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Kreator Heralds The European Apocalypse With Dimmu Borgir

Photo of Dimmu Borgir

Band Photo: Dimmu Borgir (?)

I've mentioned before that 2018 had some of the most exciting tour packages in recent years. It can be argued that the most exciting of these was the Headbanger's Ball tour (see report on the London show here,) but for those who want more variety in a lineup, the European Apocalypse had you covered. What more could a metal fan ask for than to spend the evening with thrash metal gods Kreator, black metal outfit Dimmu Borgir, American hardcore stars Hatebreed and Swedish death metal supergroup Bloodbath? It was one Hell of a way to cap off the year and when the tour rolled into London, I was there to catch it in all of its glory.

Kicking things off in suitably dark fashion was Bloodbath. It was interesting comparing their opening slot inside the Roundhouse to the well received performance on the main stage of Bloodstock Open Air four months earlier. Frontman Nick Holmes proves once again that he's a natural fit for the band, delivering powerful screams interspersed with dry humour throughout and casting a tortured shadow over the stage. Material from their new album, "The Arrow Of Satan" is drawn sounds fantastic live and fits in perfectly with older songs such as "So You Die" and "Outnumbering The Day," before the quintet closed their set with a rendition of "Eaten." Great performance and an adrenaline raising way to get the night going.

Up next we had Connecticut's own, Hatebreed. For over twenty years, the band has made a name for themselves with their catchy but nonetheless heavy mesh of hardcore and metal music, crafting a catalogue of anthems along the way. On a package like this, second was the perfect place for them, as their fierce energy and positive vibes kept everybody moving and smiling throughout. It was a relatively long set too, which featured a number of fan favourites such as "To The Theshold" and "Destroy Everything" from the "Supremacy" album, along with the likes of "This Is Now" and even some songs from their debut, "Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire" such as "Last Breath" and "Empty Promises." Jamey Jasta is still cutting it as a great frontman, hyping people up and leading the charge in a non stop display of brutality. A superb performance from a frankly underrated band.

And now for something completely different. From the grounded street level hardcore to lofty, symphonic black metal, it was time for Dimmu Borgir, perhaps the most commercially successful Norwegian black metal band in history. No one can deny that they know how to present themselves, clad in costumes midst atmospheric lighting, the stage if quite literally set for them as they launched into "The Unveiling/Interdimensional Summit" from their new album, "Eonian." The album itself has garnered a mix reaction, so some will be happy that after the opening, only, "Council Of Wolves And Snakes" from the record was brought out.

Older favourites like "The Serpentine Offering" and "The Chosen Legacy" from the "In Sorte Diaboli" record were aired, alongside more recent songs like "Gateways," before closing their set with the classic, "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse" and "Mourning Palace." All in all, it was interesting to finally see Dimmu Borgir, though their more bigger sound creates a band used to playing in big venues, meaning that at times, Dimmu Borgir are a little more rock star like in their delivery than one would expect, wanting the crowd to make noise etc. rather than the ambivalent nature of some of their contemporaries.

Finally, German thrash icons Kreator entered the fray to cap off the night. A little while before the show, the band announced that they would be filming the performance for a live DVD release. Having been there I can say with total confidence that this will be a must have as the quartet were on top form from the very beginning to the very end. Complete with all the fire in Hell to back them up, as well as video screens and a great backdrop, Mille Petrozza and company unleashed a chaotic sound in the technically proficient way that only Kreator can do.

There was a great variation in material too, as other than four songs from their latest album, "Gods Of Violence," including "Satan Is Real," which has already become a classic, only one song from a number of albums were performed, including opening the number, "Enemy Of God" from the 2005 album of the same name. Other title tracks such as "Hordes Of Chaos," "Violent Revolution" and "Phantom Antichrist" were also aired, while such fan favourites as "Phobia" and "People Of The Lie." Kreator crafted a perfect storm of insane music coupled with an awesome stage show and titanic presence. Germany has a great reputation for thrash metal bands but Kreator always seem to be top of the list. Based on this performance and the music that filled the venue, rightfully so.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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