Hammerfall

support Amaranthe
author MST date 26/10/11 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Power metal has never been a favoured genre of mine, but since the Swedish power metal giants in Hammerfall are one of my girlfriend, photographer Marika 'MH' Hyldmar's favourite bands I decided to be openminded and hope for a great evening of sober fun (someone had to drive the gang to Copenhagen and back again after the gig). Unfortunately we didn't anticipate that there would be massive trafic and an hour-long queue on the motorway, so when we finally parked the car and got our arses into Amager Bio the first support band were playing their last song. As far as we could tell by watching that last song though, the American US power metallers in Vicious Rumors were putting on a great show with plenty of energy that resulted in great response from the audience, and we were extremely annoyed that we missed the band's show. But we still had two bands coming our way.

Amaranthe

I spent the first half of Amaranthe's show being extremely confused. The band play a mix of melodic Gothenburg death metal (pop metal) and power metal that doesn't sound half bad. The confusing part, however, is that only half of the band's six members play an instrument. Amaranthe consist of a bassist, a single guitarist, a drummer (I quickly recognised the drummer as Morten Løwe, the drummer of many a Danish metal band) and THREE singers: Andreas Solveström, screamed vocals, who looked like your usual metalhead with long hair and a beard; Jake E., male clean vocals, clad in hip clothes that reminded me of your usual hip hip/pop musician; and Elize Ryd, female clean vocals, who looked like she just got off from her dayjob being a background dancer at the Eurovision Song Contest. The structures of their songs are often very predictable: up-tempo verses in which the screams usually do most of the talking, but the three vocalists often take turns at receiving attention, then the choruses come in which the three singers usually sing on top of each other.

But let's get to the topic at hand: the show. The problem with having three singers is that the crowd's attention is constantly fought for by each of the singers. When one vocalist was doing his/her thing, the other two often looked awkward and misplaced. The screamer looked out of his element when he was doing clean vocals in the choruses and when the other vocalists were in focus, while Jake E. just walked around the stage, chilling with a laid back smile on his face, but for Ryd the opposite thing happened: she did everything she could to attract all attention to her, changing into shiny clothes, dancing and whipping her long hair around. The guitarist and bassist did absolutely nothing to withdraw any attention from the singers, but for a band with three singers fighting for attention I believe that was a good choice. Amaranthe's show was very different from your regular metal performance, and it was very refreshing. I just wish the singers were able to cooperate more, because the fight for attention ruined some of it for me. But if Amaranthe can work on that, they should be able to put on some great shows in the future.

7

Hammerfall

The intro to Hammerfall's latest album "Infected" suddenly started the countdown for Hammerfall's appearance on stage. There was a platform on the stage on which the drumset was stationed, and on each side of the drumset a guitarist stood waiting for the countdown to finish while the bassist stood down on the main stage in front of the drumset. When the first song started the guitarists and bassist moved their instruments up and down simultaneously to the beat of the song, and when the intro to the song had finished singer Joacim Cans walked on stage and started what turned out to be one hell of a party. It was clear right from the start that Hammerfall are professional performers: there was energy from every single band member from start to finish, the whole band interacted with the audience when possible and their performance was even choreographed to perfection. Underneath those standing on the platform were monitors displaying either red light, the Hammerfall name or lyrics from the song as they were sung.

Some of our friends who are big Hammerfall fans had chosen to stay home because they dislike the latest album, but I'm sure they would be more than content with the impressing setlist that Hammerfall played this October night. The band played "Any Means Necessary", "Last Man Standing", "Hearts on FIre", "Renegade" and countless other classics, and there was even room for two ballads that called for lighters being raised into the air. Sure, a certain amount of new songs were played, but considering that this tour was a promotional tour I think the setlist was fantastic. That may not mean much coming from someone who's not a fan of the band, but the fans I brought with me to the show agreed. The only song missing from their classic repertoir was the iconic "Hammerfall" that I'm told they usually end their setlist with. But I don't think anyone cared about that last song as they walked away from Amager Bio having witnessed a band play their music for one and a half hours with a burning passion. The smiling and eagerness we saw coming from guitarist Oscar Dronjak would be the best way for me to describe what a perfect performance is like. I should also mention Anders Johansson because his drum stick tricks and throws were great fun to watch as well.

It is very likely that I will never get properly into power metal, but I'm already a big fan of power metal concerts. However, Hammerfall weren't just another great power metal live experience for me, it was the best so far. Such professionalism, such energy and such passion is something you don't see from your average band, and I cannot wait to see Hammerfall live again. As "Hearts on Fire" ended the show and the band and audience thanked each other for a fantastic evening, it was clear to me what number I wanted to end my review with:

9

Setlist:

  • 01. Patient Zero
  • 02. Heeding the Call
  • 03. Any Means Necessary
  • 04. B.Y.H.
  • 05. Blood Bound
  • 06. Let's Get It On
  • 07. Last Man Standing
  • 08. Renegade
  • 09. Always Will Be
  • 10. Dia De Los Muertos
  • 11. Riders of the Storm
  • 12. Steel Meets Steel
  • 13. Let the Hammer Fall
  • 14. Legacy of Kings
  • 15. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
  • 16. The Templar Flame

--Encore--

  • 17. Glory to the Brave
  • 18. One More Time
  • 19. Hearts on Fire

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.