“Has Christmas come early?”
Those were my thoughts when this concert was announced a few months ago. Three awesome bands playing a great venue in London and on a Friday night as well? Sign me right up. Having also seen Wolfheart and Omnium Gatherum a few times in the past, I knew that they would deliver on the performance and in short, they really did.
First up however, were Nothgard from Germany. Having thoroughly enjoyed their newest album, Malady X, which was released only a few weeks ago, I was really looking forward to catching the band live. Entering to the title track from the album, the band exploded on stage with smoke cannons armed and a superb sound. Opening for bands of such high calibre as Wolfheart and Omnium Gatherum is not an easy task, but Nothgard more than rose to the challenge and the crowd began to warm to them as the show went on with the applauses getting louder and louder after each song. Having a set comprised of both classic tracks such as “Age of Pandora” and newer material, frontman Dom R. Crey and bassist Nico Kolja looked as though they were having the time of their lives with some members of the crowd singing back the words and thoroughly enjoying the music. Ending with “Guardians of Sanity” and “Fall of an Empire”, the band delivered a fantastic performance and I’m pretty sure they gained some new fans that evening.
It was then time for Wolfheart to grace the stage and bring their unique winter metal to the now rather busy Dome. Opening with the amazing, “Everlasting Fall” off the recently released Constellation of the Blacklight, the crowd suddenly exploded into life with the first mosh-pits of the night. As is custom in Wolfheart, most of the talking in between songs was handled by bassist Lauri who had only just joined the tour in Stuttgart due to work commitments. Guitarist Mika was sadly not there due to other commitments but the band had recruited a fine guitarist by the name of “George from Greece” who did a fantastic job playing some of Mika’s challenging lead parts. Mid-way through one of the songs, Tuomas unfortunately broke a string on his main Amfisound guitar which led to him using his spare axe, which again did a very good job but is obviously not “his guitar” (keep an eye for my interview with Tuomas which will shed light on this).
I was pleasantly surprised by how well received the band were this time in London. The last time I saw them in London, they didn’t do too badly at all but the response from the audience this time seemed to be on a whole other level. Credit to the band for growing their fanbase and bringing amazing music to the masses. Performing a set of both new material and fan favourites such as “Aeon of Cold” and “Ghost of Karelia” the band delivered a stellar performance and set the bar exceptionally high for the next band to try and beat.
The next band up and the last band of the evening, however, are not just any other melodeath band. They are kings of the melodeath genre and tonight’s performance from the sextet showed it. Coming on stage to the melodic “The Burning” followed closely by the explosive “Gods Go First”, Omnium Gatherum set the venue on fire and the crowd burst into life once again. Having seen the band back in April in Manchester, I was curious as to what songs they would decide to pull out for this show and whether they would be better than last time. Having a much more varied set with classic songs such as “Nail” alongside more rare ones such as “Deep Cold”, the band pulled out all the stops and delivered the best performance I have ever seen from them. Having seen them play to only about 12 people in Glasgow back in 2014, it was so awesome to see them playing to a nearly full Dome in London with two new albums under their belt since our first meeting.
As with Wolfheart, they were a member down and had filled the position with the windmill and bass king, Pyri Hanski (check him out if you haven’t, the guy’s played with some serious bands). Again, as with Wolfheart, the crowds response to the band was awesome to see and everyone there looked like they were having the time of their lives enjoying some fine Finnish melodeath. Ending the set in the same way they opened the first time I saw them, Omnium Gatherum were absolutely on fire and as I’ve mentioned before, delivered the best performance I’ve ever seen from them.
In closing, every band on this bill delivered headline-worthy sets and I think in the next few years that these bands will be playing even bigger venue then they are now. The work that they are all putting in is slowly starting to pay off and I look forward to following them for many more years to come. As has become customary now each time I see these bands, I end with this: Until we meet again, my friends!
All photos by Katie Frost