Elkenwood – Garethstock III Live Review

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Elkenwood is an amazing talent including the stylings of the showman himself running this event, Gareth Graham of Asgardia and Embrace Eternity, Nic ‘Freyja’ Williams, Amanda Terry and Liam Anthony of Decapitated Mum, Sedition, Shrapnel, Demonreich, Metalurgy and Malakyte. Truly these guys are an amalgamation of amazing talent and amongst a predominantly thrash event, it was a nice reprieve to have some nice Folk/Black Metal in there to break things up. It’s difficult to not have a bias as I know most of these guys personally and they’re all so talented, so I’ll do my best to remain impartial here. If I’m being honest too, another writer was supposed to cover this in-depth so I don’t have the setlist and I’ll be reviewing their performance as a whole. Sorry guys~

Straight out of the gates though these guys kicked off a great show. You could feel the entire tone in the room shift as soon as they began. Drunken screaming turned to stunned silence and awe. It helps to have two guitarists as talented as Gareth and Nic are and with Liam as a backbone and Amanda bringing it home, this band was a match made in heaven. Gareth has had a storied history in the local metal scene but it’s great to see him put his full love into a set like this covering Guitar, Keyboard and Vocals. The man truly is a talent and it’s not wasted here. Amanda’s Violin work was so beautiful and haunting and combined with Nic William’s lead guitar and just.. how damn good she is, like wow.. It all really gives Liam a lot to work with. And that needs to be said that you can see and hear these guys piggyback and emphasize each other. You can tell that they love what they’re playing and they’re having fun doing it and that sort of thing might seem small to some but it sets the tone of a show.

If I were to consider any downside to the set, I would say maybe the placement in the set itself? In saying that, kudos to Gareth for not sniping the headlining slot but I’m not sure if being between the bands they were helped. I personally think they would have performed even better than they did paired up with some of the other bands that were a little bit more chill because Thrash will tear your ears off at times and I felt a bit like it made it harder for some around me to appreciate them properly. In saying that, I only think this because I’m considering what would have maximized the impact of their set and am in no way saying their set wasn’t brilliant. It was. What I mean, Elkenwood would have maybe paired better with Wizard’s Realm for instance, but considering this is splitting hairs and the only thing I can think of that would have made their set better, that’s a pretty big thumbs up from me. The set itself was amazing.

The interesting thing about Elkenwood is early on I found them hard to nail down a genre on as they are so multifaceted. The elements of folk, black metal, death metal.. and the amospheric nature in general really just makes their shows an experience to behold. Their set was quite well received and it’s always a good time to see them play. I would HIGHLY recommend them if their genre is your thing because again, I can’t stress the talent combined here. Keep an eye on these guys because they are unique and hopefully have a bright future