Amon Amarth + Entombed @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall – 28the October 2009


Originally this gig was billed with talented UK band Evile in the opening slot. However, due to the tragic death of bass player Mike Alexander earlier this month, it is Entombed who take up the primary slot. Which means we are in for an evening of vintage Swedish death metal from start to finish.

Amid a haunting piano piece accompanied by booming Jurassic Park style dinosaur footstep thudding, which has the structure of the whole venue shuddering, Entombed appear and it is clear from the reaction there are an awful lot of hardcore fans here to see them. They instantly commence pumping out tracks from a career spanning well over 20 years and with an epic back catalogue to choose from the fans are lapping it up.

Entombed have that characteristic chunky bass and solid guitar sound with some of the gruffest vocals in death metal history from L-G Petrov who briefly pays homage to Mike Alexander by saying ‘whether he is up there or down there he will be having a good time’ which had the crowd roaring with appreciation. They deliver an incredibly solid set and notable moments for me included ‘Wolverine Blues’, ‘Chief Rebel Angel’ and ‘In the Blood’…. even songs from their debut album ‘Left Hand Path’ made an appearance!

As the set comes to an end with an instrumental finish, the band come together to take a bow to rapturous applause and as three of them climb off the front of the stage, stepping into the arms of the waiting crowd I get the sense that this is an iconic tour for both Entombed and their fans alike.


In the intermission I am dismayed to find a number of people leaving — if truth be told I was disappointed to find the venue was not filled from the out-set, after all both of these bands are more than worthy of a sell-out gig. It might come as a surprise for some to know Amon Amarth have been going almost as long as Entombed but it seems to have taken them much longer to break through into the death metal mainstream.


So it is with only a half-filled Wulfrun Hall that the Viking-themed Amon Amarth emerge to a synthesized violin string intro and soar straight into ‘Twilight of the Thundergod’. It soon became clear that although the numbers in the venue had dwindled somewhat, those who remained were more than able to make up for it with raucous whooping and cheering!


With lightening bolt effects striking the UV backdrop Amon Amarth battered and bounded their way through ‘Live for the Kill’ ‘Runes to my Memory’, ‘Victorious March’ and ‘Guardians of Asgaard’ with the imposing figure of vocalist Johan Hegg donning a Viking horned hat for the latter – he also dedicates aptly worded ‘The Fate of Norns’ in memory of Mike Alexander. Guitarists Johan Soderberg, Olavi Mikkonen and Ted Lundstrom have a sturdy and unyielding style with diverse drumming from Fredrik Andersson, which carries them through an excellent set culminating in an encore of ‘Cry of the Blackbirds’ and ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’.

I think it is fair to say we have experienced the gargantuan Goliaths of Swedish death metal all on one line-up this evening — if you haven’t got hold of tickets for future dates on this tour yet then I suggest you purchase some pronto to avoid missing out!

Review – Amanda Jones
Photos – Helen Moss

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