Sunday, 10 April 2011

Children of Bodom / Amon Amarth Live Report

Back to the Kentish Town Forum again after last week's rather average Paradise Lost gig and I was rather hoping for something more exciting and better but alas it wasn't to be. Either my ears are totally screwed or this venue just can't get the sound right at all. They just don't know how to mix the guitars properly. We come to metal shows to hear guitars Mr. Sound man. To be honest I really don't care about the bass and drums and as usual the bass and drums are hammering our ears into submission.

Anyway this was a way way sold out show and there was a rather large queue forming outside the venue though it was moving along well enough. I missed Machinae Supremacy altogether and they are just an OK band to me so no great loss. I had only managed to get a ticket for the upstairs seating and balcony standing for this gig and as I walked in I found the upstairs impossibly packed out already and Enisferum in full swing on stage. Luckily I managed to find a corner place to park my fat ass and start getting into these guys whom I've seen a couple of times before. I love them on record and live as well but the sound wasn't the best at all. As I've already bitched above I couldn't hear the guitars properly.

The Enisferum boys looked in good spirits and got a roaring response from the ultra packed downstairs from my vantage point. I caught about 4 songs from their set and they maybe played 7 or so. They were fun and the melodies from the guitars though hidden by mushy sound, just about shone through. Good effort but I think a smaller venue suits them much better.

Next up were the mighty Amon Amarth. They were the main draw for me attending tonight and I was eager to hear some new tunes from Surtur Rising in their set. These guys are seasoned pros but unfortunately the sound mix tonight rendered them completely devoid of the melodic aspect I was seeking. The songs were all played slickly and like a well oiled machine with their infamous unison headbangs in full effect which is a rather cool sight when you get to witness it from a high vantage point. However my enjoyment of their set was completely stifled by the muddy sonics which decreased the melodic riffing to sludge. They did however go down a storm with the kids downstairs and they have a rather large fan base in the metal community in London and basically they can do no wrong. On record I still love AA but this gig just didn't do it for me. I will have to think strongly about whether I will ever see them live again. Oh and one more thing, no Death in Fire! For shame lads, for bloody shame!

Finally it was time for Alexi's Finnish hatecrew to amble up and serve the kids up what they'd been waiting for. I think CoB is a bit of a polarising band in metal circles these days. They have a lot off fans and a lot of haters as well. The thing is a lot of the haters probably like them a bit in their heart of hearts as well however begrudgingly. They are just a fan band that makes you tap your toe and play air guitar however much you try to resist. Unfortunately I lost my seat due to attending a call of nature and on my return I had literally nowhere to sit, so I ended up in the gods of the Kentish Town Forum standing up, which was an area pretty packed out itself. For the first few numbers I was just listening to the music and not even looking as there was no hope, but luckily a few people left and I found myself right at the barrier on the balcony with a good view of the stage.

I am not a big enough Bodom fan to recognise individual songs but I remembered a few of their biggest hits such as Needled 24/7. The sound was much better than it was for AA with Alexi's guitar much cleaner though not perfect by any means. When the band plays fast songs at full blast it all turns a bit messy and you lose some of the songwriting sense. Still the band is shit hot tight after all these years and Alexi knows how to work the crowd alright, though his cursing gets tedious to say the least. I guess I'm just too old for CoB though and they are a youngster's band although there were people there who were far older than me so they do have a very wide appeal. Keyboardist Janne Warman had two keyboard risers with a set of keys on each and he swapped around between the two which was a bit epic hehe!

I can't say much about the songs, they were played well and melodic and the band went down a storm and even the haters probably enjoyed it a little bit.

To sum up the night:
Enisferum - Good
Amon Amarth - Disappointing
Children of Bodom - Professional

Overall it was an ok gig but nothing I will be waxing lyrical about in years to come. Accept is the best live band I've seen this year by far. They blew the fucking roof off the old bastards!

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