Gig Review: Amaranthe / Beyond The Black / Butcher Babies / Ad Infinitum – O2 Kentish Town Forum, London (12th October 2022)

Ad Infinitum (c) Kraken Photography

That feeling of traveling for what seems like hours, the closer and closer you get to a venue the more and more “other metalheads” you see and that excitement builds… You know the feeling. I get out of Kentish Town’s underground station and see the groups of fans all marching along in the direction of the O2 Kentish Town Forum and the excitement has really set in, so much so I get told off for skipping. The best sight in the world is seeing a metalhead woman skipping to a gig. All I want to do it get myself in that venue and be amongst “family”. The Forum is a favourite venue of mine: great sound, great views of the stage no matter where you stand or sit. It just feels like home.

I find my spot and checkout the line-up and stage times. Honestly it was like seeing if your name was picked out for some high school team. Not only I but others all gathered around this tiny little poster under the stairs to the right of the stage. Everyone just buzzing with excitement and sharing their love of each band with me as if I know them. This is what gigs are like.

The lights turn down low and AD Infinitum storm on to the stage all ready to kick this show into action. I’ve not had the pleasure of listening to them before tonight, but what an absolute treat. The front-woman was like a sweet innocent pocket demon. A beautiful soothing voice that soon snapped into a pretty mean growl with some matching mean guitar solos. These guys are now fully on my radar.

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It’s a shame their set wasn’t longer, but tonight was going to be a long one with four bands over five hours. The Butcher Babies shot onto the stage next with a no nonsense booming entrance. I swear I felt it shake up my ovaries with the amount of bass they kicked out. A super solid band that worked so well together and, boy, did the crowd go wild for them. You can tell they all love what they do and I felt very honoured  to share the experience of seeing them live.

Butcher Babies (c) Kraken Photography

This was my first time seeing Beyond the Black live and it was like symphonic power metal theatre. Such showmanship and hard work from the entire band. Jennifer Haben’s vocals held strong throughout the set with amazing strength without failing her especially during “Human”, which gave my all sorts of goosebumps.

As this was a joint headliner event I was unsure who was going to take the final spot or if Amaranthe were going to be able to perform due to sickness reported from the previous show at Manchester. The last time I got to see them is when they supported Sabaton back in February 2020 before the dreaded pandemic and I was on edge to see just how well they would perform. I had that dreaded feeling they were going to be a no show, but then the lights went off and the walk on track came on and the crowd braced themselves for action.

They did not disappoint!

They work like a well-oiled machine and have the most amazing rapport with each other as well as the crowd. As soon as “Viral” hit, the crowd went viral with it. Now we’ve gone from symphonic, groove/thrash, power metal to nightclub vibes metal, and the place was alive. You just know the new album Manifest is going to be a hit. They were the only band of the night with lead male vocals (albeit shared ones) making them stand out even more than they already had.

All the bands played new songs which were all taken with open minds and open hearts, and not one of them went down like a new unheard track. Each was received immensely well by dedicated fans. It was fantastic to have a night of such incredible talent from some of the best female vocalists this industry has to offer. It’s very inspiring and empowering.

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Reviewer: Donna Richards

Photos by Kraken Of Moshville Times

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