This is a very different show to what we normally get over here, with just two bands on a co-headlining tour, each playing a full 90-minute set. And although Norway’s Enslaved and Sweden’s Grand Magus may not be the first band touring together that spring to mind they provided a quality night’s entertainment. The small venue (one of my favourites over the years I have been going to gigs) was almost full right from the start, which is always good to see.
First up were Grand Magus, a band that are just about as heavy metal as you can get, and they set about their 90 minutes proving just how good they are. Huge riffs, singalong choruses and plenty of songs about Valhalla, swords and topics that have been covered endlessly by other metal bands, not quite as well as these three Swedes though.
The crowd that had gathered early were treated to a great display from a band that were clearly enjoying every moment as much as the fans. The first time I have managed to see a full set from them and it definitely wont be the last. Great band, excellent set and some of the best merch I have seen in some time, including a very metal apron.
Enslaved took over and right from the strobe filled opener ‘Thurisaz Dreamiing’ wasted no time in carrying on where Grand Magus had left off. The band deal a strange fusion of prog infused metal which still holds elements of the black/death metal of their ’90’s origins. The contrast of the more extreme sounds to the cleaner sections is made even more impressive by an almost perfect sound which highlighted all of the more technical aspects of the band that are often lost in a live setting. Another band that are humble in their gratitude of the crowds response, but on such a good showing it is hard not to show your appreciation. This is a band with a dedicated following and that was evident tonight by the amount of people singing along with the band through their set.
On this showing, the idea of two bands playing headline sets is one that should definitely be explored more often. People who missed this show certainly missed out on something special. Hopefully it wont be too long before both of them are back over.
Grand Magus setlist:
I, The Jury, Sword Of The Ocean, Kingslayer, On Hooves Of Gold, Steel Vs. Steel, Iron Will, Ravens Guide Our Way, Like The Oar Strikes The Water, Wolf’s Return, Valhalla Rising, Triumph & Power
Thurisaz Dreaming, Fusion Of Sense And Earth, Death In The Eyes Of Dawn, Building With Fire, Ruun, Ethica Odini, The Watcher, Allfoor Odinn, Convoys To Nothingness, Fenris, Isa