Entombed / Dukes Of Nothing / My War
8 February 2004
The Garage, London

It`s a surprisingly lively night for a Sunday and the Swedes are out in force with most of the Garlic & Shots staff being allowed the night off to attend. We`ve also dragged our friend Tom along tonight for not only his first metal experience, but a death metal one at that.

As we arrive Nottingham`s My War are already pummelling the audience into submission. My immediate reaction to the barrage of riffs and twin vocal assault was that they were a bit too much like Iron Monkey and Raging Speedhorn for my tastes. However, given the late Johnny Morrow of Iron Monkey was a former vocalist and his replacement 8ch was in an early incarnation of Raging Speedhorn I guess we can forgive them!

Apparently there`s an abundance of punk pedigree on stage in the form of ex-members of Hard To Swallow, The Varukers and Chaos UK. I can`t deny the band were incredibly tight, and take away the more screechy of the two vocalists and you`d have something approaching Hatebreed.

Anyway, if you are into the Iron Monkey / Raging Speedhorn style I`d suggest you give them a shot.

Charger were originally billed as main support however for whatever reasons they were replaced by the Dukes Of Nothing. Personally I was quite pleased about this as Charger aren`t that far removed from what My War had presented and so some variety was welcome.

Again, I have to confess the Dukes aren`t to my usual tastes, however there`s no denying that tonight they put on a great performance. Initially the tunes seem lost in the muddy mix, but after two or three songs the Motorhead like dirty rock breaks through and has many a head nodding and devil horns raised. Dirty is the word that keeps coming to mind as each greasy biker anthem is churned out. It`s not just the music that`s dirty, with mainman Tony Sylvester and the rest of the Dukes looking like hillbilly mechanics in need a good bath.

I found the best way to appreciate the Dukes was with beer in hand to be raised a loft at the appropriate moments and my best compliment would be to say that by the end set I`d completely forgotten it was a Sunday.

There`s a real anticipation evident in seeing Entombed tonight. The Swedes don`t possess any "rock star" attitude at all, coming over as old friends who you can pick up your friendship with right where you left it last time round. This is evident in the nervous smiles as the band amble on stage like it`s your mate`s band playing which makes their performance all the more endearing.

I get the feeling that Entombed don`t take too long worrying about the set list and the gig didn`t feel so much as a promotion of their latest album, as most bands do, more like "We`re Entombed here`s what we fancy playing tonight". In tune with that the band open with Chief Rebel Angel from previous album Morning Star with fists pumping the air to the chorus refrain. Its then heads down as they speed through Serpent Speech from the Hollowman EP.

It`s not until the third song that a track from latest album, Inferno, is aired, however The Fix Is In already feels like an old classic. At this point, death metal virgin Tom, hands me his pint and disappears into the mosh at the front, much to our amusements as at well over six feet we can see his head as he flies around the furious pit.

Equally exerting himself is L.G. Petrov, who is already drenched in sweat by this point but his energy and enthusiasm is boundless. Guitarists Uffe Cederlund and Alex Hellid marshal either side of the stage with a calm coolness. Uffe sports an Unsane t-shirt, whose influence infiltrated Entombed`s experimental Same Difference album which is, as usual now, ignored in tonight set list. Alex meanwhile wears a woolly hat throughout, amazing given the apparent heat on stage judging by the state of L.G.

There is a new member in the Entombed family tonight in the shape of Nico Elgstrand on the bass, ex of the underrated Terra Firma. Nico is like a kid in a sweet shop tonight, all smiles and L.G. in particular seems to feed of his enthusiasm.

You can read my approximation of the set list below. Apologies, I was having so much fun I may have misheard or forgotten one or two, though I must make my case here for the inclusion of Nobodaddy in the set for Sweden Rock please. I can`t believe this song isn`t an automatic choice and was surprised Flexing Muscles, which to my ears is very much an album track, beat it into tonight`s set. Well that`s my one criticism out of the way.

There`s no complaining with Out Of Hand however which see`s the whole crowd shouting "F**K", before Left Hand Path destroys any strength the pit at the front have left.

Tom returns from his baptism of fire in the pit looking slightly worse for wear. His summation this morning, "My head hurts my ears are ringing my eyes are like small pins sticking into my brain. All in all a result - A good time was had!"

Entombed are akin to the Motorhead of death metal. They have their own defined sound and are unlikely to surprise you, but you wouldn`t want them to in any case. It`s Entombed and they do what they say on the tin - ROCK!

Entombed Approximate Set List:
Chief Rebel Angel / Serpent Speech / The Fix Is In / Revel In Flesh / To Ride, Shoot Straight & Speak The Truth / Retaliation / Damn Deal Done / Seeing Red / Demon / Hollowman / Flexing Muscles / Like This With The Devil / Out Of Hand / Left Hand Path