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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Live & Dangerous: Amon Amarth & Grand Magus

Amon Amarth & Grand Magus (Cardiff Solus)

In Solitude were the openers but due to the 'always correct' nature of the internet I managed to see their final few minutes unfortunately.

Grand Magus

The Swedish metal trio strode onto the stage and immediately set the place rumbling with their old school doom/trad metal. Their 40 minute set was comprised of songs from their last two albums Iron Will and Hammer Of The North with the title of the latter being the opening track, the band played a concise balls out metal show with storming riffs and vocals coming from frontman/guitarist JB, who has the customary Swedish rock star 'I the fucking man' attitude intact. The band were able to make the small crowd shout and chant like a crowd twice the size. Tracks like The Shadow Knows and Like the Oar That Strikes The Water were excellent in the live setting and the band were able to be nearly as heavy live as they are on record. Finishing the set with Iron Will the band looked to have visibly enjoyed the set and the warm reception they had received from the crowd. 8/10

Amon Amarth

Viking Metallers Amon Amarth had just finished a sub headline show at Hammerfest the day before playing Solus and the crowd there was perhaps 10 times bigger than the one that greeted them in Cardiff, (this was probably due to it being a Sunday night, the aforementioned Hammerfest and Wales Six Nations win the day before) however despite the small crowd Amon Amarth gave a great performance of their power metal influenced Viking metal. Johan Hegg (and his voice especially) focal point of the band due to his large commanding nature and his booming, guttural death metal roar (he even talks like that). The dual guitars of Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg give the band its PM vibe and the crushing rhythm section flattened the crowd throughout. The set too was well thought out with 5 songs coming from newest album Surtur Rising as well as 4 from their previous and breakthrough album Twilight Of The Thunder God the band also brought in classics such as Pursuit Of Vikings and Cry Of The Blackbirds before ending the main set with Death In Fire. The two song encore consisted of the opening tracks from Twilight Of The Thunder God with the title track and Guardians Of Asgard ending the set on a high. This was a great set from a band that has an identifiable sound and do what they do very well. 9/10  

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