Live Review: Dragonforce – London

Live Review: Dragonforce – Roundhouse, London
24th March 2024
Support: Infected Rain and Amaranthe
Words & Photos: Jacob Schwar

After their recent and successful US co-headline tour, Dragonforce and Amaranthe are joining forces once again and bringing the party to Europe/UK with special guests Infected Rain along for the ride. Tonight would be a special though bittersweet event as its final night of the tour, which began in Germany back in February, though with a sold-out crowd on a Sunday night, it’s clear London were thirsting for a night of riffs, sing-alongs and good vibes overall!

Kicking things off were Moldavian heavy-hitters Infected Rain with their explosive display of metalcore that got the audience warmed-up accordingly with much crowd surfing and a decent sized mosh pit throughout their set, which in all honesty isn’t bad for a first band on a Sunday night! At the helm is singer Lena Scissorhands with quite a menacing presence as she screams her way through tracks such as ‘VIVARIUM’ with its chuggy riffage as well as the crushingly doomy ‘NEVER TO RETURN’.

One song in particular ‘PANDEMODIUM’ allowed Lena to really deploy her clean singing and show of her marvellous vocal range, constantly changing from guttural to clean singing which is no mean feat, undoubtedly her cleaner vocals at points really reminded me of Bjork. Overall, Infected Rain were a much welcome performance and without question the heaviest act on this tour though for the rest of night we’d be entering a realm of a more happy, optimistic style of metal or dare I say ‘Pop Metal’ with the next band putting this into perspective most effectively!

Photo Credit: Jacob Schwar

Amaranthe were up next having transformed the stage to represent the front cover of their latest album The Catalyst in all its robotic and cybernetic glory. To be honest it was my first time seeing this group and I was blown away, it was like watching a famous pop group with Amaranthe having three singers consisting of Elize Ryd and Nils Molin doing clean vocals and Mikael Sehlin providing the harsh vocals specifically. The whole group was loving every minute of it, throwing out banger after banger with highlights such as the bouncy ‘Digital World’, the grandiose ‘Damnation Flame’ and the chuggy ‘Re-Vision’.

Despite all these feel-good vibes we were treated to a truly tender and more intimate experience with the ballad ‘Crystalline’ which saw guitarist Olof Morck ‘tickling the ivories’ for a moment as Elize crooned a woeful verse which echoed throughout the venue before Nils and the rest of band came in making for a crushing duet, marvellous! Interestingly, with this being a co-headlining concert we were given an encore with
Amaranthe rounding-up a spectacular set with the fiery ‘Archangel’ and their biggest hit ‘Drop Dead Cynical’ for some last minute adrenaline, a perfect send-off to say the least… but my question now is whether the next band could top this off?

Photo Credit: Jacob Schwar

Finally, it was time for Dragonforce, the stage was now adorned with two massive arcade machines and various lights, surely impressing all the gamers within the sold-out crowd without question. Out on stage they came and without delay they opened up with a classic ‘Revolution Deathsquad’ and already the pit was chaotic, with a flurry of crowd surfers throughout not to mention the massive party poppers that went off showering the crowd in confetti, now making this party official.

Keeping the party atmosphere going strong with tracks such as the proper sing-along ‘Power of the Triforce’ and the menacing ‘Fury of the Storm’ which see’s guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman going at with it duel guitar leads which is so impressive to watch, gobsmacking in all honesty! I wasn’t wrong when I said this is ‘Pop Metal’ as Dragonforce pulled out two covers including the iconic ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion which was destined for the ‘power metal’ treatment and more interestingly ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Taylor Swift which I would’ve just taken for another Dragonforce banger, it worked so well!

Photo Credit: Jacob Schwar

After all this, the party was nearing its end however the band made sure we weren’t left without one last opportunity to have a ‘dance’ and so they finished up with their biggest anthem and the one song that many here tonight including myself first discovered on Guitar Hero 3 ‘Through The Fire And Flames’ which is power metal at its finest. Fantastically, it was an uplifting and ecstatic performance full to the brim with mind-blowing musicianship and good laughs… however at the end of the day, I’m giving this one to Amaranthe, they were on another level!

Photo Credit: Jacob Schwar

Photo credits: Jacob Schwar

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