Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Imminent Sonic Destruction - Satan - Zero Hour

 Some more CD's you might want to check out by bands I want to see on stage.

Imminent Sonic Destruction - The Sun Will Always Set
Some bands you simply miss, as this is the third album of a band that plays music I should have liked since their debut ten years ago. Luckily in this case Matt the manofmuchmetal came to the rescue and pointed me to this album with a positive review. A bandcamp checking out was followed by an order and now that I have received the CD I can state it still gets better every time I play it. The short opening track with female vocals might make you think that we are in for some Anathema alike band. Well that changes when they go longer and epic. Actually they touch on many sidepaths so boxing them is hard. References that came to my mind at times are Wilderun and Devin Townsend, but more due to the fact that these bands also mix styles and heaviness. The titlerack is a closing ballad, but gunts and heavy grooves are also present. Hard to name a favorite track for me, but maybe Solitude it is. With the CD I got two stickers with different logos. On Youtube both logos have a page as well. So about time they come touring Europe and we can ask what that is all about.

Satan - Earth Infernal
Satan is probably one of the best examples of NWOBHM bandss who reformed the last decade and put out a string of albums which are as strong as their eighties output. Life Sentence, Atom by Atom and Cruel Magic all could stand proudly next to their classic debut Caught in the Act. For Earth Infernal this is not different and if anything maybe Satan got a notch faster on this one. The voice of Brian Ross might not be for everyone, but together with the guitar tandem Tippins / Ramsey the typical Satan sound is always immediately recognized. Satan are not going to win over new fans here, but if you liked their previous albums you can get this one in the blind. If again like me you loved their live set in Litttle Devil with RAM and Screamer, you also want to see them performing songs like Burning Portrait or Luciferic live on stag esooner rather than later.

Zero Hour - Agenda 21
Zero Hour return with Agenda 21 14 years after Dark Deceiver. Reason to get me excited and slightly surprised shortly after the latest A Dying Planet album. For those not knowing the band the surprise is that Jasun Tipton and his typical guitar sound is the main man in both bands. He is also the only member that played now on all Zero Hour albums as his brother Troy had to stop bassing due to injury. The sound of the Tipton brothers is very typical and no matter which band or project it is. So what does Agenda 21 bring? first the return of original vocalist Erik Rosvold. Somehow this automatically means that classic album The Towers of Averice and the band Cynthesis come to mind. So fans who preferred the last two heavy albums with Chris Salinas will find a return to older from. Opening with a 14 minute song Democide and closing with a ten minute Patient Zero reminds us that Zero Hour never present us an easy walk through the park. Their songs consist of hectic riffing throuhout and need multiple listening before you fully get the songs. I still need a few more spins, like what I heard so far and would say why not return to The Netherlands as former houseband of PPE/Headway. 

Friday, 1 April 2022

Saxon - Voivod - PreHistoric Animals - Edge of Forever - Heir Apparent

Five recommended albums. Two new ones of old bands, two I picked up at recent shows and the reissue of a Classic.

Saxon - Carpe Diem
Saxon goes back a long time with me. 14 year old me bought The Strong Arm of the Law in 1980 and the rest as they say is history. History is often coming back in Saxon songs and meanwhile we are 25 studio albums on and Saxon still rocks. Actually they metal even more on this album, maybe as a reaction to cover album Inspirations released a year before. I believe you only need to hear the opening trio of the album to realize we have one of their better ones of the later years in hands. Carpe Diem is a typical Saxon title track, which usually has the highest chance of sticking in their live set. Age of Steam is fast and furious while The Pilgrimage gets back to the glory days of Crusader. Now Saxon manage to keep the level up and more important fast, so I highly enjoyed this album. Pity I won't be around when they tour The Netherlands in October with Diamond Head. Well Seize the Day we shall. Ending with a sad note. Coming back to The Hague a few weeks after release date I could not find a CD anywhere in town, so I had to order online, what kind of world we live in?

Voivod - Synchro Anarchy
I have a weird relationship with Voivod. Their uncomfortable sound did not land with younger me, so I was never really into them throughout the eighties. Then they started covering Pink Floyd and I did get Angel Rat and I believe also The Outer Limits. Why I don't know that, well the big 1995 CD robbery in my apartment reduced my collection dramatically. Then I lost them out of sight and never really got back until I heard a song of The Wake. That's when I realized that I probably would love Voivod if spending more time with them. I was one of the few people who bought the Noise years compilation and now Synchro Anarchy came to us. Nowadays I love their typical sound and voice. This album offers nine Voivod like catchy tunes, with my favorite Planet Eaters. Chances I go diving back in their history definitely grew again.

Edge of Forever - Seminol
I listened to this album online before deciding going to Breda to see them playing live in March. Well that was a great decision as live this band turned out to be a total surprise with all four members standing out. Alessandro Del Vecchio is the most famous name, because he appears all over the Frontiers catalogue. Well now I saw him singing live he can appear even more often for me. Edge Of Forever play melodic hard rock and passes therefore the longer track, the ballad and the faster rocker. The album ends with their live opening Seminole, which lasts ten minutes. According to Allessandro their best song is Wrong Decision and anyone into Rainbow /Dio years Black Sabbath probably will agree. So in the end this album got snowed under (like The Netherlands today) by the large stream of Frontiers releases. Now a favorite of mine.

PreHistoric Animals - The Magical Mystery Machine Chapter Two
Last week PreHistoric Animals released this album and to make matters even better they played live at de Boerderij. Apparently outside people attending PPE 2019 still a rather unknown band. Well I think this has to change over years as their music might please various fans. There is some prog and even some metallic side. But also Alternative rockers might find things to their liking just as AOR fans. Their music on stage immediately speaks loud to you and they have a very own sound and style. On album you do need definitely more time. This also not helped by the unclear written song titles on the back and the absence of lyrics, while being a concept album. I now played it a few times and without grasping all the details I can say this is an easy purchase for all already into the band. For those not knowing them yet give them a try as you will find something to like.

Heir Apparent - Graceful Inheritance
Saving the best for last a reissue of one of the best albums coming out of the eighties. During Covid I started slowly but surely replacing my vinyl collection with CD's. This also as I found I never played vinyl any longer, even during lockdown. For this album I would play it faster on Youtube as well, and then this re-release was announced. With the original cover that was not the bands choice. This album stood the test of time perfectly well as still I feel like shouting along with their anthems and bang my head when matters go fast. There is not much new to tell about this album I thought, until an interview in Aaardschok appeared. I never read And... Dogro lived on backwards. So this song with the intelligent lyrics also played with the backwards playing that was a hot item in the mid eighties. Heir Apparent rules as hard 36 years later. 

Saturday, 26 March 2022

PreHistoric Animals & Kristoffer Gildenlöw - Boerderij Zoetermeer. 25 March 2022

Progdreams Festival came back to de boerderij after some years of Covid absence. Looking at the line-up I thought they went for slighly lesser known bands this time, which also can be caused by the complications of organizing a festival in uncertain times. Friday night would be Swedish, even if Dutch and Swedish would be more appropitae. Today five bands will play, but the one I was looking forward to (Cyan) cancelled, so I shall pass. Upon arrival it was clear that the lesser known names had a negative effect on ticket sales. So all those people who over the past two years complained on social media how they miss live shows, again decided to stay home or do other things. Maybe some of them already spent their money on Genesis earlier this week. Anyway upon entering the main hall we noticed the bar on the right being closed and the merchstand was in the hall contrary to the corrider normally used. Up front we had five party tables where you could hang behind or put empty glasses on. So attendence was small, but as Arie announced, that did not mean the quality on stage would be lss interesting.

Kristoffer Gildenlöw would open the evening with his band. Now I know he lives for years in Holland, started a solo career and plays more atmospheric rock. Now I knew of these facts, but I never heard a note of his music. For me he remained that former bass player in Pain of Salvation's best period and possibly the last time I saw him live on stage was at Headway Festival 2003. During that show the band played in orange shirts with No War written on it. Not much changed over the past 19 years. Actually the fact that the next band holds Daniel Magdic on guitars (also ex PoS/Entropia) made me believe we would get Winning a War tonight on stage. Well I was wrong. The show itself turned out to be a mixed bag for me. Performance and songs all sounded very good, but what I missed was energy within the songs and thus on stage. It all passed by very calmly, even if the melodic guitar solos were beautiful. At times over these songs Kristoffer's voice sounded close to his brother's, but on the Road Salt era. Luckily not trying to blend in gospel, country or anything weird though. The best was saved for last. First a new song was played, where the band did go heaviest of their evening. Then the show closed with Rust. This song with people telling what they woudl have done differently in hindsight, saw Daniel Magdic entering teh stage. The duelling guitars that Paul 1 and he gave us, was the highlight of the show. So maybe not Winning a War as hoped for by me, but still a rather sensational ending to a show that overall was a bit too laidback for my taste.

Then the next band would be Prehistoric Animals. In 2019 they played Progpower and they became one of the very positive surprises of that edition. Their music is hard to categorize really. They played the progmetal festival progpower, but they have a lighter poppy side to them as well and I think that I know people who would love them, even if never heard of them (The same Peter and Joop that loved my tipped Dream The Electric Sleep as well) The best of it all is that the band has a very nice stage presence and the songs are all good. Inbetween these songs we did get treated on some amazing guitar solos as well. During their third ever show at PPE, they still had a hairy keyboardist. I guesss he started a vegetarian foodtruck after the festival, since I remember he liked his Pois Chic falafel. Now he was not there, the keyboard duties were shared among the other members, so a multi talented bunch they are. According to Setlist.fm yesterday was their seventh show ever, so I saw 28% of their live performances not bad for a Swedish band. What I do remember is that the only song not played from Consider it a Work of Art, was now played for us. The final two songs I remembered as well on the big screen accompanying movie front. First the Romans marching on during Into Battle and as an encore their message of sharing love, it's everything. Again I saw a highly entertaining show by PreHistoric Animals, so a petty there were not more people around to be converted to jurassic fans.  The band has the songs, the presentation and the live playing to convince many. Major task to me seems, how to reach all these potentail fans. They can fish in ponds of Progrock, AOR, alternative music, progmetal and pop. Curious to see how they move forward. I am now playing The magical Mystery Machine Chapter Two, released this Thursday. Sounding fine again so. Finally suppose this was your birthday party music on stage, I guess you could have done a lot worse.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Geoff Tate, Darker Half & Sons of Sounds - Boerderij Zoetermeer, 22 March 2022

Geoff Tate with band playing Rage For Order and Empire in full. Two years ago I thought it a good plan to be there, so aftter several delays the tour was now actually happening. De Boerderij sold out, but as it was the last night of the 1G policy (where a test was obigatory) it seemed that some people did not want to make the effort.  I was tested negative myself, but that was not as easy as it sounds. Having an appointment arriving a few minutes in advance I saw noone behind a closed door at Marktweg number 20. Asking some guys they told me that a test location was at number 163. A banner at a garage indicated same, but similar closed door. So I rang the number mentioned in my confirmation email the night before. Turned out they had decided to close, as today (23/3) there is no more testimg required. My questions on why I was not informed, where to go and what to do now met a bad luck reply. So going back home and looking online for a place that was open, I found one and 20 minutes all was sorted and done down throat and nose. So I could go to de Boerderij, where upon arrival the long queue moved reasonably fast. Entering the venue you could see why, noone was bothered to ask for my test result. This is fair as our bold minister in February told us that from now on measures would be enforced immediately after his talks. This time he opted for 8 days for reasons only known to him. Well I was in and found some changes at de Boerderij. Paying in cash is no longer an option. Even the garderobe is cashless and used this change to increase it's price (1.25). The bar did not accept my old Boerderij coins, but I could fill out a form at the entrance, so now we wait if they pay back the value of the coins. Next question if they use the old or new price, as de Boerderij now increased the price of a beer to 3 Euro. Well enough on de Boerderij, Nobel is better indeed nowadays. Meanwhile the venue was filling up, with the mix of Classic rock fans and people who still are rooted firmly in metal.

Tonight would have two opening acts, but I never heard of any of them. First band were German Sons of Sounds. If I never heard of them before, being fairly well introduced in the progmetal scene, we can assume that 98% of the audience did not know them either. Somehow they forgot to inform the clowns on their status as coming up high fiving the audience and asking for audience participation almost made them rockstars. Well the few who had their first gig in two years and wanted to like everything were a tiny minority and the audience just remained silent. This also because the songs were forgettable, the playing nothing special and the vocalist who looked like a young Bruce, unfortunately never came close to Bruce no matter his age. Why they got 40 minutes to bore us will always be a mystery.
Next band Darker Half only could be better. Well they were, but not that they fired up the hall. The playing was better and at times I heard nice instrumental parts. The vocalists started of with some Tate like screams and had a reasonable voice overall. The energy on stage was all over, with te bold guitarist jumping and stretching going through all of his exercise routines. So a decent band, but unfortunately upon first hearing no memorable songs. 

At 21:30 two hours after the evening kicked off Geoff Tate came on stage. With Geoff Tate over the past decades you never know what you get. I saw him surprising me positively and negatively throughout teh years. When he played Operation Mindcrime in 013 some years ago it was a positive one, so why not repeat that with two other classic Ryche albums. When the band came on we got the first surprise. These guys looked like Slowakia's next participants of Eurovison. The Hamsik lookalike playing the rockstar all the time, while at the other end one guitarist was  displaying a 70's porn moustache. The clothing was also over the top, so all in all these guys looked like a parody band and had nothing to do with Queensryche from the eighties. Well what matters is the playing they say. Here it was OK with three guitars dividing the double guitars of the originals. Only the playbacked backing vocals were annoyingly miss at times (Surgical Strike). And Geoff Tate himself? well he sounded fine, but how far he was helped with that we shall never know. 
The evening was build around two albums and we started with Rage For Order. This was especially nice  as it is a great album and several songs I hardly (if ever) heard them playing live. The album made it to number 3 in my ranking last year and I could hear why. Highlights all over and even Gonna Get Close To You sounded ok. The band never reached levels to the old Queensryche, but in a live setting these songs still spoke loudly. After the album and some 45-50 minutes further we got a break. Well that pissed of several early risers as it took far too long. When the band came back the reason was exposed, they changed outfits FFS. Now Empire is their million copy selling album, but I only ranked it at 7 last year. Now we got the full album played this was definitely not too low. There are too many fillers inbetween the great songs. Jet City Woman still starts great and turns horrible during the chorus. Della Brown got the hall looking for bar and toilets, while you hardly can call Hand on Heart or One and Only highlights in any set. On the other hand you get  Best I Can, The Thin Line, Another Rainy Night and Empire all still sounding fine to me. Silent Lucidity got a very long introduction and made half the audience very happy, while I was waiting for Anybody Listening? One of the best Queensryche songs, they hardly played live. Well when it got this far, again the band did not make it metal to me ad the version was rather blunt,.so I went home.

So all in all a mixed bag of feelings this evening. While the performances never fully convinced and we were obviously being fooled it was nice to hear especially Rage For Order again. The tour in 1986 brought Queensryche to Arnhem supporting Bon Jovi and 36 years later the same songs still can stand proud. Geoff Tate himself still can be heard live on stage, but I decided I won't go see him playing old Queensryche again. The bands he brings never can reach the same level of the original band. If he decides to tour Sweet Oblivion and Operation:Mindcrime material I will give it another chance though. So all was not as bad as above words might make you think, but I was far from overwhelmed throughout the evening.  

Monday, 21 March 2022

Marillion - An Hour Before It's Dark

Marillion releasing a new album follows the same pattern this century. First way in advance you can pre-order same. If you do so within the first months you get your name printed in the booklet. More important you get a special edition usually a hardcover book with some very interesting artwork, plus a bonus DVD. I did so since Anoraknophobia  and you can find either my or Josie's name in several releases. This is a nice extra and Marillion and their fans have a relationship that goes somewhat deeper than with most bands. I love Marillion since the early years, but I never  came close to idolation that many of their Freaks show. There are so many bands I like and even day and mood can determine what band I am more in for. Marillion has an extra handicap, as their first four albums with Fish are absolute classics and all four among my al time favorite albums. When Hogarth joined the band remained very good (see my ordering of their latest albums, or attending Marillion weekends in England, The Netherlands and Portugal during the past twenty years). So I usually don't take too much notice of the pre-released songs or bits of each album and wait for a full album to come to me and enjoy same reading along with the lyrics. First impression usually Too much H to little Rothery, but then I start listening better.

One Hour Before It's Dark. That's what our parents told us in our youth when children still played on streets all the time. It also is relating to our last chance to save planet earth. The opening song Be Hard On Yourself (9:28) was pre-released and is a song about the environment, with several mood swings. A truly great opener that  holds the first moving lyrics. If you are into poetic lyrics this album turned out to be a true gem."Cause of death, lust for luxury" is one of the beauties. 
Reprogram the Gene (7:02) starts rocking with H singing "I don't want to be a boy, I don't want to be a girl, I want to be happy". Not sure if this is a message of support to the alpabet people. Marillion really were already woke, years before the term got invented. Often I said that if the world would live by Marillion rules, we would be so much better off. So where wokeness can get annoying at times rewriting history and art, when Marillion brings it to me I always agree. But the song rocks happily further until in the second part we go a bit deeper into the state of the world with environment and covid appearing in nice phrases to us 'We're clever enough, but is there a cure for us?"
Only a Kiss (0:39) is just a short intro and not a song
Murder Machines (4:21) is a rocking look at Covid. Again the main role is for the lyrics: "I put my arms around her and I Killed her with Love". What a find. The original CD version is a very nice song that should work fine live, being short and uplifting in spite of the lyrics.
The Crow and the Nightingale (6:35) was lyrically a mystery to me until I watched the guiding DVD. It is H telling about his relation towards Leonard Cohen. This is the first somg where the Choir Noir play a mayor role. The end of the song is one of the highlights of the album, where the choir adds a Floydian drama to the song, while Steve Rothery can prove again why he is the best guitarist in progrock.
Sierra Leone (10:54) is one of those epics that aren't really epic. Ever since the title track on This Strange Engine Marillion released songs that last very long, but could as well be three or four indivudual songs. Interesting how everyone has his own look at Marillion songs, as the reviewer in Aardschok called this the best song on the album, while to me it is both musically and lyrically the least interesting one by far. 
Care (15:20) This is where all the beauty of 21st century Marillion meets. Go watch the DVD to see where the story behind maintenance drugs is coming from. On that same DVD Steve Rothery righteously says, that he can't think of any other band that moves you in such a way. The dramatic ending on both part III Every Call and part IV Angels on Earth si just sensational to me (combining Choir Noir with Rothery again). And then stating "The angels in this world are not in the walls of Churches" and the mural of the nurse in the booklet all together make this a highly emotional experience. 

So when you though the album ended on it's high after 54 minutes, it did not. We get after minutes of silence a hidden track being a 12"remix of Murder Machines. Well that spoils the magical end Care gave us in a big way. A horrible electronic version after a silnce is two downers in one. Probably this made me at first a bit negative about the album. Nowadays I make sure I press stop after 54 minutes. If doing so we have one of the better Marillion albums of this century. Time will tell if for me it can stand somewhere inbetween Anoraknophobia and Sounds that Can't be Made, but it already surpassed all the others after MM. Now the question is will I see them performing these songs live? Probably not as they tour Holland when I am in Brazil and after last weekend's venue disaster in Lisbon I won't return there either. Still the album will make many spins still this year for sure. Once again thank you for the music and the emotion that comes with it.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Ard - Eight Bells - Vass/Katsionis - WAIT

Four bands that I did not know yet at the beginning of this year, who all pleasantly surprised me.

Ard - Take Up My Bones
Ard is the band/project of Mark Deeks also known from Winterfylleth. This album came as a huge surprise to me. I did read first a review on Matt;'s manofmuchmetal page. That was rather overwhelming, so I tried a clip on Youtube, Then another and I was sold. The surprise is that on paper this album does not work all that well for me maybe, but hearing it it definitely does. This is doom metal of the calm sort. Vocals between male choirs and spoken word and a slow pace overall. To make matters more interesting we also get a history lesson about St Cuthbert saint of Northumbria. This album is a great story to listen to on your Sunday morning or lazy early evening. Beautiful as it is, it also is packed very nice. I bought the CD digipack, but later wondered why I did not get the 36 page hardcover book edition with the smashing T-shirt. Well because of unpredictable import taxes, so I hope to see Ard on stage later on and correct at least the T-shirt bit. Highly recommended doom this is, even if far from my more regular doom heavy metal bands like Sorcerer.

Eight Bells - Legacy of Ruin
I also did not know this band in January, but here we are talking about their third album. The only stable  bandmember is Melynda Jackson who takes care of guitars and vocals. My attention was drawn to them when I saw Matt Solis plays bass and sings along. He has a past in Cormorant, one of the best discoveries I made (too late unfortunately) past decade. Well the two of them together sing over doomy experimental song structures, further helped out by Brian Burke on drums. Again the packaging is very nice and  reminds even of Cormorant. We get six songs only, but as they tend to take their time to get their message acroos we pass the 45 minute mark. There is variation between the songs and at times they even go very heavy (Premonition). The double vocals fit very well to the music and the album flows very well. Maybe I should check their back catalogue out as well. Probably if coming to Holland this band would play Roadburn as it fits the open minded fan best. Finally I could return the favour to Matt as I tipped him on this album and he wrote a very long positive review on it.

Vass/Katsionis - Ethical Dilemma
This band found me, as if they knew that this style goes back to my metal foundations. Ethical Dillema is a Progressive Power Metal album that refers strongest to bands of the nineties. At times Fates Warning (Parallels/Inside Out) comes very much to mind, but I am also reminded of lesser known bands like Psyco Drama or Radakka. For those not knowing him, Bob Katsionis is Greece's answer to Alessandro Del Vecchio or Steve DiGiorgio. Meaning if you want to list all bands and projects he participated in you find yourself writing a book soon. Last year he wrote with Warrior Path possibly the strongest Power Metal album of 2021. Billy Vass was unknown to me, as I don't know any music of his other band Terra Incognita. Bob wrote all the music, while Billy all the lyrics and melody lines. That is interesting as at times I have the impression Billy Vass has to stretch himself to reach the lines he wrote himself. Overall within the album the combination works for me. It is a short album for progmetal standards with only 36 minutes, but if you like any of the above mentioned bands, or 90's powerprogmetal you should check them out really.

WAIT - The End Of Noise
WAIT or We Are In Transit already released an EP in 2019, but this is their debut full lenght. I missed that album, even if at the time I was already heavily into Exist. The overlap between the two bands is vocals by Max Phelps and Alex Weber on bass. The last bandmember is Charlie Eron on guitars. On drums they switch guests, with for me the most famous name in Anup Sastry whom I saw with Intervals once. Musically WAIT is not miles apart from Exist. We get Progressive Death Metal, but with vocals both extreme and clean not of the standard type. I dig these vocals, but read people having issues with them. Musically the album stands strong and also here some Cynic influeneces can be heard. Seven songs in 50 minutes shows that WAIT take their time to develop each song and it is hard for me to pick a favorite. Maybe the almost title track End of Noise is a good candidate here. If you like Exist, you should definitely check this album out, but if you are into progressive death metal in general a listen remains recommended. Good band to open the evening session at ProgPower this is.

Saturday, 12 March 2022

Edge of Forever & Max Pie - Bel Air Breda, 11 March 2022

Things went very fast with Edge of Forever with me. I had not heard of the band until January. Then I saw Frontiers releasing an album in January on the very same day as Giant, Kandia, The Ferryman and Lalu. I ended picking up Giant and Lalu, but listened to some clips and liked Edge of Forever as well. Then I saw they would come to play Holland at Bel Air Breda. Well those plans were made, when we were in lockdown still, so what to trust? Actually it was even hard to get this show confirmed for me and only this week I could buy a ticket at the Bel Air page. Then Edge of Forever remastered their first three albums and released a box last week. Again Youtube gave me the chance to listen to these albums and they sounded at least as stromg. So my mind was made up I needed to see this band live. Lukewarm review in Aardschok or not (70 points, but compared with old Harem Scarem) So after an evening of Spanish Thrash metal in Baroeg I was now training the same way south, stopping a bit further down for some Italian melodic metal.

Well not just Italian, as Max Pie from Belgium would open the evening. I did not know what to expect on the audience side, but feared the worst. First the endless stream of good releases on the Frontiers label, makes that bands can get overlooked and second Bel Air remains this venue for the connaiseurs, but not the masses. Upon arrival I bumped into Wendy at the door, so beers could be shared during the evening and talks updated after a two year blackout. She knew the vocalist of Max Pie, as he turned out to be the man behind PPM festival, that legendary Power and Prog metal event in Belgium I managed to miss every year. At least it brought hopes up for the Max Pie show with me and they were a nice band indeed. Maybe not the most original which happens in this style, but decent songs and good playing made it a pleasant opener. Pity that the vocals were a bit soft in the mix. A nice way to open teh evening indeed.

After a very short break Edge of Forever kicked of their show with their epic title track of the last album Seminole. Well that was a shock, as they were much heavier than on CD and sounding perfect. At first I thought that animal (Marco Di Salvia) behind the drums would be the hero of the evening, as his opening hammering was amazing, but it turned out that all four musicians were of the outstanding kind. This was a show I was so much looking out for. Not only bringing me back to live music, but also straight back to the late eighties. I did see where the Harem Scarem comparison came from at times, but also the heavier end of a band like Tyketto popped up with me at times. On vocals Alessandro Del Vecchio turned out to be a killer vocalist. And during a few songs he showed to be a decent keyboard player as well, after all on the first albums he did not sing yet. The set of some 75 minutes flew by in a haze and man was I pleased to be in Bel Air last night. The last song of the regular set was according to Alessandro their best song. Indeed Wrong Dimension was a killer track and suddenly we got all kinds of Dio vibes coming of the stage. Opening in a Stargazer way, through Heaven and Hell and several Dio like tunes this was a highlight. I found a new favorite melodic metal band, that I definitely will follow closely from now on. 

The merch stand had their full discography including the remasterd opening trio at decent prices, so expect a ranking later this year, when I know all better. Live music is back and now we realize how much we missed nights like this. On that subject, I want to suggest a rule with all touring bands. Both bands tonight (as well as the bands yesterday) stated how pleased they were to be back on stage. This is the truth, even more so for the bands themselves than for the fans. So in March every band can repeat they misssed touring and meeting their fans. In April bands already played  for weeks and the really gig-going fans saw a few shows already as well. So the incrowd knows we both missed each other. Luckily yesterday I saw some more familiar faces and it was not completely empty in Bel Air. Yet those thousands of people posting over the past two years how much they missed live shows, tonight apparently preferred to watch some telly at home. I can not recommend my friends to go and see Edge of Forever as tonight they play already in Switzerland. Alessandro and Marco will be back in Bela Air with Hardline 9 April. Unfortunately I am back in Portugal by then, still I can recommend you go and see them.