Due to the tragic death of Mike Alexander from Evile only last week, the UK thrashers will not open tonight’s show. Dedications to the bassist are made from both Entombed and Amon Amarth as the evening progresses and I think it’s safe to say that most people here send more than one thought to the sadly missed Evile and Mike’s family.
I’ve loved Entombed to bits since ‘Left Hand Path’ came out in 1990, and even though there have been a couple of less interesting releases along the way, that hasn’t changed. Some of their songs remain my favourite metal tunes to this day.
The first time I saw Entombed live was at the Roskilde festival in 1992. Tonight is the sixth or seventh time I’ve seen them since then, and the funny thing is that I never thought that they were a great live band.
No, don’t get me wrong; I think Entombed is immensely entertaining and a happy bunch to behold. I’ve never left an Entombed gig and felt that I’ve been cheated of my ticket money. But technically, they never quite measured up to their recorded material. In the past, especially the guitar work by Ulf Cederlund struck me as slightly less to the point than I hoped for and I can’t remember ever having thought ‘Wow, the sound was sublime after one of the death’n’rollers’ gigs.
The same can be said of the show this evening, although it’s not at all a disastrous sound. As for Ulf Cederlund; well, he’s not even there. Entombed appears as a four-piece which is novel to me. L.G. and Alex Hellid are joined by ‘Serpent Saints’ engineer and Terra Firma bassist Nico Elgstrand who looks extremely metal with his long, dark mane and in-your-face attitude as well as former Misery Loves Co Olle Dahlstedt who puts in a solid performance behind the skins.
Get this: Any concert that includes Stranger Aeons (from ‘Clandestine’) is blessed by the gods of metal. This song is magic. And Entombed play it tonight. And I can’t stop banging my head. Even if the second guitar is missed, the song remains touched by the hand of the Evil one and so terribly METAL that you can only kneel in awe.
L.G. would seem to have a nasty cold, because blobs of snot fly from man’s nose constantly (most of which populating the metal gnome’s own t-shirt), but he never-the-less puts on an ace performance as classics like Revel in Flesh, Out of Hand, Night of the Vampire, Like this with the Devil, Wolverine Blues, Eyemaster and Left Hand Path join forces with newer songs I for an Eye, Serpent Saints and the brilliant When In Sodom.
As always prepared to entertain, yet a more focused Entombed than the last I saw them – a great gig for the four Swedes!
More entertainment is coming our way. Put your helmets on and tighten your leather belts, ladies and gentlemen; we’re in for a Viking ride!
And what a ride it is! Amon Amarth are not only popular in Germany – Aarhus licks it up too on this Wednesday evening, as Johann and his berserkers launch into the title track of the Swedes’ mighty latest release, ‘The Twilight of the Thunder God’.
For someone like me who’s only ever seen Amon Amarth on big (German) festivals, the small venue adds to the intensity of experience. Johann Hegg is larger than life as he leans out over the audience and his amicable speeches partly in English, partly in Swedish embrace everyone.
The setlist includes tunes from all Amon Amarth albums save ‘The Avenger’. ‘Gardians of Asgaard’ stand out alongside ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’ and ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’ as the most powerful, but also Death in Fire, Tattered Banners and Bloody Bloody Flags, Fate of Norns and Cry of the Blackbirds hammer through.
On the negative side, Where Silent Gods Stand Guard from ‘Versus the World’ comes across as sounding oddly out of synch, at best really untight. Johan Söderberg and Olavi Mikkonen do quite frankly not impress with their delivery of solos throughout.
Other than these details, this is a fantastic show – even without the Viking ship and the flames that are customary elements of an Amon Amarth festival gig, the power and bombast hits directly home.
The Swedish national team lost the game to the Danish ditto a few days ago, yes, but tonight I wager that these two Swedish bands have won each and every soul here at Train. Nice one.