An eager crowd gathered this Wednesday evening at The Rebel located on Toronto’s waterfront waiting for the Swedish metal lords AMON AMARTH to raid the venue on their “Berserker”- Worldtour.
In all, almost 2500 metalheads packed this venue for this Swedish metal invasion festival, which would also include fellow Swedish bands, AT THE GATES, ARCH ENEMYand, special guests GRAND MAGUS. The first invaders were GRAND MAGUS, the self-dubbed Swedish riff lords. This was GRAND MAGUS’S first time performing in Canada, and this trio of gentlemen would not disappoint the crowd. GRAND MAGUS would perform a short five-song set spanning 25 minutes, giving the audience just a taste of their incredible musical repertoire. GRAND MAGUS’s latest album is “Wolf God’ and they performed the song “Dawn Of Fire” from the album. GRAND MAGUS would end the set with their classic song “Hammer Of The North“.
The trio’s music has its foundation in heavy metal infused with blues with the combination of strong vocals, heavy bass lines, catchy guitars riffs supported by the thunderous drums resulted in a very satisfying set. I definitely would love to see GRAND MAGUSperform again, and I am betting the crowd would also. The second wave of invaders was the five-member band AT THE GATES hailing from Gothenburg Sweden. AT THE GATES would perform nine songs spanning about 35 minutes performing tunes from their vast musical catalog. AT THE GATES would open their set with “To Drink From Night Itself” the title track from their latest album. Other songs AT THE GATESperformed included “At War With Reality,” “Death And The Labyrinth.” They would close with the fan-favorite “The Night Eternal.”
Right from the get-go, the crowd was into their music with hundreds of fans cheering, headbanging, and body surfing. AT THE GATESfounder and lead singer Tomas Lindburg’s vocals were incredible. His command of guttural vocals and screams in unmatched and, when you combine the catchy lyrics with the heavy drum beats, thundering bass lines and, strong guitar riffs, it makes for a memorable set. The third wave of the invader was ARCH ENEMY, fronted by lead singer Alissa White-Gluz, hailing from Montreal, Canada. I had seen some of ARCH ENEMY’S performances on video in the past and was excitedly looking forward to their performance and, so was a throng of metalheads in the crowd. ARCH ENEMY would perform an eight-song set spanning almost 40 minutes. ARCH ENEMY would open their memorable set with “The World Is Yours” and include other masterpieces such as, “My Apocalypse”, “First Day In Hell,” “As The Pages Burn’ and closing out with “Nemesis.”
To see ARCH ENEMY perform live is definitely a memorable experience. Seeing Alissa perform is a treat. Her stage presence is unmatched. She has an amazing command and interaction with the crowd, and she tops it off with her out of this world vocals which is a combination of screams and growls. Alissa’s voice could scare the demons back to the underworld.
The combination of ARCH ENEMY’s five-member performance left the audience in a fever pitch. The drum beats, bass riffs, the combination of the lead, and rhythm guitar, topped off by Alissa’s vocals left everyone there, happy they attended the show. The last wave of invaders was the headlining act, AMON AMARTH, who is currently on a North American tour promoting their latest album of the same name.
AMON AMARTH is known for their musical style of melodic death metal, infused with lyrics about Viking and Norse mythology. This was my first-time seeing AMON AMARTH live and, everyone in attendance would not leave disappointed.
AMON AMARTH’S drummer was perched on top of a huge Viking helmet, and he would spend the entire set up there hammering away on the drums. Other elements of the show that were also memorable included a few instances of two people dressed up in Viking costumes either, standing in place moving their Viking swords to the music, or fighting each other in a duel to the death. In their final song, a giant inflatable dragon appeared on stage. AMON AMARTH’S lead singer Johan Hegg, then proceeded to do battle with the dragon, pummeling the dragon on its head with Thor’s hammer. AMON AMARTH would perform a twelve-song set that lasted nearly 70 minutes. Several songs AMON AMARTH performed were from their latest album “Berserker’ including “Shield Wall” and “Raven’s Flight.” Other classics included “Deceiver Of The Gods,” and “The Way Of Vikings.”
In summary, AMON AMARTH has always had an excellent reputation for a spectacular live concert experience, and after seeing this show, that reputation is well deserved. All five members of AMON AMARTH were a blast to watch.
AMON AMARTH was on fire in Toronto this particular evening as they took all who attended on an unforgettable mythological Viking adventure.
Full Gallery AMON AMARTH on Facebook.
Full Gallery ARCH ENEMY on Facebook.
Full Gallery AT THE GATES on Facebook.
Full Gallery GRAND MAGUS on Facebook.
(Copyright by Aaron Stinson)