KREATOR / DIMMU BORGIR / HATEBREED / BLOODBATH - The Roundhouse, London 16.12.18

WILL HORSMAN

It’s not often you have 4 bands capable of headlining a venue all playing the same show. With this being the only UK date of the tour it’s no surprise tonight has completely sold out. There’s also probably the most diverse audience I’ve ever seen at a metal gig in attendance tonight - guys and girls of all ages, in everything from Emperor to Suicidal Tendencies merchandise.

This gig is absolutely testament to the fact that if heavy music is to continue playing incredible venues such as this, everyone needs to band together. Hardcore, doom, thrash, death - any kind of core with any kind of metal, it’s all heavy and that’s all that matters. Speaking of incredible venues, that’s an absolute understatement for Camden’s legendary Roundhouse - designed for perfect acoustics you’d have to be deaf to get the sound wrong in here. 

First to take the stage tonight are death metal supergroup BLOODBATH. It always seems unfair, but it’s difficult not to draw comparisons when a band changes vocalist. If you change any instrumentalist in a band, it’s fairly easy for them to slot into the position of the member they replaced (unless they’re Zakk Wylde who can’t help but put a solo in EVERYTHING). But when it’s the vocalist, the most unique element of the music has been changed and is always noticeable. Luckily for BLOODBATH, they have one of the most experienced and generally awesome vocalists available in Nick Holmes who, if you didn’t know any better, absolutely comes across as the man who has been in the band for the long haul. Is he as good as Mikael Akerfeldt? No. Is anyone as good as Mikael Akerfeldt? No. But he absolutely does the music justice and the band are, as you’d expect, completely on form tonight with their daunting stage presence towering over the audience and miserable sound looming over the atmosphere which is fairly subdued as everyone slowly nods their heads in a trance like state. That is until set closer and undoubtably everyone’s favourite track ‘Eaten’ which has everyone either manically headbanging, throwing their arms in the air or screaming along! This is by far the busiest I’ve ever seen a venue for an opening act and, as I said before, any one of these bands would be a worthy headliner.

It almost seems unfair that we are lucky enough to have a band as high caliber as BLOODBATH opening tonight’s proceedings.

BLOODBATH are:

Anders Nystrom – Guitars

Jonas Renkse – Bass

Martin Axenrot – Drums

Nick Holmes – Vocals

Joakim Karlsson – Guitars

You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/bloodbathband/


Next up are metal/hardcore crossover titans HATEBREED. A band that it’s difficult to hate, they’ve paved a 25-year career out of seamlessly melding all of the best elements of hardcore and metal to create the most riotous of heavy music – a sentiment that seems to be shared by the majority of tonight’s crowd.

Despite walking out to the jovial sound of Kiss’s hit ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ as soon as HATEBREED take to the stage and tear into ‘To The Threshold’ the whole pit opens up and 40 minutes of absolute chaos commences.

Hits like ‘Staring Down the Barrel of Today’ and ‘As Diehard As They Come’ seem to just stoke the flames all the way through to set closer ‘I Will Be Heard’ which sneaks into ‘Destroy Everything’. Throughout the whole set the mosh pit barely takes a breather and, like most of the audience, Jamey Jasta has a grin plastered on his face from ear to ear for the duration. They may not be to everyone’s taste but I defy anyone who hasn’t at least had fun during the set.

HATEBREED are:

Jamey Jasta – Vocals

Chris Beattie – Bass

Wayne Lozinak – Guitars

Matt Byrne – Drums

Frank Novinec – Guitars

You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/hatebreed/


As we head to the bar between bands it feels like a complete changing of the guard as the droves of DIMMU BORGIR fans make their way to the pit and the HATEBREED fans retire to the bar for a well earned pint. The stage set up for DIMMU BORGIR is absolutely huge - the drum kit, the back drop, the lighting show, the sound – everything. Donning their trademark hooded cloaks, they play a set of both new and old songs. It’s a complete change in atmosphere from the previous sets, a different type of energy and aggression and different kind of respect and appreciation that is emitted from the audience.

DIMMU BORGIR are:

Shagrath – Vocals

Silenoz – Guitar

Galder – Guitar

Daray – Drums

Geriloz – Keyboards

Victor Brandt – Bass

You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/dimmuborgir/


It’s been well documented that KREATOR are filming tonight’s performance for an upcoming DVD so it’s no surprise when images of ancient wars are projected onto a black curtain juxtaposed with chilled out music which suddenly becomes the words ‘London are you ready to DESTROY’ – its all a bit extra.

As the curtain drops and they rip into the opening riff from ‘Enemy of God’ a giant canon explodes red confetti all over the audience and everyone loses the plot. The energy levels are through the roof and rightly so. KREATOR put on an absolute masterclass of thrash metal complete with fire blazing up from the front of the stage and their signature demon head with glowing eyes, ominously swinging backwards and forwards in the center of their backdrop. A nice touch half way through their set comes in the form of the song ‘Fallen Brother’ which they dedicate to Vinnie Paul, his brother Dimebag and to Lemmy Kilminster. Throughout the song, images of famous celebrities who are sadly no longer with us are projected onto the stage – Peter Steele, Chris Cornell, Anthony Bourdain, Amy Winehouse and Jill Janus to name but a few. It’s rather symbolic that as the song comes to a close, the last few pieces of red confetti from the start of the set fall to the ground.

It’s an incredible set of epic proportions for definite and will make for an incredible live DVD but, from where I was stood, it didn’t go completely without a hitch…a few of the crowd commands from Mille Petrozza came across as ill timed and not quite as effective as they could have been. Perhaps understandably with such a varied audience, by the time ‘Violent Revolution’ is played, the back of the venue is almost completely empty. Maybe it’s all well and good boosting attendances by having a mixture of bands playing a line-up but it seems the lesson to be learnt is that almost half the audience may well just end up leaving half way through the headline acts set.


KREATOR are:

Mille Petrozza – Vocals/Guitar

Christian Giesler – Bass

Jurgen Reil – Drums

Sami Yli-Sirnio – Guitar


You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/KreatorOfficial/