Arch Enemy
Block33, Thessaloniki, Greece

It is not very common in our country to see some groups at their highest peak of popularity and creativity. Thankfully, Arch Enemy is not one of them, as they visited Greece for the second time, and Thessaloniki for the first time, 2 years after their appearance in Athens. Since then, they haven’t released a new record, but that is not such a problem. Recently, they decided to re-record some old classics with their female vocalist Angela Gossow, including songs off their first three albums when Johan Liiva was the singer.

The concert began a little later than scheduled, since there were warnings for people not to smoke, as Angela was not feeling that good, so she had to keep her voice maintained for the show. She later thanked the crowd for the patience and she really did her best. ”The Immortal” was the ideal opener, especially when everyone expected a new one, headbanging, sweat and moshing set the stage of what was to follow. ”Revolution Begins” was next, and the Arch Enemy revolution has really began for a lot of years now. ”Ravenous” was the first to cause yelling and maniac reactions with its complex riff and the pounding drumming of Daniel Erlandsson.

”My Apocalypse” followed with a lot of groove and Angela, despite her health issues being the battering ram of the band. They had won the battle with the crowd for good, and playing ”Demonic Science” from ”Burning Bridges” was nothing else but a right move in the right time. Without delay, when it was over, ”Dead Eyes See No Future” made Block 33 roll over, a tremendous song with the changes in rhythms working out better in a live situation. A drum solo by Erlandsson was the prequel to ”I Will Live Again” (which i’d prefer not to be played but i won’t start nagging). Soon after its end, the great riff of ”Dead Bury The Dead” was at place, a great surpise from ”Wages Of Sin”, the first album with Angela. She told us that the next was a song of unity, so we understood it was time for the ultimate hit ”We Will Rise”.

Reactions can’t be described, even the girls took part on the moshpit and this continued as soon as the riff of ”Blood On Your Hands” destroys the silence caused after the previous blow. The band leaves the stage and returns with ”Snow Bound” instrumental feeling the gap for ”Nemesis”. Again the place goes up and down and the final riff of ”Fields Of Desolation” tells us that the show is over.

In overall, it was a great show as long as it lasted. But on the other hand, it was 75 minutes, counting the solos out it was approximately one hour of playing only. I really understand the problem with Angela but in their place, i wouldn’t do the show at all, it was too short for people who paid 30 euros and the promoters did their best to keep order inside the club with the smoking issue. I don’t say that it was on purpose, but it surely left mixed feelings to the fans.

Finally, I have to state that my back and neck are in tremendous pain since then, the band was energetic and I hope next time we will have our payback. I’ll see them in France on summer and i’ll tell you more details then.

Report: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.
Photos: Karagiannidis Panagiotis.