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Delain, Serenity, Lost In Thought

Monday, 2nd May 2011
The Assembly, Leamington Spa, The UK

Article By Andy Read

There were two reasons why this gig warranted me coming back from my holiday a little earlier than necessary. Firstly my 14-year-old son really wanted to see Delain. I thought it’d be an impressive start to his concert-going career. Secondly there’s a new UK ProgMetal band that I’ve been hearing good reports about. The chance to catch one of their first gigs as openers on the Delain European tour would mean that both father and son would have a good night out.

It is also always nice to add a new venue to my ‘been there’ list and The Assembly in the heart of Royal Leamington Spa ranks as one of the most pleasant places I’ve been to. The smart, art-deco interior would make this a good place for a live DVD. Pleasant staff are always a bonus too.

Onto the bands and to say that the UK hasn’t been a great breeding ground for progressive metal is a bit of an understatement. Of course we’ve produced Threshold and …. um… well we’ve produced Threshold!

 

Lost In Thought

Thankfully in the past year a wave of new bands have finally emerged, creating a very promising underground scene over here. One of the most promising of these comes from Wales. Going by the name of Lost In Thought they have just produced a quite excellent debut album entitled Opus Arise.

Before landing a slot on this impressive tour package the band had only ever played a few gigs in local pubs and clubs. They are on a steep learning curve but seem to be holding their own. With just 30 minutes, they more than impressed with their Dream Theater-meets-Seventh Wonder take on the genre. Lost in Thought is perhaps a little more direct than both bands. It’s heavy. It’s certainly complex but not too complex. It’s packed with melodic intent.

I like Nate Loosemore’s voice, and boy did he hit the high notes well. The whole band is incredibly tight and talented. Bassist Simon Pike and drummer Chris Billingham lay down some complex rhythms whilst keyboardist Greg Baker switched between adding depth and some sharp soloing.

Most impressive is the guitar work of David Grey. His riffing and solos were the best I’d heard since …. well, Seventh Wonder. The album’s impressive opening track, Beyond The Flames was even better with the added aggression of a live setting.

Minimal stage craft and the need to fine tune the vocals means that this is still a work in progress but the fact that they held the crowd’s interest throughout makes this a young band with huge potential. If you are going to catch this tour in Europe make sure you get there early to give them some support.

So that was my part of the evening down as a success. What about the other two bands.

 

Serenity

Austrian ProgPower metallers Serenity immediately showed what a few years of touring can do for your stage craft. Tall vocalist Georg Neuhauser grabbed the audience’s attention from the start and never let go.

In my review of their show at last year’s ProgPower Europe festival I said that they’d appeal more to me with a support slot than a full headline set, and that proved to be the case. The songs leaned heavily towards their new album, Death and Legacy, and totally by-passed their debut album. That was a shame as that is my favourite of their three discs.

Anyway, that apart it was hard to fault their polished performance which was broken up nicely by not one but two duets. First up was former Xandria vocalist Lisa Middelhauve to perform Fairytales before she made way for none other than Charlotte Wessels, to sing Serenade of Flames as she does on the new album.

Serenity drew a full and enthusiastic crowd and seem to be building a good following thanks to a series of tours in the UK. Maybe a few smaller headline shows could test whether they are ready to step up to the next level here. This was a winner for both my son and I.

Setlist Serenity
Sail To...
New Horizons
Far From Home
Coldness Kills
Fairytales
Serenade of Flames
When the Canvas Starts to Burn Velatum
 

Delain

For the second year running, Dutch symphonic metallers Delain are introducing a new band member on their British dates, with guitarist Timo Somers making his live debut with the band in this country.

Having sold out the previous night at the Manchester Academy 3, and with 5-600 people at tonight’s show on a Bank Holiday Monday, I think it’s safe to say that Delain’s star is in the ascendancy. After this tour they go into the studio with most of the songs for album number three already written. We had a full preview of three new tracks tonight. Whilst only working titles, Manson, Get The Devil Out Of Me and Milk and Honey all sounded really impressive. Slightly more modern, complex and heavier, but all packed with melodic hooks and riffs.

Charlotte Wessels is a great frontwoman with a great voice that doesn’t waver as she races around the stage. The frontline of bassist, singer and guitarist were constantly changing positions and headbanging in unison. They are much heavier live than on record. They seemed genuinely pleased with the massive response the crowd gave to every song. The 90-minute set simply sped by until the classic melodies of The Gathering sent everyone home with a smile on their face.

Setlist Delain
Manson
Stay Forever
Invidia
Get The Devil Out Of Me
Sever
April Rain
Go Away
Milk and Honey
Shattered
Silhouette of a Dancer
Virtue and Vice
Pristine

Sleepwalker's Dream
Control the Storm
The Gathering
Links

Delain Official Website
Delain Myspace

Serenity Official Website
Serenity Myspace

Lost In Thought Official Website
Lost In Thought Myspace

The Assembly

DPRP Review: Delain - April Rain
DPRP Review: Delain - Lucidity

 


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