Trivium + Heaven Shall Burn + Malevolence
@ Eventim Apollo, London
16th January 2023
Review by Sofia Idrissi
Photography by Graham Hilling
After watching the crowds trickle to watch a fantastic lineup of Trivium + Heaven Shall Burn and Malevolence, the beers were flowing, and the cups were stacking – quite literally!
Just in time for Malevolence to open up the show, the crowd cheers for the person in the middle of the crowd who was able to stack as many beer cups as they could! After the Northern lads of Malevolence come on stage and the light dimmed down, the speakers rumble with their opening track on their last album, ‘Malicious Intent’.
Hundred of us screaming, “Rise from Ashes, Born to land on my feet, let the world throw what it wants at me!” – saying I left with a croaky voice after the gig in an understatement.
The energy that Malevolence can spur is something that I have rarely seen before, they were utter puppet masters, and the crowds spun in a giant circle pit without them even asking them to do so.
Alex and Konan’s grumbling and low vocals made Hammersmith literally turn, especially when their hit single ‘Life Sentence’ was blasted through the hall. This wasn’t enough for Alex, who shared with the crowd that it had been his dream to perform at the Apollo, it was time for a wall of death, and it didn’t take the crowd long to split the pit up before they roared ‘Self Supremacy’.
A sight to truly see was the band asking for as many crowd surfers as they could see (poor security guards!) and, like flies to a flame, the hovering bodies floating above the crowds to ‘Remain Unbeaten’.
Unfortunately, my bias has probably been exposed towards this band, I genuinely think they are one of the best bands England has ever produced, and I cannot wait to see them headline at the end of the year.
After the first break, Heaven Shall Burn arrived on stage, bursting with energy. Their quintessential death metal style was an exciting bridge between Malevolence’s and Trivium’s modern music that is often difficult to bind into one genre.
It was difficult to see what was going on in front of all the windmilling and headbanging, but that’s just the effect the band had on the crowds, especially when performing songs like ‘Bring the War Home’ and ‘Ubermacht’.
They managed to keep the energy at such a high level throughout their whole set, ending with a thoughtful dedication to Trivium with the song ‘Endzeit’.
There is just one more break to go before the headliners come on stage – what will happen to the cup competition? Who knows? But shortly after, the crowd roared, and someone was able to stack more cups before bursting into a violent but funny cup fight in the pit.
And here we are, the speakers blast out Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’, which can only mean one thing, Hammersmith is about to blow up for Trivium. After the crowd finish screaming their lungs out to Iron Maiden, a familiar intro sounds from Ascendancy’s album, ‘The end of everything’ – were we in for a night of old-school Trivium? Yes, we were!
The stunning, colourful backdrop of what looked like old Japanese wood-block prints complemented the high energy Matt Heafy and the band delivered to us, especially by giving us two Ascendancy songs in the beginning like ‘Rain’ and ‘A Gunshot…’ I wasn’t lucky enough to see them nearly 20 years ago in their first UK gig at the Garage, but they kept thanking their old-school (and new) fans for their continuous support.
You know the band is loved when it gets difficult to hear the music as fans all around you are singing the lyrics, but I didn’t mind. Trivium does something extraordinary when they perform live, they make us feel like a family, and I really felt that when everyone was singing ‘Down from the Sky’ and ‘In Waves’ after their synchronous interchange of black and white guitars with Corey.
There was a great treat towards the last half of the night; Matt brought Josh and Alex back from Malevolence to collaborate on an old-school banger, ‘The Deceived,’ and damn it sounded great!
If it is not recorded already, I hope they put it on the internet for fans to hear again. Matt couldn’t help but express his love for British metal music and urged the fans to listen to a list of his favourite bands to support them as much as we support them.
After giving the fans some more classic songs, the band ended with ‘Pull Harder…’ as they usually do. It’s a classic trick, and I found it cruel on a Sunday that those working the next day had lost their voice!
Was it worth it? Few bands perform perfectly, pitch the right energy and virtually have no haters; we know Matt loved the UK and can’t wait for them to return.
After the recent events in Brixton Academy last December, the Trivium + Heaven Shall Burn and Malevolence concert changed its venue to Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith.