Live report AMON AMARTH, MACHINE HEAD & THE HALO EFFECT, Barclays Arena, Hamburg – September 27th, 2022

Even a rainy and stormy day is no obstacle for vikings and lionhearts to make their way to the Barclays Arena in Hamburg, because with Amon Amarth and Machine Head two iconic metal bands have announced themselves. Along with the red-hot newcomers The Halo Effect, a more than solid metal package will be in town and the fact that even the weather god is a metal fan is shown in the late afternoon when the rain stops which allows the bands’ supporters to swarm into the Barclays Arena with dry feet.

With 18:30 the starting time is relatively early, but understandable considering the status of the bands. The beginning is made by The Halo Effect, the shooting stars from Gothenburg. Well, as we know the band is new, but they are five familiar faces, who celebrate melodic death metal in an impressive way.

Mikael Stanne, Niclas Engelin, Jesper Strömblad, Peter Iwers and Daniel Svensson are musicians whohave made a name for themselves in various bands. Now the five have come together to play music and have fun as The Halo Effect. Both can be seen in the 30 minutes of playing time tonight, in which, for well-known reasons, Patrik Jensen (The Haunted) takes over the guitar for Jesper Strömblad.

The Halo Effect released their very successful and felicitous debut album ‘Days of the Lost’ a few weeks ago and accordingly many fans are already in the hall at this early hour. Seven songs of the first longplayer are played tonight and it’s the title track which opens the evening, followed by the brilliant ‘The Needless End’. All in all, The Halo Effect perform a great show and one wishes that the guys would have had the whole stage and all the lights at their disposal.

Geographically speaking, we now move from the Swedish West Coast to the American West Coast. Machine Head from Oakland have announced themselves and it quickly becomes obvious that Robb Flynn and his band mates are really into metal today and after the curtain falls the four guys start at full throttle.

‘BECØME THE FIRESTØRM’ from the new album is a very perfect start and the vibe in the hall rises with the first riff that shakes the Barclays Arena. With a little more than an hour to play, the selection of the setlist had to be done with a lot of thoughtfulness and so the opener remains the only new song. All in all Machine Head play ten tracks and they go back to the beginning with ‘Davidian’, ‘Old’ and ‘Ten Ton Hammer’. That these songs are highly appreciated is out of the question.

Furthermore there are flames and also a confetti cannon which give the show a visual frame; circle pits and t-shirt swinging included. Also the typical left-side / right-side scream-a-long should not be missing; all fueled by Flynn’s announcements. Machine Head deliver a great show and the title ‘lionheart’ for their part of the package is definitely deserved.

Amon Amarth have a hard time to top what we have just experienced. No doubt though, the five Swedes put on a great show and set up the big stage scenery. When the curtain falls, a view on the stage reveals two oversized viking statues framing the giant drum podium.

The first song ‘Guardians of Asgaard’ is rather oldschool before ‘Raven’s Flight’, a more recent one, follows. Of course Amon Amarth doesn’t miss out on fire and flames either during the entire show and you can feel the warmth of the flames even in the back of the hall.

The two new songs, ‘The Great Heathen Army’ and the more melodic ‘Heidrun’ are positioned in the middle section of the gig before the stage set transforms and the viking ship comes into focus. Now, the audience is rowing again, which always makes you smile and it’s the classics like ‘Raise Your Horns’ and ‘Twilight of the Thunder Gods’ which are perfect for the finale of a very enjoyable show. Even if the individual elements of the performance are partly predictable, it is still an entertaining and metallic 80 minutes during which Amon Amarth show that their music and show are merging more and more into one whole.

Setlist The Halo Effect

  1. Days of the Lost
  2. The Needless End
  3. Gateways
  4. Feel What I Believe
  5. Last of Our Kind
  6. Conditional
  7. Shadowminds

Setlist Machine Head

  2. Imperium
  3. Ten Ton Hammer
  4. I Am Hell (Sonata in C#)
  5. Old
  6. Darkness Within
  7. Now We Die
  8. From This Day
  9. Davidian
  10. Halo

Setlist Amon Amarth

  1. Guardians of Asgaard
  2. Raven’s Flight
  3. Deceiver of the Gods
  4. Crack the Sky
  5. The Great Heathen Army
  6. Heidrun
  7. Destroyer of the Universe
  8. Put Your Back Into the Oar
  9. Cry of the Black Birds
  10. The Pursuit of Vikings
  11. First Kill
  12. Shield Wall
  13. Raise Your Horns
  14. Twilight of the Thunder God

Location: Barclays Arena, Hamburg, Germany

Date: September 27th, 2022

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