Gig review: Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Carcass and Unto Others @ The European Siege Tour 2022 @ Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid, October 8th 2022

Gig review: Arch Enemy, Behemoth, Carcass and Unto Others @ The European Siege Tour 2022 @ Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid, October 8th 2022

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Here we are again, our big metal family rejoicing. Great line-up, great venue, metalheads, drinks… all these led to an overall fantastic evening filled with a lot of good music and positive emotions.

First of the guest to take the stage were a band called Unto Others from Portland, Oregon bringing their blend of Gothic Rock to the night. Unfortunately, I (and many other people) missed this band. Entrance and start time were not the same on tickets/posters/websites so we thought the start time is later than it actually was. So, hope to see this band in the nearest future.

The legends Carcass were on a roll this evening. As always. It is worth noting the perfectly balanced set list of the band for this gig. Considering that each of the band’s albums have almost its own sound and had some changes in style. So, one would assume that the set list would be quite difficult to assemble. But no, the expectations were justified. Here you have the old proven “Incarnated Solvent Abuse”, “This Mortal Coil”, “Corporal Jigsore Quandary”, “Buried Dreams” and of course “Heartwork” (it is hard to imagine a set list without).

The set list was excellently complemented by tracks from the band’s latest albums, of which I would like to mention “Dance of Ixtab”, “Under the Scalpel Blade” and the rather unusual track “The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing”.

As a fan of all early works, I would certainly like to see some other tracks on the team’s set list, but it’s hard to deny the fact that the current set list is an excellent balance that will show the band from different sides of their work (and you must admit that the band has something to demonstrate in terms of variety of styles).

Their performance certainly brought me a lot of pleasure. I am very glad that Carcass is in the ranks and continues to delight us with new concerts, videoclips, albums, continuing their experiments and not forgetting the legacy that they created and brought to the world of heavy music.

Personally for me, to see Behemoth live means to remind myself once again why they are considered to be one of the most powerful representatives of the blackened death metal genre. Probably, it’s hard to imagine a better metal performance than they did, which was more like an artistic spectacle – both musical and visual.

Behemoth started their dark ritual from “Post-God Nirvana” intro from the latest album called Opvs Contra Natvram, staying behind the curtain on which video sequence of singing Nergal was projected and behind which mystic quartet’s shadows were seen.

Dynamically they moved on to the first song “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer” from The Satanist album. Seemed like the atmospheric wall of sound created by guitars, incredibly fast blast beats, powerful multi-layered vocals spread throughout every part of the venue and fully covered the crowd.

Then the songs “The Deathless Sun” and “Thy Becoming Eternal” from the new album were played. The audience perceived them very well even singing along to clean vocals.

It was a pleasure to hear the greatest hits from the previous albums like “Ov Fire and the Void”, “Conquer All”, “Daimonos”, “No Sympathy for Fools” etc. Fast, aggressive, powerful, dark and threatening songs well-known to every fan of the band. The smoke machines, stage pyrotechnics, light display that accompanied the whole show together with made the blood boil in our veins and let us feel total adrenaline from what we saw and heard.

Some moments that impressed me the most – first of all, the “Bartzabel” song. It was probably the most atmospheric song they played. Unbelievably atmospheric guitar solos with some kind of old-school sound, Orion and Seth backing vocals, accent drums, the audience repeating “Come unto me Bartzabel” during the whole song… all this made the listeners stand as if rooted to the spot and become a part of this magic hypnotic ritual. Another thing I would like to mention is when Nergal lit the smoke flares with the colors of the Ukrainian flag before playing the song “Off To War”. Very emotional and important moment in terms of current reality. The song itself is the one from the new album performed in the best Behemoth traditions.

In general, the whole band sounded great, but drums sound definitely got the most attention – Inferno’s technique, the acoustics of the venue and the work of the sound engineers were at their best level possible.

“Chant for Ezkaton 2000 E.V.” finished the performance, leaving us all delighted and at the same time, wanting more. Amazing set! Songs from Evangelion, The Satanist, Demigod albums etc, the new album for a 30th anniversary release left no one indifferent.

The last group doesn’t really need a super introduction. Arch Enemy is a well-known team with a worldwide reputation, which has been showing its top level for many years.

Honestly, this team now is not among my favorites bands as I’m more familiar with their old discography – till Khaos Legions album. That’s why it was a special challenge. I had to watch and enjoy them like from scratch relying only on my feelings and impressions.

Almost half of the songs they played were from the new album called “Deceivers”, including the first song of their set “Deceiver, Deceiver” which was totally supported by the crowd. Rude guitar riffs, melodic solos, powerful Alissa’s vocals were really surprising. Despite the fact that I didn’t listen to this song (or album) before, It was enough for me to hear it live to like it. In general every song from the “Deceivers” that Arch Enemy played deserves attention. For me it’s a very interesting combination of melodic light and sometimes heavier guitar riffs with punchy and technical drums and strong vocals. Especially I liked the vocals on the “House of Mirrors” song where at the beginning we heard a powerful clean vocal moment and then scream sometimes changed growl, which was also nice. Also noteworthy was the song called “The Watcher” with its old-school atmosphere and thrash metal influence.

The second song they played was “War Eternal” from the 10th studio album with the same name. They performed it dynamically, with a lot of melodic breakdowns, separated drum rhythms, guitar solos in this song and the people who was interacting with the musicians as much as possible, singing “Remember who you are”, “It’s a hellish inferno, this is war eternal” together with the vocalist, answering her questions and so on. Also, I had a strong feeling like Alissa White-Gluz was born on stage or kinda, as she is a real master of stage presence.

“Ravenous” was one of songs from the early albums and it was really great to hear guys playing it so brutal, fast and atmospheric at the same moment. The same I can say about “My Apocalypse” song – powerful, in the best Arch Enemy traditions.

Altogether the guys played around 13 songs from Doomsday Machine, Wages of Sin, War Eternal, Will to Power and the new album. The crowd was in circle pits and crowd surfing almost all the time and gave a total support to the musicians.

From my side I should say that my expectations have been exceeded. Great atmosphere and an incredible boost of energy that the musicians gave to the public. I doubt that their performance left anyone indifferent.

You can argue for a long time which their period is better, which vocalist is more suitable, whether the new material has become easier, but all these questions 100% fade into the background when they come out to the stage and play their songs. You have no choice, you just get excited and get real pleasure from high-quality and top MDM band.

To summarize, I must say it was a wonderful concert. The musicians did their best, gave all their drive energy to the audience, and the audience, in turn, did not leave the mosh, circle pits, walls of death etc. An excellent venue with a large territory inside and outside and good acoustics. Organization on a highest level. I enjoyed it a lot!

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