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Live report : Arch Enemy

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Friday, April 13, 2012 - Shibuya-Ax, Tokyo
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Photographer : Masayuki Noda

Swedish Melodic Death Metal is celebrated in Tokyo tonight, thanks to the coming of Arch Enemy and Engel, in the middle of their “Asia and Australia Khaos Tour 2012”, stopping by Japan for a few dates.
The venue hosting the event is the Shibuya AX, a large concert hall near the wide empty space of Yoyogi park, allowing it to have enough room to host major bands like Arch Enemy, while being in the middle of the crowdy district of Shibuya.


The venue is shaken by loud and heavy electro samples as Engel climbs on the wide stage. Engel has indeed become famous worldwide for their particular alternative music incorporating electro elements and keyboards, with an industrial sounding edge. Despite a few growls, Magnus Klavborn the vocalist mainly sings with a clear voice, making their music easily accessible.
The crowd is fully seduced by the band’s performance and lots of their fans seem to be present. Despite being rather static, the band knows how to stir a crowd. They play for the very first time live their new song “Frontline”, part of their upcoming album “Blood of Saints”, to be released the following month, which is well received by the public.
After a short interlude, the band comes back on stage, with a video camera on Magnus forehead for their last song. And after this very short show (only 30 minutes), they leave the stage to the head of the bill, Arch Enemy.

Setlist (approximate)
Question Your Place
Sense The Fire
Casket Closing
Elbow And Knives
Until eternity ends

Photo Photo

Arch Enemy

The preparations of the stage unveil the drums, raised on a platform with ramps on each side, and 4 lateral panels bearing the colours of Arch Enemy. A screen on the side is used to project the images, especially of war and rebellion images, matching the “Khaos tour” theme as Arch Enemy is still touring for their previous album “Khaos Legion” released in 2011.

Arch Enemy climbs on stage on “Khaos Overture”, widely applauded and encouraged by the crowd, and immediately starts with Yesterday is Dead and Gone.
Arch Enemy is here in Japan in conquered territory, as the band gained a particularly great success in this country since the release of Black Earth in 1996. Their first albums was rapidly followed by their “Burning Japan Live 1999” live album, first intended to Japan only, but rapidly distributed worldwide due to strong demand. Angela will even say tonight that “Arch Enemy was born here in Japan 20 to 25 years ago”.
So, that’s little to say that Japanese fans have massively gathered tonight to acclaim them.

Angela, still in her thirties and always wonderful, radiates charisma. While her death growls are impressive, resonating in our heads, she also gently addresses the crowd with her surprisingly soft voice. In the middle of the show, she heartily gives the Japanese crowd her very touching thanks “for your love and passion”. Her T-shirt incidentally displays “Khaos Over Tokyo”.
She introduces the members of the band, among whom Michael Amott, the central soul of the band, which shows us his recently won award attributed by Metal Hammer (and grants us his first words on stage ever !). Angela also introduces Nick Cordle, the new lead and rhythm guitarist who discovers Japan for the first time. Nick (ex-Arsis) is the successor of previous guitarist Christopher Amott, the younger brother of Michael, who announced last month he had (again) parted ways with Arch Enemy. Nick doesn’t fail at all at his new duty, and handles well Chris amazing guitar solos !

Angela, which is often described as an anarchist, encourages the crowd to rebel, and rants again Tepco (the infamous Japanese power company whose nuclear plants in Fukushima suffered from the tsunami and led to the well-known catastrophe). Calling it a “Silent war against you”, the band immediately goes on with their hit “Silent Wars”, dedicated to the Japanese crowd.
Most of their best songs will be played tonight, from Ravenous, Bury Me an Angel, Dead Eyes See No Future, to We Will Rise, Nemesis and even finishing on Fields of Desolation, delighting the old fans. All the songs are supported by videos and images projected on the screen related to the themes covered by the song (mainly chaos and destruction of course !).
After Bury Me An Angel, Daniel Erlandsson grants us a great drums solo, soon followed by another splendid solo by Nick the newcomer.

After several hours on stage, the band first leaves the stage at the end of We Will Rise, to quickly come back on stage for Stigmata, Blood on Your Hands and Snow Bound. The band leaves and gets back on stage a second time, keeping the great “Nemesis” and “Fields of Desolation” for the very end, heartily and intensely acclaimed by the crowd, delighted by the band’s performance.
Arch Enemy offered us a wonderful and touching show, and a great interaction with the public thanks to the charismatic Angela.

Set-list :
Khaos Overture
Yesterday is Dead and Gone
The Immortal
Bury Me an Angel
Drum Solo
Under Black Flags We March
Bloodstained Cross
Dead Eyes See No Future
Guitar Solo
The Day You Died
Silent Wars
Dead Bury Their Dead
We Will Rise

Blood on Your Hands
Snow Bound
2nd Encore :
Fields of Desolation

- Credits for the photos : Masayuki Noda, thanks to Trooper Entertainment Inc. -

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on May 11, 2012 by NanoRoux

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