Grave Digger, Mystic Prophecy, Cellar Stone @ Z7
23.1.2023 Knights&Riots Tour @ Z7 Konzertfabrik, Pratteln, Schweiz
PHOTO GALLERY HERE
And already the first month of the new year is almost over. I’m drawn to the first concert 2023 at the Z7 in Pratteln. Grave Digger stop by on Switzerland on their Knights & Riot Tour in front of about 300 people.
However, the evening is opened by the Greeks Cellar Stone. The band was founded by Diviner guitarist George Maroulees and singer Aris Pirris and has recently released their second album. It will turn out that these gentlemen are the band that impresses me the most tonight. Their prog-rock music convinces with cool groovy riffs and Aris’ very interesting, variable voice. If you haven’t heard this band yet, whether live or on record, you should definitely do so, otherwise you are really missing something. It’s very entertaining to listen to and watch those guys on stage and to follow their show, which could have lasted a bit longer for some.
After a short changeover, Mystic Prophecy enter the stage. Those biz veterans are actually frequent visitors at Z7, but the last time I saw them live was quite some time ago. It seems to me that Roberto’s voice has become more scratchy or that he’s just a bit worn out from the stressful or party-filled touring life. Somehow the mood in the band seems strange tonight, but they don’t get distracted, following the motto “The show must go on”. The mood and the alcohol level of most of the people present is rising steadily, even though it’s a Monday. If that’s not a good sign for a successful main act’s concert, then I don’t know what is.
Unfortunately, not many more people have showed up for the headliner and it even seems as if several had come just for Mystic Prophecy and are now only casually following the main act. Grave Digger, who are slowly coming into a certain age, take the stage in their usual manner: First Death, then the musicians follow. Fronter Chris Boltenthal can’t be without a metalhead vest or the wild Beetlejuice hairstyle, and Alex Ritt is again only dressed in a gilet, so that you can see his no-longer-so-well-trained chest muscles/hair. From a hairstyle point of view, I would perhaps recommend a safety plug for the gentlemen, so that their hair doesn’t always stand on end. Musically not much has changed, but some new songs are indeednot bad. Singer Boltenthal even shows real vocal talent in a ballad that is far from the usual average performance. Only the comments about the oh-so-beautiful women in the audience, which he really delivers every time, he could maybe stop. Even those ladies are getting older and don’t have to hear such compliments all the time to believe it. Anyway, I think it was one of the better concerts I have seen and heard from these gentlemen tonight at Z7. But for me, Cellar Stone were certainly the absolute highlight, you should keep an eye on those guys. A successful first concert evening in the new year.