Enslaved / Grand Magus, The Button Factory, Dublin – 26/09/2015

Grand Magus

Going from Evile to Enslaved was a bit of a genre clash for me last weekend. However, the gig itself was a strange one. This wasn’t just an Enslaved gig but was a joint headline show with Grand Magus. This felt like two totally different shows off the bat and the crowd reflected that. – Darragh

There was an atmosphere unlike any gig that I have ever been at and that alone made it worth checking both of these bands out again. First up, we had Grand Magus. This classic power metal trio, led by affable frontman JB Christoffersson were back in Dublin a little later than they were originally supposed to be. (The last time the Swedes were due to play, with Behemoth, their ferry was cancelled due to a “Weather Bomb” and they were ready to make up for lost time.) Kicking off with ‘I, The Jury’, their trademark powerful sound was hit by the metal gremlins. After a brief interlude and some banter with the crowd, they resumed from the start and the show began in earnest.

Every time Grand Magus have played Dublin, I have always been amazed by the depth of their sound. From shows in Eamon Doran’s, The Pint, Vicar Street, The Voodoo Lounge, their dedication to true metal has been unwavering. Fox on bass has been throwing shapes alongside his frontman since the beginning and this show was no exception. New songs like ‘Steel Vs. Steel’ and ‘Hooves Of Gold’ have nestled in very comfortably alongside stalwarts like ‘Kingslayer’ and ‘Wolf’s Return.’ If I were to be a little critical, the early start (due to a venue nightclub after the show), may have impacted the crowd as they felt a little restrained for the first few songs. That being said, highlights of the gig for me included the neck breaking, ‘Iron Will’ and ‘Like The Oar Strikes The Water’ which were belted out with passion and fire. Behind the skins, Ludwig Witt gave the oomph that emphasised the magnitude of their sound. There were plenty of sing-along moments with the crowd throughout and on the closing number, the pummelling, ‘Hammer Of The North’, Dublin stepped up and was heard from afar. It closed the performance with momentum at its peak and really proved that in classic Heavy Metal, the power of the riff really does compel.  I’m certain they’ll be back again soon. – Grand Magus review by Steve


After a fairly long change over, Enslaved came on stage to a mostly full room. Some folks left after Grand Magus as the contrast between the genres was possibly a bridge too far. But anyway, those who stayed were treated to an amazing set from amazing performers who get better every album. The set was taken from their vast backlog of songs and went from super progressive right back to their black Viking metal heritage (The band have just announced details of their 25th anniversary shows). It was just stellar to see a band that good in person. Tracks were pulled from: ‘Ruun’, ‘Isa’, ‘Vikingligr Veldi’ and the newest album ‘In Times’.

If you were a fan of Enslaved, you left happy like me. The lads were on top form, and played an excellent selection of songs from all across the board. Enslaved are so good at what they do, that when you witness them live for the first time, you’ll want to buy their albums and soak it all in again. The set time wasn’t very long due to venue time limitations but this worked in their favour. We were given a lot, yet never felt overwhelmed. The crowd was active and into every song with a minor pit here and there. The older age dynamic of the crowd leant itself to respectful watching and awe of the performance on stage.

Grutle Kjellson is an awesome frontman and has one of the best stage persona I’ve ever experienced complete with Father Ted jokes and just a jovial mood overall. The majesty of ‘Convoys to Nothingness’ and ‘Allfǫðr Oðinn’ were a joy to behold and the closing track ‘Isa’ left no one in doubt that Enslaved are one of the most important bands in extreme music.

While I know that a lot of people went to go see only one of the two bands, both bands played great and gave it their all, so nobody was let down when this one was over. – Enslaved review by Darragh

The new Enslaved album “In Times” is out now on Nuclear Blast

Photos by Down The Barrel Photography

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About Darragh O'Connor

Writer/Reviewer @SunWrestling and freelance journalist. Bassist for hire. Check out my passion black metal project Horrenda: https://horrenda.bandcamp.com/