With Knotfest raining down upon us downunder after what seems like a quick set of months, The Forum called one last time before the anticipated festival, for all warriors, heathens and thrashers alike banded together as a ferocious unit at the behest of none other than the Viking metal heads themselves, Amon Amarth, joined by the ever so legendary Trivium, and Malevolence. Such a monstrous lineup couldn’t go unnoticed.

Hailing from the UK, Malevolence provided an energetic, enthusiastic warm up to kick off the three set gig, and despite being listed as a support under other heavy metal greats, they shined above that status. The frontman, Alex Taylor, had a coolness that radiated the entire venue that fuelled the powerful screamo vocals he amplified into his mic, and I could not resist pulling a face identical to my expression seeing a gorgeous woman in response to the bands disgustingly filthy breakdowns that could rapture the concrete below us. It was a shame that these beasts only had a 30 minute set, for their performance was a fiery highlight in itself that certainly got the crowd warmed up with veins bulging for the rest of the evening.

Donning a stunning backdrop featuring green dragons and red demons intertwined with the group’s logo, Trivium made their explosive entrance, and the music itself could have been drowned out by the collective roar of the crowd. And let me talk about the crowd for one second, for I have never in my life experienced such a wild, ferocious, and lively mob of metal heads, as the mosh and circle pits never wavered or broke, and every chiropractor in the state will be getting a run for their money with neck appointments. I was long before I was smothered and cramped among huge burley rockers carrying me closer to the barrier, and later to the other side of the stage itself.

The energy that Trivium brings to their live shows, even those on their 14th tour of Australia, is utterly insane, with the ever so charismatic Matt Heafy always being a treat to gaze upon, Corey Beaulieu’s luscious wet hair and glorious unclean backing vocals, Paulo Gregoletto’s forever plucking bass fingers, and Alex Bent’s incredible drumming precision. The Sin and The Sentence blew the venue off the roof, as did other hits such as Like a Sword Over Damocles and my personal favourite, The Heart From Your Hate. Matt Heafy never ceased exploring the stage joint from mic to mic across many lining the front, engaging with each and every section of the venue that fuelled him with overwhelming enthusiasm, causing the legend himself to claim that it was the greatest crowd they’ve experience down under, right before concluding the set with the undeniably monstrous number, Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr, a song that surely came close to destroying my vocal chords.

The glorious artwork of Trivium’s backdrop lowered to reveal yet another stunning piece, not of mystical beasts, but of a Great Heathen army, decked out along with wooden rune-riddled panels and a giant symbol of Mjolnir.  Even the mosh pit began early as the lights dimmed and blasted Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills, before a melodic Nordic tune filled us all with more anticipation. And just like the thunder Thor blessed our Melbourne weather with that morning, the warriors Amon Amarth took up arms and explosively opened the finale set with Guardians Of Asgard. Johan Heggs ferocious, low growls as his signature vocal technique did not stray from its glory heard in records, for hearing it live provided so much power that you could almost hear Odin’s call among them. Not only this, but the guitar harmonies could in themselves rival the call of the Valkries for the precision and flawless synchronisation was a delight to every ear. 

In only an hour, the Scandinavian band of heathens managed to turn an entire mob of Melbourne Metalheads into a ferocious Viking army, who’s chants, roars, and horns in the air inflates our warrior’s hearts. In this crowd, we all thrashed and pushed each other in joyful jest and laughter.  In this crowd, women did not sit atop men’s shoulders, for it was the shieldmaiden sisters who carried the brothers. And I could not get enough of it. Even to Johan’s amusement and joy, the women out-screamed the men in a short contest, making us mere boy bruisers rather than brothers in that moment. Nevertheless, we all chanted and howled like Vikings all together. We all sat on the ground and simulated the rowing of a longship on a voyage to Put Your Back Into The Oar, with the backdrop now depicting said ship in a vicious storm. We were encouraged to Raise Our Horns and shout “Skal!” to the band as they collectively downed beer from their drinking horns before blasting into the hit tune. We especially did not let them conclude the show without the famous tale of Ragnarok through the number, Twilight of the Thunder God, and before we knew it, Amon Amarth return with Johan raising Thor’s famous tool, Mjolnir, above his head before crashing it down upon the ground kicking off the finale.

I do not remember the last time my hair and shirt were soaked in pure sweat, whether it was mine or others, however I couldn’t expect anything less experiencing the sheer power of these three legendary metal acts back to backs, all returning after years robbed by a pandemic. My soreness and lost voice only describes how much joy I had. Would I do it all again?

…….Yes. In a fucking heartbeat   

Amon Amarth, Trivium & Malevolence will be back on stage at the very first KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA kicking off today in Melbourne!

Slipknot | Parkway Drive | Megadeth | Trivium | Northlane | Amon Amarth
 In Flames Knocked Loose | Spiritbox | Story Of The Year | Alpha Wolf
 Void Of Vision | Bad Omens | Malevolence

Friday 24 March 2023 - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne SOLD OUT
Saturday 25 March 2023 - Centennial Park, Sydney
Sunday 26 March 2023 - RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane 

Information available at destroyalllines.com

March 24th, 2023 - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Saturday 25 March 2023 - Centennial Park, Sydney

Sunday 26 March 2023 - RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane