Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Revenge and Vehemence Live In Seattle
Monday, March 31, 2003 @ 1:00 PM
Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Revenge
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REVIEW BY: Chris Slack
Deicide was originally scheduled to headline this show but ended up canceling three dates, including the Seattle show, a week or so before the gig here. While I was looking very forward to seeing Deicide again I wasn’t too disappointed because their cancellation meant a longer set from the mighty Amon Amarth! We arrived at the venue mere minutes before the doors were supposed to open but due to the cancellation the promoter decided to postpone the start time (and in turn the doors) by one hour. As a result of this the people that showed up on time were forced to stand around in the cold for an extra hour, not too much fun at all. I’m not sure how many people were at this show as I was mashed up front the whole time but it felt pretty packed by the end of the night.
First to go on was Phoenix, Arizona’s Vehemence, creators of my favorite album of 2002, God Was Created. They played a great 30-minute (way too short) set comprised predominantly of songs from the GWC album. They were spot-on with the album performance-wise and, unlike when they opened for Testament, even brought keyboards for “She Never Noticed Me.” Unfortunately, the sound was way too bass-heavy so I couldn’t hear the keys at all. This may have been due to being right in front of the stage and hearing more from their amps than the PA system. Regardless of that, they went over great with a Seattle crowd who is usually very tough on opening acts. Again, it was an incredible set and I can’t wait to see them again, these guys are going to be huge. Photos from this set can be found at http://www.shadows.com/gravemusic/live/aa-b-r-v-032503/vehemence.shtml.
Vehemence set list (corrections welcome):
Made For Her Jesus
The Last Fantasy Of Christ
Christ I Fucking Hate You
The Lords Work
She Never Noticed Me
Next up was Canada’s Revenge, which featured ex-members of Conqueror and Angelcorpse. They played a seriously brutal 30-minute set of highly aggressive war metal. Revenge looked great, lots of tattoos, shaved heads, and mic stands wrapped in barbed wire. The only thing that could have improved their live show was a healthy dose of Metal Fog. I’m not that familiar with their music so I don’t know if they were particularly tight or not. Their music was insane, very energetic and filled with anger. The bassist and guitarist had great stage presence and seemed larger than life. Revenge went largely unappreciated by the crowd; a couple of people were going so far as to call them “poseurs” and telling them to get off the stage. Those people were probably the folks I saw wearing Slipknot and Korn shirts before the show. Revenge put on a pretty damn good show, good enough to make me want to buy their latest CD, Triumph.Genocide.Antichrist. Check these guys out if you like raw and abrasive war metal, you won’t be disappointed. Photos from this set can be found at http://www.shadows.com/gravemusic/live/aa-b-r-v-032503/revenge.shtml.
Poland’s original black metal hordes, Behemoth, were the next band to come on. I sort of lost interest in them after their music started turning more death metal oriented, but was still excited about seeing them live for the first time. Needless to say I was not disappointed. They played newer music almost exclusively, with the sole exception being “Sventevith (Storming Near The Baltic)”. Although I’m not a huge fan of the death metal direction their music has taken, I have to say that they put on a great show. Their guitarist/vocalist, Nergal, connects very well with the audience, even though his thick accent often makes his between-song banter difficult to understand. Inferno tore the drums up with great degree of savagery, providing a great backdrop for their musical holocaust. High points of their set included the aforementioned “Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)” and “Christians to the Lions.” The audience was very receptive to Behemoth’s first appearance in Seattle. A very strong set overall, I hope that I can check them out again. Photos from this set can be found at http://www.shadows.com/gravemusic/live/aa-b-r-v-032503/behemoth.shtml.
Next up was a band I’ve wanted to see again since I caught them the first time at the 2001 Milwaukee Metalfest: Amon Amarth. Their latest album, Versus the World, has been in my CD player almost constantly since its release, so I was really looking forward to hearing some of the new stuff played live. When they came out and started playing “Death in Fire,” the crowd pretty much went nuts. While a lot of the fans didn’t seem too familiar with their older material, there was a good deal of audience participation when they played songs from Versus the World. They ripped through the set, seemingly opting to play more songs instead of spending too much time talking to the audience. Like most European bands, they were very professional and played a very tight set. In addition, the problem with excessive low end that seemed prevalent during every other band, seemed to go away when Amon Amarth played. The band covered a wide range of material from Versus the World, The Crusher, The Avenger, and Once Sent from the Golden Hall. Frontman Johann Hegg had the audience eating out of his hand throughout the set, going from one side of the stage to the other so he could better connect with the crowd. All things said and done, Amon Amarth put on one of the best shows so far this year, a testament to both the professionalism of the members and the strength of their material. If you haven’t seen these guys go check them out the first time you get the chance. Photos from this set can be found at http://www.shadows.com/gravemusic/live/aa-b-r-v-032503/index.shtml.
Amon Amarth set list:
Death in Fire
Versus the World
Bleed for Ancient Gods
Annihilation of Hammerfest
God His Son and Holy Whore
Where Silent Gods Stand Guard
The Last with Pagan Blood
For The Stabwounds in Our Backs
Masters of War
Friends of the Suncross
A big ‘fuck off’ goes out to the jackass stagediver who decided to come down on the stage right on top of my camera bag. Just in case you read this you seriously deserved the smack you got from me, you destroyed a 25 dollar lens tube and a 90 dollar teleconverter. Stagediving is for hardcore shows, not metal shows in tiny venues!