By Sian Connolly
It was a Thursday evening in Manchester and the venue we are in tonight is the amazing o2 Ritz, welcoming not one, not two, but four incredible metal bands to get the party started!
Kicking off the night with the likes of “Black Forest” and “Liquid Mourning”, German death metal band, Nailed To Obscurity, got the crowd up and moving in no time. The 30-minute set was definitely not enough time for us to see this amazing band. Lead singer, Raimund Ennenga and guitarist, Volker Dieken show off their insanely long hair – perfect for headbanging! Surely enough, the crowd went wild and even a little mosh pit formed! A truly brilliant band.
Next up on the stage is a melodic death metal band, all the way from Sweden! Considered to be one of the best pioneering bands of the Gothenburg metal scene, Dark Tranquility tore up the stage with their unbelievable setlist. With hits from their recent album “Moment” and some older classics from “Damage Done”, the 6-member band opened up with “Identical to None” and “Lost to Apathy”. With their set being 15 minutes longer than the first band, we managed to get a little extra and they sure delivered. Similar to the guys from the previous band, guitarist Jonah Reinholdz, flashed his unbelievably long hair whilst rocking it out on stage as lead singer, Mikael Stanne, showed off his remarkable vocals with his guttural screams, leaving the crowd astounded.
After a short break, the co-headliners, Eluveitie, owned the stage as the 9-piece folk metal band from Switzerland. This is not your typical set of metal heads. These guys are truly unique. From the Celtic harp, violins and flutes to the fiddle and bagpipes. Yes, bagpipes. The harmonious sounds of the instruments complimented each other extremely well, paired with two exceptional vocalists, Chrigel Glanzmann and Fabienne Erni. After performing the night before in Glasgow, tiredness was non-existent for these talented musicians as they put on the show of all time. Chrigel, another screaming guttural god, shook the room with his impressive vocals. From the likes of “Exile of the Gods” to “Deathwalker” and “Breathe”, Eluveitie put on a brilliant show and without a doubt got the crowd pumped for the headliner.
As the lights go dark and the venue goes silent, a wave of smoke fills the stage as each band member makes their appearance one by one. Everyone out there in the crowd went absolutely wild… and so did the band. They did not hold back. Only seconds onto the stage, lead singer, or should I say, lead death growler, Tomi Joutsen, tears that stage to shreds. Diving straight into the headbanging, Finnish metal band Amorphis, showed us exactly why they were the headliners. What a show! The first of many songs, “Northwards”, was the catalyst of multiple moshpits and even some crowd surfers! Which, might I add, was banned in the venue… nothing will stop us metal heads – such rebels, ey! The setlist included songs from their album “Halo” as well as some from “Queen of Time” and “Tales From the Thousand Lakes”. They “finnish”ed the night off with “House of Sleep” to which the crowd went wild.
It surely was a night to remember.