27th November 2014 Review and Photographs by Graham Hilling
It’s not that long since I last saw the Defiled on their first headlining tour but since then they have become a four piece having said goodbye to guitarist Aaron Curse and made history by becoming the first band to play on a free floating iceberg (hmmm…slightly strange!) Anyway, there’s a fair turnout this evening for openers Killus from Spain. These guys look like extras from Mad Max meets the Walking Dead and fit into the bill very nicely.
They have a sound that is part metal, part punk part industrial, part glam, citing influences such as Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.
A pretty impressive live show, plenty of energy and some notable songs definitely wins over the assembled crowd. Much nodding and even a little bit of moshing.
By the time Avatar take to the stage, the venue is suitably filled and it is clear that many punters are here specially to see Avatar. Indeed, on the European dates, Avatar are headlining with the Defiled in the support slot.
Taking to the stage one by one and attired in old military dress, this only raises the level of expectation higher, they already have a reputation as a diamond live band and one to watch.
By the time that Johannes Eckerström takes to the stage the audience is fit to burst. Launching straight in the title track from the latest album, “Hail the Apocalypse” the venue erupts.
Most of this evenings songs are lifted from this album, and a good job too, it is a fine piece of work. “Bloody Angel” with its’ truly haunting intro and thumping chorus is definitely a highpoint, the band are all on fine form, songs squeaky tight (as you’d expect for a band who’ve been on the road for a fair while).
Eckerström toys with the crowd, he’s clearly a master showman and enjoys being on a stage. At times his banter with the audience interrupts the flow but no one on the floor notices.
“Murderer” is another highpoint in the set with its’ mesmerising bassline which Henrik Sandelin knocks out with some impressive playing.
The songs are well crafted with a fine combination of heavy and light blending well together, ensuring that there’s a surprise lurking just round the corner in most of them. “Tsar Bomba” gets the old most pit raging.
Certainly, while they actually play quite a long set this evening, very few people are sad to see them leave the stage. But leave they eventually do to make way for The Defiled.
I’ve seen The Defiled really come of age over the years. They are now a proper force to be reckoned with. Some people leave after Avatar have finished but there is still a decent enough turnout, bit of a shame there isn’t a better turnout in London but they do actually play here quite often so there may be a bit of over exposure.
Starting the evening with “As I Drown” from the album “Daggers” is a good choice for an opener, it sets the bar high and is pretty relentless with a killer chorus.
I still feel they lack something as a four piece, not sure if they have any plans to replace Aaron Curse who left earlier in the year but I always thought they sounded better with two guitars.
I think the keys are definitely more prominent live now than they ever used to be too – not a bad thing, definitely fattens the sound up.
“The Mourning After” keeps the pace up, Needles is a very accomplished drummer and the live performance only benefits from his impressive performance. They have a reputation as an excellent live band and it is well deserved, they always deliver in this respect.
“Blood Sells” and “Black Death” take us back to the “Grave Times” freebie album. “No Place Like Home” has a certain poignancy for a touring band, London is where this band hails from and it definitely does look like they’re happy to be playing in front of a home crowd this evening. There’s even the odd circle pit happening.
“5 Minutes” slows the pace down and it’s not long before we’re into the usual closer “Call to Arms” and the set is over. Sadly, no “The Resurrectionists” this evening which is my favourite song but there you go. No one in the crowd seems unhappy though and it’s been another fine show from a hard working band that definitely deserve any success that comes their way.