Saturday, 14 March 2015

Eclipse Live at the Underworld

Back in May of last year Eclipse came to London for the first time and of course I was in attendance to pay my respects to Erik and co. This latest venture to our shores was a no- brainer really when it came to my attendance as you would suspect since my love for this band is currently endless. Their brand spanking new beast of a record is fresh in the mind still and the lads are here to make hay whilst the going is good. A Tuesday night turn of about 150 or a bit more was probably slightly below par but there's been a lot of gigs lately so people pick and choose I guess. However it's their loss as Eclipse are the real deal when it comes to melodic rock. I was looking forward to a night of pure melodic madness and boy did we get it. Three support bands on the bill so a fair wait before the Swedish kings would take to the stage and usually I prefer two support bands as I find it cuts into the headline slot a little too much.

In any case we had Kinkade, fellow Swede youngsters Reach, Uk hard nuts Tainted Nation to warm us up before the main event listed to start at 9.50pm sharp.

Kinkade is a band I've seen 3 times now. They are like the Underworld house band it seems when it comes to rock gigs here. I haven't heard them on record in the studio version but live they just seem destined forever to be the support band that plays to 10 people at the start of the night. They are not awful by any means and have some decent riffing going on at times. Nice little rock n' roll flavour if you like but it's just mildly entertaining for me and not something I actively look forward to. I always think "oh ok.. Kinkade is playing first ...usual story.." I'll watch it and wait for the other bands..

Next up were a bunch handsome youngsters from Sweden by the name of Reach. I think I've heard one or two songs from these boys on youtube that have yet to penetrate my listening habits. So it proved in the live setting as well. Their songs are ok don't get me wrong but I didn't hear anything special happening. I must point out that the young guitarist is actually really very good with some nice riffs and solos throughout. He has a lot of potential but they need to hone the songs to be a bit sharper. They do have well defined choruses but I guess the delivery of the front man just didn't quite cut the mustard for me. A lot of hope for the future though so we'll see how the band turns out.

Next up were UK heavy rockers Tainted Nation led by the imposing Pete Newdeck. They seemed to have changed bassist since last time as the last guy was a bald dude and now they've got a long haired headbanger in. The "Nation" sounded in fine form as they broke into the first couple of songs from the debut album F.E.A.R before playing a couple of new songs from their yet o be released follow up. I must admit the new songs sounded much meaner and heavier than the earlier songs played whilst still maintaining the melodic aspect that I so enjoyed from the debut. I love the song Your Only Friend from the debut which was duly played before the set ended with the catchy Loser. Looking forward to their new album in the coming months.

And then it was time for the mighty Eclipse to take to the stage and start ramming the front rows with those meaty riffs and magnificent anthems that they possess! Boy did they do just that with an almighty one-two punch to the guts with the opening two cuts from Armageddonize blowing away the crowd with power, precision and most of all melody. Erik sounded mighty and the choruses just went right through you especially on Stand On Your Feet with it's hammering pounder of a riff shaking the ground beneath our feet. Oh of course the guys didn't rest there, this was just the start of the melodic madness.

The songs continued to flow thick and fast with lots of grinning from Erik and geeing up of the front rows. They concentrated on their two latest albums of course with in fact most of the new album being aired as well as choice cuts from Bleed and Scream. How to Mend a Broken Heart from Are You Ready To Rock was a bone-fide high point before the band settled into playing the newer songs as powerfully as possible and for a one guitar band they didn't half create a mean sound. Guitarist Magnus is an understated lead player but he drags out every lick and note with as much emotion as possible.

Eclipse is a band you have to witness from the front row which is something I've done twice now. This show was a little short at only 60 minutes but they left you wanting more and and isn't that always a good thing? The first time I saw them it was good but the second time blew it away completely. This band deserves to be seriously huge, though whether they'll make it big is pretty doubtful but as long as they keep making albums like Armageddonize the diehards will keep supporting. Make no mistake - this band is energised melodic rock at it's very very best!

I Don't Wanna Say I'm Sorry
Stand On Your Feet
Wake Me Up
The Storm
About to Break
Blood Enemies
Wide Open
To Mend a Broken Heart
Bleed & Scream
All Died Young

Breaking My Heart Again

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