DragonForce + LOVEBITES + McRocklin & Hutch
@ O2 Forum Kentish Town
8th November 2019
Review by Ambra Chilenwa
Photography by Inty Malcolm
This Friday evening was a night memorable for its hair-raising guitar solos and soaring vocal ranges as many respective bands each show us their unique demonstration of what ‘extreme’ power metal is to them.
One of our entries was McRocklin & Hutch, who obtain inspirations from cult movies, technology and old school rock; they’ve developed a new style of music merging electronica and traditional heavy metal. Personally, I felt the set contained a try-hard, dull and humdrum atmosphere.
I respect each musician for introducing new elements into their music but this didn’t offer much movement or entertainment.
The concept of synth and heavy metal creating sounds together can create such beautiful thoughts but could not be delivered properly by this act.
We were then granted the opportunity to witness a band formed by richly gifted Japanese women, known as LOVEBITES.
These queens gave us such a gracious ride on J-Power Metal that I am unsure where to begin.
Drawing influences from Halloween and Maiden, while distributing the melodies from traditional J-rock, they piled the London crowd with precise guitar notes and long vocal notes from the heart.
Many of the crowd were singing along and giving immense support.
I felt nothing but a welcoming, charming yet sweet and elegant energy from frontwoman Asami.
Personally, seeing more gifted women creating heavy metal created a feeling of pride and utter happiness inside, and I hope they continue rising.
Now for the band that has played it’s part in assembling heavy metal’s proud gamers – DragonForce.
The stage was expressing a retro atmosphere as they displayed arcades on each side of the stage and a large wooden dragon in the centre, which was apparently only able to fit in the band’s London show according to Marc Hudson.
This great night was also livestreamed on Twitch. The crowd’s response was uplifting, energetic and the band were ready to play their triumphant tunes played since 1999.
The theatrical and emotional sounds kept coming as they dedicated a song to the game ‘The Elder Scrolls’, later resulting in a grand pit.
The stage was filled with fast streams of notes, comparative change of chords with harmonic tempos; the most notable scene was when Marc obtained a guitar and showed London more of his diverse musical abilities by playing video game theme tunes.
Additionally, we had Sam Totman play a banjo solo from Farming Simulator alongside the traditional electric guitar.
The audience was entertained as ever as member from Lovebites came along to dance and jump along. Everyone was free and spirited, happy and fantasising emotions were spread all over Kentish Town.
This was surely one of the most uplifting, fantasy-filled evenings ever attended in contrast to the heavy and dissonant shows I’m used to attending.