18th December, 2014
Review by Caitlin Smith
Photos by Michelle Murphy
It’s only been a year since Kreator graced the forum but they returned again for a co-headline tour with melodic death metal legends Arch Enemy. With two long-term staples of the metal scene hitting the stage tonight it’s unsurprising that, despite being a school night, the show is sold out that evening.
Opening up for the night, Norwegian Shining [3.5/5] has long been known for their unusual choices in music.
Combining a progressive rock undertone with heavy layers of jazz, the band has carved themselves a following with fans across the scene. Bursts of saxophone are interspersed with guitars and synthesisers that create a constantly chaotic sound that flitters between the insane and the aggressive.
This is not a band that can be approached lightly, and while the live sound looses the subtleties of the records, the sheer power of their sound makes their live shows truly impressive.
As third number ‘Fisheye’ came to a close, it came as a surprise as they announced their next number, My Dying Drive would be their last.
As that set closed however, the arrival of Marty Friedman saw a fresh sound from the now 6-piece. Friedman’s solos set against Jorgen Munkeby’s saxophone blasts may not have always gelled as seamlessly, however the energy onstage more than makes up for this.
Taking us through three cover tracks, including Marty Friedman’s ‘Meat Hook’ and King Crimson’s ’21st Century Man’, the numbers worked perfectly with their long set list and while the collaboration may have seemed an odd painting, especially with the more traditional death/thrash based bands on the bill that evening, their sound was suitably heavy to appease the fans for the continued assault that lay ahead.
Replacing a vocalist as iconic as Angela Gossow would be a challenge for any musician, no matter how talented.
Best known for her work in The Agonist, Canadian Alissa White-Gluz stepped up this year to take on that mantle.
Despite a slight change in style for White-Gluz, cutting back her cleans in favour of emphasising Arch Enemy’s [3.5/5] signature growls, but has still managed to make her mark on the band with her powerful snarls and boundless energy.
It’s safe to say that the new album may not have commanded the greatest amount of respect among many older fans of the band, however that night tracks such as ‘As the Pages Burn’ and ‘You will know my Name’ off the latest album War Eternal were still warmly welcomed by the crowd.
However the set heavily favoured older crowd pleasers with ‘We will Rise’, ‘Dead Eyes See no Future’ and ‘Nemesis’ that proved just as powerful today as when they were released 10 years ago.
German’s Kreator [4.5/5] seem to be a regular when it comes to invading British soil, but their presence is always more than well received.
While the band many have had some line up changes over the years, their current formation have been together for over 14 years now and it shows tonight as they pull out a devastatingly tight set.
Right from the start we are thrown straight into the classics with ‘Violent Revolution’ opening the set. Quickly running through the tracks they treated us to songs across the discography with appearances from ‘Phantom Antichrist,’ ‘Impossible Brutality,’ ‘Hordes of Chaos’ and ‘Pleasure to Kill.’
Mille Petrozza shows he can still command a crowd as he commands the crowd to open a mosh pit that virtually fills the bottom tier of the forum.
It’s only a brief respite before they return to the stage brining with them a true British favourite, Iron Maiden’s ‘The Number of the Beast,’ as the front of the stage once again erupts into a violent frenzy.
By the time the band reached the final few notes of final song ‘Flag of Hate/Tormentor’ the crowd were truly bruised and beaten. The Germans proved once again that despite having been around over 30 years now, they are still masters of what they do.
1. Violent Revolution
2. Civilization Collapse
3. From Flood into Fire
4. Extreme Aggression
6. Enemy of God
7. Voices of the Dead
8. Awakening of the Gods (intro only)
9. Endless Pain
10. Suicide Terrorist
Intro 2: Mars Mantra
11. Phantom Antichrist
12. Impossible Brutality
13. Hordes of Chaos
14. Pleasure to Kill
15. The Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden cover)
17. People of the Lie
18. Flag of Hate / Tormentor