Arch enemy – Koko, London – 11th February 2018

Tonight’s sold out show saw fans queueing well before doors opened, and by the time the doors opened the queue stretched a long way.

Thankfully the security team did a good job getting people in quickly and by the time the first band, Tribulation came on stage the place was already busy. I saw Swedish band, Tribulation live for the first time just a week ago and I was very impressed, and bought their new album after the show. It’s dark and atmospheric, heavy but melodic with some great growling vocals. They move around the stage a fair bit, with one of the guitarists constantly moving and throwing himself into all sorts of positions – he was great to watch. Despite being quite different to Arch Enemy they go down very well with the fans – a fantastic start to the night.

Next up was Finnish band Wintersun. By this stage the venue was absolutely packed. I’d enjoyed last week’s set from Wintersun in Gothenburg, but they just felt slightly flat compared to the other bands on the bill, but tonight things clicked and they realy impressed me with their performance. Their sound has a strong power metal element to it and that works well with a strong chorus. Again, the crowd really seemed to enjoy their set, and it really was a great performance.

Finally it was time for the awesome Arch Enemy. Since Alissa White-Gluz took over on vocals, the band seem to have stepped things up a notch in the live shows – they were impressive before, but with Alissa’s incredibly energetic performances, the rest of the band seem to have upped their energy levels in an attempt to match her performances. Michael Amott and Sharlee D’Angelo move around a lot (Jeff Loomis less so), but Alissa is never stationary and when she’s not running around she’s jumping in the air or headbanging, or just interacting with the other band members. The band all look to be having a great time on stage and it’s a fantastic set from start to finish – there’s never a moment when they’re anything less than perfect.
Early on in the set we get “The race” from the latest album, and it’s a full-on high speed song and watching the guys, their hands are blurs as they play. The setlist was the same as on the Swedish leg of the tour with the addition of “Reason to believe”, and there’s a good mix of new and old songs with 4 songs coming from each of the two most recent studio albums and classics such as “Ravenous” and “Nemesis”. A fantastic set that is pretty much full power from start to finish.

Tonight was a fantastic night – all three bands really were great and all had a decent length set – Tribulation getting 45 minutes (which is great for an opening act) and Wintersun having a full hour, and the atmosphere was superb too with all the fans having a great time. Surely Arch Enemy will be filling a bigger venue on their next London date.


The world is yours
The race
War eternal
My apocalypse
You will know my name
Bloodstained cross
Dead eyes see no future
The eagle flies alone
Reason to believe
As the pages burn
Intermezzo liberte
Dead bury their dead
We will rise

Snow bound

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.