By Ashley Davison
Photos by Jeremy Moore
If you have never seen a show at the Newport, you have no business calling yourself a fan of music. Although it used to house a lot of local shows, Promowest Productions has turned it into a venerable venue for acts big and small. There is always something going on, and tonight it hosted some serious metal talent.
When you hear a metal song and think the vocals will ruin it for you, Skeletonwitch is there for you. They are actually from right here in Ohio, and they have passed through Columbus numerous times. Fun facts: They opened on Danzig’s Blackest of the Black tour, and they played every show of Ozzfest 2010 (remember the good old days?). They opened with “I Am Of Death” and you wouldn’t believe the raucous cheers from the crowd, fists in air in all their metal horned glory. It was beautiful.
A sabaton is the part of a knight’s armour that covers the foot, a most appropriate subject when discussing the band of the same name. Hailing from Falun, Sweden, Sabaton focuses lyrically on war and historical battles. They came on hard and heavy, sweeping through the crowd with the speed and intensity of the cavalry. Between every song the crowd would bellow “SABATON” and shake their fists. If I had ever held any doubts about this band, however, they were erased the moment the singer referred to the band as village people. I think the highlight of the entire show was when the singer busted out “smoke on the water” on guitar, only to be wildly outdone by the two guitarists in a humorous display of fretwork. I have encountered few bands who work so hard to please their audience, and I would pay millions to see Sabaton play over and over again.
Amon Amarth take their name from the fictional Sindarin word for Mount Doom. We all know Tolkien only wrote Lord of the Rings to showcase his linguistic prowess, but the name bestows a sort of suprahuman quality to a band dedicated to the exploits of the Vikings.
The songs seemed to come in waves, balefully assaulting the eager ears of hundreds of screaming and growling fans. The crowd was incensed in an eruption of frenzied brutality time and again as they begged for encore after encore. This was easily one of the best shows I have attended in a long time, being a serious Amon Amarth fan. I hope to see them again soon (maybe with Enslaved? Pretty please?).