Making their fabled return to British soils, Amaranthe were certainly warm welcomed once again in London. After being plagued by smoggy conditions throughout the past week, it seems that the Scandinavian trio of Smash Into Pieces, Deals Death and of course Amaranthe have brought with them their cool and crisp Arctic air, whilst brewing up a storm in the soon-packed 02 Islington venue. Fusing together a full-rocking attitude with a wide array of metal music styles that seemingly come together collectively as an apocalyptic range of thunderous yet majestic music.
What with the 02 Islington breaching the 400+ mark, and with a few recognizable faces here and there including Herman Li (Dragonforce), you could instantly tell that all three bands had a fruity and excited audience.
< Since when did Sean Kelly of Storage Hunters sing?
Given that Smash Into Pieces were performing in the UK for the first time, the stakes for a first-time approval were high. Whilst they gave a fearless performance that certainly proved to be a solid start for the Swedish quintet, one that punters seemed to enjoy, it was not nearly enough to spark the whole crowd. However they certainly displayed a sensational mix of clean Melodic Metal music and infectious vibes. One lucky fan ending up with a signed cymbal which was thrown into the crowd with such sheer precision, that it could make any Olympic discus thrower seem a few leagues below.
It is fair to say that they delivered such a flamboyant style to their stage presence and was met with such a warm welcomed response, not much else could be asked from the crowd, however Smash Into Pieces should have cranked up the vibe just a little bit as parts of the crowd were sort of left questioning to what the band was meant to be playing or at the very least, what they were there for. At times, they seemed to lack a little bit of convincing attitude whilst performing and thus left the crowd with a minute feeling of disappointment yet ironic satisfaction.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Olle's microphone disappearing trick went down well >
Not sure whether the next Swedish band Deals Death actually slipped out of fifth gear, or simply set the tone for the evening. Either way full marks must be given to them, the new merchants of steel. Firing off their set with a vastly powerful epitome and sound that most would have anticipated. Soon the whole venue was ablaze with the sight of melting guitar strings, fired up blood and acidic sweat. It was safe to say that Deals Death are taking Melodic Death Metal to newer heights through their encapsulating and unique musical closet.
Fueling the crowd with a sound that reverberated around the venue tenfold, Death Deals are set to stake their claim within the Gothenburg abyss, hell hath no fury. Furthermore, their synchronous and elaborate stage performance was possibly one of the most orchestrated of the night, that was until Amaranthe unleashed the futuristic sound of Modern Metal. As for Deals Death, after tonight's performance it is safe to say they would bode well at Bloodstock (Sophie Lancaster stage maybe?).
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
< Many would agree that Elize is a Swedish ice maiden
Let's be honest, Amaranthe whip in the ABBA-esque style of Europop with the catchy, yet slightly brutal smacking of classic Swedish Melodic Death Metal and smother it with elements of Symphonic Modern Metal. With the band consisting of both Swede's and Dane's, the whole Sonic Syndicate-meets-Mnemic algorithm comes into the foreground as the trance-like elements of 'The Nexus' come exploding out, shaking the venue walls in time with the beats herewith presented. It was evident from tonight's performance that Amaranthe had matched Deals Death sensationally, if not surpassing them.
With the crowd split into whether to mosh or rave, one group merged delinquently into a rave-pit and it seemed that Amaranthe had successfully converted the punters into enjoying the sounds of Modern Metal. Mesmerising them through the use of an elaborate and captivating stage presence, venomous vocals, riveting riffs, danceable drumming sequences and dirty dancing (let's be honest on one side the crowd was moshing and on the other side, the crowd was delivering a reminiscent performance of Strictly Come Dance Metal).
Overall it definitely seemed that Amaranthe kept everyone entertained, even through the inaugural and sensually moving drum solo interval. Whether you love them or hate them, Amaranthe have sparked off a new sound, one that hopefully will catch on as the ever broadening genre of Modern Metal speaks new volumes, with Amaranthe this volume is infinity. Fusing together their stage presence and sensational music, they have proven themselves again to why they deserve another UK festival appearance (Bloodstock again?) and in doing so ricochet their very sound as it begins to fade awat and signal the end of the night.
Tonight all three bands have proven that Scandinavian Metal is alive and kicking, there will be no end to the metal production factories up in the North.
Quote of the night:
"What? You have full body hair so you don't need a jacket?" - Johan (bass) to a crowd member
 RHYS STEVENSON
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