Tonight’s festivities can be call a Euro Thrash fest or perhaps a guitargasm with Arch Enemy and Kreator offering a smorgasbord of shredtastic guitar players so to see Norwegian’s Black Jazz outfit Shining (5) being on tonight’s bill is certainly a little strange with no real guitar aficionado to speak of within the avant-garde trope. Their mix of Jazz and Metal certainly pushes the envelope with their blend of riffs, saxophones and keyboards is definitely not something we see every day in the Metalsphere, yet for all their effort it didn’t seem to gel, perhaps it was down to the being first up tonight but unfortunately it seemed like their instruments had been dipped in mud despite their great efforts as there were moments when the fantastic Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) joined them on stage, the combination of his dazzling guitar work and the Saxophone produce some fabulous duelling that would make a lightsaber fight look dull.
Second up and as Kreator were topping the bill, Arch Enemy (8) took the mantle to really warm up the crowd and boy they do a brilliant job. Armed with new front woman Alissa White-Gluz they do not miss a beat, she energizes the crowd with easy with the Swedes showing off how to make extreme metal into sing-along moments with the guitar leads being privy to a quick singathon. Not only do they have Alissa in their arsenal for tonight’s festivities, they recently acquired Mr Jeff Loomis of Nevermore fame, his link up with Michael is already solid with songs like `My Apocalypse’, `Nemesis’ and new tracks `You Will Know My Name’ rips through the crowd for an early Christmas gift.
When you think of European thrash metal Kreator (9) should come to mind and tonight they are armed with smoke machines, a giant video screen and several confetti cannons. Speeding through a greatest hits set that included `Hoards of Chaos’, `Raise The Flag’ and `Extreme Aggression’ really warm up the audience on this cold winter night.
A surprise rendition of the classic Iron Maiden track `Number of the Beast’ sends the crowd into a frenzy, adding to that eruption of awesomeness, it was also guitarist and frontman Mille’s 47th birthday and was greeted with a cake by members of Arch Enemy, not many people could say that.
A cracking night of guitar wizardry from our European neighbours. If any thinks that Metal is for untrained and uneducated Neanderthals, these bands will prove that you are wrong and you will leave gobsmacked.