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Powerwolf / Ashes Of Ares / Battle Beast / Majesty http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cc/d2/e8/Powerwolf-2013-Live-Review-Rocktopia-93-1389808753.jpg Hot

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Powerwolf / Ashes Of Ares / Battle Beast / Majesty - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 27th September 2013

A tremendous night of power metal saw Majesty come to the stage first. The opening half of their set featured the frenzied pace of 'Metal Law', the sleazy riffs of 'Make Some Noise' and 'Into The Stadiums' which contained lots of crowd participation. At the close of 'Thunder Rider' there were loud chants of 'Hail To The Majesty' that brought big smiles to the faces of the band. The crowd continued to play a huge part in 'Heavy Metal Battle Cry' with their own part of the lyrics which everyone shouted out loud before they closed out their short slot with 'Metal Union' to resounding applause. I have to say that Majesty were one of the best received opening acts I have seen in a while. Although fairly impressive from the crowd participation and performance perspectives, someone commented that musically it all felt a bit dated and I couldn't disagree. That negative aside, Majesty provided a solid start to the night.

It wasn't long before Battle Beast appeared and tore straight into 'Let It Roar': my favourite track from their new album. The guitars were a little more subdued than I expected but Louhimo really gave it her all on vocals from the first lyric. I've said before she sounds almost possessed and tonight she proved her singing is every bit as strong and impressive live. After 'Cyberworld' they powered through my other two new album favourites 'Out In The Streets' and 'Necromancer'. 'Streets' saw Louhimo tone down the power but as the chorus erupted she turned it back on with more force than a Steven Seagal punch. The choruses of both songs are exceedingly catchy and they went down a treat. After 'Kingdom' Louhimo got the crowd really fired up during 'Black Ninja' and it provided her with another opportunity to show off that powerful voice. I heard someone behind me state "what a fecking set of lungs she's got"...frankly, couldn't have put it better myself! Between songs Louhimo declared they wanted even more noise and got it as they finished with 'Enter The Metal World' and the aptly named 'Out Of Control'. I was expecting a great show from Battle Beast but they truly blew everyone away. There was energy and power aplenty but what really made them stand out was Louhimo. She is a real live wire and one hell of a front woman in terms of both presence and ability. For me none of the other acts tonight quite lived up to Battle Beast and I can't wait till they return to these shores. If the crowd response was anything to go by, quite a few others seem to think the same.

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There was barely time to grab a beer before Ashes Of Ares came on, choosing 'The Messenger' as their opener. The guitars were really thick and loud from the off and Matt Barlow proved straight away that he too is one heck of a singer. He gave a poignant introduction about slavery prior to 'Move The Chains' during which he showcased another highly aggressive vocal effort. The band followed up this heavy-duty number with 'Dead Man's Plight' and 'This Is My Hell' with more stunning wails from Barlow in both songs. After 'Chalice Of Man' there was time for a couple more songs and AOA finished with my favourite track from their debut 'Punishment' and 'What I Am'. Their show may not have hit the dizzy heights of BB, but AOA still put on an entertaining and powerful display. Freddie Vidales pumped out some cracking riffs on the guitar whilst Barlow roared and wailed impressively through the whole set. It seemed that AOA gained some new fans tonight and based on this performance they are likely to gain a few more.

During the interval there were wholesale changes on stage with castle wall-like flats having been erected. Powerwolf eventually strode out with little fuss to be greeted by a huge cheer. As with the stage the band themselves were also decked out theatrically in wild outfits and intimidating makeup. They kicked off with 'Sanctified With Dynamite' and 'Prayer In The Dark' both of which were ably supported by the audience. Vocalist Attila Dorn asked if they were ready for a new song and with that PW erupted into one of my favourites from the new album 'Amen And Attack'. They stayed with it for two more in 'All We Need Is Blood' and 'Sacred And Wild' which is another personal favourite. 'Resurrection' was next for the crowd's delectation before they returned to the new album again with 'Coleus Sanctus'. It's quite a gothic number with lots of Latin chanting that the crowd fully supported making it the track of their set for me. Some momentum was then lost with a technically good but unnecessary drum solo before the full band returned to "power" through 'St Satan's Day', 'Kreuzfeuer' and 'Werewolves Of Armenia'. The chants of "Powerwolf, Powerwolf" got louder and louder as each song passed and the crowd's volume continued to rise during 'Dead Boys Don't Cry' which seemed to be a real fan favourite judging by the reaction. The main body of their show was bought to its end by 'We Drink Your Blood' and 'Lupus Dei' before PW came back for the expected encore with 'Raise Your Fist, 'Evangelist' and last but not least 'In The Name Of God'. They received the loudest cheer of the night and I can see why.

BB may have been my personal act of the night but PW certainly pushed them very close. As a band they have an excellent on-stage presence and delivered every song with energy and plenty of attitude. They would have stolen top honours were it not for the vivacious and awesome performance from Louhimo.

Dave Scott

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