(Hrvatski) AMON AMARTH, GRAND MAGUS, TVORNICA KULTURE, 29. 11. 2016.

AMON AMARTH & GRAND MAGUS, THE CULTURE FACTORY, 29 NOV 2016

The Culture Factory in Zagreb turned into a real Viking battle scene during Amon Amarth’s concert last night! The night outside was cold while the whole Factory was absolutely on fire, a stunning contrast which immediately attuned one’s senses. The mighty Swedes are currently promoting their new album Jomsviking, accompanied on tour by their compatriots Grand Magus, who helped spice up the metal party before Amon Amarth’s grand performance. I must say that the opening band’s performance was, for me personally, one of the highlights of the evening.

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The band has been around for twenty years, and their last album Sword Songs came out in May 2016. This Swedish trio had excellent sound quality throughout their set, with special attention focused on the vocal performance of the convincing Janne Christoffersson. I have to admit that Grand Magus sound much better live than on tape, plus I haven’t heard such a clean and deep vocal for a very long time. Many of us wished that the 45-minute performance would last longer. This band definitely earned the audience’s respect last night. Their furious riffs on the trail of old school heavy metal and stoner rock were a great intro for the storm prepared by Amon Amarth. It should be noted that the band performed without the bassist Fox Skinner, who had to withdraw from the rest of the tour due to family obligations. As replacement, the band hired Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass, Kamchatka). Songs like “Varangian” and “Steel Versus Steel” lured fans to the front row, but unfortunately, after 45 minutes, the band bid the audience farewell with one of their most famous songs “Hammer Of The North”. I will remember Grand Magus’ show with great pleasure, and I hope that those relatively unfamiliar with this band recognised their great potential yesterday evening – It was a truly memorable performance!

Grand Magus setlist:
1. I, The Jury
2. Sword Of The Ocean
3. Varangian
4. Steel Versus Steel
5. Iron Will
6. Like The Oar Strikes The Water
7. Hammer Of The North

Following Grand Magus’ fantastic show, an interesting and rather impressive scenery is set for the Swedish storytellers of Viking myths and sagas enveloped by heavy metal tunes – Amon Amarth. The band never disappoints live. The last time I saw them was in May 2014 in Zagreb, and now they have returned, strengthened with their new full-length album Jomsviking. The show starts exactly at 10:45 p.m. and features huge Viking horns in the background with an elevated drum set. Amon Amarth open their set list with one of their biggest hits “The Pursuit Of Vikings”, immediately followed by the phenomenal “As Loke Falls”. Good-quality sound and melodies accentuated by strong-sounding deep growls guarantee an excellent performance. The set list featured old and new hits, including “First Kill,” “The Way Of The Vikings” and “At Dawn’s First Light”.

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The singer Johan Hegg addresses the audience fluently with “Dobra večer!” (Good evening!), to which everyone goes berserk. The band created a great balance of old and new songs, so after “Cry Of The Black Birds” and “Deceiver Of The Gods”, the new song “On A Sea Of ​​Blood” ensues. One of the most striking performances was definitely “Death In Fire”. The fans greeted every song riff by singing along with the band and headbanging. The adrenaline absolutely skyrockets with “Father Of The Wolf,” “Runes To My Memory” and “War Of The Gods”. Then everything calms down for a moment, and the last three songs begin: the anthem-like “Raise Your Horns”, accompanied by drinking beer from Viking horns, a personal favourite of mine “Guardians Of Asgaard” and another big hit “Twilight Of The Thunder God”. To convey in words the intensity of the overall performance by these Swedish giants is anything but easy. Considering the mutual feeling of respect between the band and the audience, we can expect Amon Amarth very soon in Zagreb. Johan Hegg has repeatedly praised the Croatian audience, and the truth is, this concert has shown that we certainly know how to create an atmosphere worthy of the mighty Guardians of Asgaard.

Amon Amarth setlist:
1. The Pursuit Of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way Of Vikings
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry Of The Black Birds
7. Deceiver Of The Gods
8. On A Sea Of Blood
9. Destroyer Of The Universe
10. Death In Fire
11. One Thousand Burning Arrows
12. Father Of The Wolf
13. Runes To My Memory
14. War Of The Gods
Encore:
15. Raise Your Horns
16. Guardians Of Asgaard
17. Twilight Of The Thunder God

>>>>>>> GALLERY <<<<<<<

Live report: Buna Bernarda Juretić
Photos: Martina Šestić | martina@venia-mag.net
English translation: Zorana Stanko

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