Archive for Within Temptation

Vagos Open Air 2015 – 1st day

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 12th August 2015 by Pieni

Within Temptation, Amorphis, Heaven Shall Burn, Vildhjarta, Moonshade, Scar For Life
Quinta do Ega, Vagos (PT)
7th August 2015
Promoted by Prime Artists

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Within Temptation

There’s a handful of great metal festivals in Portugal, but Vagos Open Air is the one that focus on international acts (without disregarding the local ones) and reaches out to a broader, not always so-extreme audience. This year we even had Within Temptation headlining the first day, while Bloodbath had the honor of doing so on the third. And if you’ve read some of my previous articles, you might know how one of my favorite quotes is “diversity is the spice of life”.

It was precisely due to Within Temptation’s busy schedule that the festival was anticipated one hour. I don’t know why they simply didn’t swap slots with Amorphis – it’s not like they’d lose the headliner status – but in the end I was glad they didn’t. Vagos is a somewhat windy town, but this year one could drop the “somewhat” out of the sentence. And add cold. So that extra hour in the sun was more than welcome, for a change.

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Moonshade

Not sure if Scar For Life share my opinion though. But then again, despite their 7-year-old career and 4-album discography, they’re not exactly the most popular alternative/groovy metal band around here – even if they’d got on stage at 5 p.m., as originally announced, I doubt there would be a lot more people attending their show. And then they had some sound problems, which may have (or may have not…) led singer Rob Mancini to go often out of tune, and the crowd eventually got even scarcer. It’s a shame, really.

www.facebook.com/scarforlife

Moonshade, on the other hand, proved worthy of V.O.A.’s stage. “A small band”, as singer Ricardo Pereira described themselves, when thanking the crowd for coming and seeing them, but with a good live posture and performance. I was at the release party of their latest EP (see here), so I knew what to expect; still, it was a positive surprise to see how well it worked in a less intimate atmosphere and before such a more numerous audience.

www.facebook.com/moonshadeofficial

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Vildhjarta

I was a little puzzled by Vildhjarta’s presence in this festival. A Meshuggah-like band who hasn’t released anything new in two years nor have near-future plans except for a vinyl edition of their only full-length “Måsstaden”. An experimental metal band who doesn’t even appear to play live that much, Brutal Assault in Czech Republic and Vagos itself apparently being the only dates this year. I guess that “little puzzled” is an understatement after all. But you know what? The crowd loved them! What I and many were skeptical about ended up in a big party, not only for the exquisite music but for the amusing guys who performed it. One of them – not sure if Vilhelm or Mynd – asking if we’d like some tea was kind of priceless.

www.facebook.com/vildhjartaofficial

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Heaven Shall Burn

But it was Heaven Shall Burn who swept Vagos off its feet. Literally. The moshers and crowdsurfers had a field day. And the screamers too, as I believe this was the show with the loudest chorus sing-alongs in songs such as “Forlorn Skies”, the Edge Of Sanity cover of “Black Tears” or “Like Gods Among Mortals”. 15 years had passed since the last (and actually first) time the Germans had played in Portugal but as soon as singer Marcus Bischoff announced “Voice Of The Voiceless”, the fans knew exactly what to do and aligned for a wall of death, with no need for further instructions.  Still regarding that first show, it seemed that no one had been there. Well, almost no one. One hand was raised when Marcus asked about it, joking then with the guy in response “oh yeah, you’re old enough”. But they also had the “youngest metal fan”, a 6-year-old kid who they called on stage close to the end. The kid was a bit confused, but headbanged his long hair here and there, marking the cutest moment of the whole festival.

www.facebook.com/officialheavenshallburn

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Amorphis

Amorphis‘ show was as brilliant as HSB’s, but on another kind of level – whereas the Germans were exceled in adrenaline, the Finns did it in intensity. The main reason is, obviously, the nature of each band, but the fact that Amorphis were celebrating 20 years of the legendary “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” added an unmatched emotional weight. Performed in its entirety in such a flawless, heartfelt way, you even forgot that Tomi Joutsen wasn’t the singer who recorded the album. The setlist was completed by a couple of songs from the very first “The Karelian Isthmus” (“Signs From The North Side” and “Vulgar Necrolatry”) and the most classic tracks from “Elegy”.

www.facebook.com/amorphis

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Within Temptation

Then Within Temptation soothed the moods down. Well, the “most metal” fans’ moods that is. The ones who liked the band were quite hyped by the pop-ish vibrancy of the Dutch. As headliners, they had enough time to promote their latest album, “Hydra”, and still visit all the others (except for the debut “Enter”, which I doubt they’ll ever play again, given the so much different style). One of the old ones was “Memories”, that Sharon den Adel said they hadn’t played in a long while and liked to dedicate to us. Among the newest we could hear “Paradise (What About Us?)”, “Dangerous” and “Covered By Roses”, and the Lana Del Rey cover of “Summertime Sadness”. No, not a metal gig, but that proverbial expression “they rocked!” was brought to life. Plus, Sharon is still able to jump around and sing at the same time without missing a note, not to mention the interaction she engages on with the crowd. So give it up, haters. It was a good show, that ended with the mandatory “Ice Queen”.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Note: we weren’t granted access to the photopit, so no gallery this year.

Within Temptation announced to headline Bloodstock plus Opeth announced as special guests

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 9th September 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

In a surprise announcement earlier today, Bloodstock Festival have announced Within Temptation as one of the main stage headliners. This marks a triumphant return for the Dutch symphonic metal legends, following their UK tour earlier this year with Delain and the band’s first ever UK festival appearance at Bloodstock 2005! Frontwoman Sharen den Adel enthusiastically comments:

We’re thrilled to play Bloodstock again!  We had such a great time before and can’t wait to take Hydra to the stage at Catton Park.  It’s a really exciting time for us right now and we’re looking forward to bringing the fire!!

Slotting in to the Saturday night special guest slot are Swedish progmeisters, Opeth.  Having landed at #14 on the UK album charts last week, their highest chart position to date for new studio album, Pale Communion, OPETH are looking forward to returning to Bloodstock.  Comments frontman Mikael Akerfeldt:

We’re happy to confirm that we’ll be back at the Bloodstock festival next year!  I don’t know how many times we’ve played there now, but it’s a real great place, a nice festival run by nice people.  Too bad it’s like….a year or so away!?

Early bird weekend tickets with camping are on sale now, priced £120 (plus booking fee) from this location.  Campervan pitches are also already on sale and these move very quickly, so pick yours up ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Bloodstock will be held at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 6th-9th August 2015.  Keep up to date with the very latest info on Bloodstock’s official sites at Blodostock’s Facebook and the festival’s official website.

Interview with Martijn Westerholt [Delain]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 25th April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Valkyrian Music editor Nico Davidson catches up with Delain’s founding member and main man Martijn Westerholt in Manchester before the band’s first UK show of 2014 with Within Temptation.

Special thanks to April Mccaffrey for filming the interview.

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Within Temptation w/Support @ O2 Apollo, Manchester UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 18th April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Within Temptation & Delain
O2 Apollo, Manchester
11th April 2014

It had been almost a full year since Delain’s last appearance in the UK (11th May 2013 at The Dames of Darkness) and a bit longer for Within Temptation, so the crowd were more than hyped up for this show at the O2 Apollo in Manchester. With a buzz of excitement sparked by the audience, Delain came blasting on the stage in a theatrical manner firing their soaring, heavy sound across the ocean of bodies, mixing Charlotte’s intense vocal power with bombastic guitars and thunderous bass and drum work, as well as the haunting sound of Martijn’s keyboards. With a mixture of songs, , such as We Are The Others, Get The Devil Out of Me and Army of Dolls, Delain put on a blazing performance that very few bands could top. [5/5]

Touring in support of their new album, Hydra, Dutch symphonic metal titans Within Temptation pulled no punches with their performance, making the best of their cinematic backdrop for the visual dynamics, a sharp sound and a powerful lighting show. Sharon’s vocals proved to be a formidable force during in the performance of songs such as Angels, What About Us, and Faster. Weaving symphonic elements with driving guitar passages and earth-shattering drums as well as a heavy bass sound, Within Temptation’s two hour set proved that the band are still on top form and was definitely a treat for all in attendance. [4.5/5]

Photos of Delain’s set and Within Temptation’s set can be found here and here.

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Delain – The Human Contridiction

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Delain
The Human Contradiction
Released 7th April 2014
Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Delain have become one of the most recognised names in symphonic metal following the release of We Are The Others back in 2012, which was also the last album the band released through Roadrunner Records before jumping ship to Napalm. With their UK tour supporting Within Temptation just around the corner, it makes sense to release the album in the run up to the tour.

Here Come the Vultures creeps in at the beginning of the album with Charlotte’s strong and emotive voice accompanied by Martijn’s eerie style of keyboard playing. The heavier sections of the song blast in unexpectedly, taking Delain down the dark and cumbersome sound of their pre-We Are The Others repertoire. Your Body Is A Battleground rings out with its catchy vocal melodies and memorable lyrics, underlined by a fistful of unrelenting riffs and keyboard strikes. The vocal duet between Charlotte and Marco (Nightwish/Tarot) add a very empathic characteristic to the track, bringing life to the dramatic lyrics.

Stardust follows up with a calmer combination of keyboard ballets and soaring vocals, that dance perfectly together in the sea of sharp, driving metal elements from the guitars and rhythm sections which makes it a prominent track on the album. My Masquerade soars like a raven in the night sky, bringing about a sound reminiscent of Theatres Des Vampires due to the way the song is portrayed throughout the instrumentation. The halfway point of the album, Tell Me, Mechanist, fuses the modern Gothic elements and fierce pounding stylistic characters of Delain’s music into poignant track full of plenty of clean vocals and bestial growls. The gentle swaying keyboards really stand out on this track, adding a truly unique flavour to the song.

Sing To Me really displays the emotional depth of Charlotte’s voice as well as the vigorous sound of the band’s music, keeping the harrowing sound blazing like a bonfire during a cold November dusk. Marco makes an appearance on this track as well, adding to the depth of Charlotte’s enchanting vocals. Army Of Dolls echoes with the sounds of the Lucidity and April Rain albums while bringing Delain’s newer sound into the fray as well, demonstrating how much the band’s sound has evolved since its formation. There are new aspects thrown into this song as well that will drag the listener out of their comfort zone and into a strange new land of ethereal keys and soulful guitar passages.

Lullaby is another song that will drag the listener from their comfort zone but rather than leaving them in a new land, it will take them by the hand for a stroll down through a haunting forest of tainted riffs and shaded lyrics as well Plutonian symphonies. The atmosphere created by this track is like that found within Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. The Human Contradiction comes to a passionate and unrestrained close with The Tragedy Of The Commons which flows smoothly like a river, allowing tides of symphonic passages and riffs wash over the listener. Alissa White-Gluz’s hungry, demonic growls are a suprise on during the song, blending well with the atmospheric choir vocals and the twilit sound of the track.

Delain have become such a recognised name in symphonic metal for a long list of reasons and The Human Contradiction can be added to the list of reasons as it could easily rival the likes of Leaves’ Eyes recent album as well as Within Temptation’s discography. If anything, The Human Contradiction could be the best symphonic metal release of the decade as well as one of the greatest albums to be released through Napalm Records.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Delain premiere lyric video for Your Body Is A Battleground

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 7th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Yesterday saw the unveiling of Dutch symphonic metal band Delain’s lyric video for their new single Your Body Is A Battleground, which is taken from their upcoming fourth studio album The Human Contradiction. The video can be viewed below.

The Human Contradiction will be release 7th April via Napalm Records, ahead of the band’s UK tour with fellow Dutch metallers Within Temptation. Tour dates are as follow:

11th         MANCHESTER – Apollo
12th         LONDON – Wembley Arena
14th         NEWCASTLE – Academy
15th         GLASGOW – Academy
16th         BIRMINGHAM – Academy

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

 

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Ex Libris – Medea

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 13th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Ex Libris
Medea
Released 18th January 2014
Progressive Metal/Symphonic Metal
Self-Released

Holland has become a country known for its female-fronted talent, such as Within Temptation, ReVamp, Epica and Delain, so it won’t come as a surprise to many when I say that’s the country that progressive powerhouse Ex Libris hail from. Having played as support to a few of the above mentioned bands, Ex Libris, who are fronted by the talented Dianne van Giersbergen, are slowly building a reputation for themselves on the international metal scene for their unique and bombastic sound sound. Whilst Medea is their second album, the band have achieved a lot more than most bands have.

Named after the Medea of Greek mythology, the album is kick started by the title track, Medea, which is a raging storm composed of swaying guitar passages and crashing waves of percussion, lined with vocals sharp enough the cut Mount Olympus in two. The lashings of orchestration help add to the tragic and dramatic character of the song. Sailing from the seas of the tragic Medea into the fearsome ocean that is Murderess In Me, the album’s atmosphere morphs into something more sinister, allowing for the music to become more cut-throat whilst retaining its classical and mythic vibe. The riffs have a sharper edge than the previous track, allowing for Dianne’s vocals to glide swiftly over the ocean of the music without hindrance.

On The Ocean’s Command begins with the soothing sound of the sea and the creaking wood abroad a ship as the climatic use of guitars, courtesy of Paul, make themselves heard before the vivid keyboards, as supplied by Koen, make their striking entrance. The song builds itself up into a tense masterpiece, tightly knitting each element of the song together. Dianne’s vocal work is particularly impressive during this track, changing like the winds, expectedly and unexpectedly. The following song, My Dream I Dream, focuses more on the emotion than the dramatics, allowing for a vast river of feeling to flow through each aspect of the track. Peter’s basswork sound more profound, making itself known from beginning to end, especially in sudden thrilling and heavy portion of the track, colliding smoothly with Eeclo’s clear-cut and strict drumming.

Song Of Discord marches in like a column of hoplites on their way to war. There is a powerful and harrowing atmosphere conjured up throughout the song, giving the music more punch than would be expected. The vocal duet of Dianne van Giersbergen and Damien Wilson opened up new possibilities for this song, not just vocally but throughout its performance in which the two vocalists play the parts of Medea and her husband, the hero Jason. It will be interesting to see how Ex Libris can pull this one off live. A Mother’s Lament begins straight away with a hook, grabbing attention from every angle and refusing to let go. The guitars and rhythm sections hammer away, fortifying the song whilst the vocals and keyboards add the glitz and the glam to the song, keeping it from becoming a dull affair.

Daughter Of Corinth sees another drastic change in the pace and sound of Medea, turning into a fearsome hydra of progressive riffs, eerie vocals and hypnotic drum passages while other aspects of the song are more shadowy, keeping withdrawn like a Gorgon hunting their victim. A Tale Told makes use of other elements but remains true to Ex Libris’ overall sound as well before the album moves onto the ten minute and fifty second long epic From Birth To Bloodshed which like some of the previous tracks paves way for a drastic change in the album. The riffs during this track are callous, leaving no room for mercy whilst the vocals are at their pinnacle, adding emphasis to the rest of the song. The instrumentation throughout the song take sup the spirit of the ocean, changing from the violent crashing of waves to gentler sailing.

Ex Libris have a knack for writing good music and Medea takes you down more twists and turns than the Labyrinth, keeping focus on the music as new life is breathed into Medea’s impressively tragic story by one talented band.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Ex Libris online:

http://exlibrismusic.com
http://facebook.com/exlibrismusic

 

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