Jades

Back to the first live streaming of Jades

I have to admit that I’m not really used to imposing a schedule on myself to be in front of the TV. But on January 22nd, I wasn’t begging to get comfortable on the sofa at 7pm sharp with a mug of my favourite drink in my hand. And for good reason, it had been a few days since I was eager to finally discover on stage Jades, an all-female Rock’n’Roll band from Paris that I discovered last spring with the release of the excellent music video « Be My Freak ».  Pandemic forces, it is on the occasion of a live streaming in Regietek and Newloc‘s premises that the band goes back on stage after more than 10 months without concert.

While waiting for the start of the show, the audience is put on hold with the video of a snake wiggling on the band’s magnificent guitars. No doubt, we are at the right place !

Problem of synchro in the control room or technical problems, the live broadcast unfortunately starts a few minutes after the beginning of the concert. We then have to deal with a black screen with the sound of the live, then we finally discover the stage on the last seconds of the “Misnake” title that opens the setlist.

The sound is pretty good. You can hear the instruments and voices distinctly, enough to quickly turn up the TV volume a few notches to fully enjoy the concert. The stage is superbly well equipped with many lighting effects and screens in the background. Regietek and Newloc’s teams didn’t do things by halves ! The different shots give dynamics to the video and allow you to have a global vision of the stage and sometimes close-up shots of the musicians. On the other hand, one will regret a rather average image quality making the viewing on the big screen less pleasant. Live streaming does have its limits …

Cherry - photo Nicolas Chaigneau
photo Nicolas Chaigneau

Once the frustration of being on the sofa rather than in front of the stage taking the decibels, you enjoy the moment. The ladies impose from the very beginning of the live show and occupy all the space dedicated to them with a certain ease. In spite of limited movements due to the constraints of microphones and pedalboards, the show is performed by the four musicians with strong personalities. They seem quite relaxed and happy to be together again under the spotlight, I find them simply radiant. And I might as well tell you that they didn’t come to caress unicorns ! Catchy riffs, effective melodic solos, refrains that stay in your head, in short a good Rock’n’Roll cocktail with, icing on the cake, this touch of femininity that you can’t help but notice. The sound seems to me very close to what you can hear on their EP. No disappointment then, it sounds like Jades and it’s a big deal ! The explosive recipe is there : a guitar duo with the fat, drooling, wah-tinged sound of Taïphen, subtly complemented by the sharp, modern sound of Cherry (who also does the backing vocals), Lyndsay’s powerful voice and bass lines that make you vibrate to your toes, all set to the groove and precise drumming of Chloé, aka “JazzySnake”. I just admire each and every one of them.

Taïphen - photo Nicolas Chaigneau
Lyndsay - photo Nicolas Chaigneau

A handful of lucky people in front of the stage allow the band to see a few familiar faces. However, viewers are not outdone as Lyndsay and Cherry regularly address us between songs as if we were there. It’s great, we’re happy to share this moment all together !

The middle of the set is marked by a nice instrumental interlude oscillating between hovering moments and groovy rhythms. If it’s only improvisation (and it looks like it), it shows a real complicity within the band, and an excellent mastery of the instruments. Once again, hats off ladies !

Chloé - photo Nicolas Chaigneau
Jades - photo Nicolas Chaigneau

The 50 minutes of the concert go by at a crazy pace. The ten titles (only compositions) are relatively short and follow each other in a very fluid way. Jades is used to the stage and it shows. In the setlist, we can find in particular the whole EP “Misnake” released in 2018 but also a brand new track interpreted for the first time live, “Scream For The Devil”. The inspiration doesn’t seem to run out of breath for the Parisian women, this last one announces a promising future. The set ends energetically with ” For Rock N’Roll “, then the band proposes to play “Misnake” again, amputated of its first minutes at the beginning of the live streaming.

Cherry - photo Nicolas Chaigneau
Jades - photo Nicolas Chaigneau

I can’t wait to see Jades in the flesh. To give you an idea of the style, I would say that this is a band that we would like to see in the first part of Guns n’ Roses, Alice Cooper or Halestorm. So, would you have liked to be there ? So check out Jades’ YouTube page for a catch-up session (link below, the concert starts around 21’45).

Many thanks to Nicolas Chaigneau, present in the hall during the concert, for his superb pictures ! And finally, a big thank you to all those who continue to keep the world of show business and music alive despite the difficult situation. Stay Rock n’ Roll !

Just after the show I met up with Taïphen, Cherry, Lyndsay and Chloé to ask them some questions. The interview is available in video on the Facebook page of Metal Overload, just here.

And if you missed it, find Chloé “JazzySnake” in a special cross interview with drummers published at the beginning of the year => Chloé, Max, and their drums stories …


Orkhys

Cruising with Orkhys and Remember the Light

The complete photo gallery of the concert is available here.

It’s under a graying weather that I take the road this Saturday October 24th at the end of the morning, direction Paris, to attend the release party of the very first opus of Orkhys : « Awakening ». The concert was initially scheduled two days earlier, but the sudden introduction of a curfew at 9pm on part of the French territory has upset the organisation of many events. Some have been postponed or simply cancelled, but Orkhys and Remember the Light, who share the bill, show a real willingness to fight and keep the event going at all costs. Just for that alone, I take my hat off to these two bands.

The appointment is set for 4pm at the “Péniche Antipode” (a barge), on the quays of the Seine. Unfortunately, some technical incidents occur during the soundcheck and we board the boat with almost 45 minutes delay. I resigned myself to the fact that we would inevitably have to leave the venue before the end of the concert to be back before the curfew, which is also applied in Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Sadness …

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affiche Orkhys RTL

Despite the change of date and the early schedule, the public is still there. The sixty available places have been reserved, the event is sold out from the beginning of the week.

As soon as I enter the venue I can see a smile on my face as I see the superb drum kit installed under the spotlights. A detail will you tell me ? Not so sure, the drums are an integral part of the overall aesthetics of the show and there, it shines, it catches the eye and it perfectly dresses the backdrop of the stage devoid of backdrop and roll-up.

Remember the Light

It is before a seated and masked audience that Remember the Light comes on stage. Discovered for my part last year during their only date in the North of France, I am delighted to meet them again for the occasion. The set starts with « Blooming », whose clip was released in 2019, then comes « The Outcome ». I particularly like this track with a jazzy theme magnificently interpreted by Olivier on the keyboard.

Remember the Light
Stayn, Cécile, Grégoire, Bertrand

The six musicians show a good presence from the very first notes. No warm-up, it immediately sends them off in all directions despite a few sound problems that will not destabilise them. This is the first concert with Axel on drums and Bertrand on bass and growls. Despite a recent line-up change, we can guess a growing complicity between the members of the band. There are many but each one finds his place on the stage which is not excessively big. No shyness with Remember the Light, the sharing of space is balanced and interactions between musicians are frequent. The two charismatic guitarists flank the stage and ensure the show with ease, even on the more technical parts, and we can count on the singer and the bassist for the headbang. At the back of the stage, the expressive drummer and keyboardist, although nailed behind their instruments, do not go unnoticed either.

Remember the Light
Olivier
Remember the Light
Axel

The playlist includes the full EP “The Outcome” (2019), “I Will Disappear” from the first demo “Exiles” (2016) and a new track. In the middle of the set, we are offered a soft break with a cover of « Priscilla’s Song », taken from the soundtrack of the video game The Witcher, brilliantly interpreted here by Cécile and Stayn in a vocal/acoustic guitar duo.

The participation of two guests should be noted : Charlene Morgan (Priest of Steel, 22 Acacia Avenue) gives the answer to Cécile on “Stand Up For What You Are”; and Julien, former bass player/growler of the band on “Heroes”. Both of them will make their mark by their performance perfectly integrated to the rest of the show.

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Julien
Remember the Light
Charlene

Musically, the Remember the Light recipe has been tried and tested : a melodic metal music that reveals the classical influences of the composer(s), melodies that we can’t help but hum later combined with more technical passages, a sometimes lyrical, sometimes clear song flirting cleverly with high notes with some growls, the whole plunged into a dark universe. The two guitars constantly keep the balance, the solos can be heard, it’s pleasant ! Unfortunately, we lose the bass on a part of the set due to a material problem and we hear it too little the rest of the time. The drums, dynamic and coherent with the other instruments, are sometimes too charged and not very contrasted. The orchestrations led by the keyboardist subtly overhang the whole. Overall, the band manages to get through the 50 minutes of the show with flying colours, far too fast.

The change of stage set takes a while. I see the clock ticking and Orkhys finally starts at the time I had originally planned to leave to be home before curfew. I’m a bit pulling on my “traffic jam” margin with my fingers crossed, I’m really looking forward to discovering this brand new project on stage.

Orkhys

What better way to launch the set than with the band’s first single, “The End Of Lies“, whose video clip was unveiled at the end of September. A catchy track with a heavy sound whose chorus stays in your head at least until the next day.

As the band has only released for the moment a 3 tracks EP, we expect a lot of unreleased tracks on the setlist. For my part, it’s only on the first 20 minutes of the performance that I will have to make an opinion.

One of the special features of Orkhys is the introduction of harp parts, played by the singer Laurene, on some tracks. This is the case of “Guardians Of Our Lives“, also present on the EP “Awakening” and performed here at the beginning of the set. Laurene is typically the kind of musician that captivates me. I see her taking a deep breath before starting the song and then … Here we go: the notes flow with a disconcerting fluidity and emotion, she is concentrated but seems relaxed, perfectly in tune with her instrument. A magical moment.

Orkhys
Brice
Orkhys
Laurene

On drums, Jean Yves plays nuanced, it beats the blasts and double strokes but he knows how to take a back seat on the soft parts. Brice is the only guitarist of the band (but with many guitars !) which leaves enough space for Julien to allow himself a few melodic moments on bass. The singing is mainly lyrical, sometimes pushed to the extreme, punctuated by clear voice parts. Like it or not, the rendering is coherent, even impressive.

Orkhys’ stage play is more discreet, especially guitar and bass, but remains very promising for future performances.

What is pleasant about Orkhys is the ease with which they mix styles. That’s how during a part of blast you say to yourself : “Hey but 10 seconds ago we were on an acoustic guitar/harp duo, WTF ?”. We regularly find a Celtic/medieval atmosphere as the band’s logo suggests, but fans of big, aggressive and energetic riffs will also find something to their liking. In short, it’s varied and surprising.

Orkhys
Julien
Orkhys
Jean-Yves

Throughout the concert, I notice an attentive and receptive audience. The particular conditions leave too little time to really interact with the bands and the fact that I have to watch the time and leave before the end leaves me with a slight feeling of frustration. Nevertheless, I have no regrets about having made the trip to Paris for this show with two quality bands with a great motivation.

Of course, I leave with some memories.

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See the full gallery of the event HERE !


Shadow Pussies Live Lille

Shadow Pussies : Last Party before the End of the World

Last March the last concerts of the world from before took place. Things have changed since then. Today I take advantage of my double hat as editor/bassist to offer you a Covid-Safe-Live-Report seen from the inside.

Thursday 1 October, 8.30 pm. I’m finishing my revision session of the set of the Shadow Pussies, a girlsband rock from Lille that I joined this summer. A wipe on the Fender Precision before putting it in the bag, then I prepare my amp, pedalboard and various equipment to be embarked. Tomorrow is a big day, we play at the Gare Saint Sauveur in Lille. But then, how are the Covid-Safe concerts going ?

Until D-Day, it is the sensation of having a sword of Damocles over your head. The week before the show, the French government announced new restrictive measures to fight against the spread of Coronavirus, including the closure of bars at 10 pm in major cities, including Lille. In spite of this, our concert, organized by the Regional House of Environment and Solidarity and Koan asso as part of “The Last Party before the End of the World”, is maintained.

Shadow Pussies
Shadow Pussies : Charlotte, Vanessa, Selene, Fanny just before the show

Friday 2 October, that’s it, we’re here! Yesterday evening, the event was announced sold out, that is to say 80 people with the current restrictions. We will play in the projection room, equipped with bleachers, and the concert will be broadcasted on the screen of the bar. Since the evening before, I’ve been stomping on my feet with impatience. I haven’t put a foot on a “real” stage for more than 9 months and I can’t wait to get back to that special emotion tinged with euphoria, stress and a kind of pride. I finish my day’s work and I take the road to Lille to join Charlotte, Selene and Fanny, respectively guitarist/singer, solo guitarist and drummer of Shadow Pussies.

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Around 8.15 pm the public begins to settle in. About 30 minutes later we enter the stage with « Pussies in the Shadow », a rather short, energetic and rhythmic track, perfect to introduce the set. The audience is seated, masked, and an empty seat separates the groups of people who have come together.

From the stage, you can only see the front rows, dazzled by the spotlights. But at the end of the first title the 80 people are heard: applause and bursts of voices, we are tremendously well received and we can’t help but show all four of us a broad smile.

The stage is very big, we can walk from one end to the other, jump, shake our head, and there’s even a stage for the drums where I can go squatting from time to time to do my favourite activity on stage : making faces at our drummer. The sound is very clean, the sound engineer handled it for us with great attention.

Although the audience is nailed to the seats, they are not afraid to participate by clapping their hands or singing when we ask them to. We have the impression that we have succeeded in bringing all these little people into our universe and, despite the imposed distance, the current is really flowing.

As usual, the set goes at a crazy speed. About 50 minutes that seem like 15 when you are on stage and everything is going well. Our last track, a cover of the Runaways’ famous « Cherry Bomb », is coming to an end. The audience is asking for more. We are so happy, we get back together and start « What You Lost » to end our performance.

Back to reality, the bar closes at 9.30 pm, it is unfortunately too late to share a pint with the friends who came to support us. Sniff!

Hey, Charlotte (singer/guitarist), what did you think of this evening?

“A Covid friendly concert ? It is a bit weird on paper, but when you live it, things are pretty well done! Whether it’s the public reception which becomes rather ceremonial or the spectators who generally respect the barrier gestures. What’s more, people are so happy to be able to see a concert after months of abstinence that the atmosphere can only be good ! ».

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In conclusion, it was really nice to be back on stage with such favourable conditions, despite the restrictions in force. As opportunities are rare this year, we feel all the more fortunate to be able to live these moments filled with emotion, energy and complicity. I strongly invite you to go to the concerts organized near you (or far away if you are of the “nothing stops me!” type), even if you don’t know the bands. The organizers go to a lot of trouble to be able to get into the nails and make sure that everything goes well. Their best reward is to see that the audience is there and having a good time while respecting the measures that have been put in place. I know that the same evening, the Brat Cave, also in Lille, was sold out for a metal evening with the bands Death Structure, In Hell and Virgil. Congrats to them !

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To follow Shadow Pussies :


Cellar Darling on the campaign, then in live !

Cellar Darling on the campaign, then in live !

The first concert of Cellar Darling’s European tour was to take place on April 13th with the band Turilli / Lione Rhapsody. Due to pandemia, all the dates are cancelled one month earlier. But the trio don’t let themselves be discouraged, and immediately propose a live-streaming to compensate as best they could. The announced date is Sunday, April 5th. In the meantime, the quarantine measures are becoming more extensive and it is quickly becoming impossible to maintain this date. As a result, Cellar Darling launches its Lockdown Content Campaign.

The "Lockdown Content Campaign"

It is then a question of making the audience wait until the live streaming can take place, to stay close to the fans, to show that they are there and that they feel great. And to do this, the band will offer no less than ten videos during the whole month of April. The campaign starts on April 5th with a live chat with Anna Murphy, Ivo Henzi and Merlin Sutter. The following videos include playthroughs, acoustic versions of “Under The Oak Tree” and “Death”, “A day in the lockdown of …” videos with Ivo Henzi and Merlin Sutter, and a voice/hurdy gurdy version of “The Spell” by Anna Murphy.

The new announced date for the live streaming is May 3rd, and this time it is maintained. A “Pay As You Want” system is proposed to support the band, but the video is also available for free. We can notice that if we contribute 15€, we receive a signed postcard.

Live-Streaming review

Sunday May 3rd, around 8:20 pm, we meet the band at Soundfarm Studio, in Switzerland, in a warm atmosphere. A Facebook post announces a few minutes before, “We’ve plugged in about a hundred cables, four cameras, 24 audio channels, and connected evertyhing to the internet. But there is nothing pre-recorded and everything will be live !”

The concert starts almost immediately after the beginning of the streaming with the title “Pain”. One camera is focused on Anna Murphy juggling hurdy-gurdy, flute and keyboard in addition to vocals, another on Merlin Sutter’s drums, a third on the guitar/bass duo Ivo Henzi and Nicolas Winter (band’s session bassist), and a last one makes a wide shot of the studio. The sound is very pleasant with a lot of reverb, especially on the drums, all the instruments are distinct, we are attending a real quality live performance. The titles follow one another: “Death” (with its magnificent flute solo), “Love”, “The Spell”. The absence of applause and light effects between the songs is a bit surprising at the beginning, but the sequence is quickly done. Anna Murphy takes the floor after this fourth track. She feels stressed, and this is what she explains during her speech: they are nervous and she has lost her voice during the soundcheck.

Then the tracks “Insomnia” and “Freeze” are played. After that, a new intervention where the band reads some comments on the YouTube chat to get the feeling of the audience: “Talk more !” to which the singer replies: “My brain is melting ! ». Ah ah!

The track “Black Moon” follows, then “Hullaballoo”, “Starcrucher”, “Fire Wind And Earth” and “Six Days”. Before the last track, Anna announces: “It’s time to ask the question: do you want some more? ». The band offers us a masterful “Avalanche” to close the concert that lasted a little over an hour, all without any technical incident. About 30 minutes after the beginning of the live we were 1500 people connected. This live streaming is, in my opinion, a great success. The four musicians gave their best and remained smiling and enthusiastic from beginning to end, which largely filled the cameras and fixed lights.

The live ends with a last intervention by Anna who thanks at some length the audience who watched the live and those who contributed to allow the band to “survive” during this period of crisis. She is then taken with a laugh when she adds “I don’t know if we will do this again, maybe not ! We need to reflect about things that have just passed”, suggesting that this experience was a real adventure for them. Minutes before, she had already let out a “That’s incredible!”.

For those who missed the live, it is still available on Cellar Darling’s YouTube channel (link below), as well as all the videos from the Lockdown Content Campaign.

Cellar Darling before live

Crédit photo : Urs Gantner


MaYaN plays and the magic happens !

MaYaN plays and the magic happens !

It’s the first time that I go to the René Magritte Cultural Center in Lessines this Saturday of March. But it’s a great opportunity, because it’s a quality poster that we’re offered tonight, as the icing on the cake, MaYaN, the prestigious side project of Mark Jansen (Epica). The band was playing a few shows in the Netherlands, Germany and here.

First observation, the staff is welcoming and the venue is spacious. We have time to have a drink before the Belgians from King Drama open the evening. This new band, made up of experienced musicians, is giving its first concert today. With its folk-tinged rock, sometimes a little more angry, the band brings a fresh wind to the current scene. The melodies are sweet and catchy and the choruses easily stay in mind. It is Ophélie, on vocals, who mainly manages the stage animation by jumping and dancing. Her voice is supported from time to time by Alain’s voice, also officiating on guitar, which we knew until then in a harder register (About:Blank, Spiritual Jack). Apart from a few small rhythmic blunders, King Drama defended themselves very well for a premiere and made a good impression on the audience. Note also that the band had to make up for the absence of its bass player, who unfortunately was ill.

After a short break, the French from Attraction Theory  come on stage. Although this is also a recent project (2017), it is also carried by musicians who have some past, including Didier Chesnau (Headline) and Constance Amelane (Whyzdom). It can be seen and heard as well. The band offers a modern metal, sometimes hovering, sometimes more aggressive, carried by Constance’s very soft voice. The mix is pleasant and can be listened to with pleasure. I like it very much, even if I have this feeling of “already heard”. But as my friend told me: when it’s so well done, it’s absolutely not disturbing! I especially remember the cover of “To France” that closes the set of Attraction Theory, a song that reminds me very good memories.

The sequel is a bit late, but as it’s still early, it’s not particularly disturbing. It is, indeed, the opportunity to talk more with the friends here and drink beers… Lots of beers! By the way, we are surprisingly few for such a line-up. It makes you wonder if the evil aura of the current virus played a role. Anyway, once MaYaN  comes on stage… Thinking back about that moment, I don’t know what to write. This band has so much energy, the many musicians running around in all directions to the frenetic rhythm of the music. You don’t know where to stare, something’s happening every second, in a different place. After two or three tracks, I laughingly tell one of my fellow photographers that this band is tiring! Not to mention that the lights aren’t super easy to manage either, by the way.

Finally, beyond these small details, for me, it is simply magic that happens before our eyes. The set is simply perfect: scenically, musically, vocally… The sound is amazingly clear! For a few seconds, I even come to wonder if the band isn’t doing some playback. I also admire Laura Macri’s performance as she’s doing the lyrical parts alone tonight, as Marcela Bovio is currently recovering. Her interpretation of “Insano” almost alone on stage is to fall, I have shivers!

Let’s note that the setlist is varied, mixing the different albums of the band, but also proposing some surprising covers: “Follow In The Cry” (After Forever), “Nihilism” (God Dethroned) and “At The Mountains Of Madness” (Orphanage). But these bands are part of the history of MaYaN and the musicians who took part in the project. Finally, for more than an hour, MaYaN delighted me and I think I wasn’t the only one to have taken a superb slap in the face by attending this modern opera in the company of talented artists, happy to be together on stage and in contact with the audience.

After this superb concert, we were able to share a little moment with a few members of the band, always available for fans and smiling. A real pleasure! For the anecdote, I tried to get some information about Epica’s new album, which will be released later this year, but it didn’t work! To sum up, even if you’ve certainly already understood it: it was a very good evening, well organised… And, of course, well toasted!


The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster

The Headbanger Tour wakes the dead with a great death metal poster

Go to Luxembourg this time (a very distant land for the Belgian I am). Death fans from the surrounding area gathered on Saturday, February 29th at the Rock Box, an iconic venue of the region offering diverse musical evenings.

Once the entrance (which looks like a nightclub) has passed, once the small wooden staircase has been climbed and once the welcome stamp has been placed on my hand, I find myself in a beautiful little room, halfway between an attic and a saloon. As usual, everyone is accustomed to the bar and everyone seems to know each other. The atmosphere is excellent.

The almost two hours of travel make me arrive late and I unfortunately miss three quarters of the Theophagist concert.

Kraton begins, proposing a fierce and controlled death. The band offers a precise set, with a high and sometimes heavy atmosphere (the band says they want to invite the spectators to a reflection on the human condition). Wink to the drummer, whose energy is dripping from her cymbals! Kraton definitely signs my discovery of this evening.

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It’s Infected’s turn to climb on stage. I’ve always tended to say that bands that just looked like a bunch of school buddies wouldn’t go far. But in the case of Infected, we’re dealing with a bunch of dudes made up of talented musicians! If in some bands we look for cohesion, fun and sometimes even a smile, with Infected, we are inundated with brotherhood and joy. You can tell yourself that the singer sometimes misses a bit of seriousness, but is that really a problem?

The band, composed of musicians with other projects (Coalition, Ardenne Heavy, etc.) offers an interesting mix of thrash/ death/ groove, which works very well and I liked it very much. The audience too !

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Back forced, I will not have the opportunity to see Desdemonia again, which I had discovered at the Metaldays 2019 and which had left me a great impression.

The Headbanger Tour offers an extremely high-quality poster in a well chosen location!

Valentine Cordier


Campaign For Musical Destruction 2020

Campaign for Musical Destruction 2020 @Trix

Sunday evening, I braved the storm and faced the weather to go to the Antwerp Trix to attend the Campaign For Musical Destruction Tour 2020 gathering BAT, Rotten Sound, Misery Index and Napalm Death.

Report 16022020 BAT

The Americans of BAT opened this evening with an excellent thrash which set us in motion for the rest of the hostilities. It was a great discovery for me. I already knew Ryan Waste in Municipal Waste and although it is a band that I love very much, I found that BAT has a little something more. I found that the voice was really good, that it worked well with the music and Ryan managed to keep all the energy and the intensity of his voice throughout the concert. If you don’t know BAT but are a fan of thrashy sound like Municipal Waste and Cie., check them out.

Report 16022020 Rotten Sound (2)

Then it was Rotten Sound (Finland) who stepped on the stage. The last time I saw them was in a small room in Liège (La Zone) with Implore and Brutal Sphincter. Despite a not very clean sound and an extremely energy-less audience, Rotten Sound sent a flood of energy and violence of which they have the secret. However, I preferred their performance at La Zone where the intimacy and proximity of the public corresponded more to the atmosphere that we can find in grind concerts where it sweats, it grows and it stinks violence. Here in the great hall of the Antwerp Trix, it was impossible to recreate a similar atmosphere. On the other hand, we can say that Rotten Sound has fulfilled its part of the contract and that they have given everything to make the audience move. But the audience in question had surely confused energizer and sleeping pills.

Let’s go to the third concert and not the least: Misery Index (Netherlands). The Dutch offered us a show combining their classics and new songs. Although the band offered an excellent set balanced between cleanliness and pure violence, the audience did not seem that motivated. We had to wait for the last two songs to see small beginnings of pogos in the pit. Even the microphone was more into the mood than the audience, it fell backwards during the last song. It made the audience laugh but show must go on, the concert ended in beauty. I would like to point out that Misery Index has took the bar up a notch compared to their performance at the Turock in Essen with Wormrot (06/04/2019). I found them more energetic and more effective on stage.

Report 16022020 Eye Hate God (38)

In a completely different register, we then moved on to Eye Hate God and its kind of grinded psyche stoner / rock. One thing is certain, we were no longer in the same world. I found the band much more introspective than the first three, you really had to be in their trip to fully enjoy the concert. Compared to the three other groups of the evening, their universe did not stick and for me, it was extremely complicated to get in the mood. It’s because of this that I find that Eye Hate God was a bit of a poster. This created a mismatch in the audience: there were those who came for Eye Hate God and who didn’t care about the other bands and those who came for Napalm Death who were more attracted by the style of the first bands. However, I must say that the performance was impressive and I appreciated the dirty but groovy sound offered by the band. I will finish by saying that Eye Hate God is venomous, visceral and sensation-wise it’s a bit like when you spit bile, it comes from the bottom of your guts.

Napalm Death offered us an insane show. The band has announced the release of their next album in a few months. We got a preview of this new album with a track: « Logic Ravaged By Brute Force » which combines clean and shouted punk/grind singing. For the rest of the concert, it was like every time I have seen Napalm Death: violent, fast, efficient and so good! If you’ve never seen Napalm Death live, don’t hesitate! Especially if you have to catch up on a workout session, because Barney is the only guy who can blow up your 10,000 steps a day in one concert.

Regarding the public, the crowd was delirious at the mere mention of classics like « Scum ». Napalm Death made everyone move throughout the venue (FINALLY!). We were given a concentrate of energy and violence. Napalm Death get to the bottom of things and this without compromise, while remaining faithful to the ideas they proudly defend. It may be an “old” band but they still lift an impressive amount of energy, all at a speed greater than that of a Boeing. You have a slack ? Forget Nalu and take a shoot of Napalm Death. Finally, the new song was well received even if it is the classics that are most successful among the public. The concert ended with two cover songs: one of the Dead Kennedys, « Nazi Punk Fuck Off » which made everyone move, and the other of Sonic Youth, « White Kross », which had less success.

In conclusion, it was an excellent live experience with good bands, a sound not always perfect but each band gave everything to send us a concentrate of energy and violence in its own way. Big up to BAT, the opening band which, I remind you, is really worth it. I believe that “All Is Said And Done” for this Campaign For Musical Destruction 2020!



The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

The Great Tour: When Sabaton sets the Sportpaleis on fire!

I am really nervous when I enter the Sportpaleis of Antwerp on the evening of the 2nd of February. It was a hell to park the car, there are people everywhere and I don’t really know where to go despite the instructions I received at the entrance in a small stamped envelope. Fortunately, I met some less stressed colleagues who helped me.

Amaranthe, one of my favourite bands, opens the evening in this huge venue that keeps filling up. With their electro metal, the Swedes are just the perfect choice to warm up the audience. Their ultra catchy choruses seem to work pretty well on the first rows. To relax, I sing along every song. There’s so much space in this photo pit that I doubt the others can hear me. However, I am embarrassed by the Sabaton set already installed, all the bands are condemned to play behind barbed wires. Either, Amaranthe’s performance is excellent: energetic to the max as well as musically and vocally impeccable, the three singers performing really well in their respective styles. The setlist is also well thought out, gathering several songs from each album, among which we find “Digital World”, “Hunger”, “GG6”, “That Song”, “The Nexus” and also “Amaranthine”, the obvious ballad to take a little break in this intense set. Just great! Even if, of course, these 45 minutes spent with Amaranthine leave me with a taste of far too little.

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Little break, little beer. At the price they are (3,50€) and knowing that the instructions for Sabaton shooting are particular, we go easy. Then, we go on with the Finns from Apocalyptica who start their show with a track from their latest album “Cell-0”, released in January of this year. Their music is atmospheric and dark, it takes to the guts. The cello is so beautiful! And played like that, it’s really impressive. The band offers a visual show as well, psychedelic images scrolling on the screens in the background. After three original compositions, the musicians are joined by Elize Ryd of Amaranthe for two tracks, including “Seemann”, a famous Rammstein song. It must be said that Apocalyptica is best known for its covers, especially those of Metallica. Tonight, the band proposes “Seek & Destroy” and “Nothing Else Matters” for the greatest pleasure of the audience who participates with enthusiasm. I had never seen Apocalyptica live and I thought instrumental music would bore me… I was wrong, it was great!

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A bit before THE concert of the evening, the photographers have a briefing with Sabaton’s PR manager, Nick. He explains everything that will happen during the concert in terms of pyrotechnics and entertainment. He also reminds us that we are divided into two groups and shows us the division according to the setlist. I’m in group A, so I stay in the pit for the beginning of the show. We’ve been warned that it’s going to blow up on the first track, but in fact it’s very impressive and quite distracting.

In short, after a sweet introduction (“In Flanders Field”), it’s a cannon shot that gives the top start of the Sabaton concert, the musicians bursting on stage, as they often do on “Ghost Division”. Ideal to start in the energy and the band’s energy is once again overflowing! After “Great War”, which is also the title of their latest album released last summer, the combo leave the stage for a narration and comes back wearing gas masks. Only Joakim (vocals), also equipped with a smoke machine, will keep it throughout “The Attack Of The Dead Men”.

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The tracks follow each other at breakneck speed and we don’t know where to stare, because something happens almost every minute: keyboards embedded in a Red Barron’s carcass, animations and screen replays, little jokes, famous riffs (Judas Priest, AC/DC, Iron Maiden,…) more flames and more fireworks and… As if all that wasn’t enough, we also get a bazooka shot on “Night Witches”! Halfway through the show, the band is joined by Apocalyptica for no less than six songs. It’s nice, but in my opinion, we don’t hear the cello enough.

Seen from the grandstands, the show is all the more impressive as the venue is so huge and full. However, from the audience’s point of view, it’s a bit strange. As much as there is a crazy atmosphere in the front rows, there are even some crowdsurfs, as much in the stands, it’s dead calm… One or the other arm rises timidly from time to time, but apart from that, everyone remains seated. No one moves a hair during “Carolus Rex”, for example, which is one of the band’s anthems.

Finally, for almost two hours, Sabaton ha filled our eyes and ears with excitement. Whatever people say, they are real showmen and what they do, they do it perfectly!

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See the full gallerie of the event HERE !

Setlist :

01. Ghost Division
02. Great War
03. The Attack of the Dead Men
04. Seven Pillars of Wisdom
05. The Lost Battalion
06. The Red Baron
07. The Last Stand
08. Resist and Bite
09. Night Witches

With Apocalyptica :
10. Angels Calling
11. Fields of Verdun
12. The Price of a Mile
13. Dominium Maris Baltici
14. The Lion From the North
15. Carolus Rex

Encore :
16. Primo Victoria
17. Bismarck
18. Swedish Pagans
19. To Hell And Back


The Hu, a journey to the heart of the Mongolian steppes

The Hu, a journey to the heart of the Mongolian steppes

Cologne. I had not planned to drive two hours, even to see The Hu, which I had only heard about once or twice. In general, the: “What? You don’t know them? But it is a phenomenon, you must absolutely listen to them!” attract me very little. Well, I still decide to go see the band.

The Hu has attracted the gaze of the metal planet with a monumental “communication shot”: no one could miss “Yuve Yuve Yu” on their social medias. And miracle, by looking at the dates of the band, we realized that they were playing a little everywhere in the coming months. Very well seen!

The venue (Die Kantine) is spacious, but we are still very tight. To make up for this, and without understanding where it comes from, a fresh air arrives on the audience. Rather pleasant! The venue is proposing various activities (discotheque, cultural events in general, …), and it shows very beautiful exterior, in an industrial style. Big downside: drinks are very expensive! Count 4.50 euros for a beer, deposit included. Not necessary to say that we did not leave the place drunk.

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But, after this little tour of the owner, let’s get to the heart of the matter! The Hu leaves me with a strange, paradoxical taste. A rather unpleasant feeling of unfinished …

A show in half shade

Overall, and not to hide anything, the show lacks power! One could say that it is the fault of the style, I think rather that it is the choice of the band to chain four very quiet song that leave something to be desired … The public was nevertheless excited and the atmosphere was very good. Which is very nice!

Traditional Mongol instruments (morin khuur, tovshuur and tumur khuur) were not heard enough. It is disappointing, considering it’s the band’s trademark. On the contrary, in scenic terms, they were too highlighted (RIP the bassist and the guitarist carpet in the shadow all the concert long). I expected a very tight-knit band, and finally I looked for interaction as a GPS looks for the right address. On the other hand, diphonic singing remains impressive and challenging!

In short, the concept is excellent, but it deserves to be further developed, for example through the promotion of traditional percussions, or even through stage settings (there were none so to speak). My main fear about The Hu is that the audience will turn away from music that could become weary. The future will tell us if the band manages to solidify its fanbase while renewing its music.

The Hu took me on a journey, but a bit of a wobbly journey …

Valentine Cordier

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The band @ "Die Kantine"

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster

Damned Soul Fest III : an eclectic poster

First Damned Soul Fest of my life. This little festival with (already) great reputation intrigues me, and so I decide to venture into the beautiful little village of Bomal Sur Ourthe. When I arrive, the cold is already piercing. A small beer to warm it up, and it’s gone! I discover the room, tiny but very warm and welcoming, with its «underground» side. Who says small room, says tight audience. But not here! Despite the high attendance, we are not on each other.

Belgian groups are on display, but not only: Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands, neighbouring countries are proudly represented. A diversity that I like. There is also a diversity of styles: death, hardcore, rock’n’roll, or symphonic. I only knew three groups on the poster. But I don’t care, I love discoveries.

I start with Dirty Wolfgang. First time I see them live. Recently, there is a new drummer who joined the ranks of the hard rock «sons of a bitch» in their «loud» version. The band offers a squared and energetic set, but rather unnatural. Despite the quality of the sequences, we feel that the three musicians still have to play together before acquiring a real cohesion. But apart from the little rhythmic errors, it’s promising! The influences of the band are multiple, but Dirty Wolfgang manages to merge them into a clean style, powerful, and dirty at the same time. In short, we love!

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Nico Mike D. , new drummer

Anwynn continues. First time I’ve seen the band since Kelly Thans from Pandora’s Key replaced «Bouc» at the growl. It was just that mix of voices that I liked. So I’m skeptical. But I quickly realize that my doubts were unfounded, so much the chemistry between Kelly and Eline is intense! The mixture works perfectly well. However, still at the level of voices, I do not change my opinion of Eline’s voice over the years: her notes deserve to be better «posed». As for the rest of the gang, it’s always as good and accurate! Perhaps a small regret: the set loses consistency and energy in its second half.

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Anwynn

My discover

It is in front of Dysrancor that I take a slap ! I’d heard of them before, but I didn’t expect my eyes to be taped to the scene from A to Z. I’m more of a distracted type. So, if the band that plays doesn’t transport me, I hang up and never pick up back. That’s not the case with Dysrancor! Not much to say about their set, more than mastered. With a good interaction between musicians and an overflowing energy, the band offers a very original and convincing mix of brutal death and black sympho. And, to say the least, it’s working!

Dysrancor
Dysrancor

I have only one regret: not being able to attend the concert of Fractal Universe, which benefited from very good echoes. Overall, the sound and lights were very good. And the prices of drinks and snacks were more than reasonable. In summary, a successful third edition! In total, almost 500 people made the trip this year.

To conclude with a word from Matthieu Addonisio, the organizer: «My expectations are met, and at the financial level, it is a more than successful edition». It will still be a few weeks before we know if a new edition will take place in 2021. But we hope so!

Valentine Cordier