Hailed as the Vikings and Lionhearts, co-headline tour. Featuring Amon Amarth and Machine head is the hotly anticipated metal tours of 2022.

There seemed to be an issue in confirming set times for this evening’s mammoth alternative metal shredding, event. Arriving at the Arena to find the doors were opened nearly an hour ago, (18.20pm) and that I had unfortunately missed the support act The Halo Effect, was very disappointing.

On entering the AO Arena, that has a capacity of 22,000 people, it’s clear that unfortunately not a sell-out. It is quite unusual for a co-headliner to be on stage at 19.20pm, and may have caught a few out as Amon Amarth, were about to commence battle.

As the unmistakeable sound of Iron Maiden’s “Run to The Hills” prepares the massing crowd for the imminent Viking invasion. Amon Amarth take their places on stage behind a huge screen that covers the whole front of the stage and in a instant, the backdrop is dropped and as quick as it hit the floor the screen was moved out of the pit. As the stage exploded into life and we launched into “Guardians of Asgaard”, my face literally lit up, the heat from the pyros, that incessantly came from the stage, being within 10feet of the stage this was going to be a taste of hell, no time to check my eye lashes, eyebrows, and fringe, I can do that if I get out.

Amon Amarth have their roots in metal storytelling and mythologies Johan Hegg frontman constantly calls the masses to battle. The backdrop is full of Tolkien, references to Asgaard and their Swedish heritage are not lost on the crowd. It is a masterpiece of choregraphed theatre with Hegg drinking from a Viking horn to striking the floor with a hammer, a throwback to Thor! Leaving the stage having done battle it is the crowd that have to take stock replenish the fluids and prepare for the next round.


Amon Amarth Setlist

1/ Guardians of Asgaard

2/ Raven’s Flight

3/ The Great Heathen Army

4/ Deceiver of the Gods

5/ Get in the Ring

6/ Heidrun

7/ Free Will Sacrifice

8/ The Pursuit of Vikings

9/ Cry of the Black Birds

10/ The Way of Vikings

11/ Put Your Back into the Oar

12/ First Kill

13/ Shield Wall

14/ Raise Your Horns

15 Twilight of the Thunder God



As the curtain falls, the stage has had a major strip down, no pyros no odes and props to Asgaard, instantly Robb Flynn rips into “Become the Firestorm”. Instantly aggressive and totally set the marker for the remainder of the set. There is a difference from the previous performance in that its not theatrical and is quite simply a venomous supercharged masterclass of Metal hammer which at times is brutal, as well as mesmerising.

Flynn orchestrates the crowd asking for bigger and bigger circle pits as Matt Alston keeps a solid backbeat of drums pummelling his kit, Flynn firing off drinks into doesn’t quell the thirst from the baying crowd. Whilst Flynn has the crowd in the palm of his hand both Bassist Jared Mac Eachern and Guitarist Vogg, supply the aggression and aesthetics that drives this crowd more and more into a frenzy.

What Machine Head bring and give you is a powerhouse performance, that has been the mainstay of Metal Rock hierarchy for 30 years, as the set comes to an end, its as if the ferociousness of the performance is escalated for the duo of “Davidian”, and “Halo”, which draws out last battle of obliteration from a band who have delved into the depths of shredded ferociousness, all backed by a crowd who had come for the battle.

As it seems to be coming the norm that co-headliners are now taking to the road, the Gods of metal have firmly laid claim to their place in metal folklore.



Machine Head Setlist

1/ Become The Firestorm

2/ Imperium

3/ Ten Ton Hammer

4/ I Am Hell

5/ Aesthetics of Hate

6/ Darkness Within

7/ Now We Die

8/ From This Day

9/ Davidian

10/ Halo