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The tour with such huge soccer-fans like Sepultura and In Flames seems also like a final game: Thrash Metal-Master versus Melodic Death-Champions at Columbia-Stadion in Berlin. Those two opponents offered the usual high quality musical diet, yet the Berlin crowd couldn´t enjoy extra time or penalties to identify the top scorer of that evening.
The Opener Dagoba from Marseille could enjoy a rather full stadium at their debut show in Berlin. The audience received a good mixture of Machine Head and Soilwork with stomping massive riffing, aggressive singing and mass-appealing clean choruses by singer Shawter. Dagoba gave a good show with extremely fast doublebass-attacks and a lot of fun on stage. A good debut.
The Thrash Metal-heroes Sepultura had to do without their original drummer Igor Cavalera who didn´t join the tour because of personal reasons, but with the Soilwork-drummer he had a substitute who also tortures his instrument´s skins. The recent masterpiece „Dante XXI", a concept album about Dante´s Divine Comedy with references to modern times, couldn´t be punt into the set completely because the Brazilians just have too many old hits. Therefore besides several new songs they performed a lot of their timeless Metal classics for their fans who just came to see Sepultura (original fan quotation: "In Flames? I don´t even know them…") and make them go crazy. „Refuse Resist", „Arise", „Beneath The Remains", „Troops Of Doom" or „Roots", the band had the Rasta-Freaks entirely in their hands, and that´s clear if you just listen the wall of sound that the only guitar player Andreas Kisser is capable to produce. Derrick Green at the microphone ruled the masses, and not just because his giant body shape. If he also took a guitar it seemed like being a toy. Only once the audience protested, when Andreas Kisser predicted – and sort of apologized in advance – that Brazil will once again, for the fifth time, win the soccer WC title.
The Death Metal-darlings from Gothenburg prefer, like their Scandinavian soccer-counterparts and contrary to their opponents from Brazil, technical details and beauty to such straight-forwardness that is featured in Sepultura´s songmaterial. Therefore there was neither
Kick and Rush nor long shots among the Swedish attackers. A white cloth wall hid the stage in the beginning, and Pop tunes were supposed to introduce the band. But the four defenders with boss Anders Frieden had an excellent start, no sugary elements but hard and brutal rhythms that define In Flames´ last three albums. And not only musically they gave everything, the stage exploded with effects, firewalls, pyros and bangs that were in a fascinating way coordinated with double bass kicks of drummer Daniel Svensson and therefore appeared more effective. Anders Friden not only impressed with his vocal presence but also with his sense of fashion he put into the band. White In Flames-shirt and necktie, the band-pet on the back and underneath, like on soccer-shirts, the bandmember´s name. Additionally Mr. Friden displayed ringed socks like Astrid Lindgren´s Pippi Longstocking. Just like those pyro-effects that impressed the fans (who had now much more space in the front as the Sepultura fans had went further back) the band initiated an explosive musical spectacle. Although they just played a few of the old songs and mainly focused on the more recent stuff, you never felt like the past was forgotten. And besides this intense stage show they found time to take the camera from a fan in the first row, making close ups of themselves and returning it to the probably happiest person that evening. In the playlist: „Take This Life", „Crawling Through Knives", „The Quiet Place", "Trigger", "Cloud Connected", "System", "Black & White" and the classics "Behind Space" „Episode 666" and „Only For The Weak". With "My Sweet Shadow" they gave everything once again as if they attempted to turn the location to ashes. The stage was indeed in flames (!!), smoke bombs and confetti cannons added to the atmosphere of a winning team. After that no encore, they preferred to celebrate the victory among them. The playing time wasn´t that long but they made the best of their time on stage. Perhaps In Flames didn´t make the (Metal-)WC-title that night but definitely scored 2:1. If it really happens periodically, Sweden might become world champion again. Well, I don´t mind...