GIG REVIEW: TRIVIUM, HEAVEN SHALL BURN and MALEVOLENCE Live at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo, London
Satisfying hunger is an unbeatable feeling! This past Sunday night, a metal-starved London crowd was able to do just that, when Trivium, Heaven Shall Burn, and Malevolence blew the roof off Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo after the good old Covid pandemic had forced Trivium to postpone their EU/UK tour for 2 years.
That wasn’t the only hurdle in Trivium’s way however, as the event had to find a new host due to O2’s Brixton Academy temporarily losing its license after 2 security guards were killed in a hostile invasion by fans who didn’t have tickets to an event. When there’s a will, there’s a way, however, so things worked out for the thousands of fans who were eagerly waiting for their favorite band to storm London.
You know you’re in the right place, at the right time when the crowd starts piling beer cups into monstrous piles and cheering louder than in a football match. So, the energy was there, now the bands had to come out and fulfill the prophecy of an unforgettable night! And spoiler alert: they did!
Sheffield’s own: Malevolence, hit the stage hard and heavy; with “Malicious Intent”, their casual sportswear, and out-of-this-world energy! They riled up the crowd harder than any opening act I’ve ever witnessed and sparked a massive pit that grew bigger with every passing song they played. Not only that, but they showed to have a hypnotizing effect on the crowd as they obeyed every word coming out of frontman and vocalist Alex Taylor’s dynamic mouth. Jump? You got it! Crowd surf? You got it! Form a whirlpool of circle pit? Hell yeah! Backed up by their tight playing and heavy-hitting setlist containing bangers like: “Self Supremacy, “Life Sentence” and “On Broken Glass”, Malevolence truly was the gem of the night!
Old-school extreme metal act: Heaven Shall Burn was up next, and they only added to the heavy-hitting magic of the night! Gracefully presenting themselves on stage, they instilled veteran respect that changed the atmosphere of the evening, which was also heavily assisted by the lighting projecting their massive shadows on the walls. They were somewhat less crowd-oriented at first and more focused on their instruments. However, watching vocalist Marcus Bischoff join guitarists Mark Weichert, Alexander Dietz, and bass guitarist Eric Bischoff into a synced headbanging frenzy was a sight to behold, that no metalhead who witnessed it should ever forget.
Toward the end of their setlist, vocalist Marcus Bischoff shared his holy saliva with the crowd by spraying water on them and handing out the water bottles he used, which was entertaining, to say the least. Overall, they presented a headliner-style show, which is to be expected from a band of their experience.
Finally, the time had come for the main event! “Run To The Hills” echoed throughout the venue as fans eagerly sang along, and the seated portion of the crowd finally jumped on their feet in anticipation, driving the energy levels through the roof! As the black curtain dropped, “Rain” was blasted with full force and the place erupted! Trivium had finally taken their rightful place!
Their set design consisted of simple, but elegant Japanese elements throughout, such as dragon statues looking over the crowd on both sides of the stage, as well as a colorful samurai-covered banner stretching throughout the background, which highlights frontman Matt Heafy’s Japanese heritage.
Their musicianship was exceptional as always, and Matt Heafy’s vocals were on an album level! The 14-song setlist was a mixture of 8 out of their 10 studio albums, with a healthy balance of everything you expect Trivium to bring, and the fans responded accordingly.
Matt Heafy was a true sweetheart, highlighting the band’s gratitude to the crowd on multiple occasions for London being their second home and the first place which gave them a chance at the start of the millennium! He didn’t forget about their supporting acts either and even invited Josh Baines and Alex Taylor of Malevolence to join them in performing “The Deceived”. How Matt manages to shred, sing and entertain the crowd with his engagement and humor will always drive the standard for frontman requirements!
Over the years, Trivium have always been talked about as one of the bands which have taken the torch from the legends of the 80s metal scene, and in this one night, with the roaring support of the London crowd, they proved how deserving they are of those comments! And as they promised, we will be awaiting them back in London in the very near future.