With denim on and battle vest ready to mosh, the Grove of Anaheim was swarmed by thirsty metal heads on Wednesday May 10, which also happens to be Mexican mother’s day in case you all missed it. Despite that, the mother of all heavy metal bands Hammerfall from Sweden and the symphonic metal band from Netherlands, Delain turned their amp volume knobs to 11. The Netherland’s band Delain is female fronted, and what a powerful voice does Charlotte Wessel possesses. Her clean vocal style and sublime presence on stage is goddess like. The entire ensemble creates a melodic atmosphere giving the fans songs like “Hands of Gold” where Timo Somers and Merel Bechtold project heavy riffs and skills of metal masters. Merel Bechtold has a strong personality on stage and directs a few smiles at moshing metal fans, followed by her tornado headbanging. There is a sound that will captivate you and it is created by Martijn Westerholt on Keyboards, that symphony will pervade your body allowing you to rage on during the heaviest parts of each song.
The set was a full one, rarely do we see co-headliners perform such an extensive set, but all tracks played were brutal and majestic. With the cannon blasts of a war field, Ruben Israel teamed up on drums with bassist Otto Schimmelpennick van der Oije. Their sound gave the band depth, power and amped the fans who were enamored with this melodic metal band. Delain was formed by Martijn Weesterholt, and he and the rest of the band are sweeping across the U.S. bringing you songs like “Suckerpunch” and “Fire with Fire” to instill that energy and allow you to let loose on the pit. The band was followed by the hammering sounds of Swedish Heavy Metal band Hammerfall.
The Swedish metal outfit Hammerfall have been active since 1993, formed in Gothenburg, Sweden the quintet started composing amazing tracks like “The Dragon Lies Bleeding” and a self titled song “Hammerfall”. The band came strong, and ready to rock out. Prior to their show, they fueled their bodies by eating at The Catch, a restaurant across from the famous Grove Of Anaheim with their brother in arms Bjorn Englen former bassist for Yngwie Malmsteen. With their heart content, they climbed on stage and discharged a powerful set. The guitars were blazing that night as Oscar Dronjak and Pontus Norgren played harmonic sounds and whimsical tunes. Per usual in a power metal band the drummer is the relentless beating machine and Johan Kullberg punished those cannons intensely. From one end of the stage to the other, Joacim Cans would expel his might on the mic and commanded the ensemble forward with tracks like “Built To Last” and “New Breed” songs that enforce the genre of power metal, and fired up the fans. The bass was deep by Frederik Larsson, and resonated during the chants to track “Hammer High”, where all fans including myself chanted from the pit, and raised our horns to such a catchy and heavy tune. The set sovereign set fulfilled the ears of many long time fans, the younger newer fans were taken aback by the intensity this classic power metal band performs with. Fans wanted more, and the impact of the show that night will forever remain in their brain.
Both bands, Delain and Hammerfall will strike with force, two well oiled metal machines that will start a fire even during a rainy day. The sounds of guitars raged on that night and fans played air guitar while others moshed and drank beer. Metal is back in the states and the influence on a daily basis will live on, as melodies are played and chants are sung metal will prevail once more.
Written By: Hostile Jo
Photos By: Jose Barrientos