Live Review: Kreator, Arch Enemy & Shining (feat. Marty Freidman)

The O2 Academy, Bristol – December 17th 2014

My final gig of 2014 took me back to the O2 Academy in Bristol and for German thrash metal journeymen Kreator with support from Swedish (and Canadian) melodic death metal heroes Arch Enemy and Norwegian avant garde metalists Shining.

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First on are Shining from Norway. The band are billed as avant garde metal or jazz metal, which is quite the unique mix! Singer Jørgen not only plays guitar, he also tosses the axe to one side every so often to pick up a saxaphone. Shining mix jazz, noise, electronic, metal and doom all in one. The second half of their set a special guest is introduced (sadly no pictures due to being after the first 3 songs) – the special guest is Marty Freidman, Megadeth’s lead guitarist for the best part of a decade. Marty shreds his way through songs from his solo career with Shining as back up. This guy is quite some guitarist!

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This is a co-headline show with the next two bands having healthy sets each. Fronted by their new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz and as her other half Doyle (of Misfits fame) calls her, Queen Beast is melodic death metal legends Arch Enemy. AE have relentlessly been touring their new superb record ‘War Eternal’ in 2014 with their new vocalist and in recent weeks have also been joined by Jeff Loomis on guitar. The band take the stage and immediately rip into the title track of the new record, White-Gluz is a superb front person pacing the stage left to right throwing her blue and green hair about and unleashing an almighty roar which seems to come from nowhere! Powering through a set of old and new songs, White-Gluz is a fine replacement to the previous singer, Angela Gossow. Personal highlight of the set was ‘As The Pages Burn’, a track off the new album which has a thunderous chorus and words that you can chant to your hearts content. The set ends on ‘Nemesis’ which sees Loomis and founding guitarist Michael Amott exchange a frenzied riffs battle which was fully appreciated by the crowd.

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Ending the evening are Kreator – the German thrash metal band have been doing their thing for a good 30 years now and have built up a fan base of loyal fans and tonight this was proven! Coming out to huge cheers and a tough task to play after Arch Enemy, Millie Petrozza and co rifle straight in to ‘Violent Revolution’. Each song is greeted with intense front of stage smoke and frenzied mosh pits. Kreator play a set full of anthems with hate filled vocals and sharp thrash guitar solos with Petrozza demanding more violence and more chaos from the legions in front of him. ‘Pleasure To Kill’ ends the set and is met with huge cheers and pockets of “KREATOR” chants with the band re-taking the stage for their encore which starts with a cover of Iron Maidens ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ends on ‘Flag of Hate’ and ‘Tormentor’.