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Tivoli Utrecht, The Netherlands
April 17th 2007
After Forever, Xystus

Four very successful albums. Touring worldwide, in some countries the fans stand outside their hotel, screaming their names. Having worked their butts off for the last decade, they have accomplished something not many Dutch bands will be able to compete with. The band formed by high school friends in Limburg has grown and has learned very much about music. Tonight they will celebrate this with the release of their newest album, self titled: After Forever. Tonight was going to be an evening full of surprises…

Also in their private lives the band has conquered several problems. The split with Mark Jansen after recording the second album. Only recently Andre had to battle his cancer. The band used an understudy for a while. Not to change this tradition, Sander is suffering black-out and weird dizzy spells. The doctors told him not to perform. Tonight’s big show is played with one understudy.

Xystus had the honours to be the opening act and warm up the audience a bit before After Forever was going the hit the stage. I didn’t see the start. Tivoli had a very large guestlist, a big queue at the front door, so after no less then 30 minutes I finally received my ticket and I was able to enter the venue. Only a slight flaw in the organisation there.


Their first album Receiving Tomorrow was well received by the audience and by now Xystus had built quite a fan base already. Live known for the energy of singer Bas, and the weird faces of drummer Ivo, by now they have performed with several big names. Their second album ‘Surreal’ will the released on May 18th. In December their original bass player Tim quit the band. They have Mark replacing him.
Also Koen, the key player isn’t there anymore either. Tonight’s key player is Wouter (according to the merch girl), who isn’t officially part of the band but he’s filling in the open position for now.

Their show lasted 45mins. They have enough time to play a few songs from their debut, and also a few songs from Surreal. The sound was terrible. The first few songs I could only recognise because of Bas his bright voice. The rest was just one massive wall of sound. This got better after a while, but didn’t gain much. Xystus plays progressive metal with some symphonic influences. Their tracks vary a lot in rhythm, and sphere. Through all this the sound is topped of with bas his typical voice and this makes the music very much the core of Xystus. The new songs are more experimental, the band is growing in their genre. Growing their music genre that is… the last song was the cover ‘Rainbow in the sky’, once it was just a joke. By now DJ Paul has left his mark on Xystus, and I’ve never seen them perform without having Rainbow in the sky in their setlist. Even though the average metal head really really hates everything that has anything to do with pumping beats, somehow, the entire audience sang along. Again.

Xystus performing is always fun to watch. The band has a lot of fun on the stage. They really enjoy what they are doing. With his enthusiasm Mark, the new bass-player, fits very well in the band. The band members have their own style but they have tuned their clothing off to each other so on stage they fit well together. Tivoli has a good set of lights hanging above and in front of the stage. They were used very well during the performance, giving the energizing music an extra edge. Also having Bob and Mark cheering and clapping with the audience during their more quiet moments makes sure you keep watching. Most people tonight really came to see After Forever. But Xystus still managed to walk of stage guided by a cheering crowd. 

01. R.O.C.
02. My Chrysalis
03. Journey: Shadow of today
04. Everlasting Burden
05. Voltage
06. End of the line
07. Why me?
08. Forgotten years
09. Rainbow in the sky

Music: 8
Sound: 5
Performance: 8
Lights: 7
Total: 7

After Forever

Do I still need to introduce this band? By now After Forever is so well known, that the one person in the Baroeg calling them ‘Into Forever’ a decade ago must be very ashamed.

The music of after forever has evolved from the more dramatic Goth metal, to a progressive metal band in which Floor’s voice has also been used in many different ways. From classical opera to belting about her own demons, she keeps her fans and certainly mine attention during the entire gig. Of course during the gig practically the entire new album was played. While the band entered the stage, the audience was anxious to see if the rumours were true. Would George Oosthoek (ex-orphanage, Pleurisy) replace Sander tonight? And there he was, filling up half of the stage with nothing more than his attitude. George’s deep dark grunts mixed very well with the music and Floors voice. Seeing him joking around with the rest of the band I can’t help but wondering if he will join the band eventually. As I’ve been told Sander isn’t a big fan of grunting.

After a few new songs, Floors asked the crowd how they were doing and if they wanted to hear something older once more. After the big cheer the first tunes of ‘Being Everyone’ were slammed into the venue and during this song and the next ‘Digital Deceit’ a lot of people around me were singing along and waving the hands and/or their hair. The new songs sound very well, the second set of new songs was performed, and I think they did their best make a real mix with their newer work and older experiences. I heard more opera singing, but the music was more progressive, more like ‘Remagine’.

After ‘Sweet enclosure’ it was time for the biggest announcements of tonight. On stage walked the blond woman who made metal a woman’s thing, Doro Pesch! In my mind I went back to the gig she did at the Wacken Open Air festival a few years ago, but this time no Iron Maiden covers. From the new album they first sang ‘Who I Am’ and after this very beautiful and emotional moment it was time to play Doro’s song. ‘I Rule the Ruins’ was sang, not only by the band but also by the elder people in the audience.

Doro had to say goodbye after this, and After Forever continued playing al the brand new songs like they have been doing these for years. Then, all good things have to come to and end, also this gig. When the band got ready to walk of the stage, for the first time, a familiar face walked on stage. Metal Mike called the back out again to officially hand out the new album to the band. After this it was time for another party, with 3 more songs. Ending, you guessed it… with ‘Follow in the cry’.

In the many years they have been on stage and the practise they get, it is still possible to see the band grow. The band seems to use their good assets more then they used to and their less charming side are covered well. Floor was wearing a red top with roses on the neck. A low corset she wore over that, black with red and from the back hang a drape almost to her ankles. She had also put some curls in her hair that were blown around when she was standing close to the fan.


Joost and Andre were both up on a island having there all the space they needed. For a few songs Joost would come down playing his keytar. On stage Doro was wearing an outfit that suited herself and her image, black leather top with tight pants. During the performance the sound was better then it was during Xystus. It was cleaner and I think it was not so loud.

The lights were adjusted totally to the show. This was good because the whole show had to be set up before. The second guitar was on tape, because Sander wasn’t performing. It really was a great party, and even though Tivoli was very busy, the crowd was just happy to be there and experience this special performance of one of the best bands our country has to offer!

Oh and if you’d ask me whether or not to get the new album, I’d say yes! It’s another high standard set of music, and it’s very enjoyable.

01. Discord
02. Evoke
03. Transitory
04. Being Everyone
05. Digital Deceit
06. Pledge of Allegiance #1 (with Sitar)
07. De-energized
08. Envision
09. Sweet Enclosure
10. Who I Am (with Doro)
11. I Rule the Ruins (with Doro)
12. Withering Time
13. Cry With A Smile
11. Monolith of Doubt
12. Energize Me
13. Lonely (with electric sitar)
14. Equally Destructive
15. Dreamflight
16. Enter
17. Come
18. Follow in the Cry

music: 10
sound: 8
performance: 9
lights: 9
total: 9

More photos on page 2


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