Archive for Manchester Academy

Korpiklaani w/Support @ Club Academy, Manchester

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 11th February 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Korpiklaani, Metsatöll and Andraste
Club Academy, Manchester
2nd February 2013

Part of Korpiklaani’s extensive European tour, in support of the new album, Manala, brought them to the Manchester Academy – More specifically Club Academy – with their touring support Metsatöll. At the beginning of the part, before the local support act, Andraste began their set, the venue looked empty with the handful of bodies in there though the crowd soon doubled, tripled and more in size.

Manchester’s own folk metal act Andraste opened up the night, with some significant changes since I’d last seen them play almost a year ago. The addition of the violinist, whose name escapes me, added an extra layer of folk-infused sounds to their already domineering northern Celtic sound. The northern war band played a number of catchy tunes, blasting out their heathen ballads of days and myths gone by with expert precision. The folk-choir vocals performed by four members of the band during in some of the songs provided efficient reinforcements for the blistering guitar riffs and storming percussion that thundered like Taranis’ wheel. The folkier elements, conjured by Coll Féchin, added a touch of easier listening to the war-like anthems and added emphasis to Atticus’ guttural and haunting growls. One thing about Andraste’s set that really did catch me off guard though was the newer material that was inclined towards the progressive side of the band’s sound but it still proved to be enjoyable, almost breath taking. Andraste certainly lived up to their Celtic deity’s namesake that night as they sent their heavy, folktastic anthems screaming forth unto the horde that was amassing. [4/5]

Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of Metsatöll’s set due to an attempted interview with the headliners, Korpiklaani. By the time I was back into the area where the band were playing, they were already progressing through their set with the crowd warmed up them greatly. I hadn’t check the band out before the gig so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect though I’d heard good things about Metsatöll but those good things didn’t do the Estonian metallers justice. For want of a better word, their set was truly majestic, displaying a beautiful fusion of heavy guitar playing and the more melodic folk-inspired sounds of the flutes and bagpipes. The vocals had a mystifying quality to them – A quality that entwined itself within the strength of the vocals, helping to add that extra oomph to the band’s performance. Hopefully Metsatöll will come back to British shores again in the future. [4.5/5]

With the crowd whipped into a near-violent frenzy, Korpiklaani took their respective places on the stage. The Finnish metal outfit proved to be entertaining enough, blasting out their accordion-and-violin plastered songs with a waterfall of charisma and energy flowing from the frontman, Jonne. The vocals were quite gruff throughout the set but that added more feeling to the songs, especially some of the darker sounding ones and suited the drinking songs (like Vodka) extremely well. The riffs were a strong, driving force throughout the band’s performance, going toe-to-toe with the violin and accordion, as well as the heavy, boisterous drum work. The insanely fun to jig along to song Vodka proved to be a crowd favourite until the sound cut out, though that was no fault of Korpiklaani’s. The highlight of their set, for me, was the performance of the leek spinning song, properly known as Ievan Polka. The band certainly made that song their own that night in Manchester. [4/5]

Between three great bands and a lot of drunken pits and alcohol-influenced jigs, mostly encouraged by Korpiklaani, I think it’s safe to say that it was one hell of a gig and certainly is going to rate as one of the most memorable gigs of the year and possibly the next decade.

Nico Davidson

Photography by Nico Davidson. Pictures of the entire gig can be found atthis location.

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Incassum – In Vain [2008]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 22nd November 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Incassum
Album: In Vain
Release year: 2008
Genre: Melodic Metal/Gothic Metal

Incassum are a five piece female-fronted melodic Gothic metal outfit hailing from Manchester. They’ve supported big acts such as Blaze Bayley [Former Iron Maiden frontman], Breed 77 and others. The band have also headlined their own shows at venues such as Manchester Academy. 2008 saw the release of their EP “In Vain”.

The EP takes up a dark and tense beginning in the form of “The Beckoning”. Before the vocals are heard, the guitars display a beautiful use of melodic riffs that are combined an intelligent use of drum work. The guitars create a very tense, dramatic and atmospheric feel that is usually only achieved by keyboards. The vocals do take the listener by surprise. The vocals are along the lines of death metal and black metal, so definitely a bonus for fans of Astarte and Arch Enemy. In true Gothic metal style, there is a use of clean, harmonic vocals as well, though not overly operatic as is the stereotype with Gothic metal these days. Musically, the track is like a raging bull charging its way through the crowds at the “Running of the Bulls”.

“History Repeats” hits the listener like a mortar hitting a tank, beginning with a catchy, face-melting riff followed by a powerful vocal section. The drums offer up a deliciously rhythmic taster of what’s to come during in the rest of the track. The guitars tease the listener, keeping their attention while the vocal sections progress into a happy medium of harsh and clean. The most hypnotic and enchanting aspect of the track is the solo. “Space To Breathe” takes the listener down a heavier, brutal path with a masterful combination of clean female vocals and harsher male vocals. The guitars conjure together a well-constructed wall of musical genius and the drums force upon the listener an assault of metallic proportions. “So Red” ambushes the listener’s ears with a delicate guitar intro which is joined by strong yet gentle vocals and a calm drum section. The song hints at heavier progressions though the real heaviness doesn’t occur until the second half of the song.

“All These Lies” starts with drums and bass – Not the techno/dance music kind either – before a crash of thunderous guitars shred their way through the track. The clean vocals are powerful, strong and oddly more impressive than the growls – Which are still pretty beastly. The drums fit their placement well, keeping everything tight. The use of backing growls fits in perfectly with the cleaner vocal style as well, adding a certain beauty and the beast effect to the music. The breakdown – Well, I’m assuming it to be a breakdown since I have difficulty recognising one – does throw the track off a little. The EP comes to a melodic end with the title track “In Vain”. The melodic-styled intro lulls the listener into a calm state of mind before unleashing a raging storm of metal that sounds like a combination of death metal and speed metal – Not that there’s anything wrong with that! The drums certainly add that extra special vitamin known as pure brutality to the song while the contrasting vocal styles keep the track diverse – on a vocal level at least. The guitars are intelligently structured and awe-inspiring like the metal version of the pyramids. After a massacre of aggressive solo work, the track sadly comes to a slow, melodic end.

”In Vain” is definitely not your typical Gothic metal release – In fact, it’s probably better than your typical Gothic metal release. The music shows strong elements of death, black and speed metal while the vocals portray a more Arch Enemy meets Astarte meets Evanescence sound. Each part of the EP has had a lot of thought and work put into it. Its hard to believe that “In Vain” is their only release!

4.7/5

Nico Davidson

Incassum will be touring with Spires later this month. See below for dates:

24/11 NEWCASTLE TRILLIANS – FREE ENTRY!
25/11 BRADFORD RIOS
26/11 HULL RINGSIDE
27/11 GRIMSBY YARDBIRDS
30/11 KINGSTON THE PEEL
01/12 READING FACE BAR
02/12 DERBY OLD BELL
04/12 MANCHESTER ALTER EGO + ‘SWORN TO OATH’

Black Veil Brides W/Support @ Manchester Academy [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 23rd October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: Black Veil Brides, My Passion, Yashin
Location: Manchester Academy, Manchester
Date: 11th October

After hearing about a lot about this new band from Hollywood, California called Black Veil Brides making a big statement about being the indifferent and with  countless articles in Kerrang Magazine I thought I would go check them out for myself. Before going to the gig I can say that I had heard Knives and Pens and Perfect Weapon which were average songs and didn’t seem all the rush to me.

Touring with Black Veil Brides was My Passion (solo tours and will be touring with Madina Lake soon!) and Yashin (toured with the likes of KoRn). The first act would be My Passion which had had mix reports and views on while I was waiting outside of the venue,they seemed to be pretty much in the middle this band with a lot of people liking them and a lot not, I was pretty excited to see this band again from the last time when I saw them in Liverpool on the Red Bull tour just before they got famous so to see now far and what they were like now would be very interesting. When making their entrance on the stage there was a lot of booing which does seem pointless as they are the ones walking away with a little bit of your money so might as well endure it, the stage was blacked out and lit up again with a bright florescence blue colour each one making their way onto the stage. the lead singer Simon Rowlands coming on last with a white coat and glow in the dark shades. the band kicked off with a song I didn’t recognise but that is probably because they had a new album set to come out so I think that they were playing new songs to promote it.. The performance as a whole would definitely 4 out of 5, they kept the crowd entertained (despite the booing) and of course all of them had a lot of energy for the stage. My opinion were very good and would definitely suggest that you go and see them. They finished with their signature song The Girl Who Lost there smile.

I didn’t not get to see Yashin due to complication, leaving the next to come on was Black Veil Brides. After waiting 30 minutes for the band to come on the stage blacked out and the up roar of fans (who had to mimic his make-up) and opening with a song from there new album which was average, they played a couple of songs and a drummer solo one that they did do was a cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell which was very good but unfortunately that strike didn’t last long with only completing 8 songs on the list (INCLUDING THE DRUMMER SOLO) I was disappointed and would say that Black Veil Brides are nothing really specially but to the people that they do touch the BVB Army, then it good for them I totally support what they are promoting with the indifference theme but I think to get the most out of this gig you have to adore the band otherwise it was not a very entertaining show. The front man Andy Sixx also seemed not on form and something was missing, due to this fact I would go and see them again as I think that they could perform better and possible do a good show. I would award BVB a 2 out of 5 for this show.

Danielle Eley

I would like thank My Passion for helping my sister get through her panic attack after their performance. – Definitely go and check these out with Madina Lake.