Thursday, 3 October 2013

GloryHammer Live Report

I almost didn't make it to this gig but being a stalwart of all things metal I couldn't bring myself not to go however much it cost me, physically speaking of course. It came so soon after the amazing Powerwolf show but I just wasn't gonna miss GloryHammer however much it cost my health and boy was it painful at times but I think it was all worth it in the end thanks to the amazing performance of the guys in GloryHammer.

We had some support bands to get through before the mighty warriors of Dundee would take to the stage, namely Death Valley Knights, Dendera and Darkest Era. First up were local band DVK as I'll call them for short. These guys were pretty good. Not amazing but reasonable. The singer's voice was a bit average but their regular heavy metal tunes were ok. Some nice trad guitar riffs and a few good histrionic solos. Not a bad start. The crowd was a bit thin for these guys maybe 50 or so but would slowly fill out as each band played.

Next up were Melodic thrash/power crew Dendera. I think their debut is a really solid slab of metal somewhere between Megadeth and Maiden so they are certainly aiming for the right crowd and set the bill up perfectly. The sound for these guys was nigh on perfect. Very clear guitars and a bright punchy sound. Their songs were very strong as I already knew especially Senlac Hill which is just an awesome song. The vocals were high pitched and pretty good but I wouldn't say the singing was the strong point of the band. More so the twin guitars chugging away and the fantastic dual guitar melodies they created. A very good job indeed and Dendera are going places given a few breaks. They certainly deserve more attention and maybe on their follow up album they will gain the momentum they need to move to the next level. I look forward to seeing them again as they are a very strong live unit indeed.

Next up were Northern Irish mob Darkest Era. A band who I've fleetingly come across before. They play a brand of melodic dark metal with clean vocals. Something akin to Slough Feg but with a darker heavier feel with twin guitars ala Maiden. This is the type of band that is always destined to remain cult and that's probably when they put on their best shows in a low key gig with the 'real' fans so to speak. These guys weren't exactly my cup of tea but I was won over a little by the end. Their music is very dark but the twin guitar riffing and fast headbanging pace made them fun to watch. The tubby frontman was a cool and funny guy with a few Irish wisecracks for the smiling crowd which was filling out much better now though the venue was still only probably half full at around 200 or so. The darkness and moody parts of the music made it rather morose but when they pick up the pace and rank up the melody Darkest Era are seen at their best IMO. A good effort by the guys and gal!

After Darkest Era's set ended and the roadies started getting the stage ready, the PA started playing a pre-recorded tape of a fictitious Tay FM radio station. I've never seen a band do such a thing where they make their own long intro tape! The tape played a few metal songs and also some rock and pop songs with talk and funny jingles inbetween. Typical crazy stuff that I guess band leader Chris Bowes of Alestorm would come up with!

Finally it was time for the GloryHammer guys to strut their stuff and show us what they were made of. Boy do they not do things by halves these guys. If you're gonna do power metal you might as well go the whole hog in terms of looks and regalia! one guitarist in warrior chainmail. One in court jester type jersey. Singer in armour. Bowes in dark shawl, drummer in medieval hood. The Scottish angle of the band is also verty funny and make the whole thing rather fun indeed and so OTT that it's almost impossible to believe how OTT it actually all is. Like I said they don't pull any punches when it comes to power metal cheese! Of course with only one album under their belt we would hear the whole damn thing over an hour's worth of music.

Starting things of with the superbly fast and catchy The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee with the first few rows rocking out to the fast chorus and warpspeed riffs. Vocalist Angus McFife lol was a funny dude all night and knew how to get the crowd going alright but it's his vocals that are most mpressive indeed. He was on shit hot form and belted out the songs with glee and with some nice stage moves to get the crowd fully pumped. Not that we needed cause the band had us eating out of their hand. The anthem Angus McFife followed with full crowd singalong almost louder than the man himself.

I was struggling to hear Chris Bowes' keys at times but the sound was pretty much perfect. The solos were very tight too and highly melodic indeed. A beautiful damsel came on to sing the female parts required on the album as you can see in the photos. Magic Dragon was a pure highlight of the show with it's awesome singalong chorus. Literally everyone was singing that one! Amulet of Justice was totally blistering as well and it's probably my fave song on the whole album with it's monumentally powerful chorus biting through like a sharp blade.

The Epic Rage of Furious Thunder ended the main set with an epic bang with the crowd in joyous rapture at the melodies and power of the chorus. The encore followed with the song Wizards! which I guess is a new song and it was pretty much along the same lines before the band left to rapturous applause. I wish I had recorded some of the banter between the tunes cause it was totally hilarious at times with much talk of warriors of London town talk which always makes me piss myself with laughter it's so cheesy!

I can't imagine were the band goes from here on the next album but it's probably gonna be even more over the top than this one. GloryHammer chants began near enough after every song and the band wowed us with a spectacular power metal show. Next time I see them, they'll hopefully have another album of power metal magic under their belts and a longer set!

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