Review by Clare Pace, photos by Russ Powney
Vikings, witches and good old British heavy metal, what’s not to like? All of this awaited us this
evening at the wonderful Assembly Rooms Leamington.
Savage Messiah are a no nonsense metal band, standing proud and firmly behind their latest release The Fateful Dark. Tonight’s set, comprising tracks taken solely from this record, is a bold statement of intent from a young and fresh band who have firmly nailed their flag to the mast of heavy metal. Stand out tracks ‘Hellblazer’ and ‘Minority Of One’ are particularly well received from an audience eager to devour the brutal energy laid out before them.
In Huntress we have an entirely different proposition; on face value a metal band like many
others, however from the moment Jill Janus strides purposely towards the stage, balancing as if on the very edge of hell itself, we soon realise we are dealing with a different beast. Shrieking and prowling clothed entirely in black, with hair like Medusa spiralling and spitting menacingly. Giving their all, Huntress are loud and aggressive, and also very visual, which undoubtedly enhances the show.
Much has been made of Huntress’ video releases, in particular ‘Eight Of Swords’ (almost a million views)which closes tonight’s set and I am sure will do so for years to come. The whole package excites me, with the band embracing multi media, but central to its core is the music, beating like the torn out heart of a beast, held in the hand of its head enchantress.
Vikings strode across this land in the 790’s in an age of conquest and tales of daring; Norse mythology surrounding its Gods and the interaction with their disciples. Amon Amarth are a modern day incarnation with guitars and amps replacing swords and shields. Stories are told, captivating by their very titles such as ‘As Loke Falls’, ‘War of the Gods’ and ‘The Last Stand Of Frej’. The songs are ferocious and brutal in their delivery. The guitars and drums drive a relentless attack. Everything is played at break neck pace with fists raised. Vocalist Johan Hegg lifts his horn cup and drinks in salute, brothers together, standing side by side.
There is no slacking in a strong 17 song set with Johan and the band at full tilt. The band’s most recent release, Deceiver Of The Gods, is arguably their most polished album to date and provides a fair chunk of the set while classics such as ‘The Pursuit Of Vikings’ and ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’ are not forgotten.
Amon Amarth conquered Leamington tonight and leave battle hardened and ready for combat in mainland Europe. With more crowds to subdue and conquer, we eagerly await their return.
1. Father Of The Wolf
2. Deceiver Of The Gods
3. Live For The Kill
4. Free Will Sacrifice
6. For Victory Or Death
7. As Loke Falls
8. Bleed For The Ancient Gods
9. Death In Fire
10. The Last Stand Of Frej
11. Guardians Of Asgard
12. Shape Shifter
13. Cry Of The Black Birds
14. War Of The Gods
15. Victorious March
16. Twilight Of The Thunder God
17. The Pursuit Of Vikings