Live Review: Amon Amarth/Testament @ The Camden Roundhouse, London (04/11/16)
It’s a busy & beardy Camden Roundhouse when Testament take to stage only an hour after doors have actually opened. Those wanting to catch Grand Magus had to be at the front of the queue (that is still fairly long 40 minutes after the doors have opened) or they were missing out.
(Edit – it seems as though doors were actually at 6.30pm however on the tickets direct from the Roundhouse box office it was printed as 7pm & no further information was sent out regarding a time change)
Inside the actual venue the floor is awash with beer, sweat & the feel-good comradery that only comes from heavy metal. The goodwill is ramped up for a blistering Testament set that threatens to overshadow the headliner, Amon Amarth.
The band are on great form with Chuck Billy moving around like a man possessed. The sound inside the Roundhouse is near perfect making the band sound even heavier than they do on record. The new stuff that is aired (Brotherhood of the Snake, The Pale King & Stronghold) fits perfectly alongside older Testament tracks & in some circumstances sound even better!
It’s over far too quickly for a lot in attendance & once they leave the stage so does a portion of the crowd. What was an absolutely rammed roundhouse is now a little bit roomier once Amon Amarth take to the stage. They are met with a wall of noise though & it is amazing to see just how far they’ve come.
Opening with the Purist of Vikings, the pits open up & the head-banging is in full force. They don’t really hit their stride though until First Kill off the latest release, Jomsviking. It sounds incredible, the walls & floors reverberating from the drum beats.
Frontman Johan Hegg is on cheeky form throughout the night comparing London to some of the other cities they’ve played in the UK in an effort to get the pits even wilder. He’s a charismatic man with a voice that commands your attention, it’s booming style fits the Viking theme that has served the band so well for so long.
The set list is varied touching upon many areas of Amon Amarth’s career so much so that the band can confidently knock out 6 songs from the new album with ease. Some of these go down better than others with Raise Your Horns in particular being quite a sight.
It disappointing to not get much in the way of an Amon stage show though with only the drum riser made to look like a viking helmet bookended by two huge horns & several platforms for the band to move around on. The over-use of jets of steam seems to be trying to make up for the lack of pyro but it’s hard to know if that’s the bands decision or the venues.
Still Amon Amarth do a great job of sending the crowd home satisfied…a little bit deafer but satisfied none the less.
Amon Amarth/Testament @ The Camden Roundhouse, London (04/11/16)
Testament @ The Camden Roundhouse, London (04/11/16) - 8/10
Amon Amarth @ The Camden Roundhouse, London (04/11/16) - 7/10
User Review( votes)
2 thoughts on “Live Review: Amon Amarth/Testament @ The Camden Roundhouse, London (04/11/16)”
Pingback: Bloodstock Festival Announcement! – Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life
Interesting review, though I can’t agree with you about Testament, I thought they were poor with a very muddy sound to my ear. Of course it’s all subjective but I didn’t find them particularly engaging though they did seem to be very well received by many of the crowd so maybe it was just me…. Grand Magus were far better IMO with a cleaner classic metal sound and deserved more than their 30 minutes.
I thoroughly enjoyed AA, they’re a powerful band on stage and Hegg is a very engaging frontman who played the crowd very well. Their set was an exemplar of precision battery by very skilled musos. The main criticisms I have about the their set is one that can be applied generally to them: that it’s all pretty much at the same pace, there’s very little variation in the songs, I think if they crack that on their next album then big festival headline slots won’t be far off. Not sure the 2 guys dressed as Vikings added much to the show that was all a bit cheesy though not as cheesy as Johan hitting the big wobbly dragon head with a plastic Mjolnir, that was wonderfully Spinal Tap.
I think the promoters of this tour have done a good job taking 3 very different bands, classic metal/thrash/death and putting them together as a package that will have something for pretty much most fans of metal
As for pyro, next time you’re in the Roundhouse take a look upwards when the house lights are on, the roof of this fantastic venue is made of wood, which would preclude the use of pyrotechnics.
My scores would be:
Grand Magus: 7
Amon Amarth: 8
That’s an awesome run-down. You’re absolutely right, from where I was the crowd where hot for Testament! I would have loved to have seen Grand Magus so will definitely get to them when they next play here. I agree with you that the promoters got this right. I like seeing these layered bills.
I’ve really never noticed the wooden roof of the roundhouse!