Concert Review – Amon Amarth – London 23 Oct 2011

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!


About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Concert Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. You got some great pics and video clips!! Sounds like the show was a blast. Sucks about the sound quality. I’ve seen As I Lay Dying a couple of times and they’ve sounded great.
    It was cool seeing how into it the crowd was. A band putting on a great show is always great, but when you’re with a great and responsive crowd it can make a show even more epic.
    Sucks that Amon Amarth isn’t playing in Milan on this tour, I would really like to see them.

  2. Yeah it does suck that they aren’t coming your way. I do look for Milan dates when exploring show opportunities. If i ever see something and think you might like to see it I will be sure to let you know.

    The crowd does help make the show. They were a real cool crowd. I will be posting Septic Flesh soon so you can check them out live.

  3. Thanks for keeping an eye out dude!! They are playing Bologna and a place not to far from Milan, but the thing that sucks is there’s no trains back at that time in the night, so the only option would be to get a hotel. It’s a bit to pricey for a show and also a pain in the ass on a weekday. I do get lucky as hell living in Milan though, lots of bands play here and the venues have been great so far. Getting to any show in the city only takes up to 20 minutes and the same getting home, that’s a godsend. Next show on my list is Opeth/Pain of Salvation, can’t wait for that one. Amorphis is playing here too a week before Opeth, if time and money allow I’d like to go check that one out, but getting my hands on a Dream Theater ticket before they sell out, which I’m sure will happen(they’re real big in Italy), is top priority in the concert scheme of things.
    If anything Amon Amarth is a big touring band, so I’m sure they’ll pass by in the not to distant future.

    • Surprisingly, even the tube in London shuts down. This is always a concern going to London to see shows, but so far they all seem to end absolutely no later than 11pm so there is enough time to get back. It is rough seeing shows during a weekday though. I do get lucky from time to time when bands play in small cities near here in Cambridge or Norwich. That’s like 30 minutes by car. Those venues are more intimate too. I hear you though. When I was in West Texas I had to drive 3 hours to either Austin or San Antonio to see a show so that meant spending the night which, or course, cost more. That was part of the reason for only seeing four shows in 4 1/2 years.

      The furthest I have travelled for a show in England is about 2 1/2 hours to Download Festival. That was worth it both times, but the ride home is terrible. Active conversation and a couple Monsters is necessary for that one. Did you know Periphery is opening for Dream Theater? I have been seeing that band pop up ever since I heard you mention djent. They seem pretty cool and look forward to seeing them.

      I hope to catch an “AA” 🙂 meeting before I have to go back to the U.S. I love seeing them live; it is so worth it!

  4. even though i was one of the ‘younger’ audience member (i’m 15) i was actually there for Amon Amarth. There’s one song SepticFlesh played that i loved, but i just don’t know what it was. The overall gig was amazing, however, it was my first ever metal concert, so i’m sure there’s better. i agree with the statement about As I Lay Dying, i barely heard their vocals, but metalcore isn’t really my thing, so i didn’t really like them anyway. if anyone knows the set septicflesh played, can they please post it? thanks, and great review 🙂

    • I don’t know much about Septic Flesh myself so I can’t tell you what their playlist was. Amon Amarth puts on a really good show, so you were lucky to catch them for your first show, I am sure they will set the bar high for future shows you see. They tour a lot so they have tons of practice playing live. If you have the chance, I recommend catching Machine Head in London at Wembley in December. I think that will be something worth seeing. They will also have DevilDriver playing with them. I will be sure to review that show as well.

      You may be “younger” but we are all metalheads and part of the same family. I am 38, so I have been around the block a while. I am glad we have younger folks like you around to carry on the metal torch. Thank you for stopping by. We hope to see you again.

    • Heya dude!!! If you ever want to know a set list for a show you’ve been to, check out this site called They do a pretty good job of keeping up on all setlists. The headliners of almost all tours for all styles of music usually have the setlist up there. The openers are kinda 50/50.
      Amon Amarth had to have been an awesome first metal show! That ain’t something you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.
      Peace Love and Metal!!!

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