Live Coverage || HRH Vikings

The very first edition of HRH VIkings took place on the weekend of 01-02 December in Sheffield's O2 Academy. The lineup featured headliners Turisas and Tyr, as well as renown international and local acts such as Ereb Altor, Obscurity, Isarnos, Waylander, Eternal Fear and more.

Unfortunately things didn't go as planned and I only got to catch the majority of the first date. After a long day of travelling, I made it to O2 Academy just when Haerken got on stage. By the time I collected my passes it was past the 3-song mark to get some snaps so I got myself a nice spot to watch their performance. And let me tell you, an entire crowd participating and raising inflatable swords was a pretty cool sight. (8)
After some navigation in the premises, I got a glimpse of Oakenshield at the second stage and returned to the main hall for Old Corpse Road. The second they got on stage, they received a very warm welcome. What really stood out for me was the balance between the ferocious two-toned screams and the chanting clean vocals, which is not always easy to achieve on a live setting. (8)
Back to the second stage for Eternal Fear from Sweden, the headliners for the day, and I was in for a big surprise. Expecting the band to sound like the ones that preceeded them, I was taken aback with the vocalist's resonance and the strong heavy metal influences of their sound. (7) Irish metallers Waylander were up next. Unfortunately they didn't have the best sound of the day but this didn't seem to bother the very enthusiastic crowd. The band played a very entertaining set, which ended with the fan-favorite "Born To The Fight". (8)
As Ereb Altor went on, I could feel my teenage self having a minor meltdown. The band's show was on point. Despite their intimidating stage presence, they took the time to pose for our lenses and performed both older and new material. (9)
Headliners Turisas took over with "The March Of The Varangian Guard" and "To Holmgard And Beyond", and got the entire room off their feet, singing along at the top of their lungs. The Finnish sextet was clearly at the top of their game, as they were restless and messing with each other like they usually do. Vocalist Mathias Nygård mentioned that they hadn't been to Sheffield in a long time but that he could still recognise some faces. He then promised that "they will be back soon! [He didn't] know when, but isn't this what bands always say?" -and considering that the end of "In The Court Of Jarisleif" found our Warlord and saviour collapsing on the floor, I think it was certain he was excited to be back in the UK. The setlist ended with "Rasputin" and a big circle pit. (10) For the epilogue I will paraphrase one of my favorite Youtube comments; "So we have a Finnish folk metal band covering a German-produced disco tune, originally sung by a group of Afro Carribean singers about a Russian monk on a British festival. God bless for globalization for without it, we wouldn't have this". 

All pictures by Dearohwell photography.

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