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Vera, Groningen, The Netherlands
December 23th 2005
Autumn and Nemesea

The dark nights before Christmas are always a bit hard: there are too many people searching for the perfect christmas present. Luckily there is the 'Vera' with a warm atmosphere. Soon it is crowded in the venue, a good sign.


Many people know this band as support act for After Forever. After that things moved very quickly for the band: they supported Tristania in Den Bosch and after a line-up change the band had all the possibilities to develop themselves. Manda and her men are ready to take a step further.

The debut 'Mana' was a stong start for this young band. The high clear vocals of female vocalist Manda are very discernible sound that reminds me of Tarja Turunen or some other soprano vocalists. Although the gothic scene is filled with these singers, Manda's sound is more diverse. She can easily make tone differences from low to very high. Where the first record is more orientated to the classical high sound, on stage she is more open and dares to be experimental.

They play some new material and their new sound is more heavy: more drum parts and the guitars are more in the front of the mix. Maybe it has to do with the sound guy, but for the hole gig the sound of the bass is more heavy then I heard for Nemesea the last time during their gig with Tristania. Sometimes the keybord is hard to hear but Manda is always clear and easy to hear. The band also played a cover from Evanescence. Manda dares to take some risks and the audience is moving a lot, so it is a success.  During the song 'Angel In Dust' people are singing along and the atmosphere is optimistic. The whole gig is recorded for a dvd.

Manda is more herself on stage than the last time I saw her with Tristania. Her movements are more natural and she really seems to be herself on stage. It helps that there are some familiar faces in the audience and she enjoys every second of the show. Her enthusiam is real. When the band enters the stage it is very crowded in the front and during the gig the whole venue is packed. During the show the audience is screaming along and there is a big smile on the faces of the band when they finally have to say goodbye. Manda is the eye catcher but theother members are moving a lot too. Sonny on bass and Hendrik on guitar are both very active: running around and making poses. There is a special part for the new drummer Sander Zoer. His drum solo shows that he can make some heavy music. The whole band act more mature on stag. Sometimes the poses are a bit overdone but there is enough interaction between the members and with the audience.

Music 7
Performance 7
Sound 6
Light 5
Total 7 (6.7)


Like frontwoman Nienke said: although it is a home match it isn't easy, no it makes it even harder. There are many fans standing in the front and there is a warm welcome for every one of them. For many years Autumn has had a fixed place in the gothmetal scene. With their last record 'Summers End' they again proved that they still have the position to be a new sound in this scene.

From the first second til the end the band plays an up tempo gig. There is a special chemistry when Autumn enters the stage. Maybe it has to do with the venue and the audience but the result is there: a perfect show with perfect sound. All the guitars and bass are well balanced in the mix, the grunts from Meindert are more heavy than in the past and the keyboards are better to hear when it was required. Sometimes a bit too much, but that is a personal taste. Jan has a more symphonic style what gives a new sound to the band.

The other Jan on the drums is hard to see, far away in the dark, but his sound is more staight. Especially during the new song 'No Trace For Me', a heavy song with more space for guitarists Mats and Jens to build up a strong base for the more dramatic voice from Nienke. She is very secure on stage and her voice is powerful and the emotions are there. Not only songs from the last record are played, also some old ones from 'When Lust Evokes The Curse.' The fanbase can be statisfied with such a suprising setlist. Many people are headbanging and singing along during 'The Green Angel' or 'The Witch In Me.'

Can you ask for  from a good liveshow than the chemistry between the band and their audience? It depends but it is for sure one of the main factors which makes a show a historical show. Today Autumn managed to play a memorable gig. The sound was almost perfect, the band gave everything they had and there was good interaction, first of all between the members. Mats seems to spare all his energy of the week to let it out on stage. Also there was Meindert more moddest next to Nienke. In the dark side of the stage Jan and Jan were trying to interact with the others as well. The backing vocals of Mats and Jens also gave more space for them to perform more into the light: the band is enjoying every second of their show and this reflects in their movements. More enthusiastic and they easily communicate with the audience.
Sometimes Nienke closes her eyes, almost drifting away. Dressed in a white corset with jeans, she is tough woman. All together finally Autumn is ready for a higher level. It is not as bombastic or commmercialised as Nightwish but their chemistry is at the same level. When the last tones are gone, people are silent for a while, but soon the conversations are starting and outside the cold weather is still there, but for sure it was a special night for both bands.

Music 9
Performance 9
Sound 8
Light 7
Total 9 (8,5)

Copyright pictures: Erik Schepers

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