Tonight Metropool Hengelo is the home base for the US heavy metallers Iced Earth.
On this night they are almost about to release their new killer record Plagues of Babylon (read review here). With their previous release they introduced Stu Block as the new vocalist of Iced Earth. Since then the metal warriors are riding a big rock n roll rollercoaster. The epic journey brings them to the Netherlands tonight. Let the battle begin!
Iced Earth of course ain’t the only band tonight. They brought two great openers along to crush Europe this time around.
First up to let the packed venue bang their heads is Elm Street. These Australians bring us a decent set of full traditional heavy metal. Nothing wrong with that, right? It’s the second date of the tour and these guys are still fresh! And that shows. With a lot of enthusiasm and a pleasant sound, they deliver us a nice set of songs pulled from their already impressive catalogue. If you are into traditional heavy metal, you must check them out for sure. Good beginning of what becomes one of the better nights I have attended in a while…
With Elmstreet already being a blast, the audience is well warmed-up for the US thrashers Warbringer. I have seen Warbringer a couple of times before and damn, these guys know how to blast! From note one there is a good pit. The crowd really gets crushed by the enormous power and joy Warbringer have got in their spirit! Before Iced Earth hit the stage I am already getting a whiplash!
The curtains get closed and now it’s time to wait for Jon and his boys to hit the stage.
A tape starts to roll. Loud cheering and there is Iced Earth to kick off their set. I know from the previous times I have seen them that Iced Earth is good. But damn, tonight they give me goosebumps several times. The vocals of Stu are so spot on, damn it almost makes me wonder if it’s playback. Of course it ain’t. Stu is just that great. The band is really into it. The crowd appeal is good. Loads of devil horns are up the in air. The band gives us load of songs from their new record. The songs easily fit between all the classics Iced Earth unleashed among us. The more up-tempo metal songs move the hips and the ballads make my throat soar from singing along! I hope the person next to me could appreciate me squealing along with Stu, haha.
With already two acts before them, you might expect that after 1,5 hour Iced Earth would leave the stage. Not tonight. Two hours of impressive axe skills, bombastic drums and stellar vocals is what we got from this great band. Damn, this how a concert evening is supposed to be. Three bands on their best! Giving the audience a heavy metal show they won’t forget! What a way to start 2014!
Text and Photography: Ronald van de Baan