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KB, Malmö, Sweden
22nd October 2006
Lacuna Coil, Poisonblack and Gothminister

An interesting experiment, indeed! I was called upon, for this event, even though I know nothing about the bands, and – for whatever I could imagine they might be doing – don’t care! Don’t get me or ROD wrong here: OK, I was perhaps the last shot but I’ve been in music business for 20 years. And I totally respect the fact that we all have personal taste. I hope you do the same. But bear in mind that, this night I saw myself as a cow on thin ice. Which - of course - is extremely appealing :-D

We arrived at the venue (which just happens to be my second living room) at exactly the stated doors open time. It came as no surprise that the doors weren’t open – and remained so for some 15 minutes. A live show, and all of the surroundings, has unwritten laws – and this night started accordingly. In any case, I didn’t know what to expect; loads of people or none. There were… a few lining up. Obviously the listed bands had fans. Good. Obviously not that many. I mean, it’s a Sunday – is there any reason to sit home to as late as possible? Or does the coolness factor come in count even on the day of rest? I’ll never understand the human race.

The evening was announced in a new way – at least to me – namely: main act plus support, added with... an opening act! I found that to be an interesting idea and spent some beers to figure out the reasoning about that. Nothing crossed my mind, as I got invoked in a lively discussion (or was it a monologue?) regarding social psychology in special given situations. Fortunately I was interrupted by band number one: the so called “opening act”.


Norwegian Bjorn Alexander Brem and his trusty band members opened up the evening in Malmö, as they were joining Lacuna Coil in the second half of October – mainly for the Scandinavian part of the tour. /

As I hadn’t heard this band before, I can describe the music, based only on this show. And what a surprise! With such a name, I was prepared for an “opening act” that would be so goth and pessimistic and angst and shit, that I’d probably die (suitable for a goth show though) before the last flash. I don’t mind being wrong, when it’s in a positive way: Gothminister isn’t doing grufftie – this is pure and straight-to-the-point metal. Nothing else! Many great riffs throughout the set and good sing-a-long choruses. Goth, my ass… But “Metalminister” might not sound as unique or provocative? Well, it doesn’t matter; this part is about the music. And I was pleased about it. Surprise me and do it well. The minister and his government did so.

Supporting acts are low in volume, so obviously opening acts are lower… I don’t favor Manowar style, but volume does some wonder (it’s scientifically determined how the ear and brain act and react to volume and the possible pleasure, in the end). Gothminister could have been allowed (not a pun) some more. But the mixing was fine; perhaps the backtrack (with “important”samples and stuff) was somewhat low in the overall mix.
This stage isn’t too big and was, of course, prepared for the main act plus support, so the opening act didn’t have much space at all. However, all creds to Mr. Minister, who did a fine job moving around, climbing his throne, waving his stick (which reminded very much of the one the Grand Nagus of the Ferengis has!) and arousing the small audience (there were some true Gothminister fans too, cool). The rest of the band was pretty stuck to their appointed tiny space and that might have been the cause for them being quite anonymous, apart from their makeup. But adequate musicians, doing probably what they could, considering the scenario, together with a main character doing an excellent work. It’s a wonder that he’s a shy and silent lawyer in the real world!
Support act is always restricted to use only parts of the total light rig. Now we’re talking about the opening act... so, it was red and white only. Maybe intentionally, but I doubt it. In any case, it was effectively used and framed the show satisfactory.
All in all, I was positively impressed, during the circumstances, and I for one would like to see Gothminister at a bigger venue, with loads of diehard fans – I’m certain they kick total ass!! I would help them.


Music: 7
Performance: 7
Light: 6
Sound: 7
Total: 7 (6.85)

01. Intro
02. Dark salvation
03. Angel
04. Forgotten
05. Gothic anthem
06. Devil
07. Nachtzehrer
08. Monsters
09. Happiness in darkness


Being labelmates of Lacuna Coil at Century Media, and also current with their album ”Lust Stained Despair” – it makes perfect sense to choose these Finnish guys as support on their tour. Poisonblack are: Ville Laihiala (vocals, lead guitar), Janne Markus (guitar), Marco Sneck (keyboards), Antti Remes (bass) and Tarmo Kanerva (drums). /

I think this might be described as some emotional yet powerful gothmetal. I think. I’m not sure. It might be there somewhere. Not only to the fact that they are Finns, but that other band Him does come in mind. But Poisonblack look harder. And they play harder. Especially the singer (and guitarist) who feels their music very much. They are quite skilled instrumentalists, no doubt. Some quick fingered solos do reach us every now and then. So, no goth. Damn...

A support act is a support act for one reason: someone thinks they should be taken to the next level of their career. That someone is either a record label (that has to pay for it (which, in the end, is deducted from whatever’s left to the artist some day)) or the main act. Luckily, Poisonblack and the main act are on the same label, so ‘s a perfect joint venture. But it’s still a support act, meaning: they have to prove themselves to an audience waiting to see the main act. And on a stage with restricted space and sound and light, because the main act is the main act and must be the only act to have it all. I wonder if main acts are afraid that support acts might be too good otherwise, thus putting too much pressure on the main act. Which – of course – would be good and kick main act’s butts to do an even better work!
Anyway, support act. Reach out. Convince new people. Poisonblack are surely no newcomers and they have their fans (e.g. a pretty one next to me) but the basic facts remain: reach out, convince. Old fans, new fans, other fans, people like me who shouldn’t be there in the first place. I’m sorry to say that they don’t. I listen to loads of different kinds of music, so don’t accuse me of being narrow-minded. I can’t say that this is bad – that would be a lie – but it doesn’t affect me at all. And that is the only viewpoint from which I can write. There’s nothing much happening, neither music nor stage wise (though the latter is tricky, I admit that). But guys: I’m not that easily convinced either. And in this case, I am perhaps not the one to convince. But tell me one thing: why, oh why, are you using the most basic of basic goth keyboard sounds?? That’s soooo uncreative!
I almost forgot the lights: they were allowed some more cans, all controlled by the venue’s own light engineer. He’s quite good, even when he’s never heard a band, so that helped out. A little. But I’m afraid he was as uninspired as I.
The sound was somewhat strangely mixed; the bass drum was quite nuanced and stood out in a bad fashion. Strange. The rest was a wall of sound – apart from the lead vocals, that we’re mixed as Eurovision is: on top of it all. I hate such mixing. A balance and harmony of the overall sound, with hearable vocals, sure, but not like this (and as with many others). Boo.

Music: 4
Performance: 4
Light: 6
Sound: 4
Overall: 4 (4.3)

Lacuna Coil

When Italy’s most successful rock export are out on one of their aggressive world tours, we naturally want to catch them on as many shows as possible. This being one of at least three reviews that we will do. The lead song “Our truth” of their new album “Karmacode”, premiered in the movie “Underworld: Evolution” – and now they are out touring to make sure as many old and new fans gets to see their solid live shows as well. /

Does the main act need description? Is there anyone but already dedicated fans reading this? I doubt it. However, maybe someone should’ve told me anything about it because I knew... nothing!! I know, I’m gonna get killed for this by Lacuna Coil megafans. Fine with me; send me some female copycats and let them have their way. Preferably slowly.
So, what can I say before I leave this world? Not goth... I’ll try like this: metal with some occasional head banging power, trained and skilled lady vocalist with some longer notes (did anyone say “opera”?), accompanied by a wingman, filling in with rap, hardcore-stylish, so to say. And carries some tunes too. You get the picture, you ignorant. :-P

Here’s the deal: I love tough metal with strong riffs, good melodies and energetic kick ass attitude. But I’m not much fan of nu-metal, hardcore, rapcore, or whatever it’s called. Neither has the opera thing reached any chamber of my heart. So, I am the first to admit that I shouldn’t be the one writing this! With all due respect, dear Italians, you don’t reach me. But that would be a long shot. And why should the band care? Of course they shouldn’t. You see, there’s quite many more in the hall at the time of the show (coolness is still a factor), hence the main act don’t need to convince me. As easy as that.
However, I’m also the first to admit that it’s quite obvious that Lacuna Coil is good at... well, what they’re doing! No doubt. They’re touring the world continuously, with great bands, and they have much more jewelry than I do. So, they’re good at what they’re doing. And I can see that, clearly. Like I said, I’m in the business. But I don’t have to like everything.
It’s pretty obvious that they’ve been doing this a few thousands of times, or so. They’re well rehearsed and synchronized, which calls for an efficient show. If you’re a fan, it’s a perfect show. Indisputably. However, that’s a tricky thing: give the fans a well rehearsed set that they’ll love or be somewhat more spontaneous. It’s their choice. I, hanging at the bar, not being the biggest fan, would like to see the latter. But I perfectly understand their choice. Good work, very professional. I’m sure no fan left the venue disappointed – and that’s what counts. I think.

That said, I should quit. But I feel like writing, so I’ll add some very minor, unimportant thoughts. It was rumored that they were to cover Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”. It came at low odds to find that one to be the first encore. They like the song, of course, but I can’t say that cover will be go down in history. But I accept their eager to pay their tribute; it’s a great song and it takes some guts to cover it.
Secondly: I truly hate to hear vocals on backtrack!! Especially when it comes down to a “real” band; meaning not the standard electronic acts, where backtrack is a must and so called “real” musicians complain that it lacks soul because it ain’t live, but a classic lined up band. I don’t mind electronic music (surprise, surprise), I don’t mind backtrack. Except from when there’s actually a real complete band on stage; then a backtrack is restricting those musicians possibility to swing and be humans, because they’re controlled by the backtrack. And then the personality and humanity goes right out the door. When I see people playing, I want them to play like humans, not robots. But what’s even worse, is vocals on tape! Man, I can never accept that, no matter the genre!! There’s not much more human than the voice, its use and diversity as a human indicator of... everything! A voice is here and now, this very moment, and as with any moment, never exactly the same. And that’s human! Putting it on tape is an insult and a mockery – in MY opinion. Lacuna Coil had some backing vocals on tape. I say: booo. They: don’t care :-)

Rating (Me / Fans)
Music: 5 / 8
Performance: 5 / 9
Light: 7 / 8
Sound: 8 / 9
Overall: 6 (5.75) / 8 (8.45)


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