Coverage and Photos: Joseph Miller
“Alright guys, gather around. There are going to be a lot of piro’s during songs 1 and 3. You will need to stand back as it will be extremely warm and there will be a chance of liquid spraying onto your lenses. Just remember to wipe your lens with a dry cloth and watch out for the flames.”
Nothing better than getting a pre gig prep talk about the possibility of ruining your camera lens or getting burned to a crisp. Ok, a bit over dramatic, but actually got me quite excited.
It’s the kind of meeting we all kinda wish we were having before going into battle. You wouldn’t expect the tour manager of an acoustic act to come and tell you to be prepared for a snore fest, so go get a nice armchair and be careful not to sneeze in case you wake the audience up.
Amon Amarth don’t let the crowd sleep. Far from it. The vikings’ are in Malmö and lead singer, Johan Hegg, is screaming from the rafters and energising the crowd with fist pumps and salutes.
The stage is set alight in a blaze of fire. Smoke billowing from the floor and the stage feels like a viking ship sailing through a misty fog on a sea of mythical creatures. With every huff and puff, fire shoots into the air. The band are sailing on and taking the crowd with them on their journey.
It’s always nice to see an army of followers for any band, but some of the crowd will have been followers of the Swedish melodic death metal maestros, since their arrival on the scene, back in 1992. Some of the t-shirts in the crowd had concert dates from this decade and you get the sense that they are still as explosive, if not more, than they ever were.
Johan and the crew, power on relentlessly with a set full of thrills and beer spills (from the crowd) with songs ‘Death In fire’ and ‘Guardians Of Asgaard’ getting noticeable louder cheers than most.
Epic tune, ‘The Pursuit Of Vikings’ leads us out of the arena and it’s safe to say that Amon Amarth and their longboat of followers, will be continuing their journey for a long time to come. We look forward to their next battle in this part of the world.
Swedish death metal legends, Arch Enemy, are here for the ride too and Alissa and the band deliver another passionate performance, something I’ve grown familiar with over the past few years.
Like Amon, they know how to grab the audience by the balls and keep them swinging for an entire set and Alissa is never in a hurry to let go.
The constant spinning of her head and long blue hair gets me in a twirl and the flashing lights and smoke create a fantastic backdrop to the show. Alissa jumps around the stage and screams into the microphone. Her death growls can be heard in the next town, but the neighbours are not banging on the door and asking to turn the noise down. If anything, they want to join in.
A set filled, as expected, with a back catalogue of hit tunes only sets out to warm up the crowd in emphatic style and we’re all treated to a flawless performance.
The evening began with Swedish melodic death metal converts, Hypocrisy, tearing down the stage in typical fashion. Been a long time since I saw these guys take the stage, but in a room still filling up with spectators, they made sure that the people entering the room did so with an added sense of urgency in their step.
Peter Tägtgren and the band have been screaming their way through concerts as long as the other two bands from the eve and 12 albums later, they’re still bringing a powerful and unique death metal sound to the new ages. One of Sweden’s true gems in the metal world and a performance that shredded any doubt that there would be a steady momentum through the night.
From start to finish, an onslaught of entertainment and thrust. Vikings, demons and the delirious.
Let’s hope there is still a bit of room left on the longboat for us all. Keep on sailing strong Amon!