It’s hard to believe Children of Bodom have been around for 20 years now. It seems like only yesterday when the monumental ‘Hatebreeder‘ was released, raising the bar for melodic death metal worldwide. Here they are in London again tonight making efforts to prove they are still the wild children as they were in 1997.
As the pioneers and grandfathers of the visual kei scene in Japan, it has been my life’s mission to see the country’s biggest band live in concert. They are super-talented musicians and put out remarkable visual displays in the live arena, but what I found at their one-off Wembley show was so much more than expected…
The status of legend is hard to come by, particularly in the modern music scene. Oversaturation has led to bands springing up left right and center and with us moving forward into the future the likes of the classic Slayer’s, Metallica’s et al will soon be taking their leave. Contesting this argument over many a pub chat, I have been championing Gojira on since I first saw their performance supporting Trivium in Hammersmith ten years ago and with every release the band have been growing not only in stature but in their musical development. After the death of their mother led them to scrap their entire workings of new material to completely remould their new album based around their experience, it has been one of my personal favourites of the last year. Fast forward one year on and after many supporting appearances in the UK the band have at long last returned to claim their throne in a headline show.
With terror being rife throughout the world, bands are increasing their reaction to the worlds current events. Ranging from all sorts of formats, one well rehearsed in the ways of battle are the German leaders st the vanguard of Thrash Kreator. Having returned after their five year material absence, the band have reasserted themselves firmly at the top of the second wave of Thrash Metal table. However it would seem that not only Kreator are born anew, as Brazilian counterparts Sepultura also unveiled their latest semi political statement Machine Messiah. Teaming up along with some help from both Soilwork and Aborted, the four band would match over Europe in a defiant conquering of venues far and wide. This time their march was headed toward Kentish Town’s Forum.
Changing scenery, tonight we forgo the smog of London for a trip to the Welsh countryside. Normally a hall for all sorts of occasions from ballet to recitals, tonight William Aston Hall has been modified for Rock ‘n’ Roll. Currently on their Heavy Fire tour, Black Star Riders shall be tonight’s curators. Cue the crowds coming out, slicked back (greying) hair, just a touch of booze and that true spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Rebirth within a band can be somewhat of a mystery. Releasing arguably their most well received record of late, Trivium’s Silence In The Snow stood proudly as a new statement of the band’s intent. Featuring entirely clean singing the record was perhaps the band’s most accomplished example of songwriting to date. Soon to lay the album to rest as they begin their next phase of their career. Armed with new drummer Alex Bent the band embark on their final touring cycle as defiantly as it began with their intimidating headline performance at Bloodstock. As the cold chill is felt across London tonight it’s not from the February air but the imperialistic conquering that will happen over at Camden’s Roundhouse.
A coronation of sorts, representing an incredible milestone. Hard to believe that it has been thirty five years since the release of their now archetypal Among The Living, Anthrax are, particularly in 2017 a terrific force to be reckoned with. Commemorating this remarkable achievement our quintet deliver a performance that would be fit For All Kings. Riding off the immense success that their 2016 effort garnered, the Among The Kings tour features a game of two halves. Going the way of the Metallica’s of the world, the first set is a performance of tracks requested by fans featuring material spanning the groups career. Returning afterwards to perform their classic Among The Living in its entirety.
The first time I saw Epica was 11 years ago in the dingy little club known as The Camden Underworld. My how this band have grown. It’s not hard to explain why, Epica continue to test their own limits with each and every album, and resonate that full album experience on the live stage. When they bring friends with them such as Powerwolf and Beyond The Black, it’s just hard to say no to the viewing opportunities.
One of the biggest kept secrets of 2016, Avenged Sevenfold released their brand new record, keeping the entire operation a secret amazingly until one day before its release. Being the first band of its kind to do so it seems that the band are creating a record number of firsts with their massive arena tour culminating in tonight’s second performance at London’s O2 Arena. Bringing along for the ride the company of In Flames and Disturbed the shows are set to be one of the band’s biggest not only of their magnitude but their career. Having already mesmerised audiences on night one, we were there to witness the second dressing of The Stage.
Concept albums are fast becoming some of the hottest Metal property on the market. Often needing flamboyant dressage with details ranging from costumes with the way into props, the air of the theatrical is more than just a force to be reckoned with. Having toured the US extensively together last year, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Carach Angren being their haunting theatre to a more European of audiences but will Horror outweigh Drama?
It’s yet another one of life’s pleasures that descends upon London this evening, the magnificent tour package that constitutes the metal heavyweights of Sirenia and Tyr, and the addition of starlets Unleash The Archers. A diverse palette of metal that somehow appeases everyone, it’s one of those shows you simply can’t miss.
In a world where veterans would take preference over those less experienced in the field, Accept would be headlining this power house of a heavy metal line-up this evening. It just goes to show though, Sabaton are that big now.
Featuring Cane Hill and Killswitch Engage.
Gothic metal still lives! Lacuna Coil proved that earlier this year with a career rejuvenating album release in ‘Delirium‘, and now look to the live stage once again to deliver those signature theatrics.
To say the phrase ‘what a line up’ might be a bit of an understatement here. It’s simply colossal. Four bands, three of which could probably fill out an arena on their own, perform as one package in one of London’s finest venues. We couldn’t resist, and neither could 20’000 others.
Featuring : Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Carnifex, Obey The Brave, Fallujah, Make Them Suffer and Polar!