Finally. This huge co-headliner tour from Heaven Shall Burn and Trivium can take place in this post-Covid world. One of the most awaiting package of the year stopped at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels and we haven’t been disappointed at all!
This tour has been postponed due to the pandemic. The line-up as changed a little bit. But the motivation is still here. Maybe stronger than ever after we’ve all learned an important lesson: nothing can be taken for granted. You can be a professionnel musician since 20 years and it can still disappear in a couple of seconds.
To open this insane metal evening in the main room of the Ancienne Belgique, Malevolence got 30 minutes to deliver a strong hardcore set. If on the paper start with a hardcore band is always a good idea (what’s a better warm-up than a good mosh-pit?!), it’s not always happening as expected live. But this time, it was on point! Already more than half of the venue is full for the British hardcore band who arrived with the soundtrack Bad Boys. And during 30 minutes, they were indeed some bad boys on stage! Their hardcore with some good Hatebreed vibes succeed to wake up the venue as this early time (5.45 on a Tuesday !), get the first mosh-pit and confirm they really had their place on this strong line-up. They said they’ll be back in Belgium during an headliner tour in Fall and we can’t wait to be there!
Second band on the bill: Obituary. Between thrash and death-metal, the oldest band from tonight – 38 years old of career !- is not the easiest to enjoy if we don’t know their songs a little bit. Mentioned as a death-metal on Internet, they sound sometimes more like a thrash-metal in the vein of Slayer or Anthrax. The venue is almost full for their show, lot of people seems to enjoy the show but the spit is softer than during Malevolence. During almost 40 minutes, the band played some classics and new stuff but were still the less interesting band of the evening.
TRIVIUM: THEY’RE NOT THE FUTURE METALLICA ANYMORE, THEY ARE TRIVIUM!
Sadly for Trivium, when they became really famous around 2005 with both album “Ascendency” and “The Crusade”, they’ve quickly been called the new Metallica. They were at that time one of the most-promising new metal band along Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold. These 3 bands were destined to be the future headliners of metal festivals. If A7X reached this goal since a couple of years now, the 2 others have never been bigger than sub-headliners on major festivals. Bad timing? Not a music evolution good enough? Too much pressure? Hard to know. But the fact is here. For both B4MV and Trivium, we have the feeling they’ve not been themselves during a few albums, doing music that the business asked them, not doing the music they wanted to do. And about Trivium, they’ve not been helped by their previous drummers since the departure of Travis Smith in 2009. But that’s the past. Now, Trivium are back. Matt and his teammates are sweating the good vibes, Alex Bent is an insane drummer and the last albums are the ones they should have done 10 years ago!
It’s not a small thing to say we were so excited to finally catch Trivium live! And what a better venue than the AB for that?! Even more when we know we may have some surprises: indeed, if the major part of their set-list remain the same during the whole tour, they change some songs every night. Since the beginning of the tour, they’ve played 40 different songs on an average of 75 minutes set and 13 songs. Not that bad, right?!
We were expected to see Trivium closing the night and spoiler alert: they stole the show from the first song and would have 100% deserve to headliner properly this evening! After the classic Run To The Hills from Iron Maiden as opening track and the curtain drop, the 4 metalheads start with the heavy Rain, one of the 3 songs from the old and mythic “Ascendancy” released in 2005! Even if they released an album during the pandemic, “In The Court Of The Dragon”, they prefered open the show with some old-school stuff. That being said, only new song will be played tonight. The rest is from 7 of their 9 other albums: only their debut album “Ember To Inferno” (2003) and “Silence Is The Snow” did’t make it on the setlist. It’s a best-of tour!
The first big highlight from their set is the 3rd song: Strife. With its sing-along part and punchy chorus, this song is made for the stadium and the venue looks way too small for an act of the size of Trivium. Followed by the surprise of tonight’s set-list: Black, played live for the first time since 2016 and who became the 41th different song played on this tour! From Beyond Oblivion to The Heart From Your Hate, Matt and his teammates delivered one of their best shows ever in Belgium. The best ever for Matt! And one to remember for Alex Bent who celebrates his birthday tonight. In French? In Flemish? We wish him in English: easier for everyone and better for him! Before they close this insane show with In Waves – the best moment of the whole evening – and Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr. A show we’ll remember for a long time. Until even better at Alcatraz Festival in August?!
HEAVEN SHALL BURN: THE GERMAN STEAMROLLER IS BACK!
The last time, Heaven Shall Burn played at the Ancienne Belgique, it was also as headliner and with a strong package around them: August Burns Red, Whitechapel and In Hearts Wake. Tonight, it’s even bigger with this co-headline Trivium which is closing the show on the British leg of this tour. Honestly, it was a bit surprising to see them playing after Trivium in Belgium. We can fully understand they are bigger in Germany, their native country, but it seems less the case here. And during a couple of minutes, we were afraid lot of people thought the same as the venue was very empty during their soundcheck. Fortunately for them, tons of people were at the bar with the need to recover from Trivium‘s show but they all came back in the main room for the German boys.
Their stage production is way smaller and more minimalist then their co-headliner. Focus on a strong light-show. Unlike Trivium, Heaven Shall Burn are promoting their latest released album “Of Truth And Sacrifice” out since the 20th March 2020… the week the lockdown has started in Belgium and many other countries. Who thought at that time it would be the worst timing ever to release an album?! Fortunately for them, they can count on a strong fan-base and many of them are here tonight to support them.
During 1h15, the German metalcore band will deliver a strong set of new songs and old stuff. Even if the crowd reaction is good, we can’t stop compare to the previous set. There are more co-headline tours than before and it’s a big risk to choose the act that fit the best to close a night. We had the same issue in November with the Never Say Die! Tour where After The Burial surprisingly played after Suicide Silence. Tonight, Heaven Shall Burn did it well, just not as good as Trivium did just before them.
It was such a promising line-up on paper. And all bands confirm it live tonight! We’ve 11 busy months to come in 2023 but we’ll remember this one for a long time, no doubt about that! Trivium, Heaven Shall Burn, Obituary and Malevolence, all in their own style, destroyed the Ancienne Belgique tonight!