Stratovarius / Amaranthe / Seven Kingdoms
After 2 months the first interesting concert – not because there were no good bands in the rooster, but even the best become a bit stale if it´s all the same over and over again in the Z7 program. Maybe the club should consider more variety. This year seems to feature a Game Of Thrones winter, but finally a week without snow and you can safely go outside.
Seven Kingdoms from the USA open this evening with their Thrash-influenced Power Metal. On the microphone a tiny blonde, in an even tinier dress. Her clear voice accentuates the pretty rough sound, yet not always perfectly. Sometimes it sounds too high-pitched like a siren, but then again it fits. Musically the band isn´t bad and the audience appears to like it, at first. Yet they seem to lose their appeal later, the performance varies, there are good and bad moments. Finally I´d say that in my opinion this band still needs this certain something. www.sevenkingdoms.net
Next in line are the stars of the Swedish Pop – errr Melodic Death Metal scene. Well, a few growls don´t qualify as Death Metal. The 2 singers of this band, founded in 2008, who share their clean and growl duties, are in top form, and also musically Amaranthe kick in with their melodic tunes. Elize Ryd might be a great singer, but unfortunately – as it is very often the case – the genre does not quite fit. She could easily be the Swedish Britney Spears, but Metal front woman – well… Tastes are luckily diverse. No matter where Amaranthe perform, every hall or festival area turns into a fielt of headbangers in party-mode. WHY?? I cannot quite understand it, and I am not alone with my opinion. But this combination of Pop-voice and Metal guitars works quite nicely, as Nightwish has proved with Anette Olzon. Therefore: Disco goes Metal, Pop goes Rock! www.amaranthe.se
After a quick changeover it´s finally time for Stratovarius. It has to be mentioned that many had obviously just come to see Amaranthe, because the Z7 loses 1/3 of this evening´s audience after their show. What a pity, but for good Metal music you need to develop a taste. Although Timo Kotipelto had problems with his voice on this tour and even had to cancel a show, in Pratteln he seems to be in top form.
A beautiful decoration with the recent album cover can be seen on both sides of the stage and also as backdrop. Neo-Drummer Rolf Pilve is visiting Pratteln for the first time, therefore the cheers for him aren´t that enthusiastic, but I am sure he has found some fans already. The gentlemen league with Porra, Kupiainen and Johansson display their skills with a lot of passion, as usual. Still the audience seems to need a bit more time to warm up, apart from the first rows that keep cheering enthusiastically from the first to the last note. But when they play the encores „Unbreakable“, „If the story is over“ and „Hunting High and Low“, everybody in the audience goes nuts. All in all the Finns have played another great show here in Pratteln and proved that the new material works nicely on a live stage. Those are super professionals, for sure. www.stratovarius.com