September 27th saw the European Siege kick off with a sold-out show at the 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland. Unto Others, Carcass, Arch Enemy, and Behemoth, the four acts unleashing pure chaos in Dublin on a Tuesday night. Despite an audience uncharacteristically tame at times, and a sound engineer (or engineers) who couldn’t seem to get the vocal level right, the siege was ultimately a success. Making history for itself and its Irish fans.
Formerly known as Idle Hands, the opening act Unto Others gave a memorable account of themselves on a bill where they were easily the least intense band of the night. Vocalist and mastermind behind the band, Gabriel Franco commanded the stage and audience with ease, their entire set echoing hints of The Cure, and their attire mimicking an early Whitesnake video. Ensuring Unto Others successfully set the tone.
Extreme metal legends Carcass brought a veteran quality to the night, celebrated by all. Referencing early shows in Dublin’s gloriously shabby and iconic McGonagle’s, whose memory still holds a special place in the heart of the fair city, Carcass took the night up a brutal notch. Playing tight, with a skeletal backdrop and spinning eyes on screens on either side of the stage, they gave it plenty and then some. The only letdown was that, for a band of their tenure, simply chanting “hey” back and forth with the audience across the entirety of their set looked like a lazy day at the office.
As Arch Enemy production began to set up, attendance in the venue spiked to its maximum as the crowd spilled into every nook, cranny, and corner available. A kabuki drop depicting blood-written lettering that spelled “Pure F******g Metal” fell from the rafters (and unfortunately onto the microphone stands) revealing multiple level platforms, a drum riser, dynamic lighting, and band members ready to give it their all. And give it their all they did. Vocalist Alissa White-Gluz owning every inch of the stage with each member responding to each cue without it ever feeling choreographed. Gluz engaging with her fans on multiple levels, stealing their hearts and souls. Simply put, Arch Enemy stole the night.
When the time came for the evening’s headliners Behemoth, another kabuki drop prefaced the opening number. Vocalist Adam “Nergal” Darski then worked some shadow play, warming up the audience until Behemoth unleashed hell. Acknowledging that each time they play Ireland, the shows keep getting “bigger and better, and bigger and better”, much to the delight of their die-hard fans and to the terror of the venue staff. All of whom looked shocked at the brutal ritual Behemoth were hosting. A ritual that ended in wall-shaking cheers, and a sense that this was the perfect way to kick off a tour of this caliber.
As the European Siege continues to bulldoze its way through venues, fans of metal, extreme or otherwise, should do themselves a favor and join in the siege. For a night of some of the best, brutal fun you can have at a metal show, look no further.