Sometimes you just can’t beat a night of good old-fashioned heavy fucking metal. No airs. No graces. No genres. Just heavy fucking metal. And that’s exactly what we got tonight, as the titanic (sic) triple Swedish attack of Wolf, Enforcer and Dynamite rolled into Belfast on this early Autumn afternoon.
Hold on a second: afternoon? Yes, the sun was still (barely) peeping above the yardarm as the doors opened on this early show – but, the unearthly timing did nothing to soothe the rabidity of those who gathered in the hallowed darkness of the Limelight for another Saturday metallic assault. And their devotion was well and truly rewarded…
Openers Dynamite look like Airbourne with leather cut-offs and sound like AC/DC fused with classic ’80s sleaze. They are tight, efficient and enjoyable, if a little derivative, and deliver a very entertaining appetizer of a set. ‘Wild And Untamed’ neatly summarizes their attitude, while closer ‘Stone Heart Rebel’ gets the audience – such as it is at this early stage – clapping and stomping along.
From the opening chords of ‘Destroyer’, Enforcer prove that they are about one thing and one thing only: pure, naked, raw heavy fucking metal. It’s suitably OTT, and ever so slightly tongue in cheek, but it’s also fast and energetic – and that’s just what HM is supposed to be, isn’t it? It’s not even seven o’clock, but the title track to their current ‘From Beyond’ album sees the dancefloor rammed with metallians headbanging till their skulls threaten to fall off and singing themselves hoarse – a glorious sight and sound in and of itself. Olof – while slightly aloof in his stage manner – certainly knows how to get a crowd going, and keep them there, and the band are tighter than a nun’s crack, as ‘Take Me Out Of This Nightmare’ brings another roof-raising vocal response from the now bunged room.
After such a high energy blitzkrieg, one might initially have thought Wolf would struggle to follow. But, any doubts were expelled from the outset, as the quartet immediately set about delivering their particular brand of Euro-metal with power and passion. Once again, this is music with no pretensions: just fist-pumping, voice-raising catchy-as-fuck, loud-as-hell metal. Both the band and the audience are ripped, as former draw their classic metal riffs from the well of eras past, but done so with an impassioned panache. “When I come to these islands, I always sing my balls off,” proclaims frontman Niklas Stålvind at the start of ‘All Hail Caesar’ – and he did just that, with the audience reciprocating by leaving pools of adrenaline and perspiration all over the dancefloor. Local chemists the next day reported an unexplained run on the sales of throat lozenges… it might well have been something to do with the horde of metallians who had sang themselves hoarse in the cause of the music we all love…
- The UK leg of the tour concludes at the Underworld in London tonight (Tuesday September 13)
- Photographs by The Dark Queen. All content © PlanetMosh 2015.