Wednesday, 7 December 2016

MTV Headbangers Ball Iced Earth, Ensiferum, Kataklysm and Unearth 06/12/16 Electric Brixton

Eclectic at the Electric is tonight’s mantra. Now generally the non-metal folk out there see metal as mindless noise whether it’s Iron Maiden or Cannibal Corpse. Yet, that would be like us saying all Pop music is mindless drivel whether it’s Britney Spears or Ed Sheeran however we all know however unfortunately that they sound vastly different. 

Tonight’s draw has being aptly named and hopefully remembered MTV’s Headbangers ball, it has a definite mixed bag with Iced Earth, Ensiferum, Kataklysm and Unearth all taking part to resurrect this departed program and give tonight’s Brixton crowd a taste of metals.

Up first was `Unearth’ unfortunately due to the lovely transport system of this fair and rather cold country at present they were missed; however just down on reputation alone they always bring the energy and fun even at 6pm on a miserable night in the capital. We shall catch you next time lads. 
Photo Credit: Nathan KP

Next up on tonight’s extravaganza of a bill are Canadian extreme metallers `Kataklysm` (7) who with their brand of aggressive hyperblasts and intense riffs, whips up the crowd who commence the circle swirling and nicely warmed up for what’s to come. When you look at tonight’s bill it’s clear that these boys are the heaviest thing on it and some of tonight’s crowd are here just for them and only them, which is both great that crowds come out for one band but with each band some leave and some go.

Photo Credit: Nathan KP

3rd up are Finland’s Ensiferum (8) on a bill with the rest of these bands might be a bit odd yet it works and it shows just how diverse metal as a genre can be, especially with the addition of an accordion thrown in. Ensiferum bring the epic tales of the north, getting the crowd chanting back at them as though Ensiferum were regaling the crowd on heroic quests to defeat the hordes of enemies, Ensiferum do a great job of warming up the throats of London’s metal faithful for tonight’s final band. 

Iced Earth
Photo Credit: Nathan KP

`Iced Earth’ (9) are the concluding band on the Headbangers ball and have certainly earned that right, although I must say each of these bands could headline on their own given night. 

So maybe a little bias on this point but I adore a band that can not only bring the riffs like Iced Earth do thanks droves to the absolute machine gun of a guitarist and founder Jon Schaffer whose rhythm prowess is probably only matched by James Hetfield. It’s in the charismatic vocalist Stu Block that Iced Earth really come to life and if you’ve been a fan for some time you know they’ve had some damned talented singers and Stu delivers all Iced Earth’s catalogue with perfection. He and the band give a special rendition of `Watching Over Me` for a dear friend of the band who lost his life to cancer the previous night. The crowd roar back at Iced Earth and send a message that in life we are all together. 

Overall an interesting mix of bands, certainly package deals like this come along rarely these days, they give you a taste of what different sub-genres within metal are like and in particular what bands sounds like. Love it or hate it’s worth a try. 

8/10- Rather like a box of Cadbury’s Roses pick your favourite and go for it or try something new.