A bit of a longer review, but this tour line up is incredible and time needs to be devoted to all the bands in turn.
HELL have quickly become one of the brighter “new” bands in the circuit after their reunion. While Bloodstock saw them with pyro and goat leg stilts they couldn’t quite go as overboard tonight. They still managed to bring a good sample of demonic shenanigans with them including the bloody flail though, and when watching a guy with burning red eyes and a crown of thorns whip himself you get the impression they’re going for, stilts or no.
Lead singer Bower forwent the microphone in hand routine, instead opting for a face mic, adding for a much more theatrical persona. He presents a more light hearted antichrist between songs, with rhymes and a Shakespearean-esque speaking style that is a nice change from the “I dress evil therefore I speak evil therefore I am evil“ style of metal performance.
The pits for some reason seemed confined to the left hand side of the crowd as opposed to the middle, maybe some left hand path demonic shit going on. Or maybe just a case of the right side of the crowd can’t pit much like the back of the bus can’t sing (I have no idea how far or wide that reference stretches.).
Bleed From Within are relatively new to me. I know them by name and reputation but couldn’t have told you their sound (pretty good is the answer to that, as usual with gigs, if you don’t know the song you might not get the best representation of the tune but it’s one to add to the listen list).
There was a slight lull in energy at the very start, but this could be due to following a band like Hell, from big bombastic theatrical metal to more straight ahead aggression is a bit of a change in mood and pace. Still, the crowd got over it within the first couple of songs and soon enough there were pits a plenty and singing voices.
As a band from Glasgow, they probably had that initial level of support already and I think this led to a more confident stage presence. The high energy enthusiasm of the band was hard to deny and even the drunkest beer belliest fans were having a good old fashioned nod along.
Fucking CARCASS. That should be enough of a review but I suppose I should add some more text. There’s always a certain nervousness when seeing a legend within a genre, what if they’re shit? This was put to rest immediately, sure they may not be as raw as they once were, but all cylinders are still firing on full.
It’s pretty gratifying to see a band on a comeback tour play to a crowd this big (by big I mean big for Scotland in this sort of genre). I’d like to think this was testing the water for a future headlining tour next year. Based on the strength of this set and the audiences wild reception, a headline show would be a treat not to be missed. They’re one for the festival circuit at the very least.
The new material interweaved with the Carcass classics fairly flawlessly, while some weren’t overly enthused about the new material on record, it can’t be denied that live these tracks are in their element.
This brings us to the bearded Viking warrior headliners of the night; AMON AMARTH. What can I say; they’re just one of those bands that inspire the crowd to have tremendous levels of stupid fun. The traditional intro track is played before they entered the stage and crushed the place with a double helping of tracks from the new album, Father of the Wolf and Deceiver of the Gods.
A trip back to the Twilight of the Thunder God album followed with Free Will Sacrifice and this is where the night really took off for me as this is my favourite Amon Amarth tune.
The stage set was a stripped back affair compared to the longboat of Download, but on a brighter side, was also nine songs longer than the Download set.
The crowd lapped up the songs, old and new with the same enthusiasm ranging from the neck snapping windmilling in Runes to My Memory, the wall of death for Cry of the Black Birds (and other mini ones that kicked off throughout) and the best of all, the long boating. The arse on the floor rowing to Guardians of Asgaard and Twilight of the Thunder God were of course the best display of crowd enthusiasm, the cleaners must have also been over the moon with the collective jeans of Glasgow soaking up the spilled beer and sweat.
Perhaps the main highlight of the night was the crowd themselves. It was a night full of walls of deaths and rib shattering pits, but there were no pit assholes, no overly aggressive roid ragers, just a group of hairy fuckers, young and old, male and female, having the time of their lives. It felt good to be part of that and it’s one of the reasons I always look forward to an Amon Amarth gig.
Mention should be given to the Amon Amarth tour t-shirt though, as it appears Scotland = England and that in December they go back in time to 2012, on the upside, it is a pretty cool t-shirt .