The Electric Brixton is a large friendly venue giving its audience ample space. The layered floor gives the opportunity for a clear view. The stage is also at a good height, which means the bands have a decent advantage to connect with the audience. Here we have the MTV Headbanger’s Ball a well-known event in Metal, which appears to be making a comeback in the form of a tour! Now the night’s line up gives some experienced hard hitters. They can easily hold up the Metal banner proudly. Unfortunately, Unearth - the first band on, we missed due to other commitments of the event. We were sorry to have missed you.
Kataklysm took to the stage with a pounding roar, the thick darkness exploding with heavy guitars and relentless drumming. They jumped to the front of the stage, raising themselves up and out into the roar of the crowd, who were glad to meet them head on. “For those who don’t know, we are Kataklysm.” Without hesitation the floor and band were moving. The energetic guitars offering an overpowering fire; the drums a good punishment. The set was short but they gave it their all and it was a raw passionate burning. A strong act pounding out Death Metal.
From here there’s almost an abrupt shift. A distinct sound of folk rings out as preparation for the next band. The crowd fills out and the air builds its anticipation. A triumphant cheer as Ensiferum fills out too and they plunge themselves into their music. For a band so much about the sword there is a clear grand nature to them. As if lifting a sword, their guitars come to hand and battle chants egg them on. Without a moments passing the band establish a camaraderie between them. Like brothers in arms gleefully battling their enemies they hit the stage with Metal. Despite this, from the outset, what lies beneath is a brutal and also a melodic band. It makes sense to follow Kataklysm and the rhythmic guitars give a full force of thunder. We’re asked to share their metal with them as if having a party of swords. By the end, we’re all in one photo, one venue and one battle.
By now, the venue is pretty full and the audience is tired and beaten. When Iced Earth take the stage they do so with energy and determination. A Metal scream singing round the entire venue. They hit with a power and excitement that had clearly been building. Though… it is Tuesday… it has been a powerful night… and it is a lot for a headliner to bear. They are pushing hard and having fun doing it. It’s energetic fire as they give it their all but that’s all. It’s not always easy to tell why a band falls short of what they could be. With the headlining spot and the day of the week as well as the band and sound systems there could have been a lot of reasons but there’s a sense that with the great power that was smashed into us that there would be other occasions where it’d feel like a tonne of breaks and not just a baseball bat.
Now if MTV Headbangers Ball is going to continue making tours then this was a strong start and definitely a step in a very good direction. A great line up of experienced bands taking the stage with a power to really bang heads and shout out Metal’s here! Let’s hope there are more like this.
We also interviewed Petri Lindroos of Ensiferum which you can view below!