Emperor, To-Mera & She Said Destroy - London Astoria


Event: Emperor
Written by: Daru Jericho
Published: 01.11.2006


This was to be Emperor's final concert and, due to being on English record label Candlelight, it was happening here in London. Needless to say, the show was sold out. People from all over the world had come to witness the symphonic black metal legends live and many people had started queuing up from 8am outside the Astoria venue. I myself was adamant on getting to the show early with a place in front row and arrived at around 12:45. Getting to the venue this early was more beneficial than I had expected, resulting in me getting my ticket signed by Samoth and Ihsahn. After many hours of amusement, the doors opened a few minutes earlier than planned and into the Astoria it was.

The first thing I did was buy an Emperor's ladies' t-shirt for 15 pounds, getting impatient at those who were selling it to me due to them being unable to find one. When I did receive it, I got my place in front row, fairly close to the centre. After a seemingly long wait, the first support ban came onstage: She Said Destroy. Once again they were on top form, playing their form of death metal with technical bass parts and drumming. I was enjoying them but there were a number of fans impatient and desperate to see Emperor so the band was not as well received, as they should have been.

The band's setlist was entertaining enough for me, with tracks such as "Shapeshifter" and "Swallow My Tongue". They closed their twenty-minute set with the self-titled song of their album "Time Like Vines". For this song they brought in a guest vocalist but I preferred their original one.

The choice of having To-Mera on the bill sounds rather questionable seeing as they play progressive metal. However, the reason for their position of second support band to Emperor was a returned favour as To-Mera's bassist signed Emperor to Candlelight records. These rapidly rising musician's presence on the bill disappointed a lot of the Emperor fans. The band is good but how they got so popular so quickly is beyond me; it is probably because of their female vocalist. They worked as a fairly cohesive unit. The drums were impressive but not entirely original in the progressive metal genre. The keyboards sounded a little clumsy at times too, but over all their performance was not unwatchable. The band seemed a little nervous; this was the biggest venue they have played so far. They performed songs such as "Parfum" and the more popular "Blood" during their brief set.

When Emperor came on stage the uproar was full and mighty. The black metal legends began their show with a medley of three "In The Nightside Eclipse" tracks: "Into The Infinity Of Thoughts", "The Burning Shadows Of Silence" and "Cosmic Keys To My Creation And Time". Although it would most probably have been better to witness these three tracks all in their entirety, this three song hybrid worked well at welcoming the audience into what was to be a more than memorable show. From where I stood the quality of the sound was great. Nothing over powered anything but there were times when vocalist Ihsahn should have been louder; he was still audible though and that was all that really mattered.

Unsurprisingly most of the setlist came from the albums "In The Nightside Eclipse" and "Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk" with fan favourites such as "Towards The Pantheon" and "Thus Spake The Nightspirit", two of my personal favourite Emperor songs, the latter appearing surprisingly early in the setlist. "An Elegy Of Icaros" was the only song performed from the "IX Equilibrium" album and "In The Worldless Chamber" was the sole track from "Prometheus - The Discipline Of Fire And Demise".

The band took lively stances throughout the performance. Ihsahn certainly seemed enthusiastic about this one off show going as far as to state that he felt Emperor were part English just before the band launched into "Curse You All Men!" dedicating it to the English and hoping we would not take offence to it. Live bassist Secthdaemon also seemed to be enjoying himself with his wild windmill headbanging.

The atmospheric quality of Emperor was not lost live. This statement is probably most true for the track "Towards The Pantheon". The beautiful keyboard introduction rang out loud and clear throughout the venue, generating a feel of mysticism. The guitar riffs that helped accommodate these symphonic elements were strong and impressionable from Ihsahn and Samoth. The guitar work throughout the night was in good form and the solos were more than entertaining to watch and listen to.

Ihsahn's guitar work was not the only thing he was doing excellent with; his clean vocals were more or less identical to their recorded counterparts, especially on "Thus Spake The Nightspirit" which had the audience singing "Nightspirit, embrace my soul," in unison. Ihsahn's growls were satisfactory too but I was more interested in hearing the quality of his clean ones.

The show definitely left an impression in my mind with the frequent use of pyrotechnics, summoning tall flames on stage and being in the front row allowed me to clearly fell the heat of it all. The use of such equipment does not usually come to one's mind at the thought of Emperor but it sat well with the live show setup as did the more common use of coloured lighting.

"Opus A Satana Part 1" drew a close to the main set and as soon as Emperor had stopped playing the audience began a rabid and consistent Emperor chant. The band did the conventional return to the stage for an encore performance, beginning this encore with the classic "I Am The Black Wizards" and Ihsahn sported some spiked shoulder pads. With no need to worry about production problems at a live show, Trym's drumming was much clearer and far more superior to the recorded ones. As with the rest of the band, he failed to disappoint. "Ye Entrancemperium" followed and received a large ovation from the crowd.

When Emperor ended their show, Ihsahn thanked the necessary people involved with tonight's show and the audience showed their own thanks to the band. The concert was very enjoyable and if it truly is the final Emperor show then it is safe to say the band left with a bang.



Frontman Ihsahn




Guitarist Samoth




Ihsahn again





Pyro!




Ihsahn with spiked shoulder pads


After the show, my friend and I hung bout the stage door for the completion of my signed Emperor ticket stub. We ended up having an in depth and amusing conversation with the vocalist of She Said Destroy and indeed we met Samoth (again), Trym and Secthdaemon although I did not get the latter to sign my ticket, as he was not a proper member of Emperor. Ihsahn came out but was pushed to his vehicle by security, disallowing any time for photographs or signings. Good thing I got my ticket signed by him earlier!

All in all, a great show that was very very memorable. Rumours are floating around for a DVD taping but nothing seems to have been confirmed yet. This was a truly memorable show. Emperor certainly did not disappoint and surpassed all my expectations!



My signed ticket stub


Setlist: Into The Infinity Of Thoughts/The Burning Shadows Of Silence/Cosmic Keys To My Creation And Time//Thus Spake The Nightspirit//An Elegy Of Icaros//Curse You All Men!//With Strength I Burn//Towards The Pantheon//The Majesty Of The Night Sky//The Loss And Curse Of Reverence//In The Worldess Chamber//Inno A Satana//Opus A Satana Part 1//I Am The Black Wizards//Ye Entracemperium//Opus A Satana Part 2.



 


Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 34   Visited by: 15 users
26.11.2006 - 23:13
Daru Jericho
Written by Guest on 26.11.2006 at 15:20

Bang Your Head is pos00r

Apparently its the Wacken warmup. I'd do it if I lived in Germany.
----
Aborted Misanthropic Smurf Puppy On Acid.

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26.11.2006 - 23:35
Basso
Account deleted
Written by Daru Jericho on 26.11.2006 at 23:13

Written by Guest on 26.11.2006 at 15:20

Bang Your Head is pos00r

Apparently its the Wacken warmup. I'd do it if I lived in Germany.


I dont know what to answer :O
Maybe some:
kvlt kvlt
will do the job
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26.11.2006 - 23:41
Daru Jericho
Written by Guest on 26.11.2006 at 23:35

Written by Daru Jericho on 26.11.2006 at 23:13

Written by Guest on 26.11.2006 at 15:20

Bang Your Head is pos00r

Apparently its the Wacken warmup. I'd do it if I lived in Germany.


I dont know what to answer :O
Maybe some:
kvlt kvlt
will do the job


Hot damn, now I'm confused by your reply XD Ah, screw it...maybe I should just act kvlt and listen to some black metal now
----
Aborted Misanthropic Smurf Puppy On Acid.

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26.03.2008 - 19:52
Marcaunon
Account deleted
Ahhh, that emperor gig was absolutely awesome.

best gig i've ever attended
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