Live Reviews

Avenged Sevenfold Live

Kentish Town Forum

Few in attendance this evening appear to have even the slightest clue as to who California quartet Bullets and Octane actually are. After half an hour of their punk-laced, instantly forgettable hard rock hybrid; fewer still actually care.

But then tonight is and always was about one band and one band only. Though already firmly established across the pond – most recent release ‘City of Evil’ being certified Gold with sales still rising – it’s the sold-out events of the past week’s highly anticipated tour that has indicated Avenged Sevenfold are at last beginning to make ripples on both sides.

Clad almost entirely in black and with more neon fuelled podiums than most strip clubs, they don’t just look like stars in the making tonight – they sound it. Peel away such theatrics and what you’re left with is a genuinely enthralling live act; their unique mix of classic metal and sunset strip rock and roll alive and bursting with raw, filthy energy. Front man M. Shadows is at the top of his game, pumping his fist and grasping at the front rows to the supercharged backdrops of current single ‘Beast and the Harlot’ and a riot-inciting ‘Bat Country’. A fruitless rendition of Pantera’s ‘Walk’ may be a bridge too far, but as Synester Gates takes up his position at centre stage for a mid-set medley of assorted six-string gymnastics; there’s one small fact you simply have to acknowledge.

Like them or loathe them, Avenged Sevenfold are a band with both the ability and following to command even the biggest of stages – and that’s exactly where they belong.

Ryan Bird