Live Review: Arch Enemy & Kreator

QMU – 21/12

This is Alissa-White Gluz’s first time in Scotland. The new lead singer of Arch Enemy is in welcoming territory, with the pints flowing and long hair windmilling from the moment the band explode into life with ‘War Eternal.’

It is a no-thrills kinda show. Michael Amott’s distinctive guitar playing takes centre stage between Gluz’s road-tested growls. Just like ‘We Will Rise’ a decade before, ‘You Will Know My Name’ from 2014’s War Eternal is catchy and memorable, though also highlights how much Arch Enemy have comfortably stuck to what they know.

The passing over of vocal duties from the imposing Angela Gossow to Gluz, who displayed awesome vocal chops in previous band The Agonist, could have been the kick up the ass Arch Enemy need. As it is, Gluz lacks the intensity of Gossow. The ferocity of her vocal delivery is never in question, and she handles the old material like ‘Nemesis’ as well as you could hope, but as to where she actually fits within the band is still in question. Perhaps if she were able to bring the melody from The Agonist into Arch Enemy it could really make the band important in the metal scene again. In the meantime, this is a good performance rather than a great one.

Ferocity is something Kreator do not lack in. Like a particularly pissed off Slayer, they charge through songs spanning their career that started in the early ‘80s.

It has been seven years since they were last here, and frontman Mille Petrozza is impressed at the turnout. He doesn’t have to ask for circle pits and the like, but he does anyway. He also asks a fair few times for us to destroy the place. Given that it was in the QMU, we are quite glad this was hyperbolic, or if it wasn’t, he at least didn’t succeed.

90 minutes is a seemingly long time at a Kreator gig. While they have experimented across the years with their overall sound, live it is all turned up to 11 and aggressively in your face. 30+ years into their career they still sound absolutely raging, but some songs do blend into others seamlessly, making their set go from adrenalizing and engaging to formulaic and repetitive throughout the night.

By all means a good night for metal, but more of a celebration of what has come than any glances towards the future.

[Scott Wilson – @HeartofFire]

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