Behemoth // Arch Enemy // Carcass // Unto Others // Live Review // The Olympia Theater // Dublin
There’s nothing that beats the feeling of the first night of a tour… Or should I say siege? That’s right! Metal titans Behemoth and Arch Enemy, along with special guests, kicked off their European Siege tour here, on the Emerald Isle.
It was only a few months ago when this goth rock band from Portland were last on these shores. Albeit now in a much larger setting – and missing their signature large Celtic crosses. As the band played through a collection of rambunctious tracks like ‘Nightfall’ and ‘Give Me To The Night,’ their show reminded me a little of Type O Negative. All thanks to Gabe Franco’s low vocal cords. Dark, gloomy but very enjoyable!
UK’s own death metal veterans, Carcass, are no strangers to Ireland. With numerous headline performances over the years. The second Carcass walked on stage Dublin erupted! As grizzly images coated the stage, from their banners to their visual cabinets beside their amps. Tracks from their most recent album ‘Torn Arteries,’ played a pivotal role in their set, as frontman Jeff Walker led the carnage with little time for chit-chat. A barrage of fast-paced riffs tore through the Olympia and helped get the mojo flowing for the very small mosh pit.
As the words ‘pure fucking metal’ hung over the venue, it was time for Arch Enemy! And pure fucking metal was what they brought with them. There was a fine mixture of new material and classics, as Sweden’s finest death metal band brought a performance like no other. With the queen of metal herself, Alissa White-Gluz making sure all the Irish energy was directed at them. As well as being in disbelief that it was 2014 when the band were last in Ireland!
Guitar enthusiasts would have been especially, with the collection of riffs performed by founding member Michael Amott and guitar legend Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore). ‘Ravenous,’ ‘My Apocalypse’ and the massive finale of ‘Nemesis’ left many of fans crying out for more as the band said their goodbyes following an explosive set. This reviewer had waited for a very, VERY, long time to see the mighty Arch Enemy. And the wait was worth it!
Lucifer’s most loyal servants, Behemoth, didn’t want to waste any time coming to this side of the planet, after their decimating headline performance at the 2022 Bloodstock. This performance was indeed more of a work of art than just a band performing, as Nergal and the boys brought their vast collection of satanic props with them. You’d have thought the crowd would have been tired after such an energetic night already, but Behemoth wasn’t taking prisoners as they cranked the speed up to God-level territory.
The band’s 2022 release, ‘Opvs Contra Natvram’ was the main focus throughout the night, with songs such as ‘Post-God Nirvana,’ ‘Thy Becoming Eternal’ and ‘Versvs Christvs’ making their live debuts to kick off the tour. But of course, it was when they played classics such as ‘Christians To The Lions,’ ‘Bartzabel’ and a rare performance of ’No Sympathy For Fools’ that had many within the Irish legion, raising their horns high. Nergal’s mask and robe wardrobe, as well as the spitting of blood, helped add some theatricality to the show. What was sorely missed though, was pyro!
There were not many words spoken throughout the set, but the night came to a close with Nergal shouting those two famous words that everyone wants to hear at a Behemoth show – “HAIL SATAN!” What a way to kick start this European tour, one that you would be a fool to miss out on.