Who better than to turn the infamous Brixton Academy into a war zone on a Saturday night than the mighty Amon Amarth who have had a very successful run in celebration of their latest offering ‘Berserker’. Its the final date on the UK leg before hauling their massively impressive stage props across the sea over to mainland Europe.
Joining them, Death Metal warhorses Hypocrisy who have played their fair share of stages over their much revered careers have the opportunity to impress on the big stage. Regardless of the early door times, its a Saturday night, so plenty of bodies fill the main floor as the band steamrolls through a relatively short setlist that we can only imagine to be a nightmare to decide with the back catalogue this band boasts. But we all know it wouldn’t be a Hypocrisy show without the savagery of tracks such as Roswell 47,
The Final Chapter or Eraser, all of which are getting on a bit now but all of which still sound massive and exciting all these years later by a band that at this point plays so effortlessly live like a hot knife through butter.
Arch Enemy continue the Swedish invasion and are a whirlwind of bodies, hair and guitar solos from start to finish as you’d expect from any of the bands performances. Having established themselves as a powerhouse in modern metal worthy enough to be headlining many European festivals. Theres definitely a headline feel to their show tonight.
Daniel Erlandsson sits on his throne high up never missing a beat meanwhile guitarists Michael Amott & Jeff Loomis carry the showmanship through endless shredding and interactions with their fellow band members on stage giving this nothing but a fun feel whilst remaining unapologetically chaotic. The noise coming from from Alissa White-Gluz’s vocals are still really quite something as she screams her way through fan favourites My Apocalypse, Ravenous and War Eternal all fairly on much to the delight of what could easily be considered a capacity crowd at this point. The fans are here for Amon Amarth, no doubt about it, but if you were going blind, you could be fooled into thinking this was an Arch Enemy show and an Arch Enemy show alone.
Its a longer wait for our headliners than usual as the changeover happens on stage but once things kick off, its easy to forgive. It takes seconds for Amon Amarth to turn Brixton Academy into a furnace. There is fire absolutely everywhere from the get go. So much in fact we find it hard to even recall a time we saw the venue lit up in such a way.
Ravens flight, Runes To My Memory & the aptly titled Death In Fire open the show as flames flow towards the crowd, behind the band as well as various burning props on stage with the band members. There no messing about tonight. By the looks of things on and off the stage, Amon Amarth are absolutely red hot. This does nothing to deter the crowd surfers who begin to risk life and limb as they float towards the extreme warmth of the stage screaming their favourite bands lyrics along the way.
Amon Amarth didn’t just bring the literal fire though, plenty of moments sprinkled throughout the show including drummer Jocke Wallgren sitting tall on his viking helmet drum riser and frontman Johan Hegg being joined on stage by various characters as well as a giant dragon not to long after the man himself wielded the mighty hammer all of which proving that the band have put plenty of thought into their show.
The novelty of the the stage props however does a good job a complimenting the songs themselves rather than detracting which would be a challenge considering the sheer quality of songs involved and how they somehow manage squeeze the passion out of every fan in the room - At one point half the main floor saw many fans sat down rowing in their imaginary viking boats.
Still, with all the quality songs in the set list, new and old, its amazing to see the home run Amon Amarth hit with ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’, our evening worthy closer, that bulldozes from start to finish and never seems to get old.