Last week was definitely a great week for gig’age and Tuesday saw me heading down to the O2 Academy in Angel for my second gig of the week. This evening would be a Finnish affair with Profane Omen, Amoral and Ensiferum hitting the stage.
To ensure I maxed out my Finnish affair I was there at the front before Profane Omen came on, though from the size of the crowd it was clear many had not yet made their way to the venue. On occasions I do have pangs of nerve for the first band on when the crowd is still on the light side as some groups seem to need to crush to go mental for a band. However, despite being no more than a third full, Profane Omen were well received. This was the first I had heard of them and after this set I’ll make sure it won’t be the last. From the growly vocals and singing, to the smacking of that bass, even the change in my pocket was dancing about – though I was at the barrier in front of the speakers – great place to be. Throughout this set you could see the crowd thickening and getting more and more on their side, with their penultimate song seeing the first of many mosh pits that evening. Listen to their song ‘Predator’ and you’ll see why. This was just fucking brilliant live with a real dirty beat behind the wall of sound. This may have been their first time in London but as a Londoner, I’m sold! Come back any time.
After that performance I was ready to see what was on offer next in the form of Amoral who arrives on stage to a thoroughly warmed up and bigger crowd. Which is just as well as they got straight in there and despite being louder than the previous band, were easier to listen to. In comparison the vocals are smoother overall but not sappy (compare ‘Exit’ with ‘Sex and Satan’). Not listened to them before? Then check them out, as there were some fucking good guitar rhythms going on here, and if that’s your bag, then so is this band. In fact they have an album out this year called ‘Beneath’ so get on line and have a listen – You’ll not be disappointed with the title track I assure you. From the few notes I managed to take down I can tell I really enjoyed this set and as with the first band, wold be happy to go see them play in London again any time. Hmmm, do I hear the words mini tour? ;)
By the time Ensiferum hit the stage the crowd was literally pumping with energy and begging to throw themselves about in the name of metal. As soon as they hit those first few notes the mad crush began. Happily in the moving about some kind person gives up their barrier space and allows me to get full view of what proved to be an immense performance. This may only be Tuesday but both the band and the crowd combined were ready for Friday and Saturday rolled into one as people continued to push about, eager to get a good view and to just have a great time.
I could go through the set list below and tell you what happened, what was said and how the songs sounded, but that just wouldn’t work for this review as it was one stream of relentless entertainment. Everything looked and sounded great; the guitars, bass, drums, vocals, songs, everything. If you weren’t there then you should feel deeply jealous as it was simply epic! There were many mosh pits that night with some stretching back to cover about half the length of the room. Now this is not a huge venue (nor by any means my favourite) but that was one pretty site to see that many people in that space mosh about. The crowd were begging for more of this and Sami was demanding it of us throughout the set – and let me tell you there was plenty to be had. For those that were not fans of moshing, you could partake of the audience participation by singing along to song such as ‘Lai Lai Hei’ and ‘Twilight Tavern’ which seemed clear favourites; though to be fair, that’s on a scale of all songs being favourites.
This was one of those set where everything fell into place just as it should. The songs were great, the crowd was obviously enjoying every minute and just as importantly so were the band and that’s exactly what I want to see. You want to see a band who are happy to be there in that moment, playing on that stage, in front of that crowd in that venue. In fact it seemed during the encore that they didn’t want to leave the stage at all and could have been happy playing all night, and I’m sure we would all have stayed to listen.
This was easily one of my favourite gigs this year by far for the performance by the bands, the energy from the crowd and, well, just everything! A top night out for sure and a great line up. Cheers guys \m/.
In My Sword I Trust
Guardians of Fate
Blood is the Price of Glory
One More Magic Potion
Hero in a Dream
Lai Lai Hei