Kamelot / Xandria / Triosphere / Blackguard

I could hardly be more excited about a concert than this one: Kamelot. The question is if the new singer Tommy Karevik can compete with Roy Khan. The Swiss gig is only the second of their European tour which started in Holland. Four bands take on the packed Z7 Club tonight, starting punctually at 8 pm.

from Canada begin the evening. Although their Epic Metal with Deathmetal elements (self-definition) not quite fits to the headliner Kamelot, the audience seems to be pleased. Behind the drums a girl who plays barefoot – Justine; she does her job well and seems to have a lot of fun. Singer Paul Ablaze gives everything in this short set and releases his energy. Blackguard made the best out of their 35 min playtime, a great gig of this act from Montreal.

In my opinion a bad idea to put this band as second opener, because those 45min are simply not enough. Tyhe Norwegians have been on many tours already and could have been the main support act. Ida Haukland and her guys present a good song selection of their two albums „Onwards“ and „The Road Less Travelled“, yet I missed the song „The Anger and the Silent Remorse“ which could not be played because of technical problems. Just like on the last tour where Triosphere visited Z7, the original drummer Ørjan Jørgensen could not be part of the show, his replacement is Vidar Lehmann, who plays in Tellus Requiem and Imperial Deathcult;, he does a good job. Unfortunately the playing time is way too short, just when you start to enjoy yourself, it´s already over. What a pity, but there will surely be another occasion to see the Norwegians live, as they will begin to record the new album by the end of the year.

This band could have been cut out, and I am sorry to say that, but it would have been better to give some more time to the other 2 bands, because those offered a much better show than Xandria. I had hoped that Manuela Kraller has been better integrated into the band by now and that the songs would have been fitted to her voice, but this was once again not the case. Out of tune from the first to the last minute, that seems to be the usual situation with Xandria. It´s not helping much that the front woman tries everything to appear likeable.

After this ordeal you can just hope that it´s not another one coming up, after a long changeover. On the record Kamelot sound quite well, their new singer Tommy Karevik seems to channel Roy Khan at least to some extent – if you don´t listen too closely and rather don´t compare Tommy with Roy, the CD sounds great. But when you pay more attention, you will miss the details, the sophistication and the emotion that Khan was able to put into every song. And also in the live performance Karevik is obviously making an effort, but it appears a bit forced and imitated. I´d rather like him to be more of himself instead of copying moves and facial expressions of the old singer. Yet there are positive aspects of the change, mastermind Youngblood can shine a bit more as Khan has usually put him into the background.

Naturally the band needed to continue without Roy who had to retire because of health reasons. The band´s decision for Tommy Karevik was probably the best and Kamelot will simply need time to get used to the new front man and the less emotional performance style. Still the concert was a big success, the audience was enthusiastic, also about the comments of Youngblood and Karevik as well as the guest performance of singer Elize Ryd. Before the show some people who had purchased a 40 Euro ticket met the band, and there must have been a fan who brought cookies, because the band thanked once again on stage, Karevik said that he loved those cookies and probably would get fat. According to his stage outfit, I suppose he´d rather sweat out every ounce of fat. The overall impression: a great concert, it should be no problem for Karevik to be accepted by the Euroean tour crowds.

Sandy Mahrer

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