Power of Metal.dk Live Review

Location: Boston Arms Music Room, London, England
25 March, 2013

 Serenity, Visions of Atlantis, Souldrinker


If its walls could speak, I’m sure they’d have several tales of Metal debauchery to tell. I am in fact told that over the years, the Boston Arms Music Rooms have hosted gigs by the like of D.R.I., Paradise Lost, Godflesh and Cradle Of Filth.

Anyway tonight the venue hosts Serenity, supported by Visions of Atlantis and Souldrinker. As the audience trickles in, the main demographics roughly seem to be female fans and middle-aged male fans. I found the latter more surprising. Hey, there might be some pedantic statisticians amongst you readers…..I have to think of their needs too! 

As for the rest of you, here’s how it all went…..

Souldrinker   (www.souldrinker.org)

It’s funny how events sometimes take an entirely unexpected path. Case in point was my plan to immerse myself into the performance of German band Souldrinker. As the band finished its soundcheck, I noticed they were struggling to find a place to position their camcorder. Instinctively I offered to help out and was subsequently promoted to the role of official cameraman (truth be told I’ve just invented that title). This might explain the absence of Souldrinker live photos with this review.

But what of the band’s performance? Well, unlike Serenity and Visions Of Atlantis, Souldrinker’s sound has a Classic Metal vibe to it. It’s sort of the Metal equivalent of a barrel of whisky whose aged texture enhances its taste and warms your soul (pun intended!). Harsh male vocals, blistering guitar solos (courtesy of Mystic Prophecy’s Markus Pohl) and some nifty double-bass pedal drumming ensured the audience’s attention. But it was the voice of frontwoman Iris Boanta, who also sings in The Mystery, that dominated the songs and the band’s show.

As if to emphasise from where their music was coming (as well as saluting the country they were performing in), Souldrinker ended their set with a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Nightcrawler’. All in all, quite an enjoyable performance.

The Rising Tide (Intro)
Burn The Pact
Damn The Machine
To All That Is Lost
Sixteen Men Of Tain

RATING: 84/100

Visions Of Atlantis   ( www.facebook.com/visionsofatlantisofficial )

Tonight was doubtlessly a special one for Visions Of Atlantis, being the day the band officially releases their new album “Ethera” on which most of the set was understandably focused. Surprisingly enough, the songs from this new album translated quite well to a live scenario.

From a fan/audience point of view, line-ups have become a confusing matter with this Austrian band – Greek (male) vocalist Babis Nikou is filling in for regular vocalist Mario Plank for this tour but I’m not sure I recognised the guy behind the drum kit. Moreover, samples were used instead of a flesh and blood bass guitarist. In a way you have to admire the band’s determination to soldier on whenever a member becomes unavailable.

Babis proved to have a great voice and was a positive asset for the band during the gig. Maxi Nil, Babis’ female counterpart, didn’t waste any opportunity to involve the audience and bring the venue alive.

From the set-list that reproposed the band’s fast-expanding back catalogue, I felt that the more uptempo numbers seemed to work best. As often happens with any live gig, the second half of VOA’s set was tighter and more spot-on, apart from some minor mistakes from guitarist Chris Tian. Definitely worth checking out if they come to a venue near you.

Intro + The Ark
New Dawn
Vicious Circle
Seven Seas
Burden Of Divinity
Elegy Of Existence
At The Back Of Beyond
Passing Dead End

RATING: 84/100

Serenity   ( http://www.serenity-band.com )

I’d already known that Serenity were a decent Melodic Power Metal band but tonight they simply blew me away. Like Visions Of Atlantis before them, the members appeared very young but they had the audience in their grips like seasoned pros do.

Also Serenity have a brand new album to showcase and it’s called “War Of Ages”, which a good part of the audience already seemed familiar with. Judging from how ‘Heavenly Mission’ and ‘The Chevalier’ were received, “Death & Legacy” of 2011 seems to be the fans’ favourite Serenity album right now even though I believe “War Of Ages” has the potential to widen the band’s appeal.

Some humourous banter between the audience and male vocalist Georg Neuhauser was priceless in building a strong band/audience rapport. There wasn’t really anything negative I can say about Serenity’s performance but the climax seemed to be when the song ‘Fairytales’ came on. That was when the audience literally took over and sang the lyrics in unison while an emotional Georg struggled to keep back his tears. Anyone still wondering why the band recently recruited vocalist Clementine Delauney to share lead vocal duties, had their answer when she sang her verses in ‘Fairytales’. As far as Georg is concerned, tonight’s performance proved that he’s one of the best singers around in this music genre.

I’m a fan of Metal in all its forms, even Death Metal, Grindcore and Black Metal finds its way into my MP3 player. And yet, despite their mainstream appeal, I have to concede that Serenity are currently top of their genre.

Age Of Glory
Far From Home
Coldness Kills
The Matricide
For Freedom’s Sake
Rust Of Coming Ages
When Canvas Starts To Burn
Reduced To Nothingness
Heavenly Mission
Wings Of Madness
The Chevalier
Engraved Within
Serenade Of Flames 

RATING: 98/100

Attending: Chris Galea