Firewind & Leaves’ Eyes @ Moho, Manchester

Firewind & Leaves’ Eyes
Moho, Manchester
14th September 2012

Originally, the doors were meant to open at 6:30pm but had been pushed back to 7pm for reasons unknown to me. Once the doors had opened, I trudged my way in, followed shortly by several groups of people in Leaves’ Eyes shirts, Firewind shirts and other band shirts.

After a lengthy wait, and several smoked cigarettes, Leaves’ Eyes took to the stage, led by frontwoman Liv Kristine, who looked like  a modern-day visage of Freya. Opening up with the captivating song Spirits Masquerade before moving into the more harmonic sounding Velvet Heart. Liv’s vocals echoed throughout the venue, like some sort of angelic chorus while the fierce screaming of guitars and bass came crashing down like the waves, during the band’s mystifying performance of Ocean’s Way. Alexander’s vocals really proved to be stronger than ever during My Destiny. The band’s set took on a more folky sound later on with songs like Kråkevisa – the beautifully metalified version of a traditional Norwegian folk song – and a heavier, more enchanting version of Mike Oldfield’s To France. However, the real highlights of Leaves’ Eyes’ set, for me, were the romantically played track Frøya’s Theme and the bewitching, almost haunting soundings of Elegy which really emphasised the strength of her vocals, as well as the aforementioned traditional song that is Kråkevisa.

One thing I noticed when Firewind were ready to play was that all the Leaves’ Eyes fans had moved to the back of the venue while the ones there for Firewind moved to the front rather hastily, readying themselves for a bombardment of energetic and fast-paced riffs and technical styled drumming. When Firewind began, I soon found myself a bit disinterested for the first few songs due to the vocals of frontman Apollo becoming very strained when he went to hit the high notes. When they played the powerful Destination Forever, I was use interested in the band’s performance and their mighty use of guitars and bonecrushing drums, whilst some members of the crowd jammed along on their air guitars. Few Against Many proved to be a crowd favourite with the behemoth drumming and slow, melodic and somewhat epic guitar solo. I found myself bored when Firewind performed Mercenary Man, due to it sounding like a typical power metal anthem – complete with cheesey lyrics. Glorious proved to be a well-executed track, with its subtle introduction and loud roaring of guitars. As the band finished up their set, the crowd demanded more and more – I’d already been tipped off that they were going to perform Breaking The Silence with Liv Kristine at the end, so I was suitably pleased when it was one of their encore songs and certainly a track that really displayed the strength of her vocal style, especially when combined with Apollo’s hard-hitting voice. The other two encore songs I never caught the name of but I found them to be rather weak, compared to some of the other stuff Firewind played.

Nico Davidson

3 Responses to “Firewind & Leaves’ Eyes @ Moho, Manchester”

  1. Excellent review

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