THE festival for women in metal starts with unique performances – day 1.
Metal Female Voices Fest 2013 starts with a special performance of Liv Kristine, who will be playing with Leaves’Eyes again on Saturday. For her single performance she has not her whole band with her. In front of the stage, there already are a lot of people – Oktoberhallen about a half filled. She performances many songs from her album “Skintight” like ‘Trapped in your labyrinthe’ or ‘Fake a smile’. For the old Theatre Of Tragedy fans she also performs some songs of her old band like ‘Image’ and – as highlight and final song – ‘A distance there is’.
One of the first successes of the female singers community EVE’S APPLE was their performance at last year’s Metal Female Voices Fest, but this time it’s much, much bigger! Bigger, stronger and more impressive – a mix of covers, that make a party, you wouldn’t want to miss. The first unforgettable song is ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ (THE WHO) sung by TRISTANIA’s Mariangela Demurtas, DELAIN’s Charlotte Wessels and VISIONS OF ATLATIS’ Maxi Nil. Furthermore they bring some great action on stage with ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ (SCORPIONS), ‘Stargazer” (RAINBOW) – which was performed beautifully by Marcela Bovio and Kassandra Novell – among other rocking hits like ALICE COOPER’s ‘Poison’ and QUEEN’s ‘The Show Must Go On’. They also pay tribute to Janis Joplin’s ‘Mercedes Benz’ (Maxi Nil, Aylin Gomez, Mariangela Demurtas and Charlotte Wessels). For the great final all the apples come together on stage to sing WARLOCK’s ‘All We Are’ – a homage to female fronted metal. To the sound of ‘Without Love’ the Friday leads to an end. Eve’s Apple did a phantastic job – much better than last year. The party must go on. See you tomorrow!
Day 2: back to Oktoberhallen!
After a night without sleep (nearly) most of the audience arrives at Oktoberhallen by bus for the first gig of the day: MAGION. They start with a song from their new album and the half full hall reacts well. Myrthe looks happy after her pregnancy – she gave birth to her child only a few weeks ago. All the band members communicate well with the audience and the fans clap their hands and show the metal horns. With ‘Neverending winter’ MAGION play another new song. A good start into day number 2!
IMPERIA’s Helena Michaelsen enters the stage in a fetish dress: long, black, lacquer and long gloves. Compared to the bands before, IMPERIA don’t perform very well. Helena’s voice is either too heavy or too soft. But one can see that the band likes to be on stage and their fans have a nice party to songs like ‘Mirror’.
The first band of the day to really get the crowd moving is SERENITY. The advantage may be the fact, that they have two high class singers: Georg Neuhauser and Clémentine Delauney combine voices in a very powerful way. The energy onstage is strong and the choir effect of the instrumentalists’ backing vocals makes their performance even more enjoyable. Nobody expected it to be any other way, as fans comment in the festival’s VIP area: “SERENITY’s gigs are always amazing!” A special highlight is DELAIN-singer Charlotte Wessels’s appearance, for ‘Serenade Of Flames’.
On our way out to catch some of the rare autumn sun we witness an impressive entrance: CHAOSTAR bring some dubstep into the hall, accompanied by a soundless violin. But after that it’s not any heavy metal music we hear, as expected: singer Androniki Skoula and her dreadlocks enter the stage and she starts singing what appears to be some kind of ambient music. Back in the VIP area we encounter a lot of people, who miss this show – “because boring”.
Much more interesting is KOBRA & THE LOTUS. Their singer Kobra Paige has really impressive presence and is decorated with some Native American details like a dream catcher. Really beautiful! The place in front of the stage is filled out now and the audience has a great party. Kobra runs from one side of the stage to the other and her band members also have a good time – you can see that! The special voice makes songs like ‘Heaven’s veins’ to an imposing and also rocking piece of art. The next highlight of the day!
The whole energy explodes as KONTRUST enter the stage. These guys don’t know any limits; they just do what they want. With two singers, they catch the audience very quickly, starting with ‘On the run’. By the time ‘Adrenalin’ comes up, they won the rest of the audience that claps and shows the horns. Right in the middle of the gig they play ‘Hey DJ’ dedicated to all the DJs in the area – and everyone who wants to headbang. It is a really cool gig from Austrian band KONTRUST. If you haven’t already; check them out!
After taking the last bit of Liv Kristine’s time for our interview, she joins LEAVES’ EYES right on time to go on stage and rock the audience’s socks off. For the first time this year the venue is really full and everybody is jumping and singing unforgettable songs like ‘Take The Devil In Me’ and their party song ‘Melusine’. We get to listen to some songs of their upcoming album “Symphonies Of The Night”, like the title track, which is strong, dark and heavy. We’re looking forward to its release in November, for the record promises to be a great mixture of the past LEAVES’ EYES albums. The band was surely keeping the best for last: ‘Froya’s Theme’ completes the one-hour-show with a romantic and theatrical performance from spouses Liv and Alexander Krull.
Up next are DELAIN and they start a show full of fire – literally and figuratively – performing a great mix of new and old songs. Unfortunately for us fans, Charlotte doesn’t really deliver like we are used to, allowing her beautiful voice to get nasal and squeaky. After some oldies like ‘The Gathering’ and ‘Pristine’, the already announced special guest arrives on stage. WITHIN TEMPTATION’s Sharon den Adel steps on this stage for the first time ever and moves the audience with her part of the (now duet) ‘No Compliance’. Remembering old WT-times Martijn Westerholt und Sharon play ‘Restless’ together, after which I cannot listen to DELAIN anymore, in order not to ruin the feeling of awe.
LACUNA COIL are named the gods of the day! With an amazing performance of their “Karmacode”, they deliver an amazing show, strong as always. For this special part of their show, they even wear the corresponding stage outfits, surely a travel in time, for them as much as for the fans. Their classic cover ‘Enjoy The Silence’ gets the crowd singing and jumping. ‘Our Truth’, ‘Trip The Darkness’ and ‘Spellbound’ just complete an awesome show full of “dark adrenaline” that sadly has to come to an end. And leaves some really big shoes to fill for the next and last day of Metal Female Voices Fest.
Day 3: the best of the best of female fronted metal.
It’s already Sunday. The band schedule allows us to sleep a little bit longer but still everybody in front or behind the stage is looking tired. L’ENDEVI with their front girl try to wake up the crowd with some growling from time to time – but the rest of the music is very sluggish. Also the performance is not sweeping so the impression of L’ENDEVI is a little bit stale.
The next act is very beautiful: DALRIADA from Hungary. Their singer Laura is dressed up with cut-out leggings and a white blouse with wide sleeves – perfectly fitting her long blonde hair which she likes to shake. Almost all the rest of the band is also wearing black trousers and white shirts. DALRIADA sing in their native language and celebrate folk metal with influences from their home country. The crowd is partying a lot and there are also some fans in the audience who are able to sing the lyrics. Especially Laura is jumping around on stage. You really can see the band is having a lot of fun.
ELEANOR call themselves a melancholic gothic metal band, but in fact with the singer’s colorful traditional dress they make the audience smile. The Japanese band is really touched by its own music – singer and background singer keep dancing all the time. Both of them have deep pleasant voices. As a special instrument they also use a tambourine. A really heart-warming gig from ELEANOR! Side notice: They gave pocket tissues to the audience before. Cool idea, but no one needed them because this gig just made everyone happy. Unfortunately, they finished ten minutes earlier than needed.
Now the zombies enter the stage: The boys from CADAVERIA have pale painted faces and they are all dressed up in black. The singer is wearing leggings and a beautiful black corset. Musically they sound like newer FLOWING TEARS especially on stage because there are many growls in the songs. But also warm deep clean vocals. The performance looks very professional and even if many people in the audience prefer opera metal CADAVERIA are celebrated.
When the time for STREAM OF PASSION finally arrives, last year’s performance comes to mind. Sadly, this time it is not as good. Even though front-woman Marcela Bovio delivers a clean, powerful performance, which impresses everybody around, the energy on stage just doesn’t keep up. Apart from a very romantic moment between the singer and her husband – bassist Johann van Stratum – during ‘Passion’, the show goes on rather tedious. In-between songs the band members express their gratitude towards their fans for the success of their crowd-funding campaign.
It was about time that ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN stepped on this stage and no expectation could ever be high enough for her. The whole band projects a great energy towards the crowd, but Anneke is a fireball! Even the slower THE GATHERING-classic ‘Saturnine’ spreads lots of adrenaline. The newer songs turns the whole venue into a big, upbeat party, stopping only for little breaks full of pure emotion like ‘Broken Glass’. The audience gets to watch Anneke dance and enjoy her performance of more of her solo work, only to give way to the big final ‘Strange Machines’, leaving a happy, headbanging crowd ready for REVAMP.
All eyes are on the stage right now, and directly focused on Floor Jansen. She is not only literally, physically huge, she has a gigantic presence on stage. For ‘Head Up High’ she alternates some dirty rock singing with her operatic voice as if it were as easy as talking. To put it in a sentence and quote a fan in the crowd: “This bitch rules! She blows EVERYONE away!” And that’s it: The crowd does whatever Floor wants it to do. Fans clap their hands and sing every line of for example ‘Precibus’. In her beautiful red dress Floor performs impressive. Her band also runs up and down the stage and makes everybody party. No need to say the place is crowded. A really cool co-headliner! Everybody’s looking forward to her performance with TARJA in a few minutes.
Who could be better for being the final act at Metal Female Voices Fest than TARJA? A few weeks ago she released her new album and the fans can’t wait to see her perform the new songs from “Colours In The Dark”. She enters the stage with ‘In for a kill’, black trousers with a black, transparent lace cloak and lacquer boots and the fans are freaking out. On drums there is amazing Mike Terrana. After that, a new song follows up: ‘500 letters’ and people celebrate. Everybody takes the last energy left and put it into screaming, clapping, singing or whatever. She dedicates ‘I walk alone’ to the fans because this was her first single as a solo artist. After that, she changes clothes to a skirt and a red top and sings the title song of her new album. For the old NIGHTWISH fans, TARJA sings ‘I wish I had angel’, but right now she has enough songs on her own. The party goes on with ‘Victim of ritual’ and ‘Until my last breath’, then TARJA says that the gig is over. But a few moments after that she says that there is a promise to be kept and then Floor Jansen enters the stage. The women match perfectly together on stage and the combination of their voices is really amazing singing ‘Over the hills and far away’. TARJA and Floor chat a little bit and then they leave the stage together. After this everybody leaves the hall towards his or her bed for sweet dreams about the festival and the security to come back next year.