I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Enslaved. Ever since I was introduced to the world of metal, Enslaved has always been a big part of that. The first song I ever heard by them was one of their most famous at the time, “Havenless”. Over the years, as my tastes in metal have changed, I’ve still listened to at least one Enslaved album all the way through every few days. Obviously it’s become more frequent over the past few months, but their material has always been on regular rotation in my listening lists. Anyway, enough of me reminiscing, and onto the show…
First up on the stage was local London death metallers, De Profundis. Having overheard Aoife’s interview with them earlier, I noted that they would be playing one or two new songs from their album, which is due out on Monday. Playing a set primarily made up of songs from their older material with one new song, they delivered a superb set. I particularly enjoyed the parts where the bassist had a few solos as it really showed off his skill with the instrument. It’s just a shame you couldn’t hear him most of the time, as the sound was a little mushy. There was a lot of kick drum, solo guitar and vocals but that’s all I could make out from the mush. A shame really, as the band deserved a better sound but there’s not a lot you can do. (7/10)
Next up on the stage were Swedish heavy metallers, Grand Magus. Having never heard their material before, I was looking forward to hearing them after Stefan said that they were really good. It’s worth noting that the venue had now become packed for them, with there being very little room to move. I was thankfully at the barrier so had an excellent view of the band. Playing a set mainly compromised of songs from their latest album Triumph and Power along with a few from their other albums, they delivered a superb set. At one point in the set, JB (Vocals and Guitar) was discussing the topic of one of their songs and ended up saying “Banana”. As a result of this, several members of the crowd ended up shouting the word and it evolved into the running joke of the night. Despite having some initial feedback issues, they had an overall excellent sound and before they played their last song, JB mentioned that they were recording the show, which resulted in the crowd going wild. (Banana/10)
Onto the headliners of the night, Enslaved. Having spoken with Grutel (Bass and lead vocals) and Ivar (guitar & backing vocals) earlier, I was informed that they would be playing a varied set with a few older songs along with songs from their newer albums. Upon walking on stage, they were greeted with a thunderous roar from the crowd with multiple members shouting “We love you Enslaved!”. Opening with the “Thurisaz dreaming” from the latest album In Times, the crowd responded with multiple members singing along and responding when Grutle and Herbrand (Keys & clean vocals) requested chanting. Having a sort of deadpan humour for the short interludes between songs made for some very moments with chants for songs met by “I know what song is next so shut up” from Grutle. Playing a set mainly compromised of songs from the last few albums with a few older songs, they delivered a flawless set with superb energy. My only complaint was that the set wasn’t longer. Play for 3 hours next time! (10/10)
After the show, I had a brief chat with Claire from Nuclear Blast and the guys from all the bands as they came outside to chat. I sadly wasn’t able to stay for long due to having to run back to Euston for my sleeper train. If any of these bands are playing near you, I would advise you go and see them. You shouldn’t be disappointed.
All photos by Thorin Earl – more to be added to our Flickr page soon.