feat. Amon Amarth and Engel
The Forum, London
28th September 2007
All live pics and review by HannTu
The hardworking Amon Amarth return to England for the 4th time in 13 months, a truly remarkable statistic and surely one of the most dependable and consistent bands around today. I’ve seen three of those four shows and boy, I’d keep coming back for more. Opening for the mighty Dimmu Borgir was not that small a step down from their previous headlining visits, and Swedish band Engel featuring former Crown guitarist Marcus Sunesson stepped in at the last minute for Hatesphere who were supposed to take the opening slot.
Due to an interview with Johan Hegg very near to the show, I missed a good part of Engel’s act. Engel boasts former Crown guitarist Marcus Sunesson, while guitarist Niclas Engelin has had stints with In Flames and Anders Friden, while drummer Daniel Mollanen was once part of black metal band Lord Belial. From what I heard, I’m pretty thankful I missed out on most their show, as it seemed a blasphemous blend of metal, pop, disco and techno. Truly disgusting to the ear. There’s such a thing as being TOO eclectic, you’re not meant to be John frigging McLaughlin you know.
Yes, call me a fanboy, but to me this band has not put a foot wrong since their inception. From their brutal beginnings on ONCE SENT FROM THE GOLDEN HALL to the mature offerings on VERSUS THE WORLD and their latest, WITH ODEN ON OUR SIDE, this band’s watchword is ‘consistency’, and that’s not a bad thing at all, especially when Amon Amarth back it up with heavy touring and an explosive live show. I knew what to expect from the band.
The setlist presented no surprises, culling mainly from their latest WITH ODEN ON OUR SIDE, and throwing in a couple of the fan favourites, especially the fist pumping “Death in Fire” and chorus-inducing “Pursuit of Vikings”. The intro itself set the mood, with its rousing symphonies kicking up the crowd’s energy. The front row were pretty up for it, but unsurprisingly, since the Dimmu fans outnumbered the Amon Amarth fans by almost 2 to 1 (everywhere one looked, one saw either corpse paint or goth attire), there wasn’t the fanatic energy that I had seen at previous Amon Amarth shows.
The band finally took to the stage with Johan Hegg strangely shirted this time. Crashing through the set list in true head-swirling style, it was old hat and new shit to me at the same time. The band was tight and Johan’s growls always sends shivers down my spine. The twin guitar attack of Johan S and Olli was inch perfect, as was the massive double kicking of Fredrik behind the drumkit. However there was a new element in the form of bassist Steve somebody (from an English band). I didn’t hear why Ted couldn’t make it, and there’s no mention on it on the AA website. No worries, Steve fit in pretty well, didn’t look fazed at all.
Another ass kicking performance by Amon Amarth, really and undeniably one of the most honest, and frankly awesome live bands you will ever have the privilege to see. I’d go back again and again just to watch them play “Death in Fire” and “Pursuit of Vikings” for the 300th time. Skol!!!
PS: Apologies for the shitty photos, clubs WILL insist on using those damn red lights for opening bands.
1. Valhall Awaits Me
2. Runes To My Memory
3. Death in Fire
4. The Cry of The Blackbirds
5. Fate of Norns
7. Victorious March
8. Pursuit of Vikings
The much maligned Norwegian black metal band Dimmu Borgir tour in support of their latest album IN SORTE DIABOLI which has garnered mixed reviews. Personally I’ve never been a big fan of Dimmu Borgir, I suppose you could call me a casual/occasional listener. However I was pretty stoked to be watching them at Wacken this year, and as a result was pretty disappointed in what appeared to be a rather flat show. I put it down to the festival atmosphere, going by the standard reasoning that a black metal band relies heavily on the intimate atmosphere of a club, and sort of loses it in the open air with 60 odd thousand people. Give em a chance, why don’t you.
Well, I’m not pleased to report that they put on a rather sterile show again, especially compared to the boundless energy of Amon Amarth half an hour ago. Shagrath especially didn’t seem up for it, but the general demeanour of the band (with the exception of Galder who always looks like he’s having a blast) seemed to be one of boredom.
The show started with two creepy dudes in funny masks entering the stage from either wing swinging pots of burning incense. Faux anti-religion, set the tone nonetheless. Kicking into the fan favourite “Progenies of the Great Apocalypse”, Dimmu were musically flawless. Vortex hit his operatic bits perfectly, the guitars could be heard clearly and through the mix, and Galder was damn entertaining. Shagrath however isn’t the most energetic of frontmen, and he seemed pretty static from where I was standing. The notable absence of the legendary Hellhammer was more than compensated by the competence and skill of Tony Laureano (former Nile) on drums.
Not being an expert on the Dimmu setlist, all I can report is that they sounded really good. The show was filmed so perhaps when it comes out on DVD readers can have a look and decide for themselves.
2. Progenies of the Great Apocalypse
6. The Serpentine Offering
7. The Chosen Legacy
8. The Sinister Awakening
9. A Succubus in Rapture
10. Fear and Wonder
11. Blessings Upon The Throne of Tyranny
12. Sorgens Kammer
13. The Insight and The Catharsis
14. The Sacrilegious Scorn
15. Grotesquery Conceiled (Within Measureless Magic)
16. Mourning Palace
17. The Fallen Arise (Outro)
Thanks to Andy Turner at Metal Blade UK for the photo pass!