Kulturbolaget. Three acts were brought along to warm up the crowd: Wintersun, Tribulation and Jinjer. Tickets to all the Swedish shows sold out fast – the first to sell out out was Gothenburg followed by Stockholm and Malmo. About 10 other shows in Europe were also sold out so the band are really popular everywhere in the world. Since there were 4 bands performing, the doors to the club opened early at 5:30pm and Jinjer was opening the night at 6:10.
It was no problem getting into the club, and to my joy I saw there it was a photo pit in place this night, it is well needed from a photographer’s point of view since it narrows down the amount of hands in way of the lens :). The first band out this night was the Ukrainian act Jinjer that who formed during 2009. The band has released a few albums with their debut in 2012 titled INHALE, DO NOT BREATHE. Two years later the album CLOUD FACTORY was unleashed and that led to the record label Napalm Records showed interest in the band and signing Jinjer and released the 2016 album KING OF EVERYTHING. Napalm Records re-released CLOUD FACTORY earlier this year and now the band is out touring with Arch Enemy.
On stage the usual gear was placed but since it was four bands that was going to appear it was quite crowded with the parts of the other bands stuff on stage as well.
After scattered applause from the crowd, the band’s first song was “Captain Clock” followed instantly by “Sit Stay Roll Over”. Since it was hard to move around, because of the narrow space, it was mostly singer Shmailyuk that took up space. She also used the boxes placed at the edge of the stage to stand on during the show. The third song out was “I Speak Astronomy” after which Shmailyuk said it was really nice for a Ukrainian band to be on stage in Malmo, here comes “Just Another”. The line-up in the band is:
Tatiana Shmailyuk – lead vocals
Yevhen Abduikhanov – bass
Roman Ibramkhalilov – guitar
Vlad Ulasevich – drums
To me the bands music sound like melodic thrash metal with some progressive metal influences. Partially their music had a lot in common with the music of Arch Enemy, and Jinjer suits quite nicely as opening act for this tour. Already the venue was semi-filled as the band moved along with “Pisces”. The song was a ballad in which lead singer Shmailyuk sat down on one of the boxes singing. I wasn’t impressed by the music but on the other hand it’s hard to judge something you hear for the first time. So was it time for the last song for the night with “Who’s Gonna Be The One” and the band thanked everyone for the support.
The bands 30 minutes went by pretty fast but unfortunately are their music nothing I’m going to look up and investigate further.
Sit Stay Roll Over
I Speak Astronomy
Who’s Gonna Be The One
Time for change of gear – parts of the boxes disappeared, a bigger drum kit was brought forward and the Tribulation back line was soon showing. Tribulation is a Swedish band from Arvika founded 2005, the debut album came four years later titled THE HORROR which was followed up in 2013 with THE FORMULAS OF DEATH. Their music is best described as progressive death/black metal and more people had now arrived to the club in order to see the popular Tribulation.
First song out for the night was “Lady Death” and the band was warmly greeted as they showed up on stage. The stage was dark and nothing beside the green spotlight lighting up singer/bass player Andersson’s face was seen. “Melancholia” and “The Motherhood Of God” followed and the line-up in the band is:
Adam Zaars – guitar
Jonathan Hultén – guitar
Johannes Andersson – lead vocals/bass
Oscar Leander – drums
The songs are pretty long and partially it felt like they never ended, while I walked out from the photo pit “Suspiria De Profundis” came on and even though I maybe didn’t run home to buy the bands albums straight after the show, I thought they were a lot better than Jinjer. The material of Tribulation felt a lot more solid and thought through than Jinjer’s and Tribulation also had a lot better show and better vocals. “Nightbound” continued the night and unfortunately the lights weren’t working in favor of the band at all which was a bit annoying. It was Zaars and Hultén that moved around the most on stage and waited for the crowd to clap their hands before firing off “Strange Gateways Beacon”. Andersson didn’t do any unnecessary talking in between the songs which was a positive thing when they had such a limited amount of time to play for. The audience reacted much better to the music of Tribulation than to Jinjer and the crowd cheered and clapped their hands when Andersson announced “The Lament” which also was their last song.
I thought their 45 minute show was a lot more interesting and capturing compared to the previous band. The singer was excellent and the members were all skilled. The only bad thing about the show was the poor lighting and the heavy smoke on stage. Besides that Tribulation put on a solid and interesting show.
The Motherhood Of God
Suspiria De Profundis
Strange Gateways Beacon
The same drums were used by both Wintersun as well as Tribulation the only thing that changed was the cymbal and a huge fan was placed at the side of the stage, otherwise the stage looked pretty much as it did when the two other opening acts used it.
Wintersun is a Finnish act led by Jari Mäenpää singer/guitarist in Ensiferum. It was meant to be a side project where he played all the instruments except the drums but when Mäenpää was about to record the Wintersun debut album he was fired from Ensiferum. The self-titled debut album was released in 2004 and the follow up TIME I came in 2012. Then the drummer in the project Kai Hahto (ex- Rotten Sound) is today the drummer in Nightwish so for now Rolf Pilve from Stratovarius is handling the drums. THE FOREST SEASONS is the name of the new studio album which came in 2017 and besides that the project released the live album LIVE AT TUSKA FESTIVAL 2013 and the compilation THE FOREST PACKAGE last year so Mäenpää had a very active 2017. I’m only familiar with this band by the name and haven’t heard much of their material before, however the crowd seemed to be eager to hear the music of Wintersun so luckily the crew worked fast with getting the stage ready and at 8 was it time for the Finnish folk metal band to enter the stage.
“Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)” opened the show and the fans gave the band a warm welcome. Mäenpää had the audience in the palm of his hand from the start and they did everything he told them to, and he did it with a huge smile on his face. “Winter Madness” and “Sons Of Winter And Stars” continued rapidly the night and Mäenpää had the fans to clap their hands. The line up in Wintersun looks like this:
Jari Mäenpää – lead vocals
Teemu Mäntysaari – guitar
Jukka Koskinen – drums (session member)
Asim Seerah – guitar (session member)
The bands folk metal influenced melodic death/thrash metal worked really well in Malmoe this night and it started to get a little hot inside the club. The crowd loved the Finnish metal and Mäenpää said it was really fun to be playing in Malmo, then came “Loneliness (Winter)”. A crew member filmed the entire show so I guess the band is going to do something with the material in the near future, if you attended the show maybe you’re going to be in Wintersun’s next music video.
The sound system worked perfect and luckily the band used the clubs lights a lot better than the previous bands did. Mäenpää seemed to be having a great time on stage and he smiled the show through. He had the fans to scream at his command and thanked the fans in Swedish while announcing the next song “Battle Against Time”. It was a bit crowded on stage with all the gear waiting for the headline act so it was mainly Mäenpää that moved around on stage. “Time” that followed was the last song for the night and Mäenpää said he thought the Malmo fans rocked real hard this night and thanked the fans for being there. Before the band went off the stage they took a picture with the fans in the background and that ended the 60 minute show.
For me, the band’s music didn’t do much. I thought the songs were too long, but then again I have never been a fan of Finnish folk metal music. The fans and the band were happy and that’s what counts after all. I wasn’t converted into a Wintersun fan after this show but I can understand why fans like their music and the guys delivered a solid show.
Awaken From the Dark Slumber (Spring)
Sons Of Winter And Stars
Battle Against Time
The club was now jammed with people and for the last time this night the crew prepared the stage for the next band which was the headline act Arch Enemy. A short stair led up to the drums that were placed on a podium. The band didn’t use the huge backline they had at Wacken Open Air but the one they had this night looked as cool. A big backdrop hung behind the drums and on each side of the drums lights was placed.
The Swedish act (that today isn’t very Swedish anymore) with lead singer Alissa White-Gluz from Canada and Jeff Loomis from the USA is one of the biggest melodic death/thrash metal bands in the world today. The first album with White-Gluz on vocals was WAR ETERNAL from 2014 and was followed by the live CD/DVD AS THE STAGES BURN! This was the first featuring Loomis on guitar. WILL TO POWER came late last year and even though I miss former singer Angela Gossow, I think that White-Gluz does a great job on vocals. And having several festival shows and tours under their belt with the band I think she is slowly settling in with the band. Unfortunately, the band hosts paid meet and greets for the fans and I’m not a fan of paying to meet one’s idols. The band charged 1000 SEK for a meet and greet and that didn’t include a ticket to the show. (1 USD is about 9 SEK)
I could hear that there were quite a lot of Danes in the crowd this night and that is due to the fact the band didn’t perform in Denmark on this tour. A few minutes before 9.30 “Ace Of Spades” was heard and the lights went out, the second intro went on and it was finally time for the band to kick off their show.
After the intro the members showed up on stage and faced the roar from the crazy fans. The first song out was “The World Is Yours” and White-Gluz had the crowd to scream at her command. “Ravenous” followed instantly and when the fans heard the old song they went ravenous. The song is from the 2002 album WAGES OF SIN and it was pretty bold of the band to deliver an old song so early into the show. The current line up in the band is:
Michael Amott – guitar
Alissa White-Gluz – lead vocals
Sharlee D’Angelo – bass
Jeff Loomis – guitar
Daniel Erlandsson – drums
White-Gluz is a powerhouse that moves across the stage during the entire show and the fans followed her every move and did just what she told them to. She asked if the fans were doing fine and if they were ready to hear “The Race” – despite the fact that the new album hadn’t been out for long, fans already knew the lyrics and sang along to the new songs. The mighty “War Eternal” followed and just as during the Wintersun show the sound system worked perfect. The red and blue light as well as the smoke made it hard to take pictures of the band but at least the band looked cool live.
Everyone but Erlandsson walked off the stage and a new intro was heard through the PA, when they came out White-Gluz said Ok Sweden when I say jump you jump?! And “My Apocalypse” came on. Strangely I thought there would be more mayhem amongst the fans this night but to the contrary, it was a quite a calm audience that filled the club this night. White-Gluz reached the mic out to the crowd that sang into it and no rest for the wicked, the next song followed straight away in “You Will Know My Name” which is the first single from WAR ETERNAL. D’Angelo’s bass playing led into “Bloodstained Cross” in which White-Gluz wanted to see some action amongst the crowd. The song is taken from KHAOS LEGIONS and was the last album featuring Angela Gossow. The band was tight and completed each other like a well-oiled machine. It felt like Loomis felt more secure on stage this time with the band this time compared to the first time I saw them and he took more space this night. The epic “Dead Eyes See No Future” followed and since it’s one of my favorite songs with the band I was really pleased. White-Gluz encouraged the fans to sing along with her which they did and it sounded mighty. The podium on which the drums were standing lit up and it looked really cool. “Sing with us again White-Gluz” shouted as they fired off “The Eagle Flies Alone”. She took the first part of the song and let the fans sing and she wanted to hear all of the fans sing along and throw their hands in the air.
She thanked the fans for making the band feel so welcome in Malmo and said she had never performed in Malmo before which was a bit strange since she has toured the world. (Well it wasn’t strange at all since since the band hasn’t toured in Sweden at all after she joined). “Ok, how many are seeing us live for the first time?” she asked, then came a song from the WAR ETERNAL album – “As The Pages Burn”. And yes, it’s fun to hear songs from the first one with White-Gluz but I had wished to hear some songs from back when the bands first singer Johan Liiva was in the band. Sadly, not a single song taken from BLACK EARTH, STIGMATA or BURNING BRIDGES had been played until now. The instrumental “Intermezzo Liberté” was the next song up taken from the 2007 album RISE OF THE TYRANT, a little unusual song choice maybe, but it is fun to hear something different. The band always adds one instrumental song on each album so I guess they wanted to play one live. “Dead Bury The Dead” followed and White-Gluz thanked fans for making this night a great night. She then walked over to the edge of the stage picking up a flag which she waved with above the fans heads while having the crowd shouting hey hey. “Ok Malmo, this last song is about you all, here is “We Will Rise”” which set a major part of the crowd into ecstasy and everyone clapped their hands singing along. White-Gluz thanked the fans once again and when the song was over the band had been on stage for about one hour straight. I was a little surprised that their ordinary set wasn’t longer but as the band walked off the stage the fans shouted for encores and for the band to come back on to the stage.
A little while later Erlandsson returned on stage kicking off “Avalanche” as the first encore. Another instrumental track was coming up with “Snow Bound” taken from WAGES OF SIN from 2001 and it was Loomis that took care of that song. The rest of the members left the stage during that song but Amott came back and together they played a part after which Loomis walked off stage. As the song ended all of the members returned back on stage and White-Gluz only said – “One for all, All for one, we are strong, we are one” “Nemesis”. The song fired up the crowd that sang a long once more and White-Gluz thanked the fans once again repeating the words she began the song with. Thanks Malmoe, see you soon and good night, we are Arch Enemy! After having taking a picture with the crowd they walked out to the tones of “Fields Of Desolation” and the end of the 80 minute show was a fact.
Beside the fact that this tourpackage included at least one too many bands, I thought the highlight of it of course was the Arch Enemy show. It was that show I had been looking forward to and they didn’t disappoint me at all. Even though I missed some personal favorite songs the band out on a solid show with some epic tunes. For some reason the audience was a bit lazy and too calm for a death metal show I think. Maybe it was because it was a Wednesday and people had to go to work the morning after they couldn’t go mental, I don’t know?
I had also wished for more than 80 minutes of music when it comes to a headline act. And when the band doesn’t play on their own in Sweden a lot, I thought they could max out their time on stage to more than 80mins. It would also been fun to hear some of the songs from any of the first three albums. But overall, it was a fun night and I’m glad I could attend the show, the winners of the night were clearly Arch Enemy.
If you want to see and hear more of Arch Enemy you better check them out on some of the festivals in Europe this summer.