Thursday, 30 December 2010

SoulSteal - 29 Dec 2010 (Tepee - Limassol, CY)

It's funny how sometimes other bands introduce you to other bands in the most unusual ways. Well this time thanks to Amorphis I got introduced to this Doom/Death Metal band from Cyprus. I am aware that Cyprus is not really famous for its metal bands but bear with me for a second. Having an important experience on everything that has to do with Cypriot culture and its people I can tell you that, when one of them decides to do something, he will do it in the best possible way. This is the case for Socrates Ioannou(Guitar&Vocals) who drove this band from its creation in 2001 to being one of the most respected bands in the Cypriot Metal scene. With one album in their catalogue Soulsteal got on stage at what is, to me at least, one of the best metal venues in Cyprus. The set-list included a mixture of covers and originals which honestly blended really well between them. The compositions of the band really manage to give out a dark and gloomy feeling that every doom metal fan will enjoy while the influences from bands such as Katatonia, Anathema and My Dying Bride are quite strong, but still there is this little touch by these guys that makes it different and unique. The vocals of Socrates are amazingly powerful on the dark parts and really stand out with their clarity on the clean parts. Despite the line up troubles that the band went through during this past week the gig was well executed and the crowd seemed to enjoy the totality of the set. The crowd here in Cyprus is quite different that the crowd in the UK but the intensity and the love for metal is still well felt in the atmosphere. To sum it up: a very good gig from Soulsteal and a very good atmosphere in general. The ball-grabbing factor was lacking a little bit but I'm sure it will come with bigger crowds and more on-stage confidence. If you are a fan of Katatonia and such bands you should definitely check out Soulsteal's myspace page and judge for yourself and who knows maybe one day we will have them over in the UK. 

SoulSteal: 8/10

Posted by Nick

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

101% Pantera - 5 Dec 2010 (Purple Turtle)

I was, unfortunately, born in this world too late. Too late to witness the amazing band that Pantera has been, live. Growing up as a teenager Pantera and Dimebag Darrell were a huge inspiration for me and I soon came to realise that this was the case for so many others within the metal community and not only. Generally cover bands don’t really get me excited and I have to admit that I’m guilty of not really attending any of these shows. However last night was different. I can openly say that 101% Pantera is the closest thing to Pantera you can get at the moment within the UK. This band is made up by an impressive selection of musicians including Chris Jones from Voodoo Six, which was absent last night due to the Voodoo Six tour and replaced by Aaron Waddingham from Man of Kin, Boris Le Gal, current drummer for London’s power metallers NeonFly, Dylan Cooper on bass and Patrick Reily on vocals.  Quite impressive don’t you think? Of course with a line up like this the result can only be extremely good. Well, it was unbelievably good. The band came up on stage and delivered a set, that lasted for a bit more than an hour, including a vast majority of songs from all of the Pantera albums. The band kicked in with an aggressive 5 Minutes Alone and despite the sound issues that came up, especially with Patrick’s microphone, the band kept the crowd and the venue in general, under their control. This cover band is really bringing out all the energy and raw power that any Pantera song carries within it and that energy is directly transmitted to the crowd which was just ecstatic during the totality of the set. In general the band is really giving out everything they have and trust me they have a lot to give so if you are wondering on what to do during the next few days you might want to check out the tour dates of the band since they are actually touring the UK in commemoration of Dimebag’s death.
Also don’t forget that tomorrow (Wednesday 8th of December) is the 6th year anniversary of Dimebag’s death so make sure to wear your Pantera t-shirt and to start your day with Cowboys from Hell!

101% Pantera: 10/10 

Posted by Nick 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Soilwork - All that Remains - 30 Nov 2010 (Electric Ballroom)

I haven’t attended a gig at the Electric Ballroom in about 3 years now and the memory that I had of that venue wasn’t the best, so I was kind of worried about tonight’s gig. I stepped in the venue as soon as Caliban started their set and my fears were instantly gone. The sound wasn’t as bad as I remembered and the venue looked much bigger as well. As for Caliban: last time I saw this band was in 2006 and I have to say that, back then, I left the gig very impressed by the atmosphere and the energy of the band. Well all I have to say is: it got even better! The band was dominating the stage tonight and was very confident during the whole set. They even performed a cover of Sonne by Rammstein, that is due to be released on a compilation album very soon as Andreas Dörner(Vocals) explained. Caliban also performed various tracks from their older albums as well as tracks from their latest album Say Hello to Tragedy, such as 24 Years which concluded the set for this German band. Next on stage were Soilwork. The band started off with the opening track on their latest album The Panic Broadcast, Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter, and just took the whole venue with them. The public responded very positively to the energy that the band was giving out and the pit got aggressive at certain points, and especially when Nerve came on. The relatively new "recruit" of Soilwork Sylvain Coudret(Guitar) blew me away since he was amazing during his lead parts showcasing a huge technical ability and an amazing sound and tone. On the other end of the stage Peter Wichers(Guitar), who re-joined the band some time between 2008 and 2009, really brought in some very melodic and perfectly executed solos. The tracks from the new album really seemed to drive the public into some sort of "mayhem constructed by people running in a formation that took a somehow cylindrical shape" commonly known as Circle Pits. Songs such as Two Lives Worth of Reckoning or Stabbing the Drama, which also concluded the set, really made the crowd go crazy. Stabbing the Drama was also the perfect occasion for a sing along between Bjorn “Speed” Strid(Vocals) and the crowd! Last on stage, but not least, the all mighty American metallers All That Remains. This band has a very unique energy that is present every time they play live. The band is in Europe to promote their new album For We Are Many and a few songs were performed tonight from this album such as Hold On and Some of the People, All of the Time. Classic songs such as The Air That I Breath and This Calling where also included in the set list with This Calling creating a big wave of excitement among the crowd and a very loud sing along. Oli Herbert(Guitar) really impressed me too since by seeing him live I realised that he is an amazing shredder and the solos he delivered during the gig were just mind-blowing. It is very clear to me that All that Remains is a very tight band and that they have worked very hard to get where they are and I think that this time they are on their way to the top.

All that Remains: 18/20
Soilwork: 18/20
Caliban: 17/20

Posted by Nick