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Philipshalle, Düsseldorf, Germany
21st November 2008
Bullet for my Valentine, Lacuna Coil, Bleeding Through

It could have been all so easy that day, but the weather god had other plans and sent an incredible storm that caused nothing but chaos, trains broke down, train stations had to be closed and it would have been absolutely impossible for me to attend the concert if it wasn’t for a very kind friend, especially taking a detour to pick me up at a train station, but we still were on schedule for the concert. Actually we had more time than expected as two bands were announced not to appear…

Bleeding Through

BLEEDING THROUGH emerged in 1999 and already in their early days, various line-up changes took place, before the debut album ‘Dust to Ashes’ came out in 2001. After the release of their second album ‘Portrait of a Goddess’ in 2002, the band embarked upon their first big tour lasting seven months. In 2003, ‘This is Love, This is Murderous’ saw the light of day, but Europe didn’t see a release of it until 2004 through Roadrunner Records. Again, a tour followed, this time with AFI and HOT WATER MUSIC which gained BLEEDING THROUGH more and more popularity.

The works for the new album began in 2005 and ‘The Truth’ was eventually released in January 2006. For the next album, the band signed a deal with Nuclear Blast to be able to release the album in Europe. ‘Declaration’ hit the stores at the end of September. BLEEDING THROUGH is Brandan Schieppati (vocals), Brian Leppke (E-guitar), Jona Weinhofen (E-guitar), Ryan Wombacher (E-bass), Marta Peterson (keys) and Derek Youngsma (drums). /

Music & Performance
Actually, this band was one of two announced not to take part in the concerts, because of storms and we were quite surprised, when not LACUNA COIL entered the stage, but BLEEDING THROUGH to a monumental intro, however the following music was anything, but monumental. It was hard, uncompromising and full of power, when most notably front man and vocalist Brandan Schieppati roamed the stage and let the audience know he wanna see as much crowds surfers as possible and they didn’t need to be told twice and soon you could spot the first ones rising above the heads of the others. After a few songs, the set was already over - they just played for about 25 minutes - and even if it musically wasn’t my cup of tea, you could say that they definitely boosted the audience for the next act.

Music: 5
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 6.5 / 10

Lacuna Coil

Starting in 1994 under the name SLEEP OF RIGHT and one more name change, finally two years later the band name LACUNA COIL was found. At that time the band consisted of six members with singers Christina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro in front. Short time after the first two demo songs had sent out, label Century Media made the offer to sign them. The first live experiences weren’t very good and during the first tour, half of the members left the band. Back in Milan they completed the band again and worked further on their career. 2000 was the year when the name LACUNA COIL appeared in the line-up of any big festival and some years later - in 2004 - they played US Ozzfest what brought them a big break through across the ocean. End of May 2006, the most recent album ‘Karmacode’ was released. LACUNA COIL are Cristina Scabbia (female vocals), Andrea Ferro (male vocals), Marco Coti Zelati (bass), Cristiano Migliore (lead guitars), Marco Emanuele Biazzi (lead guitars) and Cristiano Mozzati (drums & percussions). /

Music & Performance
But now they came, and how they came. Guided by a melodious intro, the first members appeared on stage and just seconds before the real song - ‘To the Edge’ - started, Andrea and Cristina stormed in. Cristina right away ordered the crowd to raise their hands and who wouldn’t take orders from her? Yeah, anyway, Andrea’s growls and Cristina’s full and melodic vocals complemented each other perfectly during the song and not only Cristina knew how to get the crowd into doing what she wanted. With the slow grinding and burning ‘Fragments of Faith’ and the mid-paced and somewhat pushing ‘Closer’, the set went on with two tracks from LACUNA COIL’s most recent album ‘Karma Code’ and the reception of the audience was very good and people danced and clapped and as is right and proper, head banged a lot.

With the announcement of the rocking version of DEPECHE MODE’s apparently most famous song ‘Enjoy the Silence’, cheers passed through the crowd as that’s a song everybody knew and loved. During ‘Fragile’, also from ‘Karma Code’, some technical problems appeared. The vocals were very low and there was something wrong with one speaker as well and so, you could hardly understand the words of ‘Heaven’s a Lie’ and the last song ‘Our Truth’ which followed. In spite of these problems they gave their all and if the microphones are low you just have to sing a little louder. It was a great show after all.

01. To the Edge
02. Fragments of Faith
03. Swamped
04. Closer
05. Enjoy the Silence
06. Fragile
07. Heaven’s a Lie
08. Our Truth

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 7.2 / 10

Bullet for my Valentine

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE arose in 1999 as NIRVANA and METALLICA cover band under the name JEFF KILLED JOHN. Through the Welsh band support project ‘Pynci’ they got their first chance to professionally produce own songs in 2002. The record companies scrambled to get the newcomers whose influences lie in the melodic but fast played Heavy Metal of IRON MAIDEN, MACHINE HEAD and SLAYER. So Matthew Tuck (vocals, guitar), Michael Paget (guitar), Jason James (bass) and Michael Thomas (drums) went down particularly well right from the start as they’re the founders of the so called “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” firstly arousing attention in Europe and eventually worldwide during the last years. Their 2005 debut ‘The Poison’ entered the charts all over Europe - regardless of its love to hard, uncompromising music. In spite of endless tours the band managed to pull out various EPs with new and unreleased material in the following years. Their second album ‘Scream Aim Fire’ (2008) could even surpass the success of the debut. The CD entered the English as well as the German and American Top 5 of the music charts. /

Music & Performance
The huge banner already announced that the headliner would soon arrive, but there still was some work to do for the crew, before the heroes of the day eventually appeared and started their set with the title track of their newest album ‘Scream Aim Fire’, with a strong emphasis on the fire, as on top of the tower constructions between which you could see the drum kit, flames soared up and I could feel the heat from where I was standing at that time. Not only they had some pyro-gimmicks to come up with and a light show way above average with light towers utilizing different colours and effect patterns to accompany the respective songs and of course myriads of spot lights drenching the stage in varying colours.

But it isn’t all about the light show right, something has to happen on stage too and luckily it did, because no one on stage really stood still and during the brutal and fast ‘Take it Out On Me’, with alternating growl and clan vocals, both Matt, Michael and Nick stepped on the stage rim and played and played, what I’d like to call a triple riff. They had another few power tunes up their sleeves with the driving ‘The Poison’, ‘4 Words to choke upon’ or the high octane ‘Eye of a Storm’ to counterpart them with some comparatively balladry tunes like ‘All These Things I Hate’ or ‘Say Goodbye’ to bring in some more diversity into the set. In front of the stage it was like all dams had been broken and the crowd surfing took on an extreme scale.

Steadily a security guy came along with another boy or girl, guiding them out of the security pit. Maybe some had hoped to get perpetuated on film as the concert was being filmed for an upcoming Live DVD of the band. But maybe they just got carried away by the energy flow throughout this concert… a concert that was quite short btw. with a playing time of something between 70 and 80 minutes.

Setlist (Unordered)
Scream Aim Fire
Take it out in me
The Poison
All these things I hate
Four words to choke upon
Hand of blood
Say goodbye
Tears don’t fall
Eye of the storm
Spit you out
Hearts burst into fire
Waking the demon
Forever and always

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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