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Plato, Helmond, The Netherlands
May 7nd 2006
Leaves' Eyes, Sylver Myst, Elis

Tonight would be the third time for me to visit a concert from Leaves' Eyes. I like Liv Kristine's soft, angelic voice in combination with the dark sound of heavy guitars. When I arrived at the venue the first band, Elis, was already playing. The hall was less than half filled and during the rest of the evening there weren't many more people that arrived. The venue was large enough to contain an audience of about 800 people. I estimate that this evening the audience consisted of about 300 people, and among them a lot who came from Germany. A partition was placed in the middle of the hall to make it appear more crowded.


This gothic metal band from Liechtenstein was the first support act of the evening. The band started in 2001 under the name Erben Der Schöpfung. Their first single "Elis", followed by their debut album "Twilight" were received well by a lot of goth metal lovers worldwide. After their split they made a re-start as "Elis". This band has two albums so far, "God's Silence, Devil's
Temptation" and "Dark Clouds In A Perfect Sky". The recordings of the songs for their third album are almost finished. Their manager, Alexander Krull, also singer from Atrocity and Leaves' Eyes, is responsible for the production of these albums. So it was not a surprise that this band would open the show for Leaves' Eyes during their tour.

Unfortunately I missed a large part of the show because of different circumstances (work, distance, traffic jam), so it's difficult to write a good review about it. I heard that the band almost had to cancel their European tour because of a foot injury of Pete Streit, the guitar player. But fortunately he was doing fine now and did his job well. Most of the songs they played were from their latest album "Dark Clouds". The female vocalist Sabine had a clear and soft melodic voice, which she varied with pure classical vocals. The whole fit well with the strong rhythm through the songs. The bass player, Tom Saxer, contributed the grunt vocals on a few
songs. The balance of the sound between the instruments and the vocals was quite alright when I arrived. A negative point was the loudness. It seemed that the walls of the venue kept reverberating the sound, so the whole sounded somewhat distorted.

When I arrived at the venue I noticed that the audience was reacting quite enthusiastic. Most people expected this band to play second in tonight's line-up because of their experience and some were even a little disappointed when they kicked off first. Sabine was having a good time though. She made a relaxed impression, moved graciously and kept making eye contact with the audience. When Pete was playing his guitar solos he was illuminated with white light. But overall there wasn't much variety in light effects, too much red light and sometimes the lights blinded the audience.

00. Intro
01. Die Zeit
02. Lost Soul
03. Devil Inside You
04. Show Me The Way
05. Do You Believe
06. Der Letzte Tag
07. Such A Long Time

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 4
Light: 6
Total: 7

Sylver Myst

The second band to play this evening was Sylver Myst. This Dutch gothic metal band from Someren, a town somewhere in the south of Holland, was founded in 2001. In 2003 the band had a new female vocalist and recorded a demo, called "Strains Of Souls". In the meantime they started playing more and more gigs and the reactions were almost without exception very positive. In 2005 they recorded a mini-cd called "Depths Of Illusions". During the ummer of 2005 the keyboard- and the bass player left the band and with two new members the band moved on, still going strong and growing stronger. Now they're on the verge of finishing the recordings of their first official full-length album "Emotions Revealed". The band's line-up is as follows: Marjolein Hüsken (vocals), Rob van Dijk (guitar/grunts), Didier Roumen (lead
guitar), Marco Brugmans (bass), Marc Jaspers (drums), Martijn in 't Veld (synths).

I had seen this young band once before, about 8 months ago during their EP-presentation at Tivoli De Helling in Utrecht and was somewhat reserved, because they were "one out of the many" gothic metal bands I was about to see. But I was positively surprised about their music and performance and they really kept my attention. So now I was very curious if they had grown more. This evening the band played a nice composition of "old" and new material. Their sound is very heavy and powerful, in combination with innovative arrangements. Marjolein was dressed in a velvet red and black coloured dress. Her voice was in very good shape, but in the beginning the volume of her microphone was adjusted a little too low, so when she used
"plain" vocals you couldn't hear her properly. But when she used her opera voice the sound was much more in a right balance. Overall the sound wasn't very well and people kept complaining about that throughout the whole evening. I suspect that the problem with the sound was partly due to the venue itself.

From the beginning it was clear that the largest part of the audience especially came to see this band live. That's not so surprising when you find out that Helmond is not so far from Someren, where the roots of the band lie. There were actually people who were able to sing along with the lyrics and during the encore some people even lit some sparkling stars to show their enthusaism and support. The bandmembers seemed to be very pleased about that and were all having a good time on stage. It's very nice to see how they're having such a lot of fun together and that really infects the audience. The interaction between the band and the audience was very well. All bandmembers regularly looked and smiled at them and the crowd kept cheering and clapping. At a certain moment between two songs Didier was given a bottle of wine by his bandmates because it was his birthday. The lighteffects were not very special though. It was just a variety of different colours that changed on the rhythm of the songs. When Rob was
grunting, which he did very well, he was not lit by a spotlight. So, you could interpret that as dark grunts, literally, er? I have to conclude that this band really stunned me in a positive way and in my opinion this band also scored highest in tonight's position.

00. Intro
01. Escape From Reality
02. Lovtred
03. Depth Of Illusion
04. Strains Of Souls
05. Thrown Away
06. My Valentine
07. As Heaven Blessed A Dying Rose

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 5
Light: 6
Total: 8

Leaves' Eyes

And now it was it was time for the main program: Leaves' Eyes. This band was formed in 2003 by the members of Atrocity. Liv Kristine had just been fired from the band Theatre Of Tragedy for reasons that are still unclear to her. Together with her husband Alexander Krull, who is lead-singer of the German band Atrocity, and the rest of the bandmembers they formed the band Leaves' Eyes. Leaves' Eyes combines metal with gothic, classical and folk elements and often the love for Norway, where Liv comes from, runs through the music as a leading thread. Leaves' Eyes has released two albums so far: "Lovelorn" and "Vinland Saga". The bandmembers are: Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull (vocals), Thorsten Bauer (guitar), Mathias Röderer (guitar), Moritz Neuner drums), Christian Lukhaup (bass), Alexander Krull (add. vocals / grunts)

On the sides of the stage banners with images of the cd cover from Vinland Saga were placed. At the start of the show the stage was completely covered with smoke, lighted by a grey-blueish light as if real clouds had appeared from the banners. The show started with the long Vinland Saga intro followed by the song "Farewell Proud Men". From that point the bandmembers appeared and at last Liv in her beautiful red kimono-like dress, the same one she wears on the Vinland Saga cover. When the guitarists, the bass-player and the drummer started playing it immediately became clear that the sound was so heavy that the voice of Liv and Alex could hardly be heard. The sound of the instruments was too dominating, and adjusted too loud so there was a continuous rumble in the venue. After having played a few songs Liv told that they had just finished a tour through South-America and that some of the bandmembers were ill. Taking this into consideration I could see that all bandmembers showed their professionality for not making that appear and just kept doing their jobs.

Leaves' Eyes is a new band, but with experienced bandmembers. It seemed that he instrumentalists were all in their own little world, doing their jobs and at some moments glancing at the audience to check the atmosphere. Liv is a very sweet and charming personality, on stage as well as off stage. The way she is playing with the audience makes my heart melt. Like an angel she was moving across the stage and while performing she gave people a little personal attention. Even when people in the audience were trying to make
photographs of her she stood still for a while in front of the lens. She dedicated the last song "Elegy" to a Dutch couple that tries to follow the band on their tour as much as possible, very sweet. When Alex entered the stage it was as if a sudden hurricane had appeared. In my opinion he is not one of the best grunt vocalists, but with his energetic performance he
almost literally whept up the audience. He was moving frantically from one side to the other so yes, it was hard to take some good pictures of him. He introduced the whole band to the audience and then he summoned them to call: Olé, Olé "Leaves Eyes" , which they even did! The lighteffects completed the atmosphere. For example stroboscope effects were used during the heavy parts and during the song "Into Your Light" it was as if we were all standing in
the 3D world of Vinland Saga, due to the ensemble between the banners, smoke and a cool blue light. The band played about 75 minutes and after the show all bandmembers appeared around the merchandise stand to have drink and a ord with the fans, which shows their interest in the people around them. After all, in spite of the bad sound quality, but with all the other nice things, this evening was worth the money.

01. Vinland Saga (Intro)
02. Farewell Proud Men
03. Ocean's Way
04. Tale Of The Seamaid
05. Into Your Light
06. The Thorn
07. For Amelie
08. Senses Capture
09. Temptation
10. Norwegian Lovesong
11. Leaves' Eyes
12. Solemn Sea
13. Lyset
14. Legend Land
15. Elegy

Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 4
Light: 7
Total: 7


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