Kamelot live review – guest post

Hi this is Heidi from Austria, I am doing a guest post here, gig review of Kamelot / Xandria / Triosphere / Blackguard

First off, this was the first time ever Kamelot came to Vienna and also the first time ever I saw them live. I was half afraid that Tommy would be a disappointment – don’t get me wrong, I loved what he did for Seventh Wonder! But Roy Khan has always been bringing out the beauty of the darker sides of life to me. Tommy is such a positive person … I just cannot imagine him ever writing a song like Memento Mori, my Kamelot all time fav.

But I am off the point. When I came to ((szene)) – the venue – people were still waiting outside on the pavement for doors to open and we could hear soundchecking going on inside. ((szene)) is rather a small venue, maybe 400 or 500 people fit in there, and as Thomas Youngblood announced from the stage the show was sold out. Doors opened late and I had just time to check out the merch tables when the first band Blackguard started playing, announcing that they had a lot of technical difficulties, oh wow. Sound was indeed rather awful at the beginning and the microphone was on overload all the time. But it got better thank god.

Their set was only four songs and they played to about 25 people at the start and maybe 50 at the end. I guess their next album will be called something like ‘uhm I was late, didn’t actually make it to your show’ … Their vocalist was outside afterwards talking to people and that was the sentence he heard most often …  I didn’t stay all through their show because Death Metal shouts and screaming never cut any ice with me. The crowd seemed to like it though, and the band was good really, they got a kickass lady on drums too.

Instead I went outside to the backyard where the supportbands’ merch tables had been regaled to (it was freezing cold) and got a copy of Triosphere’s ‘Road Less Traveled’. They were very surprised I bought it before the show 🙂 Triosphere is a band I learned to like just from their youtube videos, about the only female fronted power metal band I can stand at all.  They were up on stage next and I thoroughly enjoyed their performance. Such a small thin lady, Ida Haukland has a surprisingly powerful voice that cut through the awesome guitar walls easily, and the energy that emanated from the whole band was amazing. The room soon filled up, I guess they made a lot of new fans that night. I could hear people talk about them afterwards.  They even came outside to the cold to sign CDs, that was cool (literally).

Xandria I didn’t know before, but most of the people there obviously did, the room was getting rather full. Xandria is a Nightwish-style operatic metal band and I didn’t like them.  Their singer is cool, a charming Bavarian (all Austrians have a sneaking liking for Bavarians), but the band was smug and showed a blase attitude that didn’t impress me. The singer also kept fiddling with her in-ear plug and her wireless transmitter that was located beneath her right shoulder (at first I thought she was losing her dress). This was most irritating to me, maybe because for the past five years at most of the gigs I attended I was the one responsible for fixing these things 🙂

They had about two songs on their setlist that I liked a little. The singing was off key in lots of places and the songs sometimes lost all tightness and structure.

At last Kamelot were up. The room was more than crammed now and it got fucking hot and loud in there. Hails and horns up! They started off with Rule The World, the band members came on stage one by one and were greeted by enthusiastic cheers and shouts. In the beginning the sound was really awful, keyboards and drums were too loud and I couldn’t hear Thomas Youngblood’s guitars at all until the guitar solo in ‘The Great Pandemonium’, that was third on the setlist I believe. It got better to a point that I could enjoy the show very much, but the crowd was actually so loud that it sometimes drowned out the finer parts of the music. The second song was Ghost Opera and by then the whole room was screaming, shouting, jumping and singing along. It was an awesome show and an amazing audience.  I wouldn’t have missed this for anything. I think even the band themselves were amazed.

The only thing that was strange was the way they went off stage, I didn’t even realize the regular set was over. The crowd cheered like hell and then the encores started off with a bass solo. This was the only part that I could give a miss, I mean, bass is a groovy instrument. Soloing without drums? No way. He tried to play guitar on his bass, it didn’t thrill me.

The keyboard solo did though, this was earlier on, and on the vid you can hear us all singing along to ‘Forever’.

I am bad at names 🙂 the female vocalist was not introduced, she was totally great as well and the stage show and the energy between her and Tommy were awesome. Last on the list was March of Mephisto and this was really impressive. Two girls hitting the marching drums, and another male vocalist came on stage as Mephisto for some growls and he was acting well and playing with Tommy too.

Well as I hadn’t realized we were already hearing the encores I was totally disappointed when after the song was over the stage technicians started to dismantle the drum set immediately 🙂 Lol, I was the only one in there who didn’t realize it. The band didn’t come out for signing CDs, also a slight disappointment, I had very much hoped they would.

They updated their facebook status only minutes after the show though and it said: Roof of the szene now blown into oblivion. Vienna you are amazing!

It was a great great night and Tommy didn’t disappoint at all, he is very likely the best man they could have found to replace Khan. So Kamelot remains the exceptional band to me that they were ever since Khan took the vocals.

If they had played a second night I would have been there.

I also got my copy of ‘Silverthorn’ that night of course and it has been running on my car stereo ever since 🙂

Advertisements

Avantasia

Avantasia is the solo project of Tobias Sammet, singer of the German band Edguy and also a kind of supergroup.

It started out in 1999 as a one-time studio-recording project for a ‘metal-opera’, but was called back to life in 2008 for a tour, more albums were relased and now it is official – work on a new album has begun and a release date set for sometime 2013.

The music can be best described as power metal with lots of different influences like classical music, a little prog, acoustic rock and hard rock.

Guest musicians appearing on the recordings and for the touring read like a who-is-who of metal and hard rock:  Michael Kiske (Ex-Helloween), Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Timo Tolkki (Ex-Stratovarius), Kai Hansen (Helloween, Gamma Ray, Iron Saviour, Unisonic), Alice Cooper, Roy Khan (Ex-Kamelot), Eric Singer (Kiss), Amanda Sommerville, Jorn Lande, Alex Holzwarth (Ex-Rhapsody), Sascha Paeth (producer of Kamelot, Epica), several members of Edguy, uh and many more.

A short overview of releases:

  • The Metal Opera:
    • 2001: The Metal Opera
    • 2002: The Metal Opera Part II
  • The Wicked Trilogy:
    • 2008: The Scarecrow
    • 2010: The Wicked Symphony
    • 2010: Angel of Babylon
  • The Flying Opera – 2011; live double CD and DVD

Check out Tobias’ homepage for more info and links (German and English):

http://www.tobiassammet.com

and now delve into the music and enjoy, this is quite a unique experience:

Seventh Wonder

Seventh Wonder are from Sweden and have been together since 2000, singer Tommy Karevik joined the band in 2005. Yes, it is that same Tommy Karevik that has been chosen to replace Roy Khan in Kamelot. So now you know what I mean when I say that Seventh Wonder has the most outstanding vocals I have ever heard in a band like this. So powerful and yet totally melodious, almost too beautiful for a powerprogmetal band … Seventh Wonder have it all, power-shredding, 30 minute songs in the approved progressive fashion, melodious vocal lines, strange riffs and rhythmic parts.
I was hooked on that band from the very first minute, and I really wonder why they are not better known.
Releases:
Become (2005, recorded with former vocalist Andi)
Waiting In The Wings (2006)
Mercy Falls (2008)

and

The Great Escape (2010)

01. Wiseman
02. Alley Cat
03. The Angelmaker
04. King of Whitewater
05. Long Way Home
06. Move on Through
07. The Great Escape

They played with Queensryche, Testament, Sxmphony X, and at progpower USA and Europe.

Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Andreas Blomqvist – Bass
Johan Liefvendahl – Guitar
Andreas Söderin – Keyboards
Stefan Norgren – Drums

http://www.seventhwonder.nu

Kamelot

I started listening to Kamelot about the same time as Symphony X and in my mind these two will always be linked together. Although their music is quite different. I don’t know if you’d call them progressive, or alt metal, their music is ulitimatively beautiful so they must go in here.

The first album I bought though was their most recent release, Poetry For The Poisoned (2010). I Don’t know why I started collecting them so late in the day. The Black Halo (2005) is a masterpiece, unsurpassed, and so is The Ghost Opera (2009), almost as great. I think Kamelot fro me really only came into being when Roy Khan joined the band on vocals and sure he brought a lot of songwriting accents into the band too.
Just a very short time ago now Roy announced he’s leaving the band due to health problems with his voice, thus finishing a chapter of brilliance in the Book Of Kamelot.

But let us think ahead, Roy def was getting tired, and the last ever release to feature him is one of the weakest Kamelot have put out.
Check out The Great Pandemonium, If Tomorrow Came and The Hunter’s Season for some rememberance of former greatness. The songs are not as accessible as formerly and lack the originality and grand vision. On the European CD edition there’s the bonus track “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, a song by Nick Cave featuring Chanty Wunder on vocals that has a simplistic melody and song structure (sorry Nick) that really got me annoyed after a few listens, totally unworthy of Kamelot.

Track Listing:

1. The Great Pandemonium
2. If Tomorrow Came
3. Dear Editor
4. The Zodiac
5. Hunter’s Season
6. House On A Hill
7. Necropolis
8. My Train Of Thoughts
9. Seal Of Woven Years
-Poetry For The Poisoned-
10. PT I Incubus
11. PT II So Long
12. PT III All Is Over
13. PT IV Dissection
14. Once Upon A Time

Band Members:

Khan (Vocals)
Thomas Youngblood (Guitars)
Casey Grillo (Drums)
Oliver Palotai (Keyboards)
Sean Tibbett (Bass)

Links:
http://www.kamelot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/kamelotofficial