Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

MANILLA ROAD / THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM / SOLSTICE

Date: 06th May, 2017
Venue: Kraken
Tickets: 250SEK (€25/$27)
Promoter: Black Harvest
Photos: Erika Wallberg


"Are you going to see KISS in Stockholm on May 06th?" I don't know how many times I got that question and the same for other shows also on that same date. So, it was a fantastic day for Metal in Stockholm but perhaps not the best situation for the promoters. For me it was no doubt where to be, a line-up like this and on Swedish soil is just too good to miss.

UK Doom legends SOLSTICE opened the evening and almost immediately Paul Kerns excused himself for having caught a cold and struggled with his voice that chilly May evening. The people in the front tried to convince him that it wasn't a problem and I must say I agree with them. Sure, he sounded a bit more rasp than usual and his voice broke on a few occasions. But, the way he had to work with what he got made the music more intense and dynamic which really took the whole thing up a notch.

“The Sleeping Tyrant” is great and it sounded fantastic here. Good beat and it was good to see that SOLSTICE had a very devoted crowd despite the competition next door (Tele2 Arena where KISS played is just a few 100 meters away from Kraken). Also latest release, or perhaps outing from the band, demo title track “To Sol A Thane” sounded cool, very heavy stuff coming it seems. And it sure is about time SOLSTICE get another full length out soon. Another favorite from the show was “Cimmerian Codex”; I love the old school stuff from SOLSTICE so it was great to hear this one too.

But of course, the newer songs are showing that SOLSTICE still got it, set closer “White Horse Hill” carries that Folks-y nerve present in the band's music. The stomp in the song is great so it definitely worked great on stage.

SOLSTICE setlist:

01. “Death's Crown Is Victory”
02. “The Sleeping Tyrant”
03. “To Sol A Thane”
04. “Cimmerian Codex”
05. “White Horse Hill”

SOLSTICE

Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Solstice @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)


I was a bit surprised when Leif Edling, the godfather of Doom, launched yet another band after AVATARIUM. But ok, this one is rather different from the aforementioned band and frankly, as long as he puts out music I'm happy. It always turns out very good and THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM is no exception. I was really curious though how Niklas Ståhlvind (WOLF) would pull this off on stage. I had no doubt that he would nail the vocals but I'm used to see him with the guitar frenzy of the WOLF-songs. This mellow type of music gives a lot of time to kill on stage. My concern was of course unwarranted and Niklas pulled this off with grace.

And damn this was cool, “The Sceptre” set the standard high from start and Niklas rather squeaky voice added a level of desperation to the already fateful tunes. One of my favorites from THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM's debut album is “Spoonful Of Darkness” ill willed lyrics and the vocal lines set a tone that sends shivers down my spine. This also sounded absolutely fantastic. The rest of the band is of course extremely skilled too; Marcus Jidell has impressed me with his skills seeing him play with AVATARIUM and he sounded fantastic here too. His tone is flawless, intense and very clean while still being mean to fit the rest of the music.

What I find fascinating with the things Leif does is that he always manages to create hooks, melodies or passages that stick. “The Silence” is a perfect example of this; the really heavy track is taken down in the chorus to something very soft and mellow and it sounds amazing. The dynamics was pulled off perfectly live too. One of the coolest things with the show was “The God Practice” where Leif himself was singing after handing over the bass to Niklas. This massive track should have felt long live as it clocks in on over nine minutes. But the nerve and intensity carried it through the end. Also, it's damn cool to just change positions like this and have the show continue without interruption.

More up-tempo “Hand of Hell” closed the fantastic set from THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM. This was their first show together they said, but apparently they also played ‘Roadburn’ some weeks before this so it was the first gig in Sweden. What a start I'd say.

THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM setlist:

01. “The Sceptre”
02. “Never Machine”
03. “A Spoonful Of Darkness”
04. “Silent Kingdom”
05. “The Silence”
06. “The God Practice”
07. “Hand Of Hell”

THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM

The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) The Doomsday Kingdom @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)


When it was time for MANILLA ROAD to hit enter the stage the KISS show had ended an Kraken filled up in a very decent way. The crowd has been ok earlier too but the place is big and this additional batch of people was needed to create an atmosphere. It's always good to see that favorite bands get a good experience visiting up north. Far too few take this detour and when they do they deserve all support they can get.

That MANILLA ROAD would deliver I had no doubt about, they always do. This was though the first time I saw them playing a club-show. The previous times had always been on festivals. The downside with that is that at the end of the night (yes, they've basically always headlined when I've seen them) the energy is not on top. But after the first two bands this night it was definitely boosted. “Open The Gates” kicked off the show and was followed by “Astronomica” and it sounded perfect from start. It was damn loud but the sound was crisp and clear and the band sounded fantastic. The section with “Masque Of The Red Death”, “Death By The Hammer”, “Hammer Of The Witches” and “Witches Brew” was a real treat and the venue started to get heated up for real now. The atmosphere was great, it was intense but still friendly and convivial.

Two of my favorites were served after the epic “Ninth Wave” with “Mystification” and “Divine Victim”. The first of the two hold such great dynamics and I love it when the chorus is taken down in intensity. And it works perfectly with Mark Shelton and Bryan Patrick co-operating on the vocals. It was around there I realized how damn good Bryan sounds, how much power he possesses and what a great tone. Melancholy and mellow don't go for the latter of the two but there's no denying that this is a true party track. What was also very good to see here, when the crowd came closer was that the interaction with the people in the front increased a lot. Which of course is natural, but also the stories between the songs got more extensive creating a very intimate ambiance.

Towards the end of the show the “Crystal Logic” section came and there's no doubt that this is the MANILLA ROAD record most people know. “The Riddle Master” started the fury in the crowd and it sure went upwards from there with “Necropolis” (which held the ingress that it was lucky MANILLA ROAD took the train to Stockholm else they'd been Lost in... and it worked). It's always a good sign when the energy level goes up the later it gets in the show and this was definitely the case here. The band delivered and even MANILLA ROAD stood above its perfect self this night. The crowd gave all they got and it was just good fun to be there.

Around 90 minutes after the first notes MANILLA ROAD rounded up their set with the title track from “Crystal Logic” and what probably should have been an encore “Flaming Metal Systems” but the band didn't bother to leave stage. So it really turned out a great night, KISS have their fireworks and explosions but this too was an explosive evening, cheap on special effects for sure but those things are not necessary when the bands deliver Heavy music in the way it was done here.

MANILLA ROAD setlist:

01. “Open The Gates”
02. “Astronomica”
03. “Masque Of The Red Death”
04. “Death By The Hammer”
05. “Hammer Of The Witches”
06. “Witches Brew”
07. “The Ninth Wave”
08. “Mystification”
09. “Divine Victim”
10. “The Road Of Kings”
11. “Truth In The Ash”
12. “Luxifera's Light”
13. “Queen Of The Black Coast”
14. “The Ram”
15. “The Riddle Master”
16. “Necropolis”
17. “Crystal Logic”
18. “Flaming Metal Systems”

MANILLA ROAD

Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ Kraken, Stockholm (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)