Monday, 26 May 2014

Eden's Curse Live at the Underworld

First time with the 'Curse and what better place to break that duck than the Underworld in Camden. Sure it's a Sunday night and the turnout could have been more but heck it felt like a Saturday anyway what with it being a bank holiday so no work today thankfully. Eden's Curse is a band I've followed since the very beginning and I was looking forward to seeing them go through their live paces and they sure as hell delivered but more of that later.

First we had two support bands to get through and by heck they were both really good. But I already knew that was going to be the case anyway. First up were melodic power/thrashers Dendera who I saw last year and whose album Killing Floor is a really cool classic metal album. The singer has a serious set of pipes on him that's for sure and lets out some awesome wails here and there. The band plays a galloping form of power and thrash mix. Sometimes they remind me of Maiden of course and then other times a mix between Metallica and Megadeth. Their songwriting is really solid with awesome choruses like Senlac Hill which happens to be their best tune. They also aired a brand new song called In High Tide which bodes very well for their next album. A great start for those who bothered to come early enough which would only have been about 50 or so.

Next up were Tainted Nation which feels like a modern take on Eden's Curse and is basically an offshoot band of ex Curse drummer Pete Newdeck. Their album which came out last year now was easily one of my favourite albums from last year. It rocked so hard and had hummable choruses galore but still had an edge and heaviness that took it away from the 80s or classic AOR scene. The band overcame some technical gremlins with Pete's mic last night to deliver a fantastic and sharp 40 minute set and got a great response from the filled out Sunday night crowd. Most of the album was aired in their allotted time although oddly enough my fave track Hell is a Lie managed to escape their memory hehe and they never played it. What we did get was a real rock and roll show with Pete prancing round the stage like a total loon at times. Sure his look is rather odd for a band fronting a classic albeit modern rock band but the man's enthusiasm is infectious and you're soon taken along for the ride with his raucous delivery and boisterous stage antics. Tainted Nation really rocked the house out and I really look forward to hearing their next album.

Finally at 9.20 sharp it was time to get my first live dose of the 'Curse and boy what a performance they put on. New singer Nikola Mijic is almost perfect for the band and is a real livewire around the stage. He gets the crowd geed up when necessary and then lets his vocals cut loose when the song calls for it. They played a sprinkling of songs from all their albums with all tried and tested favourites present and correct. I loved the songs from Trinity best but I also loved the new songs. There wasn't really a lull anywhere in their set to be found. Lefty guitarist Thorsten pulls out some awesome melodic riffs and then shreds his shiny white axe when he gets his solo spot. Bassist Paul Logue and new drummer John Clelland hold it all together with a thumping percussive backing whilst keyboardist Steve Williams provides ample colour and shade to the proceedings. Although I must admit it was sometimes hard to hear him over the PA's guitar and bass heavy sound mix.

The band played for a long time and definitely gave the 200 strong crowd their money's worth that's for sure and it was close to 11pm before their set ended. I must mention two guest singers on stage. Pete Newdeck appeared to sing a very energetic number with Nikola as did Doogie White who sang LaBrie's parts in No Holy Man which was actually one of the songs of the night. During Evil and Divine the beautiful blond temptress that appears in the video actually came on stage and did her bit which was a nice touch to add a little drama to that song as in the video. The live Eden's Curse experience was definitely a favourable one with the band on tip top form throughout and with a great and energetic front man who didn't put a single foot wrong. I must admit I had doubts about the new guy but his voice is perfectly suited to the band and hopefully he will stay in the band a long time now.

What a fantastic night of melodic metal with three great bands for a bargain price and to top it all off we have the day off afterwards. Now that can't be bad can it!


Tainted Nation

Eden's Curse

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Eclipse and H.E.A.T Live this week.

My poor ears have taken a right royal pounding this week!

On Wednesday I saw Eclipse for the first time at the Underworld. There were 3 support bands which was a bit much to be honest. The best of the three was Envy Assured who play modern melodic metal with choppy melodic riffs with both clean and screamed vocal parts. The other two were a bit amateurish to my ears. They were Kinkade and Parkway in case you're interested. Parkway had two young ladies in the band. The young lass on bass was gorgeous if you ask me. Kinkade sounded like an average pub rock band pretty much.

It all meant a slightly shorter time on stage for the Swedes but anyway they really tore it up in their allotted 60 minutes though it should have been a bit longer as they did take to the stage about 15 minutes late. Anyway they soon unleashed a massive wall of crunchy melodic rock for the fans to enjoy and bang their fists too. Erik is a ball of fire and tears around the stage like a lunatic and Magnus rips out riffs and solos like there's no tomorrow. The sound was huge and the turnout was decent for a midweek slot. Probably around 250-300.

The boys played all their best songs from the two brilliant recent albums. Bitter Taste stuck out most with it's slow burning anthemic feel with a great vocal from Erik. Erik actually didn't play guitar so he was free to cut loose on his vocals which he did do in his best fashion. He got the crowd pumped up big time as well with his energetic stage antics. The star of the show however was the guitarist Magnus. The guy rips killer chops from his axe make no mistake. The volume was a bit too loud and rendered a couple of songs almost unrecognisable at first which was a shame but gigs at the Underworld normally have excellent sound and this was no exception really.

Every song was well received and sung along to by the front rows and more. Great gig, with lots of energy and good to finally see them live.

Last night was the turn of fellow Swedes HEAT and they near enough tore the roof off of the Garage. The crowd was near enough packed out. Probably close to 600 or more I would guess. HEAT is getting proper big these days and I think it's all down to Erik Gronwall. If Kenny was still in the band they'd still be a small AOR band playing to a 100 people or so I reckon. I have been very strong in my criticism of the new album in amongst almost everyone else gushing and blowing their loads over it but even I have to admit that these guys are a real live tornado on stage.

They bring it live and then some and it's all down to Erik if I'm honest. They guy's enthusiasm is just something else and his sweat blood for the cause attitude really paid off for the boys. Musically they've long left AOR behind and moved to a hard hitting type of modern melodic rock that reminds me of Hardcore Superstar somewhat. Erik has a tendency to scream a lot of the lines which takes away some of the finesse of the songs but the volume was so ball bustingly loud last night that you have to scream to be heard that's for sure!

The two support bands for HEAT were both pretty good by the way. UK's New Device I have known for some time and they rock and have a very cool singer with very cool melodic songs. Unfortunately I missed about half their set due to miscalculating the stage times. I thought they would start at 7pm but it was actually 6.45. Supercharger from Denmark I didn't know but they were quite fun indeed. Their set started a little late which in turn cut in HEAT's set by about 15 minutes. Anyway Supercharger were rock n roll metal basically and a little bit like Status Quo mixed with Volbeat. Good warm up act and they got a decent response from a crowd who by and large had never heard a note from the band.

Soon enough the huge crowd was at fever pitch and getting very pumped as the intro song The Heat Is On played over the PA before the band took their positions and tore straight into Point of No Return. The HEAT boys played for about 75 minutes with no encore as there were a few technical gremlins but it flew past very quickly indeed although I must admit I was lagging by the end of the set! I'm an old man you know! They concentrated on their latest two albums with only a couple of forays into earlier material. Keep on Dreaming from the first album would have been nice guys. But the new songs were super powerful and hard hitting in the live setting which took the band towards metal territory rather than hard rock. Special mention of the song In and Out of Trouble which saw Herman Li take to the severyone's surprise. I think Herman likes the band and they toured together before If I'm not wrong. Very cool version of a great song it must be said.

Basically I recommend going to see HEAT just to see Erik tear the place up with his one man screaming wrecking machine act. That young man is like an Inferno all in himself to use a title of a HEAT song.In fact this week both Erik's tore the place up! Swedes rule hard when it comes to rocking hard and partying like there's no tomorrow!



Envy Assured


New Device