Concert Review Archive

 

Oriental Metal Tour

Artweg, Myrath, Arkan, Orphaned Land

Sunday, 27th November, 2011
Baroeg, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Article and Photos By André de Boer

A tour of four metal bands from the orient or with oriental influences. Place of action: Baroeg, Rotterdam. A small venue that hosted a session of the first ever Oriental Metal European Tour, an historic fact indeed.

To make reading this review a little easier for you, I will start with a summery packed into one single sentence: This small venue’s stage was way too big for the first band, too small for the second, fitted nicely for the third and was way too small for the final band.

 

Artweg

The band Artweg has nothing to do with being progressive at all. They address themselves as hardcore punk or metalcore so that explains it all nicely doesn’t it? Given the fact Artweg consists of only a drum kit, a bass and a lead guitar fighting up against two singers, I do respect the sound they are able to produce. The two singers growled, grunted and rapped in French. On and on.

Artweg

A cute couple, one small and frail, the other one a huge Afro-European giant. Musically this band brings some kind of weird and tedious soup I can not describe. It was cruel however to see their efforts only to be observed by six or seven paying spectators. And luckily a handful of band members from the other bands. On the bright side I must say these guys do have a thriving energy. That alone made me smile all the time. However, this small stage was way too big for these guys.

 

Myrath

These metal proggers Myrath from Tunisia operate at thousands of miles of quality distance from the act before them. Just awesome. At ProgPower Europe last year Myrath gave one of the best shows of the festival. And now Myrath returned to Holland as part of this unique group of oriental bands travelling through Europe. They entered this too small stage here in Rotterdam, equipped with a new drummer I didn’t know about but he performed more than adequate.

Myrath

Myrath also brought along their new album Tales of the Sands. And played some of the new songs from that album for us alternating with songs from their previous DPRP recommended album Desert Call. An album that, according to a poll started right from the stage, proved to be owned by the greater part of the audience. The venue now was quite packed and the atmosphere was increasing rapidly. When the band played one of their finest songs Madness everyone went insane, including me. It did not matter that the more exotic instruments from the studio albums were provided by the drummer’s magic Apple.

Myrath

Four bands travelling through Europe together in one tourbus has its limitations on what to bring along. So, unfortunately they also could not bring a belly dancer with them this time (later that night, Orphaned Land did). Kobi Farhi, singer of Orphaned Land, joined Zaher Zorgati singing the last song to close the shop in style. Myrath is oriental progressive metal at its very best. Original and of outstanding quality, on disc and even more on stage. They definitely deserve a much bigger stage. Did I already mention Myrath is awesome?

Setlist Myrath
Sour Sigh
Braving The Seas
Merciless Times
Under Siege
Wide Shut
Tales of the Sands
Madness
Beyond the Stars
 

Arkan

Arkan is a female fronted / oriental / eclectic / progressive / death metal band from Paris. The high powered multicultural songs from their albums Salam and Hilal are enhanced by many influences from their Maghreb backgrounds of Morocco and Algeria. They surprised and fascinated me at first but I must say that after a few songs the many dreary growls from guitar player and co singer Florent Jannier started to bore me. Just way too much of that, thus boring.

Arkan

Sarah Layssac’s strong and clear voice was sadly ruined by this. This is a pity because on average Arkan performed well with an interesting style and sound. As a conclusion: the stage’s size fitted this sympathic band nicely.

Setlist Arkan
Origins
Tied Fates
Inner Slaves
Deus Vult
Beyond Sacred Rules
Salam
 

Orphaned Land

These guys, Orphaned Land, are a real specialty and worth being the tour’s headliners. Coming from Israel, consisting of both Jew and Muslim members. Playing like hell. Enjoying themselves and the audience. And, not unimportant, they have a message. A clear message that says that we must live together instead of fighting each other. This is incorporated in the assembly and the veins of the band itself. And incorporated in the daily live of being on tour with the other bands. Like singer Kobi Farhi stated “I want all politicians to know that the four bands of different signature and religion are touring and living together in one bus without any problems”. Music unites. So now for their music.

Orphaned Land

Being the headliner they had enough time available to bring the audience a wide array of what they have to offer. And that is about anything from sing-a-longs to dark growling metal. And the crowd, clearly with a high number of fans present, liked all of this. I remember the tall ‘Jesus-like’ barefooted vocalist who has a fine flexible voice and addresses the crowd easily with small talk or statements. I recall the ever grinning Yossi Sassi Sa'aron, playing heavy riffs as easily as he does the bouzouki. I remember the ever headbanging bass player Uri Zelha and drummer Matan Shmuely who stitched all songs and styles together on his kit. Guitarist Matti Svatizky being the band’s quiet, yet brute, force. And yes, two songs were brightened up by a belly dancer who did not only fit in because of the music but she also obviously was much appreciated by all of the spectators. A great show, a treat. Orphaned Land played at ProgPower USA in 2009 so this stage was way too small for this grand band.

Setlist Orphaned Land
Barakah
Birth of the Three (The Unification)
Olat Ha'tamid
The Kiss of Babylon (The Sins)
A Neverending Way
Sapari
From Broken Vessels
The Path (Part 1) - Treading Through Darkness
Ocean Land (The Revelation)
Vayehi Or
The Warrior
El Meod Na'Ala
In Thy Neverending Way (Epilogue)

The Beloved's Cry
Norra el Norra (Entering the Ark)
 

Like I said, stage size and band quality could be measured perfectly. The venue offered fairly good sound but horrible stage lighting. It’s no fun having to look at red faces on stage all the time. Musically Artweg did not pass the test. But I went to this festival because I expected some adventure. And that is exactly what it brought the audience! A diverse selection of adventurous bands bringing progressive metal with an oriental touch proclaiming their concept all over Europe and to Rotterdam as true disciples of the genre. A great concept of which I hope will get a follow up so that anyone who did not have the pleasure to witness this festival will have a second chance.

Links

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