Kreator & Arch Enemy @ The Academy, Dublin 20th December

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the city, not a creature was stirring, except for the thousand Metalheads on their way to the final trash gig of the year.

The “Kreator” was in town and along with Arch Enemy were to co-headline the Academy in the heart of Dublin. It was always going to be tough for any band to sell out this venue given the amount of Metal that flowed into town throughout the year.

The now famous Academy had already hosted the likes of Overkill, Slayer, Carcass and Machine Head in recent months, so it says a lot about how the Irish love their metal for Kreator and Arch Enemy to play to yet another packed house.

It was the first time Arch Enemy played in Dublin, so it was welcoming to see something new, while it was only 20 months since Kreator last visited as part of their Phantom Antichrist tour. Opening up was Swedish black metal band Shining who unfortunately due to the early start had a relatively small crowd to play to. But that didn’t stop them from giving it their all and with a welcome guest in Marty Friedman, once of Megadeth, for the final three numbers of their set.

The stage was then set for fellow Swedish outfit Arch Enemy. They burst onto stage with War Eternal and all hell broke loose. The crowd flooded to the stage to not only get a good vantage point but to get a close look at one of the few front women in Metal. Although it was their first time in Dublin the crowd showed they were familiar with Arch Enemy’s music. Bassist D’Angelo marched around the stage like a god, occasionally gesturing to the minions to wreak havoc. By the time they reached, “As the Pages Burn”, half way through their set, you would wonder if this crowd would survive until Kreator.

Arch Enemy left the stage with no illusions on how popular they now were in this part of the world.
It was time for the Kreator to strut their stuff and they were not going to be outdone. On their last visit to Dublin Mille roared to the crowd, “we will not wait another 10 years before we play here again”. Well, promise kept and very much appreciated.

For me, Kreator were a band that defined trash this side of the Atlantic, rarely putting a foot wrong musically. With a set-list that spanned almost 30 years they delivered an awesome display. Classics like “Extreme Aggression, Endless Pain and Pleasure to Kill” drove the crowd into a frenzy. While the newer material from Phantom Antichrist and arguably the best Trash album in the last decade “Enemy of God” drained the last of the energy from and exhausted crowd.

As part of their encore the treated us to their version of Iron Maidens “The Number of the Beast” while the inevitable “Flag of Hate and Tormentor” finished of the show with Mille declaring that the Kreator will return and I along with the hundreds there look forward to that.

This was a Trash Metal gig in every way, an old school set in an old school venue and the best way to end what was Dublin’s year in metal.

Review by Andrew Cooke

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