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STRATOVARIUS, FIREWIND & EDEN'S CURSE,
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 16 May 2009
A sign of the times, maybe, that a line-up such as this is reduced to
playing in such a small venue. All 3 bands deserve much better and should
be heard by many more people - unfortunately the UK still appears to be
unable to fully embrace the power metal scene, and this multi-national
display of power and raw talent was witnessed only by a few hundred
3 bands and a 10pm curfew can often mean the opening act performing to an
almost empty hall. Fortunately the savvy ticket holders for this gig
didn't let that happen. First up were Eden's Curse - a relatively
new band, but with tons of experience in their ranks. Fronted by the
powerful figure and vocals of Michael Eden, they delivered a quality 30
minute set taken from their first 2 albums.
Experience and professionalism shone through as they delivered a flawless
performance under cramped and demanding conditions. What's more, they all
appeared to be enjoying the occasion, not least the effervescent Ferdy
Doernberg who never fails to entertain. The all-too-brief set ended with
the superb "Angels and Demons", showcasing Thorsten Koehne's ability, but
no guest appearance from Sister Mary unfortunately (not that there was any
room on the stage). Check out the video if you haven't already.
Greece's finest, Firewind, take the baton next - and certainly
don't drop it! With only 40 minutes to fill, it is non-stop metal all the
way. Still, they find the time to present a surprise with a new track,
"Days Of No Trust", that they are playing for the first time on this tour,
and will feature on the next album. This fitted into the set nicely and
was well-received by those present (as was the whole set).
Vocalist Apollo is firmly entrenched with the band now, and has introduced
his own style to good effect. Other highlights include the
ambidextrousness of multi-instrumentalist Bob Katsionis (guitar by left
hand, keyboards by right - both at the same time). Firewind also get the
award for strangest moment of the night, with their rocked-up cover of
Hall & Oates' "Maniac" - with Apollo imploring bassist Petros to dance
like one during each chorus.
The evening is brought to a conclusion by Stratovarius, with a set
curtailed by a combination of the 10pm curfew and a less than 100% healthy
Timo Kotipelto. Despite having a bad cold, he still puts maximum effort
into his performance. Opening with the ever present "Hunting High And
Low", the set is a well balanced mix of old favourites and cuts from the
new studio offering, "Polaris".
New recruit Matias Kupiainen on guitar is a worthy replacement for Timo
Tolkki, and executes his solos flawlessly. He has also brought some
additional song writing ability to the band, complementing the Timo /
Lauri Porra / Jens Johansson combo's already formidable talent in this
area. New songs "Higher We Go", "Winter Skies" and "Deep Unknown" sit well
amongst the older songs such as "A Million Light Years Away" and "Forever
The anthemic "Eagleheart" signals the end of the entertainment, with Timo
promising a return and a longer set when he is fully healthy. Time will
tell on that promise, but I suspect the UK's general lethargy in embracing
their music may make the wait for the promised return a long one. All in
all, a great night with 3 very talented bands on show - just a shame there
were not more there to enjoy it.
photos by Ian Pollard
Eden's Curse (Manchester)
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