Archive for Marcela Bovio

Metal Female Voices Festival @ Wieze, BE

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2013 by Freya

Tarja, Lacuna Coil, ReVamp, Delain, Leaves’ Eyes
Oktoberhallen, Wieze
18th-20th October

In Belgium, October stands for falling leaves, rain and a ton of female fronted metal. For the eleventh time the Oktoberhallen in Wieze flooded with fans of this genre to attend the Metal Female Voices Fest or MFVF. This festival has a very loyal fanbase, some of them even travelled a good part of the globe to get there! I had the pleasure to meet some dedicated metalheads from Israel and Argentina, and it’s safe to say that they weren’t the only international visitors.

On Friday, the first day of the festival, the doors opened at 19h00 as there were only two acts. I have no idea if that was also the reason behind the smaller crowd, but it was noticable that there were a lot more attendees on Saturday and Sunday. But that didn’t stop Liv Kristine from giving it her all with her solo project! Liv Kristine by herself, accompanied by a band of course, is a little more indie/rock than Leaves’ Eyes, but that doesn’t take away of the fact that she has an amazing voice. Fans of Leaves’ Eyes were lucky this weekend, because the band attended the festival on Saturday. But for now, back to Liv Kristine. As the crowd continued to grow, she enchanted us with her adorable smile and charisma. Paris Paris and Skintight opened the set, followed by a fragile Fake a Smile. Trapped in Your Labyrinth was definitely one of the highlights of the show, together with ‘Libertine’. With these songs Liv Kristine showcased that a delicate voice can rock just as much as a more solid voice. As a nice surprise, a few Theatre of Tragedy songs made it into the set: Venus and Image. Overall, this was a perfect fresh and joyous opener for what turned out to be an outstanding edition of MFVF. [3.5/5]

After Liv Kristine, the stage was invaded by Eve’s Apple. And I mean invaded! Eve’s Apple isn’t a normal band with about 5 or 6 members, it’s a collective of female singers. Some of the ladies who sung some beautiful covers were: Lisa Middelhauve (ex-Xandria), Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Iliana Tsakiraki, Kassandra Gruszkowki, Annamaria Cozza, Zuberoa Aznarez, Aiylin Gimenez (Sirenia), Grace Meridan, Heidi Parviainen, Mary Zimmer, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Clémentine Delauney (Serenity), Karolina Pacan (Skeptical Minds), Sabrina Valentine, Laura Vargas, Mariangela Themurtas (Tristania), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth), Sanna Salou, Angel Wolfblack, VK Lynne and Maxi Nil (Visions Of Atlantis). Some of the biggest hits in rock were brought out for this special occasion, so we had the opportunity to listen to adaptations of Stargazer (Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell) and Poison (Clémentine Delauney and VK Lynne). Every now and then the fire underneath the songs died out a bit and made way for a softly glowing ember like Behind Blue Eyes(Mariangela Themurtas, Maxi Nil and Charlotte Wessels). Personally, Show Must Go On (Karolina Pacan and Angel Wolfblack) would have been in the list of amazing duets as well, but technical issues caused some trouble. The vocals drowned in a wall of sound and that’s too bad, because it had a lot of potential. Towards the end all the ladies got together on stage to thank Maxi Nil, and to sing a few songs of course! The two final songs of the evening were quite appropriate: All we Are and Stars. [3/5]

As the final notes of the evening died out the crowd turned to their tent, car or bus, only to return in a few very short hours!

On Saturday the doors opened at 10h00. And even though it was still early, there was a relatively long queue in front of said doors. And what a nice wake-up call we got once we got inside! Our neighbours from the North sent Magion to MFVF, and they were an astonishing discovery! Myrthe van Beest has an enchanting voice, which is a perfect match for compelling songs like Neverending Winter and Shallow Grounds. During Greed the horns went up, and the crowd slowly started shaking off the mists of morning. [4/5]

Azylya should definitely get the award for creepiest intro at MFVF. The Belgian band played a home game and brought two masked dancers and a creepy little girl with them. She fit right in with the eerie music and lighting. The venue was starting to shed a bit of the initial chill, but things definitely got hotter when Jamie-Lee Smit brought out some fire during Darkness Ascending. Electroconvulsive was a vocal mix between a kick in the teeth and a gentle embrace. Overall, Azylya told an enchanting story with a lot of power. The mix of classical elements with metal, and the two contrasting voices were a true delight! [4/5]

Victorians – Aristocrats’ Symphony brought a touch of the past to MFVF, with stunning costumes (I still want to steal the jacket that Utis wore). Songs like Descent of Your Destiny and Prince of Night paint a picture of times long gone, but with a modern twist. After the show they told us they were a bit worried about the quality of the sound, but I don’t think they had anything to worry about. [3.5/5]

Serenity came to MFVF to promote their new album War of Ages. Singers Clémentine Delauney and Georg Neuhauser sound very well-balanced and they compliment each other. Georg ran and jumped around every inch of the stage, never standing in one place more than a few seconds, and you could see he was having a good time. But there was also room for a more intimate song: Fairytales was touching and intense. A nice surprise was the guest appearance from Charlotte Wessels during Serenade of Flames. Serenity knows how to entertain and satisfy an audience. [3.5/5]

Canadian band Kobra and the Lotus brought heavy metal to Wieze, and how! Nayana struck like a poisonous snake and this feisty animal did not lose it’s grip. Kobra Paige has a hypnotic and overwhelming voice and she took the stage with confidence and spirit. And it gets better! She is backed up by an impressive wall of sound consisting of fierce guitars and raging drums. Songs like 50 Shades of Evil or Forever One have potential to become true metal anthems. Dark Passenger was preceded by a drum solo that showcased the sills of the drummer and My Life stood out to me due to its unique guitar riff. Afterwards Kobra Paige shared some words of wisdom with me: love and metal, that’s what it’s all about. I couldn’t agree more. [5/5]

I admit it, at first, I was a bit sceptical about Kontrust. I saw a few of their videos on YouTube and felt like I had no idea what to expect. The intro made me feel like I was at Octoberfest rather than Metal Female Voices Fest so I had the urge to roll my eyes, but I stand corrected! Kontrust knows how to get a party started. They were a lot of fun and the crowd clearly enjoyed their lighthearted songs like Hey DJ, U Say What and Bomba. Sock and Doll was another example of what makes Kontrust unique: I’ve never seen a band use sock puppets before… But it worked! The horns went up and I saw a lot of smiles around me. [4/5]

After Kontrust it was time for the headlining acts of the day: Leaves’ Eyes, Delain and Lacuna Coil.

Liv Kristine took the stage once more this weekend, this time as part of Leaves’ Eyes. Since Leaves’ Eyes is practically a synonym for symphonic metal, that’s exactly what we got: riveting melodies and an angelic voice with a heavier counterpartner. Their new album Symphonies of the Night will be released in November so at MFVF we had the privilege to hear a few new songs such as Galswintha, Fading Earth, Symphonies of the Night, Maid of Lorraine and Hell to the Heavens. And I can tell you, these songs are something to look forward to! The crowd clearly enjoyed the new material, but most hands, horns and fists were raised during songs as My Destiny, Elegy and Take the Devil in Me. (And Alexander Krull still has the most awesome hair!) [4/5]

Delain opened their set with Mother Machine, a song taken from their album We are the Others. Charlotte Wessels appeared on stage dressed in white and she swept the crowd right off their feet. The entire show she continued to encourage the audience to sing, scream or clap along. Go Away and Virtue and Vice from the album April Rain were played next, accompanied by sparks and an audience on fire. Charlotte reached the higher notes with ease and before we knew it they were halfway through the set. We were in for another great surprise though, because during No Compliance, Charlotte was joined by none other than Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) for a special duet. Sharon didn’t leave after one song though, much to the delight of the audience. She sang Restless, a song by her own band Within Temptation, accompanied by Martijn Westerholt (former keyboardist of Within Temptation) on the piano. Sharon wasn’t the only guest appearance of the set though. Georg Neuhauser of Serenity joined Charlotte on stage for Control the Storm. They clearly enjoyed this duet, which was another cherry on this scrumptious Delain-cake. During the encore Charlotte had the crowd jumping once again with The Gathering. Delain said their goodbyes with We are the Others, together with the crowd who was singing along with an amazing amount of spirit after an already long day. [4.5/5]

Day two wasn’t over yet though! Lacuna Coil was the final act of the day, and they had something special planned for MFVF. They played the entire Karmacode album. It truly was a trip to the past since Karmacode came out in 2006. The band took place on stage wearing the masks they used during the Karmacode tour, but unfortunately we could only see Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. The lighting was horrible! It was really difficult to see any of the musicians during the entire set, which was disappointing. But back to the music! Karmacode is an album filled with hits like Fragile, Enjoy the Silence and Our Truth. Lacuna Coil definitely took a risk here, because not every song on the album is a hit. Because of that, at times it felt like an unusual show. The entire show was very interesting and I hope that this concept will inspire other bands to do the same. After a short intermezzo Cristina and Andrea returned in a their latest uniforms to end things with a bang! They gave the crowd a small but oh so sweet taste of absolute hits such as Heaven’s A Lie and Spellbound. To top it of they sang two songs of their latest album Dark Adrenaline: the haunting Trip the Darkness and a very energetic Kill the Light. [4/5]

So far, MFVF XI was a great success, but the third day was filled with bands who were ready to blast day 1 and 2 out of the water.

On Sunday the doors opened an hour later, which was a blessing after two long days. At noon, Hell City was present to defend the Belgian honour. And they did a great job! Hell City was fierce and on fire. Michelle Nivelle gave the crowd no excuse to be sleepy-eyed for another minute. With songs like This Mortal Loss and Demons to Rest we were showered with Grade A metal. The final song of their set was the new single Ice Cold Rage, which can be downloaded on their website. [3.5/5]

After this little Belgian treat it was time for a more exotic band: Hungarian folk metal band Dalriada made it very difficult to stand still, with energetic and up-tempo songs such as Napom, Fényes Napom and A Dudás. Unfortunately, where I stood, the crowd only clapped along (major props to a friend of mine though, who taught us all a lesson in headbanging). Maybe it was still a bit early, or the audience was saving their energy for the headliners of the day. Too bad, because it could’ve been an awesome party. [3.5/5]

After Dalriada I skipped a few bands myself, but I was back just in time to see Crimfall. The members of the band looked like they fought their way over to Wieze (blood, blood everywhere!), but they still had a ton of energy left! Helena Haaparanta and Mikko Häkkinen were accompanied by a group of merry huntsmen, who seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage. Songs like Wildfire Season paint an epic picture in the mind of the listener. Another example of their story-like songs is Silver and Bones about a son repeating his father’s mistakes. Even though Crimfall had a few technical difficulties, it was a truly wonderful journey. [4/5]

A little sidenote: it turned out that MFVF was one of the last shows with Helena: Crimfall is looking for a new singer. I wish them all the best!

Onward to the two big names of MFVF XI! The past year the buzz around Floor Jansen has been immense, so it feels like she doesn’t need an introduction anymore. The new leading lady of Nightwish proved to us all that we shouldn’t fear for the future of ReVamp. On the contrary, their new album Wild Card explores new musical territories, and sounds quite heavy. I must add that I found the new album a bit chaotic at times, but live it clicked together like clockwork. Precise, strong and compelling. The audience started clapping the second the lights went out, and was treated with a part one of The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown trilogy from Wild Card: On the Sideline. Part two (The Limbic System) and three (Neurasthenia) were played later on in the set. From the get-go, Floor amazed us all with her impressive voice. She has a range from operatic and angelic all the way to grunts, and she makes it sound so easy. To name just one example seems foolish, but Precibus perfectly highlighted her vocal range. And if that’s not enough, she’s an awe-inspiring presence on stage. Dressed in red, she truly was on fire. She kept on interacting with the crowd, and they responded within a heartbeat. From the first album, Head Up High was the first song to be played, followed later on by both In Sickness ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Disdain and Disgraced. In the end ReVamp said their goodbyes with Wolf and Dog, but according to all the horns, applause and requests for an encore, the crowd would have loved a few extra songs. [4/5]

So far the entire weekend was a weekend for the history books, but MFVF XI presented us with one more name, which made it impossible to forget: Tarja. After a theatrical intro she appeared on stage and launched into In for a Kill. It always stikes me how blissful Tarja looks on stage. She was born to sing, to give her heart and soul to the audience. This positive energy radiated throughout the venue and the crowd was happy to reciprocate with applause, singing, and raised hands. 500 Letters was greeted with cheers as though it was a classic hit, but it is in fact a song from her new album Colours In The Dark. Sing for Me and ‘I Walk Alone’ were the first ballads in the set, and they gave me goose bumps! Tarja proves time and time again that she has an incredible voice. Time to linger on this fact wasn’t part of the deal though. Falling Awake and Anteroom of Death shook us all awake.

People who have seen Tarja live before, know she usually doesn’t stick to one outfit, so Never Enough ended with an formidable band solo by cellist Max Lilja, Christian Kretschmar playing the keyboard, guitarist Alex Scholpp, bassist Anna Portalupi and Mike Terrana behind his impresssive drum kit. And indeed, at the beginning of Mystique Voyage, Tarja appeared in her second outfit of the evening (with matching microphone!) and she picked up the pace! Die Alive and Until my Last Breath had the crowd jumping in no time, as they should! Neverlight and Medusa were the final song before a short intermezzo and the intro for Victim of Ritual by Mike Terrana. He is a true magician with drumsticks! And things got memorable after this song. Tarja sang Wish I Had An Angel with passion and flair, and slowly reminded everyone of the fact that she promised us something a few weeks before MFVF. She didn’t have to ask us twice if we were ready, we were! For the final song of the festival, she invited Floor Jansen on stage for a duet. Together they sang Over the Hills and Far Away. Not only did their voices sound like all kinds of heaven, they were genuinely having a blast. They hugged, were dancing, and shared some words of wisdom with us: we have to keep the love going! [5/5]

After this epic duet, the time had come to say goodbye to MFVF XI. And on the way home I’m sure everybody was looking back on a wonderful edition to bring some warmth into the very cold night. Time to start looking forward to MFVF XII perhaps?

Freya Cherlet

Photography by Freya Cherlet.

 

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ReVamp post series of trailers online

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Wild Card; the second studio album from Dutch symphonic metal band ReVamp – who are fronted by former After Forever vocalist and current touring Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen – is set for release on 26th August.

ReVamp recently posted a five minute trailer about the recording process of ReVamp. The trailer features album producer Joost Van Den BroekReVamp‘s drummer Mathias Landes, as well as keyboardist and co-songwriter Ruben Wijga and guitarist Jord Otto. The trailer can be viewed below.

ReVamp previous Wild Card trailers can be viewed at the following locations: TRAILER ONETRAILER TWOTRAILER THREE

The lead single from Wild Card, titled The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline, is now available for purchase from iTunes at this location and displays Floor Jansen‘s unique vocals.

The guest vocalists on the album are Mark Jansen (Epica), Johan van Stratum and Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Daniel de Jongh (Textures) and Devin TownsendReVamp will be touring Europe with Kamelot in November, later this year.

Wild Card tracklist is as follows:

01. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline
02. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
03. Wild Card
04. Precibus
05. Nothing
06. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia
07. Distorted Lullabies
08. Amendatory
09. I Can Become
10. Misery’s No Crime
11. Wolf And Dog
Bonus Track:
12. Sins

ReVamp online:

http://www.revampmusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/ReVamp
http://twitter.com/ReVampOfficial

Epica w/Stream of Passion @ Corporation, Sheffield

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 20th December 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Epica & Stream of Passion
Corporation, Sheffield
12th December 2012

T’was a cold night as we waited outside Corporation in Sheffield, following our interview with Marcela Bovio of Stream of Passion [Interview can be read here], so by the time we had found ourselves in the venue we were more than excited for what was to come.

I find myself very fortunate to see every band that I do live, however I feel especially fortunate to of seen Stream of Passion not only this year but also last year while they toured with Leaves’ Eyes due to Visions of Atlantis cancelling to prepare for the festival they had a few weeks after. The band opened up with the song Lost which is the opening track to their latest album Darker Days – an energetic starting with mixes of both guitars and the violin bringing that distant Latino feeling until later in the song when they hit the first verses does that feeling come back. I was surprised that Marcela didn’t walk on and perform this song with band (like she does later) with the violin, though the energy was probably needed as not many of the audience members had heard of Stream of Passion, so with that it was probably the best song to start with and get them going.

Moving onto the next song, Passion, which belongs to the first album the band’s set takes a slower pace whilst displaying the vocals of leading lady Marcela Bovio. The performance picked up its pace with the performance of Collide. Later on in their performance, Marcela picks up the violin situated on the stage and plays the emotive introduction to Scarlet Mark while the guitars echo softly in the background. Stream of Passion continued on with songs such as My Leader and their rendition of Street Spirit (originally performed by Radiohead). I praise the vocals of Marcela on this a lot the women can really hold a tune. Over all I was little disappointed with the performance as that they had a very similar setlist to which they did with Leaves’ Eyes. On a more positive note I really enjoyed the song s that were performed and how they really were (the band connected to the music) which like I mentioned rubbed off on the audience.

[4/5 – Danielle Eley]

Having seen Epica on their last UK tour in March 2011, it’s safe to say I was overly excited to see them again which would explain the lack of sleep I had for several days before the show. The crowd were already more than warmed up from Stream of Passion’s performance which I sadly missed most of it as I was interviewing Isaac Delahaye from Epica [The interview can be found at this location]. While this was the second time I would see Epica, it was the first time I had seen them with their new bassist Rob van der Loo [ex-Delain] who did a brilliant job on bass duties throughout the night.

Opening up with the mystifying Monopoly On Truth, the band moved onto Sensorium which garnered a huge reaction from the crowd as it displayed the emotion in Simone’s voice. Symphonic medleys were blasted out aplenty by Coen throughout Epica’s set as the staunch combination of thundering bass and snarling guitars tore Sheffield a new one. Mark and Isaac certainly are a dynamic duo when it comes to guitar playing. The emotive performance of The Obsession Devotion went down well with the crowd as the beautiful mix of Simone’s and Mark’s vocals shined out while Epica’s performance of Cry For The Moon was very soulful. One thing that did catch me off guard was the disco rendition of The Phantom Agony – Which was performed after Ariën’s heavy but acutely played drum solo. It was an entertaining part of the set indeed as most of the band had their own little rave on stage. The encore was comprised of Sancta Terra, Storm The Sorrow (taken from Requiem for the Indifferent) and Consign to Oblivion. All three of which were powerfully performed and were a truly epic(a) end to the show.  Hopefully Epica will be back in the UK next year!

[5/5 – Nico Davidson]

Leaves’ Eyes @ Manchester Academy [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 24th October 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Bands: Leaves’ Eyes, Stream Of Passion, Awake By Design
Location: Manchester Academy, Manchester
Date: 20th October 2011

I have no idea why Awake by Design were touring with Leaves’ Eyes and Stream of Passion I think the tour would have been better, but not only that they didn’t have any of the same elements that the other two bands offered. With low communication between the band and the audience it was probably good that they had a short set (only a couple of songs) though to be fair the amount of space that they were given – which was next to none – they just had enough to fit the band on and off, which maybe they could of done better with a bit more space.

In 2007 Stream of Passion had to cancel part of their European tour, one part of this tour was in the UK when immigration denied Stream of Passion from entering the UK on suspicions that they were coming here to actually settle in the UK illegally, each member was separated and questioned but despite providing the legal documents they were unable to come over to the UK, that was 4 years ago and Stream of Passion hadn’t even announced a UK yet they talked about returning until the original support act Visions of Atlantis had to cancel their shows in the UK, Czech and France because of Mario Plank voice problems but seemed to be able to make it for their MFVF where they will be shooting there live DVD.

Stream of Passion opened with a song from the new album Darker Days (released June 2011) entitled Lost. They continued to play a lot of songs from their latest album, so if your an old fan there wouldn’t be a lot of songs that you would know, though they did perform Passion and Out of The Real World – Passion is from their first album Embrace The Storm, where the Marcela told the crowd that  it’s a really old song and told everyone to raise their hands and clap within time. They also had one from their second The Flame Within, my favourite song of the night was Collide (there new single), I was happy to see lead singer Marcela Bovio using her violin for the show and did on a numerous of songs through the show but also how she was okay at head banging on the stage I have only every seen that on Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil and Floor Jansen (ReVamp), and how the whole band seemed to be on their music and great hopefully Stream of Passion will get more recognition for what they do as they are great to see live and musically talented. I think that the band enjoyed there time in the UK, more so in London and will be returning (according to their official site and also Marcela mentioned) that you can see Stream of Passion at Fused Festival 2012. 4.5/5

Its been 5 years since Leaves’ Eyes last visited the north of England, so by performing in Manchester they definitely made up for lost time, despite Academy 3 only being a small venue the gig did not sell out but they did have a heavy and respectful crowd which Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull did mention. They kicked off their set with Spirits’ Masquerade, Liv being the last one to come onto the stage in a pure black medieval styled dress with corset around her middle, the sleeves edges of the dress and designed in a gold pattern, where she wore fish nets and high heeled shoes (which she later used to put holes in the set list) as the song progressed she held her hand out and touched everyone that she can reach in the audience.

The next song was from their first album Lovelorn, and is the first song I heard of Leaves’ Eyes, this is Ocean’s Way during the introduction Alexander Krull walks on with his desirable waist length, who encourages the audience to be a bit more brutal referring to his wife as ‘too nice’ and demands that the audience throw their fists in the air. The pair make a great duo Liv’s soft vocal with Alex’s definitely make Leaves’ Eyes unique.

I thought that My Destiny would be the last song or one of the last songs on the set list if not the last song but was pleasantly surprised when it appeared to be the third song in the list, this maybe because Alexandra was already on the stage? Who Knows. The audience is silent and Liv begins to sing the beginning vocals gently taking a quick break to tell the audience she loves them before the guitar riffs start off, Alex’s still encouraging the audience especially to call back at him often holding his ear to crowd in response to get more noise out of us.

From there I don’t know the order of the songs that they played, though the set list was cut short with songs like In To Your Light not being played because of lack of time, the band did continue to play songs from all 4 of their albums, one I didn’t think that they would play was Farewell Proud Men this is probably the songs that Liv came close to head banging and often raising her arm up in the arm to create the rock on symbol \m/

Not long after these songs they began to be slower songs with them playing Krakevisa which was dedicate to the horrible tragedy that happened in Norway this year with a man killing loads of teenagers, the song was sang in Norwegian and has the element of folk in it, the song i think is on about the hunting and killing of something.

After another song the perform Elegy probably one of the mans most famous and icon songs that appears in their second album Vinland Saga, the crowd is encouraged to clap along with the rhythm of the song and to call out the lyrics making sure that the crowd are were on the rising vocal range begin the song ‘Are you ready to sing really high? Are you?”. From this song there o into some musical difficulty with the intro of To France beginning, the crowd than edges them to carry on singing along to To France’s chorus, the next song is obviously To France.

The Last Leaves’ Eyes song is one that I didn’t think would even be on the set list and is off third album Njord Frøya’s Theme, Alex joins his wife on stage to perform their last song.

Leaves Eyes are great performers and the next time that they are in the UK you should totally go, a Security memeber after the show and told Liv that he had never heard of them before but totally enjoyed it. Definitely 5/5.

Danielle Eley