Machine Head/Amon Amarth/The Halo Effect Live at The Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham on Thursday 8th September 2022

To say I was excited about this line-up is an understatement. I’ve seen a few of these ‘packages’ in recent years and they’ve never failed to live up to...

 

Words : Smudge

Photos: Robert Sutton Photography

 

To say I was excited about this line-up is an understatement. I’ve seen a few of these ‘packages’ in recent years and they’ve never failed to live up to and surpass expectations. Entering the venue with the knowledge that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has just died was a sobering thought that was put to one side for the duration of the evening’s metal marathon.

The Halo Effect was in the middle of ‘Days Of The Lost’ and then went straight into ‘The Needless End’. The sound was perfect with the guitars punching on the riffs and crystal clear on the melodies. ‘Gateways’ proved that these five death metal legends are made for the big stage. The rapid and aggressive ‘Feel What I Believe’ saw singer Mikael Stanne giving it large before the phenomenal ‘In Broken Trust’ saw Stanne use his stunning clean voice. We got some old-school Swedish death metal with ‘Last Of Our Kind’ before crushing set closer ‘Shadowminds’. These five Vikings were the recon party to soften you up before the main warriors and what a great job they did too. Looking around the crowd was huge and thoroughly enjoyed The Halo Effect.

The gentle strains of Iron Maiden’s ‘Run To The Hills’ get everyone ready for the real Viking invasion. Amon Amarth was hidden behind a screen and in a heartbeat, the cloth dropped and they tore into ‘Guardians Of Asgaard’ with so much pyro that my eyebrows got singed from thirty feet away. The stage was adorned with twenty feet tall Vikings standing proudly at the sides only to be deflated later and turned into a boat then a large angry serpent. ‘Raven’s Flight’ brought some pure melodic death and some superb twin leads from Johan Soderberg and Olavi Mikkonen. ‘The Great Heathen Army’ sounded immense which ran into ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ where frontman Johan Hegg was joined by a horned, green-eyed demon who was soon despatched back to whatever hell he came from. ‘Heidrun’ had a folky intro before it developed into a head-banging chug-fest and apparently, this was the song’s debut, and on this showing, I doubt they will be dropping it from the set anytime soon. The set then became a Viking long boat and as a result, we got both ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’ and ‘The Way Of Vikings’ which included Hegg doing battle with a chain mail-clad defender, all to no avail as Hegg beat the hapless chap. ‘Put Your Back Into The Oar’ was aired for the first time then it was classics with ‘Fresh Kill’, ‘Shield Wall’, ‘Raise Your Horns’ which involved much drinking then the superb ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’ closed the set. People were drenched and looked spent but this lot is a hardy bunch and replaced their lost fluids ready for the battering they were expecting.

Machine Head ran on stage and Robb Flynn shouted – ‘This is a fast one and they ripped into ‘Become The Firestorm’. What an opener, fast, aggressive, and brutal which was pretty much the theme of the set. Flynn called for a circle pit on ‘Imperium’ and the crowd duly obliged. ‘Now We Die’ upped the brutality if that was possible with drummer Matt Alston beasting his kit. Flynn now wanted the biggest circle pit for ‘No Gods No Masters’ and it went to both sides of the arena. Witnessing this astonishing act, showed that Robb Flynn is a master frontman. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the off but credit too to guitarist Vogg, the guy can shred to the max, and also credit to bassman and singer Jared MacEachern not only did he provide a huge bottom end but his harmonies with Flynn were superb. There came the apocalyptic ‘I Am Hell (Sonata In C#)’ and then ‘Aesthetics Of Hate’ before the crushing ‘Darkness Within’ and ‘From This Day’. The final numbers were the obligatory ‘Davidian’ – a stone-cold classic in my opinion – and they might ‘Halo’ again with MacEachern helping with the vocals.

The evening started with five death metal legends in a new band that produced a storming debut album then came the Viking invaders who pillaged with intense ease before the Yanks tear arsed through Nottingham obliterating anything that was left. Whoever put this bill together deserves a medal because it was an absolute triumph.

https://www.amonamarth.com/

 

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, UK, AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena
 
OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germany, Schleyerhalle

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