Saturday, 28 September 2013

Powerwolf - LIve at the Camden Underworld

I have been looking forward to this gig for weeks and weeks since I first heard it was taking place and finally it's come and gone and what a great night it was. It's always good when power metal comes to London town and this bill was superb in every aspect. The one disappointment I had was that I arrived at the venue and saw that Wisdom the Hungarian power metal were no longer listed to play. A shame - as their new album is just brilliant.

Anyway I walked in the venue at 5.30pm just after work and Majesty were already on stage playing the first song. Damn the sound was crisp and heavy in the Underworld last night, surprisingly enough for the first support actually. Majesty's true metal has gone off the boil for me though their comeback album was a fun album indeed. Live they had fun and got a great reception from the already fairly packed crowd. I'd say the Underworld was already more than half full and would fill out to about 300-350 by the end of the night.

Like I said Majesty were pretty damn good and enjoyable. The song Into the Stadiums is awesome to sing along to and Tarek the frontman makes sure there is full crowd participation as much as he can. Thunder Rider was another highlight. My personal fave song of theirs is Keep It True but I don't recall hearing that one but neverthless they left to rapturous applause after their alloted 30 minutes.

Next up were a huge draw for me, namely Battle Beast and their awesome new singer and album. They tore the place up literally these guys and got a bit of a delirious response from a few punters down the front going nuts for Noora's raspy vocals. That chick is a shit hot front woman with a voice to match. I was waiting for Into The Heart of Danger from the new album but alas it did not come which is a shame but I ain't complaining. Their performance was superb and despite some rather dodgy between song banter from the bass player they brought the house down pretty much. Great great fist pumping stuff like Black Ninja and Out of Control nearly tore the roof off of the place! I hope they come back soon as they are a really exciting band going places. They could reach Sabaton levels of popularity with a bit of luck. Their set ended all too quickly and since it was a 4 band bill with a 10pm curfew they had to get the job done sharpish but were they great!

Next up were brand new US combo Ashes of Ares. I must admit that I have been having difficulty in getting into their debut album. Barlow sounds very good and there are some solid songs on offer but it's just too dense and hard going for me. Therefore I was hoping the live setting to bring out the songs a little more. There is no doubt they were the heaviest band on the bill by far but their songs were just too samey for me. Barlow's vocals were also a little bit strained on the high parts. The crowd was less buzzing for them bt there a couple of dudes in Ashes of Ares going nuts for the band.

I like the faster songs a little more than the chugging heavy midpaces I must admit. They did their job but personally I would have preferred if they had swapped places with Battle Beast to allow those guys a few minutes more. They were ok but the songs don't really grab you like the othe 3 bands on tonight's bill and compared to the other three they were much harder to get into. They would have probably done much better on a harder edged less melodic bill. Still it was good to see Matt Barlow up close. he's a very imposing frontman. I was dreaming of an Iced Earth number for the hell of it...dream on is what they say!!

And finally at 8.15 on the dot as printed on set times outside the venue the roadies got the stage ready and the intro started up for these mighty titans of European power metal to take to the stage in full stage garb and make up. God they are an ugly bunch! What a sight to behold as they come on though with big smiles and ghoulish gurns on their big ugly mugs! Attila was burning incense to make the atmosphere in the rabid Underworld even more medieval than their stage set. Of course they are used to playing much bigger stages in Europe as they are huge these days but you can't beat an intimate gig like this where you can see the whites of their devilish eyes up close!

The band broke into the majestic Sanctified WIth Dynamite with of course full crowd singalong with Attilla orchestrating the first few rows into delirium. Prayer in the Dark followed once again with it's monster chorus. Well every single song has a monster chorus but that's Powerwolf for you. Between every sing a huge chant of Powerwolf! Powerwolf! started up and left the band very shocked and pleased indeed. They seemed to be really into it as you would expect. The keyboardist is a crazy guy who leaves his keys often to come up to Atilla and goad the baying crowd into even more fervour. The guy is seriously hilarious!

Soon it was time for some new material of course and all the songs went down the proverbial storm. Sacred and Wild is amazing. Resurrection by Erection is such an amazingly OTT hilarious song that it just makes you have a big gay smile on your face as you pump your fist! I loved Kreuzfeur with it's more sombre epic notes and feel. A great moody song to tone some of the more histrionic songs that the band has. I did miss some songs from the set list but I can hardly complain when every song is pretty much brilliant in it's own right. I love Saturday Satan and we missed that one but that's nothing worth worrying about like I said when you are on an immense high from the spectacle the band creates. The hilariously rapid Dead Boys Don't Cry was a hoot and followed by the band's anthem We Drink Your Blood which I captured on video. The main set ended with the slower Lupus Dei though I would have preferred a firecracker myself.  

Obviously there would be an encore with endless huge chants of Powerwolf and even a football style "We love you Powerwolf we do" which had the band with big smiles and lots of thanks for the crowd. First song of the encore was the amazingly catchy Raise Your Fist, Evangelist with it's humungous singalong chorus belted out by near enough everybody in the house and finally a new song In the Name of God to round things off nicely. They left the stage to total adulation pretty much. Along with Sabaton pretty much the best power metal band in the business!

Ser list:

Intro: Agnus Dei
1.Sanctified With Dynamite
2.Prayer in the Dark
3.Amen & Attack
4.All We Need Is Blood
5.Sacred & Wild
6.Resurrection by Erection
7.Coleus Sanctus
8.Drum Solo
9.St. Satan's Day
11.Werewolves of Armenia
12.Dead Boys Don't Cry
13.We Drink Your Blood
14.Lupus Dei

Encore prelude:Prelude to Purgatory
15.Raise Your Fist, Evangelist
16.In the Name of God
Outro: Wolves Against the World

No comments: