The Twilight of the Thunder God Tour II featuring Amon Amarth, Eluveitie, and Holy Grail, stopped at the Showbox in Seattle last night. All three of your NCS Co-Authors were there, despite the fact that two of us were still a bit bleary-eyed from attending the Dillinger Escape Plan show the night before at El Corazon (you can see our write-up on that show and photos here). On the other hand, it would have taken major bodily injury to keep us away from a chance to see Amon Amarth in person.
We took so many photos of this show that we’re going to split this post into two parts (plus it was another late night and we have day jobs that require our fucking attention very shortly). Today, we’ll say a few words about Holy Grail and Eluveitie, with photos from their sets at the end of the write-up, and then tomorrow — tomorrow will be all about the awesomeness that is Amon Amarth in concert. Don’t miss that!
(continue on after the jump . . .)
80’s hair metal is crawling from the grave like a re-animated rotting corpse that’s now hungry for your brain. We’d be willing to feed it your brain if it would just go back deep into the ground.
Music is a matter of taste, but to us Holy Grail tastes bad. They play generic retro hair-metal, complete with high-pitched, vibratto-heavy clean vocals and formulaic power chords. Lots of preening, prancing, and striking of poses on stage. And don’t forget the fist-pumping and invisible oranges held aloft — there was that, too.
We weren’t surprised, since three of these guys were members of White Wizzard until 2008. After separating from that band, they formed an outfit called Sorcerer, signed with Prosthetic Records last year and, in an episode of inexplicable pretension, changed their name to Holy Grail.
We might have been able to digest all the cheese on stage if the music had been distinctive, but as IntoTheDarkness (one of our Co-Authors) said at the end, “it sounded like one giant song, with nothing to distinguish one piece from the next.” Someone obviously sees something in this band, but we’re missing it.
Granted we’ve got our musical prejudices (see the name of this site), but re-treading a style of (putrid) music that turned almost an entire generation off of metal just doesn’t seem like a worthy objective, particularly when nothing original or memorable has been added to the retro rehash. This set ended none too soon.
The contrast between Holy Grail and Eluveitie could not have been more stark. As IntoTheDarkness said, “Now this is why I listen to metal! Really original, creative music!” And so it was.
It’s not often that you see an 8-piece metal band, much less one that includes whistles, bagpipes, violin, and a hurdy gurdy — in addition to some outrageously good metal guitarists, bass, and drums. But this Swiss band inventively incorporates all those instruments plus Christian Glanzmann’s distinctive harsh vocals into an enthralling mix of sounds.
The packed crowd at Showbox seemed full of pent-up energy as Eluveitie began, and when Glanzmann asked if everyone was ready for “some pure fucking folk metal,” the response was thunderous and jubilant. Eluveitie’s union of fast-paced melodic death metal and folk metal got the mosh pit going and the heads banging, with a mix of old standards and a few songs off the band’s new release, Everything Remains As It Never Was.
To our ears, the sound quality was excellent, and all those distinctive instruments shown through, even with the Gothenburg-style riffage and the galloping drums as competition. Whatever you may think of the band’s recordings (and folk metal obviously doesn’t suit everyone’s tastes), they put on a hell of a live show — one that we’ll remember with a big smile.
And now, more photos from the Holy Grail and Eluveitie sets: