Concert Review – Amon Amarth – London 23 Oct 2011
Posted by Reggie
Amon Amarth photo credit (above) to Mr. M. Mucha. Thanks bud!
Amon Amarth with special guests As I Lay Dying and Septic Flesh took the stage last night at the HMV Forum in London. Located in the London area known as Kentish Town, the HMV Forum is a suitable theater that provides ample viewing for whatever band you are going to see. It’s not too big and not too small. After seeing three shows there, I will say that the sound quality in the venue is not the best, but if the band is performing a top-notch set it makes up for the sub par sound quality.
The first band to hit the stage was a black metal band from Athens, Greece called Septic Flesh. I have never heard of these guys, but from what I have researched online, they have been around since 1990. Septic Flesh has released eight albums since 1994. After having disbanded in 2003, they regrouped in 2007 and released a couple more albums with the most recent being The Great Mass released in spring 2011. The crowd was either familiar with their music or just got into them in the moment. They responded well to the blast beats and black metal sounds. Their set was only 30-minutes, but they made their impact. The crowd was very receptive and I was impressed with their style.
The next set (approximately 40-minutes) was America’s As I Lay Dying. Up to this point I didn’t know much about this band. I previewed a few songs on YouTube before going to the show and did recognize when they played those songs during their set. I am fairly certain As I Lay Dying was responsible for seemingly younger crowd than I thought I would see at an Amon Amarth show. As I Lay Dying had quite a warm welcome with lots of fists in the air and circle pits in motion. Personally, it was hard for me to get into them, but it was probably due to their sound quality. I could barely hear the vocals which was stark contrast to the vocal volume of both Septic Flesh and Amon Amarth. The overall sound quality during their set was the worst of the evening. I have never seen As I Lay Dying before so this could have been a fluke or this is just the way they are live. Despite the sound quality, I thought for a moment that As I Lay Dying was going to steal the show. That was until Amon Amarth took the stage.
I was really impressed with the reception Amon Amarth received when the lights went out. It’s not that they don’t deserve that kind of reception, but I felt that the average age of the crowd might have lent itself to a more As I Lay Dying evening. When Amon Amarth hit the stage it was the loudest I ever heard a crowd in England scream for a band that wasn’t in an arena or at a festival. Everyone’s fist was in the air, the crowd was pumped and more importantly, Amon Amarth sounded great. They also looked like they were having a good time and were humbled by the reception. They opened with War of the Gods and stuck to a predominantly Surtur Rising set; playing most of the album to include Destroyer of the Universe, For Victory or Death, Slaves of Fear, Beast Am I, and Live Without Regrets. We were also delighted to hear classic tracks such as Runes to my Memory, Pursuit of Vikings, and Free Will Sacrifice. Amon Amarth closed out their incredible 100-minute set with Twilight of the Thunder Gods and Guardians of Asgaard.
It was a great night for metal especially since we were treated to three different styles: Black metal, metalcore, and death metal. Amon Amarth capped the evening perfectly which makes them a “must see” act whenever they come to a location near me. Amon Amarth is well worth the time, money, and effort to go see live. Below are a couple videos I took of the show. Enjoy!