The Vikings go Berserk in Manchester

Posted on 30 November 2019
By Frank Ralph
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The beards and battle vests were out in force in Manchester as the ‘berzerkers’ turned out in huge numbers for the rampaging Amon Amarth who paid a visit to the Apollo for the night.

Openers Hypocrisy looked like they were up for a fight as they stormed their way through a brutal set of death metal with frontman Peter Tägtgren snarling over some majestically heavy riffs. They were fantastic at Bloodstock Festival in the summer and are a band to check out again in the future.

Next up Arch Enemy tore the Apollo apart with an incredibly powerful set. The duel shredding guitars of Jeff Loomis and Michael Amott sounded great alongside the vocals of Alissa White-Gluz – who with her bat winged suit – conducts the audience with a performance packed with power and energy.

Anyone who was seeing them for the first time may have been surprised by her guttural roar but it’s the perfect voice for this music and has it’s subtleties too. War Eternal and Ravenous were personal highlights but as the whole band took a bow at the end of their hour-long set they’d made a massive impression on everyone in the building.

There’s absolutely nothing subtle about Amon Amarth, from the huge Viking horned drum riser, the man mountain that is Johan Hegg bellowing out his vocals and the massive sound the band creates, and especially not the giant amount of pyro they use throughout the night.

The first 10 rows of the audience was made up of people who clearly didn’t care if they left the venue with or without their eyebrows. Of the 14 songs in the set at least 10 of them had an abundance of fire punctuating them. This was a story of fire and ice – easy on the ice.

It’s nice though to know that even Vikings appreciate the pretty things in life as an explosion of golden confetti filled the Apollo at the culmination of Fafner’s Gold.

The stage props harked back to a bygone era of giant bomber planes and huge scary characters stalking the stage, which as an older metal head was a welcome sight. It all added up to making the show as massive as the music. There was even a dragon. It was like Tolkein brought to life, if Tolkien had been a Maiden fan.

With more fire (much, much more), stories of Norse gods and Viking folklore the beers and the horns (both metal and drinking) were raised from front to back all night.

Leaving the venue into the cold Mancunian air you could actually taste the pyro from the show – imagine that, a show you can actually taste! It was a truly epic night on an epic scale.

For the full set of images from the show Click here