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Arch Enemy + Grand Magus + Malefice + Chthonic @ HMV Forum

| On 05, Dec 2010

[cincopa AELADUKW4b5z]

27th November, Kentish Town – London

People have waited almost seven months to experience this night. In fact the first date was due in April but the notorious Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull created, as we all know, some problems. The management was forced to reschedule the event. Same venue but some changes in terms of bands (Enslaved and Sabbat have been replaced by Malefice and Grand Magus).

The gig officially starts at 7:15 with Chthonic, a black metal band from Taipei, Taiwan. This band has a very strong impact on the audience and definitely they don’t seem to be the first band to play that night, it looks like they’re the headlines: impressive! The five guys from Taiwan hit the stage with an outstanding energy, and it’s a pleasure both for ears and eyes to see this band and the atmosphere they create, also thanks to their gears, masks, make-up and old instruments. Freddy Lin (singer) gives a sample of his vocal talent starting with Rise of the Shadow, a deadly-strong symphony that turns the Forum into an Oriental hell. Just a few seconds to recover breath and Chtonic start to play one of their most impressive songs 49 Theurgy Chains, a mix of black metal and Taiwanese traditional music in which Freddy finally plays the erhu (a classical Chinese instrument, an oriental two-string violin) and the stage really turns into a sort of magical and timeless scenario where people is really amazed at the way the sound of the erhu is integrated into Chthonic music. In some ways Chtonic sound just like British metal masters  Cradle Of Filth, (just with different garments), but at the same time they have all the skills to emerge from any comparisons. The setlist is completed by Spell of Setting Sun: Mirror of Retribution, Sing Ling Temple and Painkiller. The end of the set has time to give the audience a nice surprise. In fact, Agamoth from Abgott joins the band and plays with them during the song Sing Ling Temple. Great show, undeniably pleasant but definitely too short.

Second band of the night is Malefice, a British heavy metal band from Reading. First song of the setlist is The Midas Effect (from their latest album Dawn of Reprisal), a song that works as a business card for the band, with brutal voice, distorted guitars and heavy drum. Dale Butler (singer) is a real metal beast and looks like he has been played for years. Second song is Sickned, one of those songs that make your head bangs unstoppably with a fast-paced rhythm. Malefice is a band that really can leave an impressive mark on the audience, and people at the Forum truly appreciate the rest of the live set with songs like Abandon Hope,  Awaken The Giants, Risen Through The Ashes and An Architect of Your Demise.

After a short break, Grand Magus, a Swedish doom metal band, start their gig. The singer and frontman of the band Janne “JB” Christoffersson has strong and marked power metal voice skills and his qualities are underlined in songs like Kingslayer (first song of the setlist), Like The Oar Strikes the Water and Silver into Steel. The first part of their set is enjoyable as the audience can appreciate different skills from the Swedish trio. After a couple of songs the crowd starts to become a bit loose as the music becomes a bit annoying and static. Maybe Grand Magus should have played as first band to let people understand their value. Maybe? Surely, the atmosphere doesn’t change with other songs like Hammer of the North, I the Jury, Wolf’s Return and The Shadow Knows. Last song of the setlist is Iron Will a classic metal anthem that lasts just for few minutes and then fades away. Grand Magus?: really not impressed.

It’s 9:50pm and the lights go down. It’s time to enjoy Arch Enemy. The stage is ready, a big Arch Enemy’s logo as background and chains form the ceiling. The first one to hit the stage is Daniel Erlansson (drummer) followed by the other members and finally by Her Majesty “The Queen of Metal” Angela Gossow. First song of their show is The Immortal, in which is clearly visible (and obviously audible) that Arch Enemy are ready to leave a trace on their last date of the 2010 tour. Their setlist is simply amazing and engrossing . Songs like Revolution Begins, Taking Back My Soul and My Apocalypse are metal anthems and Angela’s voice, as well as brothers Amotts’ guitar riffs are absolutely brilliant. I’ve never had any doubts about this band, but I can’t hide that tonight Arch Enemy have gone far beyond all my expectations. Watching and listening to Michael Amott’s solo is indescribable, and unquestionably something that even if you don’t like metal, it leaves you breathless. Both the drum and the guitar solos are a mixture of techniques, accuracy and style. The whole gig covers a cross-section of Arch Enemy’s history with songs like Ravenous, Dark Insanity and I Will Live Again.  The peak of the night is definitely when Arch Enemy play Dead Eyes See No Future and We Will Rise; Angela Gossow is so powerfull and relentless confirming that she’s is one of the best metal vocalist ever! Last song of the night is Nemesis, and never the lyrics have been so appropriate to describe the atmosphere “One for all, all for one
We are strong, we are one. One for all, all for one. We are one Nemesis
”…

SETLIST (Arch Enemy):

Intro

The Immortal

Revolution Begins

Ravenous

Taking Back My Soul

My Apocalypse

Dark Insanity

Drum Solo

I Will Live Again

Dead Eyes See No future

Chris Amott Guitar Solo

Michael Amott Guitar Solo

Dead Bury Their Dead

We Will Rise

Snowbound

Nemesis

Outro (Fields Of Desolation)

Author & Photos: Luca Viola