Amon Amarth / Obituary / Legion of the Damned / Keep of Kalessin – The Forum, London

April 5th, 2009
by Hanntu

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9th March 2009

The Forum, London

All pics and live review by HannTu


The Swedish Viking gods made their biannual assault on English shores bringing with them some all-star supporting acts and touring behind the ferociously epic TWILIGHT OF THE THUNDER GODS, an album hailed as their best melodic effort since VERSUS THE WORLD. It’s no wonder The Forum was packed to the brim eager to see how the new songs translated live.

Keep of Kalessin

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I’d only heard Keep of Kalessin on their latest album KOLOSSUS, and I didn’t really see what the fuss was about. Their live performance, although drawn almost exclusively from KOLOSSUS, is another matter completely.

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Guitarist Obsidian Claw is a fine player, and he started off the night with a long solo bit, it was almost a pity that the rest of the band had to come on! Nevertheless, come on they did, and they all put on a stellar performance. Thebon is an engaging frontman, but I have to say that Vyl is a machine on drums. Not a drum hit out of place, he drove the songs and allowed the front three to concentrate on kicking ass.

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I didn’t know much about their music, but I’m seriously tempted to look into their older stuff purely on the strength of their show.

Setlist

Origin

A New Empire’s Birth

Crown Of The Kings

Winged Watcher

Ascendant

Kolossus

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Legion of the Damned

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I last saw the Dutch thrashers opening for Kreator and Celtic Frost two years ago, and just as they did then, they did an admirable job tonight, putting in a workmanlike yet aggressive shift as second opener.

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They’re not very talkative or even demonstrative; showmanship isn’t part of their act, so to speak. They prefer to rip your head off with the sheer heaviness and brutality of their music, which is rather nice in its own way. Armed with a guitar, a bass, a drum kit, a massive bark/snarl and curtains and curtains of hair, they definitely know what they’re doing!

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Not a wasted breath, as ‘Cult of the Dead’ meshed nicely into ‘Legion of the Damned’ into ‘Diabolist’ into ‘Black Wings…’, without a let up in the assault. The Sons of the Jackal from the land of tulips and hookers definitely left heads spinning and ears hurting.

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Setlist

Pray and Suffer

Werewolf Corpse

House of Possession

Son of the Jackal

Cult of the Dead

Legion of the Damned

Diabolist

Black Wings of Yog-Sothoth

Bleed For Me

Malevolent Rapture

The Final Godsend

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Obituary


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Every time I’ve seen Obituary, I’m always conscious of how incredibly organic and unforced they sound. I’d even go so far as to call their live sound ‘spontaneous’. They certainly give the impression of completely enjoying what they do onstage, and with the confidence born of tens of thousands of shows, they take next to no time at all to warm up at all.

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It’s the familiar faces we’ve all seen so many times: the bearded Trevor Peres with his decidedly unmetal Fender Strat, the frighteningly gigantic Frank Watkins (soon to be in Infernus’ legal Gorgoroth – weird), Don Tardy and his loose relaxed drumming, John Tardy’s immense curtain of hair and strangled yowl, and Ralph Santolla, dear, ubiquitous Ralph Santolla.

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Obituary as a live entity are certainly a force of nature. Contrast John Tardy’s demented stomp and yell to Trevor’s calm measured headbanging, and behold the obvious rapport between Ralph and Frank. Ralph, whatever you may say about his band-whoring is a jaw-droppingly technical guitarist, and Santolla wouldn’t be Santolla if he passed up the chance for a solo or two. However, Frank jabs him in the ass with his bass once in a while, just to remind him to stop!

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As they closed with ‘Slowly We Rot’, there is no doubt at all that a lot of the fans tonight came here to see Obituary just as much as they came to see Amon Amarth. In fact, I can’t really recall such a varied line-up receiving so little complaint from the fans for a long while.

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Go on to the next page for pics and the review of AMON AMARTH!

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