Defenders of the Faith tour 2013 – Birmingham Academy – 12th November 2013


Tonight is the Metal Hammer sponsored Defenders of the Faith tour featuring Amon Amarth, Hell, Carcass and Bleed From Within.  Headliners Amon Amarth prove themselves to be great guys even before doors open by cutting their set 10 minutes short to allow Hell to go on 20 minutes after doors open instead of 10 minutes after, thus ensuring they don’t play to almost empty venues.  That to me is a really good move especially as Hell are a band plenty of the fans are likely to want to see.

Hell take to the stage at 7.20 and there’s already a good sized crowd for them.  They play a mix of old and new material tonight with their new album due out imminently, and go down a storm with the fans. Singer David Bower is like a man possessed and commands the crowds attention as he prowls the stage and sings, while the rest of the band put in great performances too.  Taking the fans by surprise he leaps into the pit and climbs onto the barrier to exorcise some of the fans.  He also produces a whip and proceeds to flog himself on stage.  Even without their pyrotechnics or stage props they still put in a very theatrical feeling set and the only problem with it was that it just wasn’t long enough. I think most fans tonight would have preferred to see Bleed from within dropped from the bill so the three bands could have had longer sets instead.  A great start to the night.

Hell setlist:

The Age Of Nefarious
On Earth as It Is in Hell
Blasphemy and the Master
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Quest

Bleed From Within
Bleed From Within

Next up were Bleed from Within, a Scottish band who are more metalcore than metal.  Certainly the older members of the audience seemed fairly disinterested in their set (and more interested in the bar), but they did still go down well with the younger members of the crowd.  Personally I wasn’t keen on them musically (and vocally in particular), but one thing is for sure – these guys do put in a very good high energy performance.

Bleed from within setlist:

Our Divide
I Am Oblivion
It Lives in Me



Up next were Carcass, fresh from their performance at Damnation festival, and with their first album in 17 years having been released in September, they were here to deliver their brand of fast heavy death metal.  Tonight was my first time seeing the band, and I quickly understood the excellent reports I’d heard from friends who saw them at Damnation – these guys are excellent.  Non-stop headbanging and windmilling from the band plus some great heavy music gets the crowd going.  I think they’ll have made some new fans here tonight.

Carcass setlist:

Buried Dreams
Incarnated Solvent Abuse
This Mortal Coil
Unfit for Human Consumption
Cadaver Pouch Conveyor System
Genital Grinder / Exhume to Consume
Captive Bolt Pistol
Ruptured in Purulence / Heartwork

Amon Amarth
Amon Amarth

Finally it was the turn of the vikings – Amon Amarth.  After technical problems at Download meant they had a shortened set and managed just 4 songs, I was looking forward to hearing a lot more from Amon Amarth, and tonight we were in for a 70 minute set from them.  Sadly they haven’t brought their viking longship with them (presumably down to space in the various venues), but no matter – the main thing is the music, and they certainly didn’t disappoint there.  Kicking off with “Father of the wolf” and “Deceiver of the gods”, both taken from their latest album (Deceiver of the gods) they ran through a great set which included just one other songs from the new album (As Loke falls), but included four songs from the ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’ album which includes some great crowd-pleasing songs.  All the bands tonight have gone down well with the crowd, but Amon Amarth take things up a level and the crowd response reflects that.  With CO2 jets combining with the orange and red lighting, at times the stage does resemble a fiery smoky hell.  Through all this the band headbang like crazy with singer Johan Hegg putting in a commanding performance.  A great live band and one that deserves their place headlining this tour.

Amon Amarth setlist:

Father of the Wolf
Deceiver of the Gods
Death in Fire
Free Will Sacrifice
As Loke Falls
Guardians of Asgaard
Runes to My Memory
Varyags of Miklagaard
Destroyer of the Universe
War of the Gods

Twilight of the Thunder God
The Pursuit of Vikings

Amon Amarth
Amon Amarth

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.