Arch Enemy, Soilwork, The Infernal Sea.

The Waterfront, Norwich. 21st August 2016.

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THE INFERNAL SEA

This black metal troupe from Peterborough kicked off the night with their black death inspired noise. Clad in a uniform of hoodies emblazoned with their logo, plague masks and shrouded in green light, punters in Norwich hadn’t been greeted with this much intensity since OATHBREAKER shattered eardrums last year. Ferocious drumming, raw vocals and a taste of most recent album The Great Mortality, leave the crowd in awe of the ear battering they have just received. It is safe to say new fans joined their ritual tonight. British black metal is safe in The Infernal Sea’s hands.

 

SOILWORK

As soon as these Swedish melodic death metal Kings hit the stage with opener The Ride Majestic, The Waterfront turned into a hot, sweaty mess of flailing limbs and banging heads. Soilwork had released rarities album Death Resonance a few days previous, and tonight really felt like a celebration of their long career and back catalogue. Old favourites such as Nerve sat seamlessly alongside newer anthems like Death in General. The crowd were putty in Bjorn and co’s hands and when old fan favourite Bastard Chain erupted, it almost reduced The Waterfront to rubble. Charismatic tongue-wagging guitarist Sylvain brought the fun and smiling faces were seen all around after the victorious set. After almost two decades as a band, Soilwork have proved tonight they are still one of the pioneers of the melodic death metal genre. Let’s hope they don’t leave it another ten years until they return to Norwich.

 

ARCH ENEMY

Overhearing other members of the crowd it is clear what is on everyone’s mind; will Alissa live up to Angela’s legacy? The answer is an undoubtedly, resounding YES! From the start Alissa took command of the crowd and the room was filled with her distinct rumbling growl. Material from most recent album War Eternal went down a storm. The title track was screamed back at Alissa with such a passion from the fans that the band could not help but lap up the crowd’s enthusiasm and return such an energetic performance for the hour and a half they were on stage. Old gems such as Ravenous, My Apocalypse and Nemesis still sound just as devastating as when they were first released. Light hearted fun was brought by Alissa encouraging the crowd to ‘sing along to’ the solo in My Apocalypse, have you ever been encouraged to sing along to a solo? The thing which stood out tonight was Alissa’s professionalism and pure admiration for her band mates, always moving the focus from her to the rest of the band when it was their time to shine. By the end of the set there was no doubt Alissa had cemented herself as the frontwoman of Arch Enemy and one will garner respect from metal fans for many years to come.

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