Following the releases of their fantastic albums last year, this was Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity’s first visit to the UK since putting them out, so it was surely a given that this was going to be a great show.
Atrocity opened the night and got things off to a fantastically noisy start with their awesome blend of death metal and Alexander Krull really was a phenomenal frontman, trying to get as many people involved by telling the crowd we needed to be “more aggressive” when the yells weren’t quite loud enough for his liking! It was also a set filled with some great cuts from Okkult, such as March Of The Undying which had the crowd half-bellowing the chorus back at the band in the end, and the headbangingly brilliant Death By Metal. At one point in the set, Alexander even got two members of the audience up on stage with the band to dance with them for Satans Braut! Awesome set, I just wish they’d had a little longer onstage – definitely the best band of the night.
Up next was British metallers Pythia. Last time I reviewed them, I commented on how they didn’t quite deliver, so it was good to see they were back on form at this gig. They treated the crowd to some new material from their upcoming album, which was sounding good! The highlight of the set had to be Betray My Heart, which resonated beautifully around the room. When a band puts so much effort and work into their music, it really shows in their live performance and it just goes to show that you should never write a band off on one review alone.
Of course, the night belonged to headliners Leaves’ Eyes who opened with arguably their best song Galswintha, which was an absolute pleasure to witness live. It was perfectly performed, with Liv’s vocals powerfully filling the room and it got the show off to an incredibly strong start. It was really good to see all the members so in-tune with one another and really giving it their all, and it made for an engaging performance.
Another highlight of the set was their cover of Mike Oldfield’s To France, which was a beautifully arranged track that really translated well into a live environment – it seemed to have an extra edge that it lacked on CD, and another great inclusion was My Destiny, which saw Alexander instructing the whole room to jump up and down to it! Although people didn’t get involved at first, by the end of the song the room was a sea of people jumping and moving.
An all-round great show, as evidenced by the numerous chants of Leaves’ Eyes! and the fact that Alexander commented that the band can tour the world but can always rely on their English fans – when a crowd is so behind a band, it’s impossible not to enjoy yourself.