GIG REVIEW: BLIND GUARDIAN and GLORYHAMMER Live at O2 Forum Kentish Town, London, UK
Aside from the widely known Teutonic Big 4 of thrash, one of the most prominent heavy metal bands ever to come out of Germany has been the power metal outfit Blind Guardian, now on their tenth studio album, 2015’s ‘Beyond the Red Mirror’. As part of the record’s promotional tour, the band stopped off at London’s Kentish Town Forum, along with the Anglo-Swiss power metal group Gloryhammer as direct support.
Having been to this venue in the past, the overall attendance for this show was noticeably underwhelming compared to previous shows I’ve attended at the Forum, but nonetheless, a substantial amount of people turned out to see the show. As said before, the only opening act was that of Gloryhammer, who received a surprisingly warm reception from the audience at that point. The group was on stage for approximately forty minutes, and in that time blazed through eight of their songs which included “Universe on Fire”, “Hail to Crail” and “Legend of the Astral Hammer”, before closing with “The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee”. Having never seen Gloryhammer before, it is safe to say that they are more than easy to get behind as a live act, as the live equivalents of their songs are entertaining enough to enjoy.
After a half hour change-over time, headliners Blind Guardian took to the stage approximately ten minutes or so earlier than expected, which is always a present surprise. Currently touring off the back of ‘Beyond the Red Mirror’, the band opened with its first track “The Ninth Wave” before playing other material from the album such as “Prophecies”. Plenty of past material from the band’s significantly large discography was also showcased on the night, namely tracks such as “Time What is Time”, “Valhalla”, “Nightfall”, and closing on “Mirror Mirror”.
In closing, Blind Guardian’s set at the Forum supported by Gloryhammer was a success, as both bands had the audience in the palm of their hands from start to finish, making for a positive performance throughout. My only gripe is that Blind Guardian’s insistence on more than one encore meant that the last part of the show definitely dragged on, but that’s a fairly minor gripe overall.
Also check out our Photo Gallery of the gig here!