Serenity / Visions Of Atlantis / Souldrinker Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 12, 2014    
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Serenity / Visions Of Atlantis / Souldrinker - Boston Music Rooms, London (UK) - 25th March 2013

For Female Fronted and Symphonic fans tonight was a delicious looking menu, with German heavy metal act Souldrinker opening for Austrian Symphonic Metallers Visions Of Atlantis and Serenity.

Souldrinker arrived with quite a bang. They were very loud and lively with the guitarists moshing away as vocalist Iris Boanta stood centre stage growling and roaring. I didn't catch many song titles as SD blasted through their set with force. After the tempestuous second track, Boanta informed everyone this was actually their first time in the UK and then amused the crowd by referring to her band mates as 'ladies'. The next two tracks saw her leaping round and yelling for "heys" backed by some furious metal. The penultimate track even had some growls from bassist Chris Rodens as he hammered his strings. Their last offering had quick fire vocals delivered with guts from Boanta. During the solo she was flinging her head around and looked somewhat like Cousin Itt from The Addams Family. With their set over they took the applause and left.

As the lights dropped again the VOA guys strolled out, although something was a bit amiss. Mari Plank wasn't amongst them and it was later announced he had been forced to miss the tour due to university obligations. Taking his place was Astral DNA front man Babis Nikou. As the band tore into 'The Ark', vocalist Maxi Nil ran out with a huge grin. This sounded really good live and they wasted no time delivering 'New Dawn' next. Nil then introduced the band before they continued to rock the joint with 'Memento' and 'Vicious Circle'. Nil was up on the front amp a couple of times, fist in the air and swinging her head around wildly. One of my VOA favourites 'Avatara' surfaced next and it was musically a knock out. Nil encouraged the audience to get their hands up like a sea for the appropriately titled 'Seven Seas' before they let rip on the guitar front with 'Hypnotized' and 'Burden Of Divinity'. Both singers also gave it real balls vocally including Nil wailing with real ferocity. During the digital passage of 'Machinage', they bought out a mini robot and placed it on the amps providing a nice light hearted moment. Nil requested lots of clapping then hopped back up on her podium and yelled for "heys" before 'Elegy Of Existence'. Nil was really hitting the notes perfectly and equally matched by Nikou. She flung her head around some more during the solo before demanding lots of noise at the crescendo. They left stage quickly but the lights stayed down and they returned just as quick for an encore of 'At The Back Of Beyond' and Passing Dead End' culminating with a large cheer.

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The Rooms continued to fill during the break before Serenity came out. As they tore into 'Age Of Glory' Neuhauser suffered some mic issues, even resorting to adjusting settings at the side of the stage. By this time Clementine Delauney had appeared and she sounded great with no problems. Neuhauser announced in the break that the mic officially sucked but thankfully there were no more problems. During 'Far From Home' and 'Coldness Kills' he spent a lot of time upon high marshalling the crowd with fist pumps and demanding "heys" which he received, prompting a well deserved 'London you're fucking great'. Delauney returned for 'The Matricide' to sing in unison with Neuhauser, who sound really well suited. There was nice interaction and movement between them and this continued into the luscious ballad 'For Freedom's Sake'. The riotousness returned with 'Rust Of Coming Ages' and 'When Canvas Starts To Burn' before the smokes machines really took effect during 'Reduced To Nothingness' and Heavenly Mission'. Neuhauser looked a little like the devil during 'Mission' as he peered out through the smoke and red lighting. The pace slowed for the emotive 'Fairytales' where Neuhauser and Delauney once again showed real feeling and involved the crowd in a sing along. The pace returned in abundance with one of the best songs from the new album in 'Wings Of Madness'. From one of the newest songs the band journeyed to the beginning with the first song they wrote called 'Forever'. Their main set closed out with 'The Chevalier' and 'Engraved Within'. Given the two glaring omissions from the set list, it was no surprise to see them swiftly stroll back out again. First up was 'Velatum' where the whole floor with their hands in the air and singing along with the chorus much to Neuhauser's delight. Last but not least the set closed with my personal Serenity favourite 'Serenade Of Flames'. The crowd were pumped up, Delauney and Neuhauser were giving it their all and it was a fine end to the show. As the band took their applause Neuhauser was back up top directing the chants of Serenity with his hands and the broadest grin I have seen in a while.

Although there were a couple of sound issues and the venue wasn't full, this was a belter of a night. Souldrinker got the evening off to an explosive start with a really boisterous and loud display. They are a band with real power and guts that should have a bright future ahead. VOA was every bit as good as I'd hoped and I enjoyed their set a great deal whilst Serenity continues to be a real force live and, despite the acknowledged mic issues, put on a sterling show. I got the impression that many concluded that Serenity just stood out over VOA as band of the night. Personally I can't pick between them as both were wonderful. In the words of the old Pools announcer..."the panel gives a score draw".

Dave Scott


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