||STEVE GÖLDBY'S METAL CHRONICLES
Camden Underworld, London
Wednesday 1st April 2015
Heavy Metal came to London on Wednesday night in the shape of three great bands who under extremely difficult circumstances gave totally excellent performances and proved that Heavy Metal is still the law.
It was April Fool's night but this was serious business as Majesty's first headlining tour for years rolled into town. Eventually. We were there early for interviews but we had to settle for drinking at the bar instead as there was no sign at all of the bands, who were all travelling together.
A horrendously delayed ferry finally set sail and the bands arrived at The Underworld after first band, Evil Invaders from Belgium, were due onstage. Stage times were reworked, the fastest stage set up ever ensued and Evil Invaders hit the stage just over half an hour after arriving in London and promptly blew the place to pieces.
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This really is a band to watch out for as they are surely destined for the very top. They've pretty much got the lot - really cool image, very strong songs, excellent musicianship and a superb onstage attitude. In fact, the only thing missing from this band is frontman Joe's surname.
He's an absolute dynamo onstage and the resemblance to early day Hetfield is unavoidable, although this is not to say that he is an imitator as he easily stands alone on his own merits.
The Invaders really did smash the joint up tonight with their own brand of fast paced tradition Heavy Metal riffs combined with thrash and considering the circumstances makes their performance even more remarkable.
Joe and lead guitarist Sam Lemmens play off each other and make a great partnership and the rythym section of drummer Senne Jacobs and bassist Max Mayhem really complement the pair.
Evil Invaders seriously impressed tonight and with a great debut album, 'Pulses Of Pleasure', under their belt and solid record company backing from Napalm, you can expect to be hearing a lot more about them in the coming months.
Changeover time was brief tonight due to the earlier delay and Sweden's Bloodbound hit the stage barely ten minutes after Evil Invaders had finished but once again, with limited time to prepare they pulled off a triumphant performance.
Bloodbound have a really clean sound that contains power and force in equal measures and they executed a fabulous set tonight consisting of numbers from all six of their albums, including the highlight, 'When All Lights Fail'.
Frontman Patrik Johansson is totally commanding on the stage and interacts well with his audience while guitarists Tomas Olsson and Henrik Olsson keep things moving at a frenetic pace with some excellent dual interplay.
It's heads down all the way as Bloodbound's songs hit hard and heavy and they leave the audience in no doubt that here is another potential big name in the making.
And so to Majesty, a band often derided as being a Manowar copy and yes, there are similarities in approach, style and statements but Tarek Maghary's creation and brainchild, endorsed by the "kings of Metal" themselves, stands up as it's own entity.
They've been around since 1998 now and latest album 'Generation Steel' is their eighth full length studio offering. Their set was cut short by five songs tonight and of the eleven songs played, four were from 'Generation Steel' ('Hawks Will Fly', 'Shout At The World', 'Generation Steel' and 'Circle Of Rage') while the 'Thunder Rider' album was represented by its title track and the magnificent 'Metal Union'.
Another standout track was the magnificent 'Metal Law' while 'Into The Stadiums' is always a crowd pleaser. The title track of the 'Hellforces' album really had the crowd in raptures with 'Fields Of War' from 'Swords And Sorcery' and 'Time For Revolution', also from 'Hellforces', rounded off a thrilling and exhilarating set.
Tarek works his audience well and it was pleasing to hear him relay the story of him sitting next to the bus driver urging him to get to London in time. No way was he missing his first ever London headline show and it was in true Heavy Metal style that he made sure his troops made it and his fans got the show they had been so looking forward to.
Majesty have endured a lot of line-up changes over the years but with Tristan Visser and Robin Hadamovsky on guitars and Alex Voß and Jan Raddatz on bass and drums respectively they appear to have their most solid line-up ever and could now be set to conquer, something they have always threatened to do but never quite managed. The time and line-up seem right now.
I'll always go back to Majesty's second album 'Keep It True' as it was my first introduction to the band and I still consider the four standout tracks, 'Son Of Metal', Starke Vie Stahl', 'Hail To Majesty' and the title track as absolute classics.
That they can afford to leave all three out of their set and still produce a rapturous performance, especially in tonight's circumstances, says a lot more about them than any compliment I can word. Hail to Majesty indeed!
So a stunning evening of real Heavy Metal played by three superb bands who deserve every last little bit of success they have coming their way. Triumphant!
Hawks Will Fly
Fields Of War
Time For Revolution
Shout At The World
Into The Stadiums
Circle Of Rage
Photos by Tony Mottram