Live Review & Photo by Miltia.
AMON AMARTH + Bane Of Isildur (NSW) + Nothing (Vic)
Enmore Theatre, Sydney; 6th January 2008
After having a quick bite to eat at an expensive joint (the meat was fuken awful) we are never returning to (BBQ @ Broadway), we began our move toward the venue at Newtown. We arrived there well into the `Nothing`s` set - the opening band of the night. They played borderline metalcore/death pop. Their sound was very awful due to incompetence of their support staff. The drummer in the band was also a vocalist and at times cracked a joke or two and people couldn`t really see his facial expressions or see who is in fact talking, not only due to him being in a shadow of his kit, but also due to what seemed to be face paint from distance. We managed to catch about 3 of their songs with the very last song being somewhat decent in sound. It opened with a very long growl - quite well executed and a good riff here and there surely making the song their most well received of the night.
Enmore Theatre is a great venue it has to be said. Let`s analyse why. The way it was designed - the further back you are standing the easier you can see the stage. The standing area seems to be at a perfect angle and the stage is quite large allowing the musicians to be quite animated in their performance. Even the floor we were standing on sort of moved as the weight of the crowds moshing increased - always a good surfing experience. Even the toilet area has its own hallway making the venue one of the better ones in Sydney.
The next band was the band I was eager to see as I`ve heard lots of good things about them all over the place. That band being `Bane Of Isildur`, a local atmospheric melodic death metallers. Unfortunately for us their set was a nightmare due to sound issues and our ears were submitted to agony. First up, one of the guitars was down tuned, which made for far less solos and background melodies. To make things worse there was a weird `cracking` noise in the background every time double kick was hit - or at least that`s what it sounded. Perhaps some cables weren`t properly fitted or issue with loud speakers. It happened throughout their set and it was very annoying which was a damn shame considering it was my first time seeing the band, and probably the last. I should point out I was doing no drinking on the night.
The band however was extremely professional and made the most out of situation. They progressed from song to song without taking many breaks. Their set was taped (as was the first bands) with two cameramen on both sides which made it slightly distracting. The stage was decorated in what seemed to be war flags similar to what you would see on a new Cryptopsy album, and all musicians wore fitting uniforms. The crowd was quite large for them so it was a great sign; it allowed the band to deliver their set in a tight manner. For me it was excellent warm up to Amon Amarth though my mate Oliver thought the band was a little too atmospheric and lacked faster in tempo tunes to really get him noticing.
After their rather lengthy set finished we opted to stretch our legs and check out if any merch was left as usually these things go out the door fast. There certainly was a lot left. The girls behind the stand were giving some good deals with a free CD with every t-shirt purchased for measly $30. Amon Amarth made a killing on the merch as the area was filled with kids wearing their shirts. Another two good things about the venue was the fact that the venue wasn`t entirely sold out and we had plenty of space to move around or sit down further back if we wished. The gig was all ages so a lot of younger fans surprisingly not only behaved well but were energetically chanting with horns up in the air in great synchronisation.
Just before 10pm the foreground banner was up and Amon Amarth entered the stage. The Swedes got into the set immediately in front of about 1000 strong. Thankfully the sound problems were greatly reduced, still didn`t feel like it was perfect, but it was good enough. This was the band`s first ever trip down under and it was as part of Wrath of the Norsemen World Tour. I believe they will finish with Australia and NZ before returning home in war ships for a deserved break. The band played a very brutal set by all means, but also taking time to chat with the crowds and/or get them involved between songs. This break sometimes lasted up to 3 minutes or more. Their stage presence is fantastic. All of the guys were in full force heavily banging in exactly the same fashion as we`ve all seen them do in "Runes To My Memory" video clip.
The band covered numerous tracks from their earlier albums such as "The Crusher" and "Once Sent from the Golden Hall" but mostly concentrated on "Fate of Norns" material. No surprises really, they went through their best tunes. There were no surprises when the singer drank out of a horn numerous times cheering on the crowds and saying how Sydney has been the best show in Australia thus far. The crowd support was phenomenal and very wild for their more melodic material where as my mate Oliver and I got into the faster, heavier songs. Oliver was doing quite a bit of headbanging himself, something I haven`t seen in a very long, long time. My guess is he enjoyed the performance immensely. He even managed to form a mini harmless pit around us due to his scary movements. The real mosh pit was further up front, and although kept to its minimum, there still were the same drunk dorky kids who were using the event to get the rage out on others (most times a bad thing). They were eventually sorted out by security.
A huge let down was when the band left the stage after only 1 hour of play, or so, something I personally couldn`t understand. They came back to finish with an encore, playing about three songs lasting 15 minutes, definitely not good enough. Their singer, who spoke terrific English, did give us an excuse of sort, but I did not take his bullshit. Oliver was more understanding (he enjoyed it more). In the end the crowds were left standing confused as the band was quick to scurry off saying a quick good bye while tossing of drum sticks and guitar picks, what pricks! I think the crowd should have chanted one-more-hour and not one-more-song before the encore and that way make the band realise why they flew across the globe to be here for the first and possibly the only time.
Their set was also filmed perhaps for an upcoming DVD. Sydney and Enmore Theatre, a winner again!
Amon Amarth tour setlist:
Valhall Awaits Me
Runes To My Memory
Death In Fire
Fate Of Norns
Once Sent From The Golden Hall
The Last With Pagan Blood
Cry Of The Black Birds
With Oden On Our Side
Versus The World
Pursuit Of Vikings
Thousand Years of Oppression
An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm
Gods Of War Arise