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 …

P1020737peniche
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.

Remember the Light
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.

P1030265

See the full gallery of the event HERE !