Thursday, 15 November 2012

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody Live

Finally the last night of my week long metal party saw the debut London headline show of the newly established Luca Turilli's version of Rhapsody with support from three Euro power metal bands.

First up were fellow Italians Vexillum. Their album is ok but I'm not a fan of the singer as he's a bit too whiny. Their songs are not all that catchy for me either though they do have their moments. They actually performed pretty well in their allotted 30 minutes and warmed up the early 50-60 diehards before the full 350 or so crowd turned up later on which is not too bad for a Monday night and with so many other gigs around as well.

Next up were Orden Ogan and they sure as hell went down a treat. Their new album smokes and live they really brought some great powerful melodic metal to the slowly filling out crowd. The singer had a lower register voice and sounded in fine form. They played a very enjoyable set including plenty of new tunes and also memorable tunes like We Are Pirates from the previous album. Really enjoyable set from these guys.

Next we had veteran German happy metallers Freedom Call. The sound was absolutely fantastic for their set. The guitars were thick and crisp with Chris Bay's happy high vocals ringing out loud and clear. Their latest album Land of the Crimson Dawn is a mixed affair for me but has enough good songs to be an enjoyable album overall. I must admit I am not a big enough fan to know their songs instantly but they are so easy to latch on to in any case whether you remember them instantly or not. They went down very well but I far preferred Orden Ogan to them in the end.

Finally it was the turn for Luca's incarnation of Rhapsody to bowl us over with their symphonic power metal. I had been looking forward to this show since I got the ticket back in the summer and to be honest it was a long time coming. They took to the stage at 9.20pm and took their final bow at 11pm although this did include solo spots and time spent for a couple of encores. They also had some tech issues with the tape playback at one point but it was a minor thing. New vocalist Alessandro Conti was pretty damn amazing and he was helped along with the female singer whose operatic vocals were perfect. They played most of the new album and they were played at breakneck speed.

I was pleasantly surprised that they played two songs from Luca's solo albums namely Demonheart and Village of Dwarves which both went down a storm with the crowd. Later on an acoustic song was played which was a nice change of pace from the frenetic stuff before they soon returned to the classic fast songs such as Emerald Sword. Overall I can have little room for complaint apart from the usual set list type complaints that everyone has. I'm just glad that I managed to see this version of Rhapsody at least and if possible I'd like to see Rhapsody of Fire one day to see how they compare with Luca's version. A very enjoyable night of cheesy power metal shenanegins indeed!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Sabaton Live

I've completed my marathon gigging week at last. God my poor ears! It was worth it though as I enjoyed each and everyone of the gigs and finally got to see Rhapsody or at least Luca's version last night.

On Friday however I saw the Sabaton war machine again. They just don't know how to disappoint live do they! They are a complete riot. The new songs sound amazing. They sang plenty of new songs and loads of old ones too. Thet are getting very popular and whilst Kamelot's attendance at the same venue was very lacklustre indeed Sabaton damn near sold the place out so easily more than a 1000 punters. It seems just about every metalhead loves Sabaton be they powerheads or thrash and death metallers and even some black metallers. They are united under the Sabaton flag of true metal. First up on the night were Hungarians Wisdom. They were awesome let me tell you. The singer has an amazing live voice too. Great cover of Maiden's wasted years too.

Eluveitie are a good band with a whole lot of members on stage but their folky melodic death went down really well with the fans. I enjoyed it but didn't love it. I liked the bouncy folky flute playing and the lady violinist's head banging style. Its funny head-banging with a violin in your hand!

Sabaton as I already said slayed. Joakim is just a ball of energy going here there and everywhere as well as the ever smiling bassman Per. The new members made a seamless contribution and did not hinder the concert in any way shape or form although they were unfamiliar faces of course, but musically they were on a par with the departed members. I don't think this was the best Sabaton gig I have ever seen but since it included the Carolus Rex tunes then it was well worth attending and I will continue to attend their shows. Only low point of the night was quite a few drunk foreigners being a bit stupid down the front. There was a lot of pushing and shoving which made viewing rather difficult but hey I'll get over it. Sabaton is a popular band these days that attracts young, old and the crazy inbetween!