There are days when there are so many bands in town that it’s hard to decide where to go. Sunday, October 30 in Hamburg, that’s such a day. Hypocricy are in town, Audrey Horne play a show in the Hanseatic city and also Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Carcass and Unto Others guest in Hamburg. The agony of choice. As you can easily notice from the title of this post, I made the trip to Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg district to check out the latter package on their ‘The European Siege 2022’-tour.
When arriving, there was already a gigantic line of fans, waiting for the doors to open. Probably not everyone made it into the hall when the first act of tonight entered the stage.
Kicking things off is Unto Others from Portland, Oregon. The band, which operated as Idle Hands between 2017 and 2020, is more of the unknown tonight, despite good albums. Musically, the guys can’t be compared to any of the other three bands either and yet the band fits into this package. With their gothic and wave influenced metal the group can persuade and that bands like Fields Of The Nephilim have an influence on the sound of Unto Others, as well as traditional heavy metal, can be easily recognized tonight by songs like ‘No Children Laughing Now’. Listening to the opener ‘Heroin’ reminds of a metallic version of New Model Army while melodic melancholy drives ‘Summer Lightning’.
Even though the evening is dedicated to death- and black metal, the gloomy sound of the band from Oregon is remarkable which that is also the conclusion of the fans, who give the band a warm welcome and a big applause after the last riff faded away in the edel-optics Arena.
After the usual break Carcass enter the stage and represent a harsh counterpart to what we have just been listening to. The death metal surgeons from Liverpool, UK go to work with filigree vehemence and while it was the melancholic sounds that just filled the edel-optics Arena, it is now precisely executed riff attacks that are blazing through the hall.
Carcass, that is also tonight brutal death metal that is presented with love to detail and yet in power and brutality can hardly be surpassed. Jeff Walker, with his incomparable bass playing and his very raucous voice is not only an expressive frontman but also has quite entertainer qualities; not least when he pulls out his lighter and animates the fans to do the same. In contrast, Bill Steer is almost absorbed in his guitar playing and elicits awesome riffs from his instrument, which define the sound of Cacrass. The focus of Carcass is fully on the music itself and the music knows how to impress. In front of the stage it is full of fans enjoying a setlist that builds on the last output ‘Torn Arteries’ as well as the hits of the legendary ‘Heartwork’ album. When the first sounds of ‘Heartwork’ start there is no stopping and the venue is absolutely prepared for more metal to come.
Both co-headliners were performing at the legendary W:O:A in the north of Germany just three months ago. Now the bands are back and it’s the polish black metal icons Behemoth who start it off. While Carcass was soberly dressed in T-shirt and jeans, Behemoth is known for putting on a bit more of a show. If it was Carcass, where the music was in the foreground, we experience with Behemoth a show where music, mimic, stage design and smoke merge to a gorgeous whole. There are no fire and flames though tonight as it was during their show in Den Bosch the other night which doesn’t reduce the intensity of the set of the four Poles.
It is a big white canvas which protects the stage from nosy views during the stage change. However, this cloth also serves as a screen on which video sequences are projected during the intro ‘Post-God Nirvava’. Behemoth turn the edel-optics arena in no time into a place where frontman Nergal as high priest of the dark forces takes his fans on a diabolic journey. The arena becomes a hellish madhouse.
With ‘Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer’ there is, surprisingly, not a new song at the beginning of the set, but this doesn’t bother any of the fans attending the show. On the contrary. The atmosphere in the hall is immediately at its peak and doesn’t flatten out during the next 70 minutes, which also has to do with the fact that both Nergal and Orion don’t miss the opportunity of climbing into the pit and seek closeness to their fans. Songs like ‘The Deathless Sun’ and the diabolic ‘Off to War!’ are celebrated by the crowd and Behemoth are without a doubt one of the winners of this night. With the smashing ‘Chant for Eschaton 2000’, a powerful and devilish show comes to an end way too early, a finale which also includes a statement when an Iranian flag with the words ‘Life, Women, Freedom’ finds its way from the fans to the stage.
Arch Enemy also cover the stage with a banner during the rebuild. This time it’s the well-known ‘Pure F**king Metal’ imprint, which can be read in big letters. When the curtain falls, Arch Enemy are ready to rock with ‘Deceiver, Deceiver’, the title track of the new album. The set of Arch Enemy is logically focused on the new album ‘Deceivers’, which makes it no surprise that the Swedish, Canadian, American quintet has included five more songs from the current album in addition to the opener. These songs are also properly acclaimed, but it’s the classic hits like ‘Ravenous’ and especially ‘My Apocalypse’ that make the crowd go wild.
Arch Enemy have already played a lot of shows in 2022 and still they manage not to let routine roll in, rather it is a professional set which the quintet presents tonight. Even if the sound is not ideal, maybe due to the location, fans get blistering guitar duels where Jeff Loomis and Michael Amott play the ball back and forth.
In addition, Arch Enemy has a singer in Alissa White-Gluz, who is one of the best in her genre and she is full of dynamic power. Also tonight the Canadian deliveres an excellent performance and considering that she had an extra show with Charlotte Wessels in Utrecht a few days ago, the extroverted singer seems to have endless energy reserves.
Fans of all bands certainly got their money’s worth. Each of the four bands obviously had fun to be on stage and that the two co-headliners also have very tolerant fans is shown by the appreciation towards Unto Others, who go a bit different paths with their sound and still received a lot of appreciation. Metal Unites – this could be felt again tonight and that there is next generation on its way is mirrored by the little boy who was at the concert with his father and was one of the most dedicated fans the entire night.
- Buried Dreams
- Kelly’s Meat Emporium
- Incarnated Solvent Abuse
- Under the Scalpel Blade
- This Mortal Coil
- Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B)
- The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing
- Corporal Jigsore Quandary
- Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
- The Deathless Sun
- Ov Fire and the Void
- Thy Becoming Eternal
- Conquer All
- Off to War!
- No Sympathy for Fools
- Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
- Versvs Christvs
- Chant for Eschaton 2000
Setlist Arch Enemy
- Deceiver, Deceiver
- War Eternal
- In The Eye of the Storm
- House Of Mirrors
- My Apocalypse
- The Watcher
- The Eagle Flies Alone
- Handshake With Hell
- Sunset Over the Empire
- As the Pages Burn
- Snow Bound
- Fields of Desolation
Location: edel-optics Arena, Hamburg, Germany
Date: October 30th, 2022
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