Eden's Curse / C.O.P. UK - The Corporation, Sheffield (UK) - 23 November 2016
Approximately one hundred and fifty fans braved the cold, South Yorkshire weather, to make their way to The Corporation to see Eden's Curse.
Opening tonight's gig were the talented Swiss Progressive Metal band Evolve, who recently won a song competition ran by Dennis Ward. A real positive for the band was that they appeared to be holding the attention of all the punters entering the venue.
The audience for a midweek show was obviously swelled by the fact that local band C.O.P. U.K. were on the tour. I missed the opening part of their set (conducting my first ever face to face interview with EC) but they appear to be going down a storm. I have to admit that I prefer their more melodic output than the heavier material of the new album; this was exemplified by a great cover of the Journey classic 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)'.
Opening track 'Prophets Of Doom', from the excellent 'Cardinal' album, starts proceedings for Eden's Curse in fine fashion. Singer Nikola Mijic looks and sounds more relaxed than the last time I saw the band; he has an impressive vocal range that he gets to show off throughout the evening. The set-list was meticulously put together and represents the whole career of The Curse with an obvious emphasis on the last two albums. Pure Metal sits along the more Progressive and commercial songs, but whatever the style, there is never a compromise when it comes to the melody.
Latest single 'The Great Pretender' has an extra dimension live than on the album and has the partisan crowd in full voice. After a solid start the band take it up another notch with the excellent 'Fly Away' and 'Find My Way'. For the tour, Eden's Curse enlisted several female vocalists; for the Manchester and Sheffield dates the honour fell to Winter In Eden singer Vicky Johnson who she duets with Mijic on 'Unconditional'. The contrast in vocal styles works well and both vocalists seem to feed off one another.
The sound, courtesy of the band's German sound engineer, was good, especially for The Corporation. The mix was particularly high-quality with each instrument clearly audible. It's also not too loud, enabling Mijic to be able to sing instead of scream in order to be heard. The band is tight as a drum and new member Christian Pulkkinen (aka Chrism) has slotted in seamlessly. The addition of the aforementioned keyboard player and drummer John Clelland means a natural progression (if you pardon the pun) in the musical style of Eden's Curse. Thorsten Koehne's unique way of holding the guitar always looks uncomfortable playing rhythm but is perfectly suited for soloing which he gets ample opportunity to do this evening.
The next part of the show provides us with the epics; 'No Holy Man', 'Judgement Day' (where it all started – I had initially thought the loss of Michael Eden might have sounded the death knell for the band but, on the contrary, I believe that they have moved on to greater heights and are now ready for world domination). For many fans, the favourite track from the new album – 'Jericho' – is one that is reproduced to perfection and highlights the technical ability of the band.
Unfortunately, The Cursette Dancers from the video to the commercial 'Sell Your Soul' only made an appearance on the stage backdrop and not in person as per the Glasgow show. The band's mantra is summed up in the brilliant 'Unbreakable' and the main set is brought to a conclusion with 'Evil & Divine'.
The band briefly left the cramped stage before returning for a deserving, two song encore starting with the awesome title track of 2013's 'Symphony Of Sin'. Johnson returns to the stage for the final song of the evening, a spellbinding version of 'Angels And Demons'. The band takes deserved applause and adulation from the enthusiastic crowd. Kudos also goes to them for within five minutes, they were all back out signing autographs and chatting to the fans. What is most impressive about Paul Logue and his band is that they are genuinely appreciative of playing to their fans, no matter the size of venue. For those of us who made the effort to see The Curse on this tour we were well rewarded; for the rest, who missed out, it was a 'Cardinal' sin...