It was a Nordic invasion on the night of Oct. 6, 2019 at the Skyway Theater when a quartet of Swedish heavy metal bands did their best to shake the foundations of the historic theater.
The event started with the self-described “rif gods’, Grand Magus who were squeeze on stage around the massive draped sets awaiting the later bands. Grand Magus did a great job warming the crowd up with their tribute to heavy metal. The band played the songs ‘I, the Jury’, ‘Steel Versus Steel’, ‘Like the Oar Strikes the Water’, ‘Iron Will’, and ‘Hammer of the North’. The tight space did not detract from the unceasing riffs and vocals reminiscent of the golden age of rock.
Next up was At the Gates, whose much more aggressive style of metal injected another dose of adrenaline in the concert hall, which was quickly filling to standing room only. The band, started in 1990, took a decade long break from the mid ’90’s to mid 2000’s but has been steadily back since 2010. Singer Tomas Lindberg engaged the crowd and set the stage for the rest of the evening. At the Gates played, To Drink From the Night Itself, Slaughter of the Soul, At War With Reality, The Colours of the Beast, Cold, Death and the Labyrinth, Blinded by Fear, The Night Eternal.
Arch Enemy exploded on the stage next with songs like ‘The World is Yours’ and ‘The Eagle Flies Alone’ they entertained with an aggressive feminine vibe as they took control of the evening. Singer Alissa White-Gluz was all over the stage engaging fans and first timers alike with her unbelievably powerful presence. Arch Enemy’s set list was The World Is Yours, Ravenous, War Eternal, My Apocalypse, The Eagle Flies Alone, First Day in Hell, As the Pages Burn, Nemesis.
During the set change between Arch Enemy and the headliners, Amon Amarth, the stage was draped in a Berserker curtain as the DJ warmed up the nearly capacity, fairly cramped crowd, with Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’ before the curtain dropped to the unmistakable melodies of Amon Amarth’s ‘Raven’s Flight’, opening their set with a mind scrambling scream (take a listen to the song here.)
The set list went on from there with their no holds barred songs of war and romanticized ballads of life with brothers in arms, as a Viking. The backdrop to the stage was a massive horned Viking helmet that held the drums, flanked by pedestals used by the horned shaman figure that pranced around the stage during one song.
If you like ear splitting melodies that flow like Nordic epic poems set in mythic lands amid hopeless dangers you will love this band and their dark storytelling abilities.
Photos and story by Matt Blewett