Tonight's show is opened by Taiwanese band Chthonic (pronounced Ker-Thonic). Despite the early start (doors opened at 6.30 and Chthonic are on at 7pm) there is a good sized crowd by the time they come on stage. First out on stage is their drummer, Dani with his face hidden behind a Hannibal Lecter style mask, before the rest of the band join him on stage.
Female bassist, Doris (who looks far more glamorous than the name suggests) also does backing vocals and is clearly having a lot of fun on stage. For a couple of songs, singer Freddy also plays a unusual looking instrument - a Chinese violin-like instrument called a Erhu or Hena
For the song "Painkiller" the band were joined by a special guest - Agamoth from Abgott.
The crowd are clearly enjoying the bands performance tonight with lots of fists punching the air in time to the music and plenty of horns on display.
Despite Taiwan not being known for heavy metal, Chthonic are an impressive band and definitely prove the far east is capable of producing some great metal music.
Next up are young British band Malefice. Malefice were clearly a popular choice for this tour, and soon had a large circle pit going, before later getting the audience to do a wall of death. The band seem hyperactive - constantly charging around the stage, and clearly having a great time on stage. Metal Hammer recently named Malefice as one of their hopes for the future of metal, and based on tonights performance its easy to see why.
The third and final support act is Grand Magus, from Stockholm in Sweden. This band is a three-piece - a drummer, a bassist and a guitarist/vocalist. They are heacy, but nowehere near as heavy as Malefice or Arch Enemy, which makes the running order seem odd as having Malefice as the final support would have prepared the crowd better for Arch Enemy. Despite this, Grand Magus are clearly a talented band and the audience enjoy their set, singing along to some of the songs and cheering loudly between songs.
No matter how good the support was tonight, the headliners, Arch Enemy are clearly who people have come to see. As the lights go down before their intro tape starts, the chants of "Arch Enemy" start. The band come out to huge applause and cheers, and quickly blast into The Immortal. For anyone who hasnt seen or listened to Arch Enemy, Angela Gossow's vocals are quite amazing - a petite blonde woman, she comes out on stage before letting out what can best be descibed as a demonic growl, and you're constantly wondering how someone so small can make such a powerful growl. Her voice is perfectly suited to the bands music, and while it is a definite growly style of vocals, the words are far clearer than with some male vocalists in other bands that use growly vocals.
The crowd are loving it, and security know what to expect so have extra staff in the photo pit to catch the inevitable crowd surfers. The band blast through their set with plenty of their most popular songs included such as Ravenous, Taking back my soul, Dead eyes see no future, and We will rise.
The encore tonight is Snowbound which seems appropriate with the current wintery weather in the UK (although London is clear of snow for tonights show), followed by Nemesis.
Arch Enemy photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17507
Grand Magus photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17536
Malefice photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17537
Chthonic photos: http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=17534
Grand Magus setlist
Like the oar strikes into water
Silver into steel
Hammer of the north
I the jury
The shadow knows
Arch Enemy setlist
Taking back my soul
I will live again
Dead eyes see no future
Dead bury their dead
We will rise