Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tarot - Charleroi with Ethernity & The Man Eating Tree

'Wakka and friends with Marco after the gig.

It was fantastic that within minutes of the gig ending all the band came out into the bar area to sign autographs and pose for pictures. I have to say they really were all top guys and it's things like this that set most metal bands apart.

With Tommi

With Zac

With Marco

The sign off from a fantastic performance


'Brothers Hietala'

Tarot are a heavy metal band from Finland in the finest sense!
Originally formed by the Hietala brothers (Zac & Marco) in the early 80's. Back then the band’s name was called “Purgatory”. As Purgatory reached the point when they got the record deal, the label wanted them to change their name. Since then the band has been known as Tarot. The line-up settled in to the form of Marco Hietala (bass/vocals), Zachary Hietala (guitars), Mako H (guitars) and Pecu Cinnari (drums).
After the second album there was a hiatus in the band. During this “vacation” the line-up changed a little bit and a keyboardist was added to the band as Janne Tolsa joined Tarot and replaced the second guitarist Mako H.
Tarot gained new success in recent years when singer and bassist Marco Hietala joined Nightwish in 2002.

They delivered a full out metal extravaganza and sent the small but enthusiastic crowd wild!!As you would expect several tracks from their new album released in March 2010, entitled "Gravity of Light" were given an airing. Including 'I walk Forever' and 'Satan is Dead.'Mixed with classics such as 'Crows Fly Black' and 'Veteran of the Psychic Wars'
Marco was in his element as frontman and storyteller whilst Zac was monumental with his guitar playing. Pure power and agression backed up by the loudest drums i've heard in some time. Tommi also supplied vocal power in what was truly a memorable performance.
It seemed strange in these days of the UK smoking ban to see all the band smoking on stage! Maybe why the tour does not include UK dates ??

Full Set List

Sleep in the Dark
I Walk Forever
Satan is Dead
Crows Fly Black
Calling Down the Rain
Hell Knows
Veteran of the Psychic Wars
Pyre of the Gods
Rider of the Lst Day


Marco in full cry.

Next up were The Man Eating Tree a new atmospheric metal band featuring former Sentenced drummer Vesa Ranta alongside current/former members of Poisonblack Reflexion and Embraze.
The Man Eating Tree released its debut album, "Vine", in Finland on September 22 via Cobra Records and in other territories through Century Media Records.

The Man Eating Tree is:

Tuomas Tuominen (ex-Fall of the leafe) - Vocals
Janne Markus (Poisonblack) - Guitar
Mikko Uusimaa (Reflexion) - Bass
Heidi Määttä (ex-Embraze) - Keyboards
Vesa Ranta (ex-Sentenced) - Drums

It was a good enough performance and Tuomas put his heart and soul into it but it felt as though something was missing as far as I was concerned. Can't quite put my finger on it really?

A surprise was the T.M.E.T rendition of 'A Whiter shade of Pale' the Moody Blues classic which I have to say was very well done.

Tuomas Tuominen- T.M.E.T Frontman

It was surprising to arrive at the venue and not find crowds of fans outside?
Sadly the gig was not that well supported and was less than half full I guess.
Surprisingly there appeared to be two support bands lined up.

First band on where Ethernity a Progressive Power Metal band from Belgium founded in 2000 by Julien Spreutels (keyboards) and Nicolas Spreutels (drums). Some friends quickly joined the two brothers: Steve Widart and Thomas Henry on guitars and their cousin, François Spreutels on bass.

It took 4 years of searching to find the voice that fitted the band through Julie Colin.

In 2006, Ethernity recorded their debut album "The Journey". December 2006. In early 2007, Ethernity decided to part ways with Steve and welcomed Gregory Discenza as new lead guitarist.

In 2008, Ethernity recorded an EP/demo titled "Quest Of Forgiveness" studio. It helped to give the public an idea about the evolution of the band before recording a second album.
In 2009, Ethernity worked on finalizing the writing of the next album, still untitled.

Ethernity’s music can now be described as metal with a combination of dark and aggressive moments, gentleness, progressive and classical elements, catchy choruses, where melody excel above everything else. This mix has often allowed them to touch both the metal fans of all styles.

I was impressed with the Ethernity set and purchased the 'Quest of Forgiveness CD which all the band signed.

Definitely a band worth following for sure.

Julie Colin - Ethernity

Charleroi is notorious for violent crime.In March 2010, Geneviève Denisty, a Charleroi civil judge, in a court ruling, advised that a businessman living in Charleroi - who had been robbed several times at gunpoint - had provoked the robberies, as one must not "provide an ostentatious display of one's wealth in a poor and damaged region like Charleroi". Marc Dutroux, nicknamed "The Monster from Charleroi" actually lived in Marcinelle a municipality within the Charleroi borders.
The 'Coliseum' was conveniently located within the heart of the Red Light district. I did a trial run when we arrived mid afternoon and was propositioned at least four times!!. So it was with some trepidation that Trevor and I set off from our hotel under the cover of darkness...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Delain - Utrecht - with Kingfisher Sky & Stream of Passion

It was a tremendous ending to the April Rain Tour and a fitting farewell to Ewout who I wish all the luck for the future. It was great to meet all the band afterwards at the 'Afterparty'. Can't wait until next March with the new album and UK Tour which I already have tickets for.

Full Set List

Stay Forever
April Rain
Go Away
Day for Ghost (Feat George)
Come Closer
Start Swimming (Feat Ivar)
The Gathering
Sleepwalkers Dream
Control the Storm
Silhouette of a Dancer

Virtue & Vice/Nothing Left/Pristine

Charly and Ewout - Wonder what they were saying ..??

Charly and special guest George Oosthoek , what a character!

Otto 'Mr Cool'

Ewout and special guest Ivar De Graf showing what an accomplished guitar player he is as well as the drums.

Ewout -His last Delain gig and he played like a Demon

Charly - Getting the crowd going, not that they needed it !

The crowd at Tivoli Utrecht - Marina and me are about 3 back centre stage. Great atmosphere and super venue.

Stream of Passion released their debut album "Embrace the Storm" in 2005, and immediately gained the attention of female- fronted metal fans all over the globe with their unique sound. In 2009 they released 'The Flame Within.
Led by the voice and violin of Mexican-born Marcela Bovio, the new band line-up consists of talented and passionate Dutch musicians Johan van Stratum (bass guitar), Martijn Peters (drums), Jeffrey Revet (keyboards), Eric Hazebroek (guitars) and Stephan Schultz (lead guitar).
They certainly delivered a powerful and impressive set!

Kingfisher Sky area Dutch gothic/progressive rock band. Ivar de Graaf (Drums) left Within Temptation in 2001 to pursue his own musical interests and formed KS. There are many wide ranging musical influences including Kate Bush and Porcupine Tree.
The first album Hallway of Dreams was recorded in 2007 and released in October of the same year. Since then the band has completed numerous shows in the Netherlands both as headliner and support for related bands including Epica.
Kingfisher Sky also have classical cellist Maaike Peterse as a permanent band member after starting as a guest musician.
Trevor has been singing the praises of KS for some time to me and I loved their set. So much variety and diversity in the songs. Now I really must invest in the new album 'Skin of the Earth' released September 2010.

Kingfisher Sky

With 'Charly' after the gig during the 'Afterparty'

The chance of seeing Delain at Tivoli, Utrecht last Friday for the last gig of the April Rain tour was to much to resist. Particularly as it was to be guitarist Ewout Pieters last gig so mixed feelings.
It was lovely to take Marina as well as she was desperate to see them.
The train station at Utrecht was surprisingly massive , bigger than Amsterdam and took a while to navigate the way out.
Thankfully I met a guy in the toilets in a Metallica T shirt , and although I don't make a habit of talking to strangers in male toilets I asked him directions. Luckily he was on the way as well but being from Rotterdam he was following directions from a piece of paper.
It was a bout a 20 minute hike to the venue give or take a couple of wrong turns. The queue was already forming and who should be there but my travelling gig buddy Trevor from Colchester. It was a really early start with Kingfisher Sky on first at 18:20 according to the schedule.