Arch Enemy – At The Gates – Grand Magus
The Palladium – Hollywood, CA – 10/26/19
The final night of this Swedish Death Metal Fest hit Hollywood on Saturday night and left a lasting impression on all who attended. Amon Amarth, touring in support of their latest album, Berserker, brought 3 of Sweden’s Best along with them. Call it what you want, Doom, Death, Viking, Metal, the bottom line… it was HEAVY!
First band up were Grand Magus, a 3-piece band who were pushed to the VERY front of the stage in order to accommodate the massive spectacle that Amon Amarth would unleash later on.
The rhythm section of Bassist, Mats “Fox” Skinner and Drummer, Ludwig “Ludde” Witt were next to eachother stage left, while Singer/Guitarist, Janne “JB” Christoffersson, was flanked out wide, stage right.
This band pounded out a quick 5 song, 25 minute set, that although short in time, was powerful in impression. The most traditional metal band on the bill, touring for the first time in the U.S., Grand Magus had the Sold Out Palladium singing along and raising their fists in the air.
Full GRAND MAGUS Pic Gallery: Here
The venue was PACKED from the very start. Unusual for an L.A. crowd that usually takes its time getting anywhere in town, but a testament to the power of the lineup that Amon Amarth brought with them.
At The Gates
At The Gates were up next to up the Doom in the Room…More of a thrashier, growlier band than the rest, At The Gates hit the stage like a blitzkrieg.
It’s also when I started to notice the appearance of feet where heads should be as the crowd surfers appeared and were transported to the front of the stage and were dumped unmercifully into the photo pit. Mosh pits also started swirling around the middle of the Palladium floor as At The Gates whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
At The Gates consists of original members, singer, Tomas Lindberg, bassist, Jonas Björler , drummer, Adrian Erlandsson and are joined by longtime guitarist, Martin Larsson, and newest member, lead guitarist, Jonas Stålhamma.
ATG blasted out a tight 35 minute set consisting of 9 songs picked from their last 3 albums.
As much of a selling point for me as Amon Amarth were, I was UBER excited to see Arch Enemy. First time I saw/heard of the band was in 2004 when they opened up for the Blaze Bailey led, Iron Maiden with Angela Gossow on vocals. I remember her coming out on stage and unleashing that bone rattling growl. Part of my soul is still recovering from that vocal revelation.
This would be the first time I’ve seen the band since, with Alissa White-Gluz at the helm, although I have seen her perform separately as a guest vocalist with Metal Allegiance.
Alissa is what would happen if Kelly Bundy were possessed by a Demon, and she’s main the reason I was excited to catch the band again, because Alissa is a fucking super hero on stage! (Or maybe a Supervillain?!) Whichever it is, she’s an amazing front woman and is completely captivating. Jumping off the drum riser, running from side to side of the stage, flapping her batwing stage outfit, and thrashing her blue haired head all over the place.
I was a bit bummed for the first few songs because I had a hard time hearing the vocals in the Photo pit. But all was well after I finished my three song shoot and was able to take in the band from the crowd.
A killer set from Arch Enemy that didn’t allow the Palladium crowd to catch it’s breath. Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis shredded through their 45 minute set with Sharlee D’Angelo (bass) and Daniel Erlandsson (drums) anchoring the power that this band exudes.
Full ARCH ENEMY Pic Gallery: Here
AMON AMARTH!!!! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this type of production from a band and color me impressed as fuck! After Arch Enemy’s set, a large curtain was dropped so the stage could be prepared for tonight’s headliner. The Lights dimmed and Iron Maiden’s, “Run To The Hills” blasted out over the speakers. The Palladium Crowd was in fine voice and sang along giving me chills at how loud and proud they were singing the classic Metal Hit… Right after the first Chorus ended…BOOM, the Curtain dropped to the floor and Amon Amarth hit the stage like a battle axe!
A Blast of Flames shot up around the Viking Helmet that housed Jocke Walgren’s drumkit as the band launched into “Raven’s Flight” from new album, “Berserker“. After “Death In Fire“, which again had blast upon blast of fire across the stage, Johan Hegg addressed the Palladium crowd with “Hello City Of Angels… If you believe in that shit“.
The band ripped through a killer set that didn’t once ease up on the energy. During “Deceiver Of The Gods” a large laser eyed Viking God came out to stalk the stage. All while Olivi Mikkonen (lead guitar), Johan Söderberg (rhythm guitar) and Ted Lundström (bass) headbanged and blitzed at the front of the stage (To avoid being part of a viking funeral of fire happening right behind them).
There were viking battles between oversized warriors, laser blasts, explosions, all culminating in a battle between Johan and a giant Sea Serpent during set closer, “Twilight Of the Thunder God“.
The band sounded amazing and the crowd ate up every ounce of the show. Mosh Pits, crowd surfing and horns and fists raised. Many in attendance also donned Viking costumes and I don’t believe it had anything to do with the proximity to Halloween. It was in pure celebration of a band that Odin would happily welcome to Valhalla any day of the week.
Link to AMON AMARTH Pic Gallery: Here