Friday, 25 March 2016

Amorphis Live Report

Something in my deep memory makes me think I've seen Amorphis before but I think it's just some kind of lapse and this is indeed or was the first time I have seen the Finnish masters of all things dark and melodic.

Actually to say I'm a fan of the band would probably be a bit of stretch. They make pleasantly melodic and haunting music with a typically Finnish dark atmosphere which can please the soul. I don't own a single Amorphis album although I did own Elegy way back but decided I don't need it and guess I got rid of it in a trade or something many moons ago. Their recent output is much much stronger in my opinion. Their song writing is much more memorable and the melodies wash over you in a grand manner. Anyway I'm wandering again so to get back on track, the Islington Academy was filling up nicely as I walked in and the first band was already lining up to play their first song.

It turns out they were a Greek band by the name of Poem. Their music wasn't exactly poetry to my ears though! They were basically a slightly progressive modern metal band from the new school of all things Djent. Now the modern djent movement is one that I steer well clear of in the main. Sometimes I'll hear a riff that will pique interest and then soon enough the same grooving staccato patterns emerge and I'm like get me outta here! Anyway Poem were OK. The singer/guitarist's voice was a sort of crooning affair although it was very hard to hear the vocals as he was pretty buried in the mix. His melodies seemed a bit different than the usual Djent style and he didn't resort to screaming much at all apart from the odd line or word. Musically the band was a bit oddball. They had sort of melancholic parts and heavier sections of grooving before doing the regular djent thing going on with a slamming riff taking off. The drummer was louder than everything else pretty much as I recall. Not a terrible support and I've heard worse but not my cupa.

Next up were true believers of the Djent scene in Dutch band Textures. These guys played at colossal volume. The bass guitarist was especially reaching rib cage crushing levels. Textures are a completely typical Djent band. They play that jigga jigga jahhhhhhhhh riff style relentlessly with synchronized stage moves by the two guitarists and the bass player whilst the singer switches between staccatto screams and fluid cleans. The clean vocal parts are rather pleasant it must be said but soon the jarring riff technique soon reappears and we are back in full Djent mode. Some people seemed to enjoy them a lot and others who were there for Amorphis where I'm sure pretty non-plussed by them. Personally I find them cool to watch and they are way into their music whilst they are playing it, so it's cool to see them enjoying themselves. But that joy doesn't pass on to my ears unfortunately. Maybe I'm just too fucking old to get it really I don't know!

Finally at close to 9.30 or slightly before it was finally time for the Finnish warriors to take to the stage. They seemed to get a hero's welcome as they took their positions. Front man Tommy came on and I thought he was gonna be much bigger and taller than he turned out to be. He was quite a wiry smallish dude but with a fearsome roar on the growls and a handsome croon on the cleans. My problem is that whilst I'm listening to Amorphis I can enjoy it but I don't really know a single song of theirs from memory, not even their biggest hit or most well known song. But plenty of people did and were soon singing along to the melodic sections. I must admit that Amorphis sounded really tight and good, like a well oiled machine.

Unfortunately the sound wasn't really that great from my vantage point on the right side. I would've preferred to be more centrally positioned as I normally am to get a better balance, but the venue was pretty damn packed by the time they came on so moving around wasn't really a possibility.

Like I said I couldn't tell you what song is what in an Amorphis set but each song had something pretty cool about it although a couple of times I got slightly bored as songs tended to bleed into one another and sound samey. However the song The Wanderer stood out more than others as I recall. On Rich and Poor was also musically very melodic and enjoyable. House of Sleep closed the main set and also seemed to be a huge crowd favourite with mass sing along

After returning for the encore they played three more songs and left at dead on 11 to rapturous applause from the packed crowd. So I've finally seen Amorphis and it's another band to chalk off the list but the gig was merely good and not amazing and I'm not convinced to see them again should the opportunity arise.

Under the Red Cloud
Bad Blood
Sky Is Mine
The Wanderer
On Rich and Poor
Drowned Maid
Dark Path
The Four Wise Ones
Silent Waters
My Kantele
Hopeless Days
House of Sleep

Death of a King
Silver Bride
The Smoke

Friday, 11 March 2016

Sabaton Live Report

Over the last few years we get to see Sabaton once a year round these parts. Familiarity might breed contempt in some bands case, but in the Swedish war machine. You know you're guaranteed a great time at a Sabaton gig no matter if you've seen'em countless times like I have.

So two days after the great Avantasia gig I'm back at the Forum once again. We last saw them in January 2015 with Delain and Battle Beast and here they are again with Alestorm and Bloodbound. A different bill but suitable support anyway. The venue was soon filling up and even though Avantasia was sold out, it feels as though there are actually more people in here tonight than that night. A real proper close to heaving and uncomfortable capacity. Mind you I was safely tucked up in row one of the balcony upstairs with a perfect view. Downstairs would've been totally uncomfortable especially during Alestorm when it got really mental.

First up were fellow power metallers Bloodbound and a 40 minute set of anthemic melodic metal. Front man Patrik, used to wear a beanie but now he reveals his bald head with what looks like two horns one on either side. Now far my far away vantage point I couldn't actually tell what was on his head but it definitely looked like two horns like the Nosferatu chap they sing about. The sound was a little off at the start, and it wasn't that clear what song they were actually playing but soon settled down or my ears adjusted better. Either way Bloodbound was the perfect opener for this bill. The best tracks were Moria, Stormborn and of course Nosferatu whch they always close their sets with. In fact some dude came on in a wolf/nosferatu body suit and mask to give them their own mascot or something like that during the quiet parts at the start of the song. Front man Patrick is a cool showman and knows how to get the crowd going. A good start and Bloodbound got the punters fists shaking and voices raised although not yet at fever pitch.

Iron Throne
When Demons Collide
When The Kingdom Fall
In the Name of Metal

Alestorm were up next and the roadies got the stage ready. It seems as though Alestorm have had a bit of a change in character. They've morphed into some kind of goofy kids tv parody kinda show with a big inflatable duck sitting centre stage and the logo changing to something you'd see on kids TV. Bowes came on dressed in his Scottish kilt, sneakers and bright red kiddo baseball cap. The rest of the band are more regularly dressed but the musical theme of the band is still based around pirates and drinking rum, and walking the plank and all those cliches. They went down a complete storm I must admit but I personally found them pretty childish. It's funny 'cause he's also the same in GloryHammer, but I really like that but Alestorm's joke is starting to wear thin. Not saying it's not fun, 'cause it is, but there's just something bottom of the barrel about the humour and the music doesn't quite make up for it. But I'm far in the minority, there was a full scale dance floor riot going on downstairs and I wasn't invited!

They played all their major hits with the sea shanty keyboard melodies, and the drinking songs and "arggggghhhhh" bellows etc. I think part of the bands problem is Bowes is just not a very good singer. Not that he's probably claiming that it's just that his voice doesn't carry much melody and he starts to growl his way through the songs almost. Anyway they played for more than an hour and went down like the proverbial storm. My complaints mean diddly squat in the big scheme of things, the kids are here to fucking party and riot to Alestorm and that's exactly what they did.

Over the Seas
Magnetic North
Surf Squid Warfare
Nancy the Tavern Wench
Walk the Plank
The Sunk'n Norwegian
Wenches & Mead
1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)
(Taio Cruz cover)
Captain Morgan's Revenge

Finally at just gone 9.30, the roadies readied the familiar tank drum riser and stage set similar to last years as The Final Countdown played over the PA with massive sing along by the crowd below. The band soon rushes on bursts into Ghost Division as usual with the crowd already in apeshit mode. You'd think they'd take their time getting up to a frenzy after the already crazy Alestorm riots, but no, they are immediately in full attack mode with pits and mass jumping starting here there and everywhere. I like Ghost Division as a song but I'm starting to think they need to change it from it's starting position. I think they've got it in their minds that it has that energy that immediately lifts the crowd but they have other energetic songs and don't need to start with Ghost Division every single time.

Either way the band sounds as good as ever musically speaking and the cheers after the opener deafened everyone and had the band in shock as well as they looked back at the absolute delirium down on the floor. Joakim had his dark shades on so you couldn't see his eyes but his reaction and words revealed his thoughts as the band looked amazed at the sheer volume of support coming back at them. I'm always amazed how much people love this band and the thing is the love seems to be only strengthening and not stagnating at all judging by last nights crowd.

The band continued onwards and upwards with a slightly changed set list as Joakim said from the stage. Of course this was part of the Heroes tour and we got to hear songs from that album which was cool. In fact all of the songs aired from Heroes were my faves of the night especially Soldier of 3 Armies and To Hell and Back. In between we always get a few of their classics such as The Art of War, Carolus Rex and Attero Dominatus. It seems these three are staples of every Sabaton set list now. I must admit I am a huge fan of Cliffs of Gallipoli and I did miss hearing it though I guess others are not. It was good to hear the super melodic Gott Mit Uns sung in Swedish minus Joakim actually.

The set went by in a flash and soon they left to mass cheers before returning for the encore of three more songs. The band's anthem Primo Victoria, new song Night Witches and the metal tribute Metal Crue. The whole of Forum floor was basically moving for Primo whilst the party song Metal Crue is always a crowd pleasing end. I would actually like to see them drop Metal Crue from the set list actually and try a different song to end with. Not sure which but try something else.

So there we have a night of true metal by legends of the power metal scene. Like I said before people love Sabaton as much as ever. They may have lost a few fans with constant repetition, but when you go to a Sabaton show, there's one thing you're guaranteed. A big shit eating grin on your face and your fist in the air!

The Final Countdown
(Europe song)
The March to War
Ghost Division
Far from the Fame
Gott Mit Uns
Resist and Bite
Carolus Rex
Swedish Pagans
Attero Dominatus
Soldier of 3 Armies
The Art of War
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
(Monty Python cover) (Thobbe solo, verse and chorus only)
To Hell and Back

Night Witches
Primo Victoria
Metal Crüe

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Avantasia Live Report

I saw the Avantasia gig advertised back in the late months of 2015, though I forget when exactly, nevertheless it would be pretty impossible for me not to go and see this touring, metallic jamboree from the mind of Edguy main man Tobias Sammet. They've played at Bloodstock before but this was their first headline UK show in an indoor venue as Tobi said after the opening song. So they were very proud of that and the fact that it was almost a sell out. I would say it was pretty close to a sell out though with more than 2000 people attending. The doors opened at 7 but the intro began a full 55 minutes later so there was a little bit of hanging around to do.

I found a standing spot on a raise part of the floor next to the barrier with a decent view of the stage. The stage itself was sort of like a medieval derelict old castle with the Ghostlights album cover painted on a huge backdrop behind the main stage. The opening number was Mystery of a Blood Red Rose and it saw our man Tobi emerge from the top of the steps and proceed downwards to huge applause as he sang the opening lines. An excellent start indeed to the night's proceedings. After the song Tobi explained that they would be playing for 3 hours more or less and I must admit I did smirk to myself, yeah right!, and in the end well he was right and I was wrong! They came on at close to 8 and left at close to 11. Sure there's quite a bit of talking in between, maybe a full 20 minutes of chit and chat and banter but that still leaves a good two and a half hours of Avantasia classics on show.

I have never ever seen Kiske live and I was looking forward to his caterwauling and boy did he caterwaul! The guy is blessed with a voice that scales heights you won't believe. And it's funny 'cause his speaking voice is actually quite manly and you wonder where it all comes from! He was up second singing the title track from the new album with Tobi on stage as well of course. The sound was almost perfect by the way, with vocals very loud and clear just the way I like it, I hate it when you go to a gig and the music is so loud it drowns out the singers. We've paid our money to hear the singers sing so don't drown them out and thankfully they didn't with perfect sound all night.

The third song saw the entrance of Pretty Maids man Ronnie Atkins and his rougher vocals. He's basically like a slightly smaller version of Jorn both in looks and vocals. Unchain the Night saw both Kiske and Atkins in tandem bellowing out a great chorus.

The English part of the proceedings came to a head next as Bob Catley made a grand entrance at the top of the stairs singing his main tune from Ghostlights. Bob sounded very good but also pretty rough. His voice has gotten much grittier over the years and has lost some of its smoothness. Kudos for being the oldest singer here but I guess the years take their toll in the end. Bob sang two songs in a row before it was finally time for the beast from Norway to make his presence felt from the top of the stairs. I actually forgot to say that Amanda Somerville and Herbie Langans are constantly on stage at pretty much all times providing suitable back vocals to add depth.

Anyway back on point, Mr Lande was at the top of the stairs doing his heaviest vocal on The Scarecrow. A highlight of the night for sure. The other singers have been good but no one can match the power of Viking warrior, Jorn Lande. The guy was burning up the place, whilst doing his best grimaces as he tore through a ground shaking Scarecrow whilst Tobi nailed his parts as well in an incendiary duet. Then followed his creepy take on Lucifer from the new album which starts off with his monstrous vocals in full effect before the whole band chimes in and takes the song in a speedier direction. Jorn was fucking unreal so far!

The Watchmaker's Dream saw the first appearance of Oliver Hartmann and dual lead vocals with Tobi. He was also on guitars of course. His voice sounded a bit smoother than the others and who knew the guy was a shit hot guitarist too. What's Left Of Me followed and saw the first appearance of Eric Martin of Mr. Big. Not a big fan of his voice but he sang with much more grit than in his day job. Maybe he's just trying to keep up with all the power guys on stage hehe. I should point out that Tobi himself was on stage on most songs and sang his parts fantastically and held it altogether very well.

The Wicked Symphony followed and I think it was close to being the best song of the night. A whole host of singers in that song and sung to perfection by all. The song was so heavy as well and induced head banging with it's monstrous rumbling riff.

The Gothic tinged Draconian Love followed with Tobi and Herbie dueting on this very catchy tune with mass sing along by the jubilant crowd. Again a big highlight for me. Farewell followed with a chance for Amanda to showcase her beautiful vocals with Kiske as support but she was the star of that one.

The speedy Shelter from the Rain was again awesome with Kiske and Catley's different styles working perfectly well in tandem. One of the best responses of the night from the crowd for that song.

The Story Ain't Over, saw Bob going solo before one of the best songs of the night in Let The Storm Descend Upon You in all it's 12 minute glory took us closer to the end of the show. That song was totally epic with it's glorious chorus sung brilliantly by all. A truly epic moment!

The main set proressed to its close with a handful of more tunes with Kiske taking full control to showcase his extraordinary high pitched vocals including the fantastically sing along anthem of the band, the track Avantasia with full participation by the whole crowd more or less.

I'm getting tired of saying this but the next song Twisted Mind was again another huge highlight although Tobi didn't sing that one. It was a wicked tune indeed. The main set closed with a very heavy take of Dying For An Angel with Eric Martin.

The band said their "thank you"s and left but would soon return of course to do the encore. As Tobi explained he was trying to go for a big chart hit when he wrote Lost in Space. Sure it didn't work out but the song is one of his catchiest for sure and there's no denying that. The last song of the night saw the band and all singers on stage for one last hurrah before long slow goodbyes and mass bowing and taking in the plaudits from the packed crowd. Tobi said since this night had been such a success that they would be back in the future which was met with huge applause of course. If you get the chance to see Avantasia live, then don't miss out. Everyone puts on an amazing show and they play for an eternity. A fun night of epic, melodic metal in its grandest form!

set list:

Also sprach Zarathustra
(Richard Strauss song) (Theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey")
Mystery of a Blood Red Rose
(with Michael Kiske)
Invoke the Machine
(with Ronnie Atkins)
Unchain the Light
(with Ronnie Atkins and Michael Kiske)
A Restless Heart and Obsidian Skies
(with Bob Catley)
The Great Mystery
(with Bob Catley)
The Scarecrow
(with Jørn Lande)
(with Jørn Lande)
The Watchmakers' Dream
(with Oliver Hartmann)
What's Left of Me
(with Eric Martin)
The Wicked Symphony
(with Oliver Hartmann, Jørn Lande, Amanda Somerville, Herbie Langhans, Michael Kiske; without Sammet)
Draconian Love
(with Herbie Langhans)
(with Amanda Somerville and Michael Kiske)
(with Michael Kiske, Jørn Lande, Ronnie Atkins, Oliver Hartmann; without Tobias Sammet)
Shelter from the Rain
(with Michael Kiske and Bob Catley)
The Story Ain't Over
(with Bob Catley)
Let the Storm Descend Upon You
(with Jørn Lande and Ronnie Atkins)
Promised Land
(with Jørn Lande)
Reach Out for the Light
(with Michael Kiske)
(with Michael Kiske)
Twisted Mind
(with Eric Martin and Ronnie Atkins; without Tobias Sammet)
Dying for an Angel
(with Eric Martin)

Lost in Space
(with Amanda Somerville)
Sign of the Cross / The Seven Angels
(with everyone on stage)

Monday, 7 March 2016

Votum/kingcrow Live Report

I'm a total newcomer to Poles Votum so my attendance a this gig was based purely on the fact that I'm off for the week so I could go to this gig without worrying about getting up early the next day for work. Well of course I still have to half like the bands in question and you could probably say I do half like'm. Well Votum I didn't know until I some buzz for Ktonik and saw the lead video, Satellite. I wouldn't say I immediately loved it 'cause I don't tend to be into the dark metal scene much at all but something about the rousing chorus in Satellite intrigued me. It was mind numbingly heavy yet carried enough of that dark melody that makes some older Anathema attractive to me. Not saying these guys are as good as Judgement era Anathema but it's not a million miles away. I heard the full album a couple of times and the cheap ticket price also helped in making my decision. plus the Underworld is so easy to get to so all systems go for a Sunday night of depressing, melancholic atmospheric metal.

There was some delay getting in to the venue for some reason or another but eventually the doors opened and the hordes streamed in. I jest when I say hordes of course. It is a shame but this is one of the most poorly attended gigs I can ever remember at the Underworld. Maybe 50 at it's height. A damn shame for the band and I doubt they'll come again.

First up were a UK prog metal band by the name of Spiral Key. Their music was slightly djentrified if anything with stop start riffing with heavy bass and drums. The guitarist/singer unfortunately just wasn't my cup of tea. His melodies were not warm or memorable and he had this slightly awkward stage manner. Not bad altogether but not something I'd probably seek out much in the future. There is one video of them on youtube if anyone's interested to check them out.

Next up were co-headliners Kingcrow from Spain. I actually saw them supporting Redemption here at this very same venue a few years ago now. They have moved on a lot from then no doubt. I am not a huge fan of theirs I must admit. Their take of prog metal is a bit different than what I normally like in prog but it seems they've gotten a hell of a lot better and more confident over the years. I don't know their songs at all if I'm honest but every song of theirs had something interesting about it, be it a stark vocal, or an interesting riff or melody. The singer especially has improved a lot from what little I recall. The guy still has a strong accent when speaking but when singing he sounds pretty smooth and crystal clear. I enjoyed their set quite a lot even whilst not recognising the tunes. Their music tended to be more melodic and less heavier and dense than what Votum proved to be afterwards. Definitely a suitable dual headline for this bill. The crowd was at it's high point at this stage but still way way below a 100. I tried counting and it was just around 40-50 bracket with maybe a few more milling around where I couldn't see them. Still no people meant you could get right up to the front and check them out up close and personal. Kingcrow played enthusiastically though I think you could tell they were a bit disappointed with the turnout and yet they had the best of it.

The Drowning Line
Right Before
The Moth
At The Same Pace
The Deeper Divide
If Only
This Ain't Another Love Song
Fading Out, Part III
Morning Rain
In Crescendo

As Votum were getting ready for some reason the crowd thinned out even more. I don't know if most of the people that did bother to turn up were Kingcrow fans or what, but Votum started playing to about 30 and probably ended up playing to about 10. Their set did start a bit late, so I guess some people left due time issues but damn they missed a heavy set by the Poles. Now apparently the singer is a new guy and they had a different singer on Harvest Moon, their previous album. However the new guy fits like a glove. His accent is quite audible, but it sort of adds a charm all of it's own. T

hey played the whole of Ktonik which was good for me as it's the only album I know. I don't like every song but there's quite a few that I do and live they sounded monstrously heavy. The singer had enthusiasm on stage even though they were playing to literally no-one. A few die hard Poles were out and a few die hard old English dark proggers, Floyd fans, Riverside fans etc and then there's me! A power metal guy who just happens to have a passing interest in the album.

My fave songs were of course the massive Satellite, the epic Prometheus, the gargantuan Spiral and the morose duo of Horizontal and Vertical. They played just past the allotted curfew of 11 o'clock due to the time delay. I'll never be a huge fan of this style of metal as I enjoy happier music much more but there's something mesmerising about this band Votum and even though I'm sure they were pretty gutted no one turned up they still gave it their all for those who did. A very heavy night of downbeat metal in the end, I guess the London massive was having a Sunday night party and weren't in the mood for the dark shit!

Dead Ringer
Stranger Than Fiction
Last Word

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Ghost live at the London Palladium

This is not my actual first time seeing Ghost oddly enough. Well not that odd, but in the sense that I never liked the band until Meliora was released. I first saw them a few years ago when they supported Paradise Lost on one of their tours. It must have been on their debut album. They did have some hype but a lot of the PL fans night didn't really seem to get it. I was definitely one of those that didn't get it. I didn't think much of their music at all although the mysterious satanic cult imagery was always something that lends itself to metal anyway.

Anyway roll on a few years and here have Ghost selling out this old theater in the heart of London's west end, with plenty of people outside looking for tickets. The band actually played in December of 2015, a gig which I wanted to attend, but alas it sold out before I could move my fat ass to get a ticket. So when I saw that the band would be returning again so soon I quickly snapped up a ticket. One point to note the ticket price was less than half what Dream Theater charged for a show at the exact same venue.

My view of the stage was again in the upper circle as the stalls had already sold out by the time I bought my ticket. This time I was sitting on the opposite side to where I was for DT. The view is quite good as long as the band don't approach the front of the stage too much. DT tended to stay in their spots so you had a great view but Ghost are a much more active band and prowl the stage here there and everywhere so it was hard to seem them at times.

There was one support band listed, the aptly named Poltergeist. I actually searched them on youtube and managed to find a video to one of their songs. It turns out they were an instrumental artsy fartsy type band playing a sort of unstructured deep, Avant Garde type of metal. Well I say metal, but it's not really metal to me. It was played really loud and with random, hypnotic guitar noise and no melody whatsoever. There was reasonably polite applause between each piece but their 30-40 minute set couldn't end soon enough for me. One of the most boring support slots I have ever seen. What's wrong with trying to get a cool retro rock band as support? Poltergeist were awful. Apparently they had a similar band supporting at the December Koko gig as well. I guess they don't wanna be upstaged!

Not that there was any chance of that happening! Finally the lights went down and eerie church choir music was played with a foreboding nature to it called Miserere Mei, Deus and a further taped song called Masked Ball, which served as intro as the nameless ghouls took their positions before Papa strode on to rapturous cheers and the band started up Spirit from Meliora. The sound was a bit boomy at the start and far too bass heavy and you couldn't hear the guitars properly. But the song is just an awesome start and sung by most of the packed Palladium.

That grooving bass soon heralded the arrival of massively cool From the Pinnacle to the Pit and now the band was starting to hit their stride. The chorus in that song is a monstrous thing of beauty and melody and when the whole audience sings along it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Of course the band would be playing songs from their previous two records soon enough and I must admit they made the older tunes sound really good as well. I've not been into their previous albums but somehow I might have to go back and give them another chance. I was really taken with the older tunes. Per Aspera Ad Inferi with it's stomping riffs and chanted chorus really sounded mighty. Body and Blood was very melodic too and it surprised me how much I enjoyed that.

Cirice was a massive highlight of course with it's super creepy vibe. It's funny 'cause at first I used to think Ghost were quite a serious band, but this Papa comes across as kind of goofy sounding. He is creepy but he always has his tongue firmly in his cheek with some of his banter. They don't come across as evil satan, more like a grinning, smirking satan if you will!

The band was on top form now as the set wore on with more classics and sing along anthems to the horned one from Hades. Absolution sounded great and Mummy Dust was perhaps the heaviest song of the night. I don't like it on record all that much but live it came in to its own with a very special and evil vocal from Papa. If yo have Ghosts is not a song I am familiar with but it sees Papa introducing each ghoul to the crowd. To be honest it was a bit too long winded for my taste. They were sitting on the edge of the drum riser playing acoustics whilst Papa was walking round telling jokes and singing the song in between introductions. The song parts were actually quite nice and melodic but all the talking and that took virtually 20 minutes. Personally introductions should take no more than 5 minutes and they could've used that time to play two more songs at least.

My fave song from the new album He Is, was almost like a religious experience. Papa urges the whole crowd to sing along and they didn't need any prompting either to sing that hymn like chorus to the dark lord. Older song Ritual which I think I heard a long time ago and didn't like was oddly amazing live. If I went back and listened to it on record I'd probably still not like it, but the live performance was magnificent. The final track of the night was Monstrance Clock and Papa said that they always save the best for last and introduced it as the band's best song. I'm not so sure about that but I have to admit that once again the live version far super cedes the studio one. The crowd pretty much adored Ghost from the first till the last and they left to rapturous warm applause and cheers just as they had entered the stage.

Strangely enough their live set up is not as gimmicky as you would think. It's quite a simple thing really and not too flashy. They were their gear and that but their stage persona is not really menacing or evil at all or that's not a vibe I get at all. They basically let the music do the talking although this Papa is quite a verbose guy it has to be said and pretty humorous although some of the Swedish humour is perhaps lost in translation sometimes. This gig was one of the best I will attend this year no doubt, although the Palladium seats are a bit of a disaster if you're above 5'8" with leg room non existent! If you haven't seen Ghost live I highly recommend a visit if you get the chance, you won't regret it.

From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Stand by Him
Con Clavi Con Dio
Per Aspera ad Inferi
Body and Blood
Devil Church
Year Zero
He Is
Mummy Dust
If You Have Ghosts
(Roky Erickson cover)
Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
Monstrance Clock