Gloryhammer + Beast In Black + Wind Rose
@ Heaven, London
18th October 2019
Review by Kira Levine
Photography by Ryan Whitwell
Friday night saw central London night club Heaven opens doors to not one, but three power metal bands.
Wind Rose, a folk power metal band from Italy, opened the sold-out show. They were dressed from head to toe in dwarven attire, apart from drummer Federico Gatti, who opted for a simple black vest.
After performing “Wintersaga”, frontman Francesco Cavalieri described England as the band’s ‘second country’, a statement welcomed by mass cheering. “Diggy Diggy Hole”, originally by Yogscast, is a very catchy song live. The lines from its chorus such as “I am a dwarf and I’m digging a hole / Diggy diggy hole, diggy diggy hole” had virtually the whole venue singing along.
This ‘dwarven metal’ band clearly have a sizeable following as many attendees wore their Wind Rose merchandise proud and knew their songs off by heart, one front-rower even held a large Wind Rose flag. A successful start to the night.
Wind Rose setlist
Of Iron and Gold [tape]
2. Drunken Dwarves
3. The Breed of Durin
4. Diggy Diggy Hole
5. To Erebor
There and Back Again [tape]
Up next are Finland’s Beast In Black. All members arrive onstage before their lead singer, Yannis Papadopoulos, who appears just before he is due to sing. For the first song, “Cry Out For A Hero”, guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen and bassist Máté Molnár synchronised their movements as they played the solo.
After a couple of tracks, Yannis quipped, “You guys are bloody mental, as you like to say here!” which is met with a mixture of laughter and applause.
“It’s great to be back on the road, meeting new bands and seeing new faces… or maybe I am telling you Sweet True Lies!” Yannis says as an introduction to Beast In Black’s sixth instalment of the night; the vocals in this performance were particularly astounding.
For their last song “End of the World”, Yannis ‘helps’ Kasperi by playing on the fret board of his guitar, doing the same to Máté’s bass. There had been a high level of interaction between the band members of Beast In Black, which made their set all the more entertaining.
By the end of the second band’s set, the venue is quite full and it seemed that Heaven had more or less reached its capacity. Many fans can be seen fancy-dressed in armour, some even wielding blow-up swords and mallets.
Beast In Black setlist
1. Cry Out for a Hero
2. Unlimited Sin
3. Beast in Black
4. Born Again
5. Die by the Blade
6. Sweet True Lies
7. Blind and Frozen
8. End of the World
No Easy Way Out [tape]
Then it was time for the third and final offering of the night, in the shape of power symphonic metallers Gloryhammer. Before the headliners began their section of the show, a cardboard cutout of Tom Jones had been put out in front of the mic stand while “Delilah” played, which saw a mass singalong. It was swiftly whisked away as drummer Ralathor crept on stage, gradually followed by the rest of the band.
The performance of eponymous track “Gloryhammer” featured an onstage fight with a goblin enemy, which frontman Angus McFife XIII won, taking the hammer and thrusting it as he sang. Theatrically delivering infectious lines such as “Glory! Hammer! / Wielding steel that is true / Glory! Hammer! / Since 1992”, it was clear the lead vocalist was already having as much fun as the attendees.
In reference to imminent track “Questlords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!” when the vocalist says “ride” he means “crowd surf”, and when he says “galactic fortress” he speaks of the bar (wanting fans to crowd surf to the bar to refuel bass player The Hootsman).
The Hootsman drank a pint of beer onstage to the tune of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by Richard Strauss, which incited the crowd to chant “Hoots! Hoots! Hoots!” repeatedly in appreciation. After a loud echoing burp of satisfaction, and raucous laughter from the audience, the bassist went on to say, “Nobody’s sick, the bus didn’t break down, and we came back with the best album of all time!”
Following up “The Hollywood Hootsman”, Angus let everyone know how much he hates goblins and wondered what it would sound like to smash one of their faces with his hammer. “Probably like this,” he said as he struck his hammer down while a swooshing, squelching sound effect could be heard. This prompted a mixture of laughter and applause, before “Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy” was played.
“Who walked here? Who drove? Who took the metro?” The most hands were raised when the latter question had been asked. “This guy back here, flew here!” Angus continued, referring to the Ralathor, “In a flying submarine!”
“Battle for Eternity” was also played live for the first time ever, the excitement in the room audible as the song was cheered during its first few seconds.
There were some great dramatic moments where keyboardist Zargothrax and guitarist Ser Proletius would narrate and deliver spoken word, their voices altered to sound electronic.
For Gloryhammer’s penultimate encore song, Angus introduced it by saying: “Most bands want to set the world on fire… we are from outer space, we want to set the Universe On Fire!”
A battle between Angus McFife and Zargothrax ensued during “The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee”, which of course the vocalist won, thrusting his hammer triumphantly into the air to the audience’s delight.
A fantastically entertaining set from the headlining act throughout, which saw The Hootsman crowned and the whole band taking royal bows at the end, witnessed by over one thousand metal heads in the fully packed venue. Definitely one of the best contemporary power metal bands live.
Into the Terrorvortex of Kor-Virliath [tape]
1. The Siege of Dunkeld (In Hoots We Trust)
3. Angus McFife
4. Legend of the Astral Hammer
5. The Land of Unicorns
6. Questlords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress!
7. The Hollywood Hootsman
8. Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy
10. Battle for Eternity [live premiere]
11. Masters of the Galaxy
Infernus Ad Astra [tape]
12. Rise of the Chaos Wizards
13. Universe on Fire
14. The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee
The National Anthem of Unst [tape]