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Metal Female Voices Fest 2013 - Saturday | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

Metal Female Voices Fest 2013 - Saturday

 Betyg

Review3174_Kobra_and_the_lotus

Saturday kicked off the main part of the festival (Friday is included with VIP tickets but extra with standard). First up were a band I've been wanting to see for a while, Dutch band Magion. They'd chosen today to release their new album (A Different Shade Of Darkness), and judging by how well their set went down, I suspect they sold plenty of copies at the merchandise stand. Magion play some great symphonic metal, and Myrthe van Beest has a great voice, and I certainly enjoyed their set. A great start to the day.

Next up were Azylya, a Belgian band I've seen a couple of times, the first being in the UK at the Dames of Darkness festival earlier this year. They've got a very visual/theatrical style with masked dancers and some flaming torches, and this does work very well when combined with a great musical performance. They combine lovely female vocals from Jamie Lee Smit with male growling vocals and go down very well

Victorians were next up. Sadly I missed most of their set due to other commitments but managed to catch a couple of songs which were very impressive. The Gothic vampire imagery in the lyrics works and symphonic metal works very well and they put in a great performance.

Imperia were next up. I've seen them perform in tiny venues in London, but this was my first time seeing them on a large stage. It was very clear that the band were enjoying it - singer Helena Irene Michaelsen in particular seemed almost overwhelmed by the great reception that the large crowd gave them. She has a great voice and puts in a superb performance, with the only disappoiintment for me being that the set length meant they couldnt fit in all the songs I'd have liked to hear - "Mordor" in particular being a track I'd have loved to hear included.

Serenity were next up. They were a surprise addition to the bill as until fairly recently they only had a male singer with guest female singers being brought in for tours, but now they have Clementine Delanuey as a permanent female singer then they fit the criteria for the festival. Both Clementine and Georg Neuhauser are great singers, and also great performers, and put in a performance that went down well with the crowd.

Chaostar were up next. I ahve to be honest and say that they were the only band I didn't really enjoy over the weekend. What they played sounded very good, but there was something lacking. With each song I thought "this is an excellent introduction" and waited for the metal element to kick in, and each time I was disappointed as it turned out to be not an intro but the actual song. As a result they just didn't live up to the high standards set by other bands and felt flat and disappointing. I supect though that listening to them on CD would be a more enjoyable experience.

Kobra and the lotus soon got the place rocking again though. The young Canadian band are one of the hardest working bands around and are constantly touring, and as a result play superbly well together. Their experience on large festival stages shows as they make full use of the space as they belt out their brand of metal with songs such as "No rest for the wicked". A very enjoyable performance and one that was definitely needed to wake the crowd up after Chaostar.

Next up was originally due to be Visions of Atlantis but as they had to cancel a week before the festival, the organisers had found a late repalcement, Dutch band Asrai. While it was disappointing to miss out on VoA, Asrai are a band I've seen before and was more than pleased to see again. From watching them you wouldnt have known how little time they'd had to prepare for the festival as they put in a great performance.

Kontrust were up next. I wasn't really looking forward to them as I'd been unimpressed by the couple of tracks I'd heard from them, but I have to say that they managed to win me over and to do it very quickly. They have a real sense of fun about them that you get with bands such as Diablo Swing Orchestra or Gogol Bordello, and their energetic and crazy performance just added to that sense of fun. They got people dancing and having a great time, and thoroughly deserved their place so high up on the bill.

Leaves Eyes were up next. They've played MFVF a number of times, so people knew what to expect in terms of performance. What we weren't expecting though was to hear five songs from the forthcoming album (Symphonies of the night). The new material sounded great live, so I'm looking forward to hearing the album. A typically strong performance from Leaves Eyes.

Delain were next. They've grown significantly over the last few years and watching them tonight it's clear why - they just get better and better every time I see them. Charlotte Wessels has a beautiful voice and is great at working the crowd, and the rest of the band are top class and they all look to be having a great time on stage. A Delain performance alone would have been great, but tonight they had something very special for us in the form of a special guest - Within Temptation singer Sharon Den Adel who did a duet with Charlotte on ’No Compliance’ and then Sharon remained on stage and a grand piano was suddenly wheeled out which Martijn played to accompany Sharon on the Within Temptation classic ’Restless’. It was a superb performance by Delain and the addition of Sharon Den Adel just made it even better - a fantastic set.

Lacuna coil had the tough job of following Delain. Having headlined last year then they had to do something special to justify their repeat booking, and indeed they did - rather than playing their standard set they played "Karmacode" in it's entirety - I believe that was the first time they've ever done that, so it was a real treat. The two singers, Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro are hyperactive and are constantly racing around the stage or bouncing up and down - I felt exhausted just watching their highly energetic performance. An encore of ’Heaven’s A Lie’ and ’Spellbound’ was a great way to end a fantastic day of music.

You can view photos from the festival here - http://www.festivalphoto.net/pictures&festivalID=1371&festival=metal-female-voices-fest-2013#.UngncxCPPIY

Review3174_Delain

Writer: Anthony May
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