Iced Earth / Evergrey Hot

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Iced Earth / Evergrey - Camden Underworld, London (UK) - 20th December 2012

And so to my last gig of 2012; first up tonight was two unknown to me metal acts, Finland's Dead Shape Figure and Steel Engraved from Germany. Neither really warrant comment in this magazine, so quickly on to Evergrey: a band frequently covered in Fireworks & on Rocktopia.

They came out and fired straight into 'Leave It Behind Us' and it was clear they were the most polished band so far. They have an interesting combination of elements with trance like keys washing over feverish guitar work. 'The Masterplan' and epic 'Rulers Of The Night' came next. The latter is full of heavy melodies, doom filled keys and even a choir which gave everything a grand feel. 'Blinded' was one of their pace filled numbers and it went down well. 'As I Lie Bleeding' was one of the best songs of their set but singer Tom Englund may not think so after getting an electric shock off the equipment. Everygrey's latest single and power ballad 'Wrong' preceded 'Recreation Day' which really had the crowd motivated with its infectious melody. The Underworld was pretty much packed out by the time they played 'Broken' and there was a wild reaction heavily encouraged by Englund. There wasn't much in the way of chat and Englund announced the last song 'A Touch Of Blessing' then stated they intended "to play and fuck off, no time for bullshit". This is exactly what they did to a hefty response.

Iced Earth didn't take long to appear, they came out to a huge roar and set the place alight with 'Dystopia', 'Burning Times' and 'Pure Evil'. The audience was bordering rabid as IE let fly volley after volley of riffs and power chords. The hands were in the air as new vocalist Stu Block encouraged carnage from centre stage. 'Wolf' saw the intensity turned down for a few moments, an Eastern sounding tune wound out before the guitarists forced their way back into the fray. 'V' was one of my top tracks from the last album and it deservedly received a great response. The guitar was colossal and the infectious chorus was sung out every time by the whole venue and for me was one of the high points. This ran straight into 'My Own Saviour' before an emotional intro from Block for 'I Died For You', which he performed alone just in a spot until the chorus lit the place up. 'Invasion' 'Motivation Of A Man' and 'Setian Massacre' saw the boys continue to cook up a feast of riffs from the stage. They soon returned to the 'Dystopia' album with 'Anthem' which was a beast live. Block was soon given another chance to show his sensitivity, with the slower 'Prophecy', before two more from the new album in 'Dark City' and 'Equilibrium'. 'The Hunter' was chosen to close out the main set. 'In Sacred Flames' was the encore intro with the perfectly titled 'Boiling Point' and 'Melancholy' entering the flow afterwards. There was time for one more and IE left the obvious till last. 'Iced Earth' bought the house down with fists and hands in the air and the whole place going basically nuts to finish.

If you're into metal, tonight had pretty much everything you can ask for. I was really impressed with Evergrey and their mixture of heavy guitar and deep synth and would enjoy seeing them again. They were good but I'd be lying if I said Iced Earth were anything other than top draw. Block is a fine front man and the rest of the band put in a polished days work. It was a joy to see such an established name as Jon Schaffer in the flesh and have chance to witness his prowess with the axe live on stage. 2012 closed with a sterling night of metal and one that I'm sure left every fan including me happy.

Dave Scott


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