Archive for Quinphonic Festival

Quinphonic Festival 4 – Birmingham, UK

Posted in Festival, Live, Metal with tags , , , , , on 22nd April 2017 by mickbirchy

Quinphonic Festival
Bands: Temperance, Serpentyne, Metaprim, Dead of Night, Fourth Circle
Venue: The Roadhouse, Birmingham, UK
Date: 16-APR-2017

 

Another year, another pilgrimage to Birmingham for Quinphonic Festival. I wasn’t able to attend the third edition of the festival in the October of last year. Yet, I was more than ready for the fourth one. This one had a stacked line-up with too. Including Italian hard-hitters, Temperance. The UK debut of, Fourth Circle. Along with three of the best live bands that the UK have to offer in Dead of Night, Serpentyne and Metaprism. A spectacular day of music lay ahead and I was pumped for the day to come. Quinphoinc Festival is all about quality over quantity. Five band all given a headline sets worth of time to show off what they can do. This allows the bands to breathe on stage and the crowd can experience what they’re actually like.

Before I talk about the actual day itself. Let me take you back to the night before, at the Barge and Barrel is Tipton for the Pre-Festival showcase night. A night that I won’t soon be forgetting. It was a great night of music featuring three fantastic UK up-and-comers. Darkest Obsidian, A Clockwork Opera and The Loved and Lost. All three bands were on top form and delivered a great performance. That really showed off their styles well. As a night it really came together with a great crowd. I really enjoyed all three acts, from the pageantry of A Clockwork Opera. To the soaring choruses of Darkest Obsidian with the finesse and energy of The Loved and Lost. It was a great night had by all and I hope to see more from all these bands sooner rather than later.
Now on to the festival itself. I got to the venue early to soak in the atmosphere. It was going to be a great day. All the bands have their own respective niche so there should have been something for every type of fan. As for myself I was looking forward to hearing something new. The only band I was really aware before going to the venue was, Temperance. So no matter the result of the day. I was going to hear something different and new for certain. Now, onto the review!

Fourth Circle

What a firecracker of an opener. This was exactly what was needed to start the day. The French band, Fourth Circle were debuting in the UK and let me say, what a way to make and entrance. The band were energetic and and fun. Their presence was in your face and and bold. Their live production great with every element of the band working outstandingly well. I have to say I was taken completely off guard by their performance. With pomp and pageantry, their music sounded huge with bombast. The music was filled with excellent hooks sinking into your head and this made their songs easy to remember. The band’s on stage chemistry really made these songs larger than life. They seemed to be having a lot of fun up there and this made it easier to enjoy their set. I only had a couple of problems with their set. Firstly, their set felt a little repetitive and it got a little tedious at times. Although those hooks constantly drew me back in. The only other thing that let their set down a bit was that the crowd started to thin out throughout the set, which ruined the atmosphere a little bit. Overall I had a fantastic time watching them. I would say their UK debut was successful and I for would welcome them back anytime!

Dead of Night

Next up was British newcomers Dead of Night. This was a really good set. Even if the songs were a little bland in composition, they more than made up for it in their theatrical stage presentation. Their sound was nice and I enjoyed some of the songs. Their stage presence was exciting and their chemistry was excellent. Really giving a complete package of a show. The vocals were clear and frontwoman, Briony Featon was an exciting presence on the stage. With light up black angel wings she truly gave the band that little bit of an edge. Their music had a decent atmosphere to it and the songs felt well put together. Their music had this really slick vibe to it. More of an old school rock ’n’ roll format to the songs rather than your typical symphonic metal or power metal sound. The centrepiece of the set for me was a gorgeous ballad that invited imagination and let the band really breathe. In all honesty they really won the crowd over. I did feel that their songs were just bland on a compositional level and that let them down a bit for me. However, I will concede that they were incredibly likeable and they presented themselves really well. I thought they were pretty good and I hope they evolve and grow in the future.

Metaprism

Now for the best band of the day and no, I do not make that statement lightly. Metaprism burst on to the stage with life and excitement. They were probably the “heaviest” band of the day and I feel they were the band with the best set. Their songs were high energy and filled with awesome riffs and well executed solos. Their presence had a sense of command to them. When they were performing, the audience were definitely paying attention. Their set was really an intense atmosphere upon the venue and the contrasting duel vocals of the band really gave them that little bit of an edge. It’s like they took the European standards of this style of music and added the British elements to it to make this sound. They came across a really likable people, they were very genuine and humble on the stage as they tried to get the crowd involved more and more into the set. Their set built up and got slowly better and I was completely enthralled with their set and I immediately rushed to the merch table right after their set was over. Which I guess was a good sign. Yes, this was definitely my favourite band of the day. Everything about them was excellent, from their songs to their personalities. They were an exciting and dynamic band, and I can say for certain that I became a fan.

Serpentyne

British folk-rockers Serpentyne took to the stage with finesse and and grace. This had to be one the most interesting sets of the day. On a pure technical level they were incredible but I really couldn’t get into it. Maybe it just wasn’t my sort of music but there was just certain aspects to their performance that turned me off. However, I did like parts and ideas used in the set. The musicianship was excellent and every instrument was played to an expert level. I also really enjoyed the dancer that was in the crowd it added to the enticement of the band. The music had these really good rock n roll elements mixed with the fantastical folk music to make something truly inventive. All of the songs were character piece with stories of vikings, medieval society and fantasy characters which were rich and engrossing. This really peaked my interest. However after the energetic, high pace set from Metaprism, this set felt a little deflating. Also I felt the vocals were a bit overdone. The singing could have been toned down a little. The set ended on a over of the Game of Thrones theme tune which was really well done for what it was. I like this band but I didn’t love it. They are all incredible musicians and the performance was well done, it just may have not been my type of music.

Temperance

Now for the main event of the evening and the only band that I came to this show with any familiarity. Temperance, are one of those band that just use everything at their disposal to entertain a crowd. Their songs are catchy and their energy are infectious. Other than some tech issues with the microphone they set went down without a hitch. The band blasted through their set with great songs. Coming hot off their third album “The Earth Embraces Us All” the set was a great mixture of all three albums. The crowd was really into it as was I. I mean I put down my notepad and just watched the show. The live production was really good, although the drums were a little loud at times. Also the backing tracks they were using didn’t come through the best at times. Frontwoman, Chiara Tricarico was an engaging presence on stage as was guitarist, Marco Pastorino. You really couldn’t keep your eyes off of them. Also with the sheer technical ability of them they made an impressive show as the final band of the day. They really were the cherry on top of an excellent day.

Words by Mick Birchall
Photos by David Sarah
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Quinphonic Festival 2016

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , on 11th April 2016 by mickbirchy

Wildpath, La-Ventura, Alwaid, Beneath My Sins
The Roadhouse Birmingham, Birmingham (UK)
27th March 2016
Promoted by BIP Medusa

Quinphonic Festival is one of those days that I just love.  The mere concept is great, five exceptional acts each to perform a full headline set.  It’s just great.  I attended the first one last year and had a ball of a time.  With all of the acts bringing their A game to the stage.  So imagine my surprise when I find out that the second edition of festival would take place on my birthday.  All I had was glee.  Getting to some of my favourite acts, such as Wildpath, was one hell of a way to celebrate. Leading up to the festival two acts sadly dropped out, Evenoire and Hydra were replaced with French bands Beneath My Sins and Alwaid.  Then upon arriving to the festival I find out the Dakesis sadly had to pull out as well. Leaving only four bands for the day, with extended setlists.  Luckily there were no more drop-outs or difficulties so the day began.

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Beneath My Sins, previously known as Evolvent, hit the stage. As the first band of the day they have the easiest and the hardest job. Easy, as there are no expectations to live up to yet but it’s a hard job as you are the pace setters for the day. They absolutely nailed it. Even though the live production wasn’t the best as not everything came through clear, I still feel they did a really good job.  Vocalist, Emma Elvaston really grabbed my attention and trust me she had it to the bitter end of their set.  Her vocals were pure and beautiful and there was so much power behind her it was really great to hear.  The band behind her, consisting of Clément Botz and Jonathan Connell on guitars and Boris Devon on the drums, put on a great performance as well. The melodies flowed from them and the the technical work was awesome to watch. They just gelled so well together and made the set feel massive.  The crowd warmed to them almost instantaneously and gave them a great atmosphere to work with.  Always clapping to the beat and giving them heartfelt and well deserved cheers.  The only problem I had with their set was that their live production was a little muddy and unclear here and there and that really was a black spot on what was an otherwise fantastic set. This was a great introduction to them and I look forward to hearing more from them.

https://www.facebook.com/Beneath-My-Sins-132380570453385/
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Clearly one of the big names of the day and with an upcoming UK tour it only made sense for Alwaid to get such a huge reaction.  I first discovered them at Valkyrian Festival in 2014 and I knew I was going to see them again one way or another and I knew they were going to blow minds, and they did.  The crowd was already anticipating the set, I think most of them already knew what was coming.  However no one could’ve predicted such a storm of a set. Alwaid walked on stage like they owned the place and burst into one hell of a set, despite the fact the band had been traveling from France overnight.  Playing massive tunes off of their album Lacus Somniorum such as ‘Hei! Aa-Shanta Nygh!’ and ‘In The Darkness of Daylight’.  The whole set had that it factor that just put them over the top. Every instrument and the vocals came through as clear as crystal and sounded great.  I was too busy rocking out to notice the actual stage performance but from the glimpses I caught, Marie and Max were very much the centre of the show whilst the rest of the band played around them. All of their songs got massive responses, the band had nearly finished when the crowd insisted on one more song, when in fact we got two more. Again showing their popularity. This was one hell of a set and for many the height of the day.

https://www.facebook.com/Alwaid.music/
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After what felt like a long interval, the fourth band of the day La-Ventura hit the stage.  Once again they were absolutely brilliant and their set was quite refreshing.  As they do not play your standard symphonic style metal but rather a more nu-metal/alt rock type sound. This was most welcome to my ears as the bass relentlessly pounded and the guitars roared away.  Singer, Carla Van Huizen descended from the stairs above the stage and performed a corker of a show. The whole thing felt much more casual than the previous two.  As La-Ventura’s sound doesn’t go for that epic flair that the previous sets have done. Instead their songs are much more grounded and hard hitting, just some good old fashioned rocking out was going on.  Again the crowd was into it but clearly burned out by this point it, the cheers were still coming though. However I felt like something was missing from the set, it was almost like there was no real atmosphere which was a bit of a shame.  The band marched on with the set including big songs like ‘White Crow’, ‘Falling Down’ and the big single ‘Song for an Idiot’, this got the crowd going and by the end of the set, the crowd was hooked and so was I. The crowd screamed breathing that missing life into the final songs of the set.  Which relieved me, because I really wanted them to do well. Their performance was great.  They had a great stage presence and brilliant personalities.  They just looked like they were having fun and that’s the most important thing.  I liked this but not as much as the previous two. Still well worth the watch and hope to see them back on UK shores soon.

https://www.facebook.com/La-Ventura-official-bandpage-465553533488503/
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Well, this was the set it was all building up to for me and for many of the day’s patrons. Wildpath are a music lover’s dream. They fun, they have wild and imaginative songs and they can’t be pinned to one genre. You want to know what else? They’re bloody fantastic live as well.  They’re energetic and their set flows so well. Mixing and matching all of their songs to form one glorious super playlist of metal, jazz, funk, rock and overall good music. All encapsulated in the symphonic metal sound. The band just sound and look like they’re having so much fun and I’ve said it before, if the band is having fun then the crowd is more likely to have fun with them. My eyes were glued to the stage for the whole show, there was so much to watch, from the technical skill to the dancing and jumping to the comedy of the band just being themselves on stage. Marjolaine Bernard is a fantastic front woman. Making sure the crowd is involved and happy and singing to absolute perfection. Also, she wished me a happy birthday on stage which totally made my day.  What else can i say but was a fantastic end to an awesome day.

https://www.facebook.com/Wildpath.metal.band/

In summary this was an amazing day with some exceptional performances.  The symphonic metal fans here in the UK are loyal and fun to be around.  You know it’s always going to be a good day.  With Quinphonic Festival 3 around the corner in October of this year I’m sure that will be another day to remember.

Text by Mick Birchall
Photos by Laura “Lorath” Piggford (more pics here)

Quinphonic Festival Announces 2016 Line-Up

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 14th June 2015 by mickbirchy

After the success of this year’s festival, the world’s premier Quintuple header festival returns. ‘The Quinphonic Festival 2’ will feature five outstanding international symphonic / melodic / power / prog metal bands all, playing full one-hour sets. We happily announce the bands that are performing next year:

The enigmatic Evenoire from Italy

http://www.evenoire.it/

https://www.facebook.com/evenoire

 

The wondrous Wildpath from France

http://www.wildpath-music.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Wildpath.metal.band

 

The lavish La Ventura from the Netherlands

http://la-ventura.com/

http://www.facebook.com/LaVenturaNL

 

The hypnotic Hydra from Germany

http://www.hydraofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialHydra

 

The dynamic Dakesis from England

http://www.dakesis.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Dakesis

The day of metal goodness will take place at The Roadhouse in Birmingham, UK on Bank Holiday Sunday, 27th March 2016 from 3pm till 11pm.

Information regarding ticket sales will follow in due course.