As the cold air of the north batters the already frozen masses gathered outside for this incredibly early start, one would have to wonder whether the miserable conditions would take its toll on the audience eagerly waiting outside. However I could not have been more wrong as the masses in attendance give it their all from the first band to the return of Kreator to our humble country.
Guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman kicks off proceedings in a flurry and flash of frets and some of the most intense shred you will likely ever see with your own two eyes. Though many people only know Mr Friedman from his days blistering his way through Megadeth’s classic period, tonight focuses on the man’s post MegaDave career and spotlights what a depth back catalogue of material the man has amassed over the years.
Next up is Shining, this is certainly the hypnotic blackened Jazz band rather than the Norwegian black metal versions. So for fans of watching a man cut himself on stage and the sound of pure misery you might be disappointed buying a ticket only to be greeted by a wall of saxophone, rather than the sound of ball tightening screams. The band though, were on fine form, allowing their sound to fill and encapsulate everyone in the room.
Kicking off the first for the co-headliners is Arch Enemy who now have what many can argue, and will, the best guitar duo in metal in the form of Michael Ammott and Jeff Loomis (formally of Nevermore). The two effortlessly sweep through the set and look as comfortable playing together as a duo who’ve had a decade playing off each other. New singer Alissa White-Gluz has filled Angela Glossow’s shoes incredibly well. The new front woman didn’t miss a beat throughout the set and nailed her vocals on both Angela’s songs and the new tracks from the band’s new album “War Eternal”.
But now it’s time to fly the flag of hate one more time as German thrash behemoths Kreator make their triumphant return to the UK. For a band doing it as long as Kreator, the sonic energy and intensity of their set has not wavered. This included a terrific cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘The Number Of The Beast’ before finally seeing us all off with ‘The Flag Of Hate’. A triumphant set from one of thrash metals old card that proved they can still stand toe to toe with anyone on the planet.
Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal.