Iced Earth, Islington, London, 14 January 2014

First up tonight were Elm Street.  The band were lucky to be able to play as they’d been travelling with Warbringer and had been heavily delayed so didn’t arrive at the venue till just minutes before the doors opened, and will have had to skip the luxury of a soundcheck.  Elm street are a metal band from Australia and they got the night off to a flying start.  It was good heavy stuff and sounded great.  They went down well with the crowd too and their set was over far too soon.


Next up were Californian band Warbringer who took the power level up a notch with some thrash.  They certainly got the crowd going with plenty of headbanging visible among the crowd.  I enjoyed their set although it did feel to be fairly generic thrash – 15 minutes after the end of their set I couldnt remember a single song, but despite the lack of originality it was very enjoyable to listen to.

Iced Earth
Iced Earth

One of the last gigs I went to see of 2013 was Iced Earth and Volbeat in Brixton, so it was with a sense of déjà vu that I headed to the O2 Islington Academy. Another year and another stage, it was very early on into their set that I was reminded why I like watching Iced Earth. Having seen them on a large, open stage at Brixton, I was now witnessing them on a condensed, tunnel version and do you know what? You couldn’t tell the difference. As a band, visually, musically and atmospherically they seem to fill any stage and venue no matter the size. Making the view for me the same as it was at Brixton. Thinking back now the first time I saw them was at The Underworld in Camden, which is infinitely smaller then even Islington Academy and even then they fitted that stage and filled the room as if it were a much larger venue. Not an easy task. Kicking things off with their new single Plagues of Babylon there was a veritable feast for fans to devour. By this time of the night the downstairs of the venue was rammed and one thing I will say is that sometimes the further back you go the better the view. No matter where I stood people were banging or nodding their heads, smiling and just generally really into the spirit of the night. The last hour just melted away and before long it was time for the penultimate song Watching Over Me which was clearly a favourite and I have to admit one of mine – really well chosen. Overall I have nothing bad to say about the evening, because there isn’t anything bad about watching them live. They know exactly what they’re doing and they do it bloody well.


Plagues of Babylon
Dark Saga
If I Could See You
Disciples of the Lie
Jekyll & Hyde
Among the Living Dead
Red Baron/Blue Max
Blessed Are You
Vengeance Is Mine
Own Savior
The End?
A Question of Heaven

Watching Over Me
Iced Earth

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.