Gig Review

Jagermeister Music Tour 2013
Ghost, Gojira, The Defiled
Birmingham, Academy

23rd March 2013

Ghost                        Gojira                         The Defiled

Photo Of The Defiled © Copyright Robert LawrenceIt’s an awful night in Brum, it’s the middle of March and yet it feels like the middle of winter. Its cold, it’s snowy and its miserable, but a shining light beckoning cold metalers into, the warmth is hear and it’s at the academy in the shape of the Jagermeister tour! Tonight has a line up of 3 great bands (it was 4 but the local act cancelled due to the snow).

The Defiled are first up, this industrial metal band from London, enter the stage in darkness and pretty much stay in it throughout their set, with minimal lighting on the stage its hard to see their makeup and Photo Of The Defiled © Copyright Robert Lawrencecrazy stage antics. They blast into Sleeper from their upcoming album Daggers, and the crowd starts rocking out. The defiled play their role well, being good entertainers coming to the front of the stage and posing with their instruments, including the keyboardist who holds his keyboard upside down whilst sticking his tongue out, its clear they've gone to the kiss school of rock gigs. But while their act may hold big comparisons to other acts, their music doesn't, its crash metal, with bone crunching double kick pedals all the way through, with thrashing guitars and backing synth(which doesn't come across well live, as it just stands stagnant in the Photo Of The Defiled © Copyright Robert Lawrencebackground), the vocals are gritty and you could be mistaken to think they're American by the sound of his voice. They say the odd word to the crowd, telling how there next song goes out to their sound man, Garry Lee, as keyboardist The AvD says he pissed in his suitcase the night before, after having one of the heaviest nights in years, they also thank Jagermeister for putting them on the bill for the 3rd year running, before wrapping up their neat little set with, Call To Arms. They get the crowd warmed up, but on the coldest of days in recent memory, they don't get everyone warmed up fully as their sound just isn’t big enough for this venue (yet).

Photo Of Gojira © Copyright Robert LawrenceGojira are next up, this French metal act take to the stage with wind chimes playing in an eerie way with deep feedback over the top, and then they blast into their first number, Explosia. They sound great, with a industrial backing of electric drums in the background whilst double bass interweaves along with steady guitar and bass progression, before slowing right down into a deep dark breakdown and speeding back up as before, all with the screeching tones overlapping everything. The lighting has improved with the band as it now shines brightly and changes with the speed of the music including the off strobe. The room seems more Photo Of Gojira © Copyright Robert Lawrenceelectric now with the crowd surging forward to get a view and a space to mosh along. The band are pretty steady and normal staying in their places, that is until the key change in Flying Whales where they go crazy, moshing and flinging themselves and their instruments around, this then continues through the set, as if Explosia was a warm up. They play a decent length set with songs including Backbone, L’Enfant Sauvage, Toxic Garbage Island and The Axe.

Photo Of Gojira © Copyright Robert LawrenceAs the set progresses the tracks get more erratic, with pace changes happening all the time, tiring out the crowd as they try and keep up with the movement on stage, that is until they reach the last quarter of the set, where things seem to drag, they do a drum solo and have quite long guitar wails as filler which really brings down the atmosphere. If they cut the set short they would have been great, but they go on to long. They have moved the bar up though and have the room thoroughly motivated for the final act after playing the final song The Gift of Guilt.

Photo Of Ghost © Copyright Robert LawrenceGhost are up last and this mysterious group from Sweden, They enter the stage to strange religious chanting in almost complete darkness apart from a beam off green light. They are dressed all black robes with no skin showing and pentagrams around their necks, along with strange masks with big noses, all except for the lead singer Papa Emeritus II or Papa for short, who enters the stage half way through the first song Infestissumam, dressed in a shiny black robe, with a white skull mask a pope style hat and a staff. As someone who had never seen the band before, I find it weird how a band who sings in, what appears to be Latin, and who dresses like the anti church can be popular, but as they continue and their lyrics change to English and I pick up on Hail Satan, I can understand, they're a group that appeals to the darker side of metal.

Photo Of Ghost © Copyright Robert LawrenceThe stage adds to this unholy look as its kitted out with a huge alter, but its hard to know if this is serious of its just mocking religion , but I suppose that shouldn't matter as tonight is about their live show which is phenomenal and a sight to be seen. The stage presence is over the top, the theatrics are immense and the sound is crisp and clear, with all parts being put to the crowd with lots of layers, as the gospel harmonies and clean vocals overlap the sweet riffs and complicated bass lines, along with the majestic keys and grand drums. They play along set with songs such as Con Clavi Con Dio, Elizabeth, Stand by Him, Satan Prayer and Year Zero.

Photo Of Ghost © Copyright Robert LawrencePapa Moves around the stage slowly and creepily throughout the set as the rest of the band (or Nameless Ghouls as their wiki page calls them), move around the stage behind him with a lot more vigour, which includes moshing and posing to the crowd. This is completely different to the other two bands in the bill, and whilst still metal, it also feels more unique as it mixes a few different genres together to make a totally different sound. The crowd laps it up, and everyone moshes slowly along with the music. They end their set with Ritual before coming back and performing Mostrance Cloak before slinking of the stage the same way they came on, but not before Papa bows down and blows kisses to the crowd in a very churchy way.

Photo Of Ghost © Copyright Robert LawrenceOverall it’s been an interesting gig, the crowd loved it all but I found it hard to get my head around, with the franticness of the Defiled mixed with the true metal experience of Gojira, ending with a truly unholy show of dark metal in the form off Ghost. But the crowd loved it, so if you like your metal, varied then tonight was the night for you, and we look forward to seeing the next mix of acts on the Jagermeister tour next time around.

The Defield – 2.5/5
Gojira – 3/5
Ghost – 4/5

Review By James Daly
Photos By Robert Lawrence


Papa Emeritus II
Nameless Ghouls


Joe Duplantier
Mario Duplantier
Christian Andreu
Jean-Michel Labadie

 The Defiled

Stitch D
The AvD
Aaron Curse
Vincent Hyde

 Band Related Links
Ghost Facebook
Goirja Facebook
The Defiled Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?