Beauty & the Beast Festival Tour: Leaves' Eyes, Atrocity, Sirenia, Elis, Stream of Passion
It was in 1995 as denotation "beauty and the beast" first appeared in music magazines, describing soft female vocals accompanied by rough growls of male singer. And so it is no wonder that one of the bands on the "beauty and the beast tour" was LEAVES' EYES with Liv Kristine, who was the first "beauty" part of this music style thirteen years ago. In this November, LEAVES' EYES were on the “Beauty & the Beast Tour” through Europe with four other bands.
Stream of Passion
The band was founded by Arjen Lucassen, Dutch musician, more known under the name Ayreon. The Mexican singer Marcela Bovio was one of the guest singers on the Ayreon’s album ‘The Human Equation’. After recording of the album, Lucassen decided to continue cooperation with Marcela, giving Marcela whole freedom to develop her musical ideas under the name STREAM OF PASSION. After recording the album ‘Embrace the Storm’ in 2005, live tour and live album, Lucassen left the band as planned in 2007. In this year the band recorded new album ‘In the End’. http://www.streamofpassion.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/streamofpassionband
Music & Performance
The two albums of the band offer really high grade metal with Marcela's soulful voice. Somehow I was sure that this gig will be more for listening, not a real show. It was really nice music, with maybe a bit too loud drums at the beginning. But as photographer I tried to make dynamic live photos, and I tried in vain. The stage was too small and Marcela's singing method didn’t allow her to jump around. So I gave up, put my camera in the bag and just enjoyed the songs. The hard riffs of the guitars and soft opera-like Marcela's voice were the best ingredients for high quality concert. And although I have to give only 5 for the performance because of absence of any performance, this gig of STREAM OF PASSION was appropriate and worthy opening for the festival.
Total 7 / 10
The band from Liechtenstein was formed in 2003 by Sabine Dünser and Pete Streit after the split of ERBEN DER SCHÖPFUNG. Their first album, ‘God's Silence, Devil's Temptation’, was produced by Alexander Krull from ATROCITY. In March 2004, the new album ‘Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky’ was recorded with following tour in Europe and gigs at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen and M'era Luna Festivals. The recording of the concept album ‘Griefshire’ in 2006 was overshadowed by the death of Sabine on July 8. The album ‘Griefshire’ was then released in her memory in November of the same year. The new singer, Sandra Schleret from Austria was announced in December 2006. The new album, ‘Catharsis’ was announced to be released in this year. http://www.elis.li/ / http://www.myspace.com/elisofficial
Music & Performance
As I saw the new photo on the ELIS site with Sandra in leopard pattern dress, I thought it must be a nice joke. Somehow it was neither gothic, neither metal, but drifted more in undefined fashion direction. And so it was a real surprise for me as Sandra came on the stage wearing the same dress that fitted as much in the concept of this festival, as a decorated Christmas tree would fit on the warm strand somewhere in Malaysia. Perhaps the sound engineer was not less surprised by this choice of outfit, so he has forgotten to turn on the Sandra microphone and the first song the audience could enjoy the clear and loud sound of the drums, accompanied only by muted guitars.
Towards the end of the second song the sound engineer finally found the appropriate sound level and the fans of the band could enjoy the play. And I've tried, I've honestly tried to listen, to relax and enjoy the music too. But this pattern on Sandra's dress fluttering before my eyes, her dancing, that reminded me of the pole dance without a pole and her voice, that was somehow higher than on their albums, maybe because of excitement and nervousness - but all this together forced me to leave the hall and wait for the end of the gig at the bar. From there I could hear the last song, ‘Der Letzte Tag’, my favourite composition of the band in disappointingly soulless version. Well, perhaps I was not fan of the band enough or it was the stress of the last day of the long tour for the band, but the gig of Elis was really not half as good as I've expected.
Total 5.7 / 10
SIRENIA was founded in 2001 by Morten Veland as he left TRISTANIA and he is the only member of SIRENIA who was in the band since the beginning. The first album, ‘At Sixes and Sevens’, was recorded in 2002 with Fabienne Gondamin at vocals. On the tour, Fabienne was replaced by Henriette Bordvik. In 2004, SIRENIA recorded the album ‘An Elixir For Existence’ and the EP ‘Sirenian Shores’. After Henriette left the band for personal reasons, a new singer, Monika Pedersen from Denmark, joined SIRENIA and new album, ‘Nine Destinies and a Downfall’ was released in 2007. The tradition of changing the female vocalist continued and the album ‘The 13th Floor’ was recorded with Spanish singer Ailyn (Pilar Giménez García) and released in January of this year. http://www.sirenia.no/ / http://www.myspace.com/sirenia
Music & Performance
After twenty minutes and short sound check, the first sound check during this festival btw., the lights were dimmed and the space before the stage filled with audience. The first notes of ‘The path to decay’ opened the gig and enthusiastic reaction of audience showed that most of them know the last album of SIRENIA. Ailyn with her black mane was a real eye’s delight for the photographers.
With well composed set list of best and energetic songs, the band managed to satisfy old fans and those, who've never heard about SIRENIA before. Honestly, I was a little bit sceptical if Ailyn with her cat-like voice can manage to sing powerful compositions from my favourite album ‘Nine Destinies and a Downfall’. But she did! And she did it so well, managing to interpret ‘The other side’ and ‘Downfall’ applicable for her voice, but still with its original energy and pathos. At the classical ‘Meridian’ from the first album it was clear that Morten Veland found in Ailyn the condign singer for SIRENIA. After the last song, ‘My mind's eye’ band left the stage, but the audience still shouted for encore. But the timeline for the bands was strictly restricted, so we have to wait for another gig of the band to see them live. After this concert I'm convinced that SIRENIA is surely the band one should experience on the stage. This evening I had no accreditation, so I did pay for the entry and for me this concert would be worth the money even if SIRENIA were the only band this evening.
01. The Path to Decay
04. The Seventh Summer
06. Lost In Life
07. The Other Side
09. Led Astray
10. My Mind's Eye
Total 9.5 / 10
German band ATROCITY looks back at over twenty years of experience, as only a few bands in music business can do. Their music style varied from grind-core on ‘Instigators’ in 1988, to death metal on ‘Todessehnsucht’ and from death metal to industrial and even electronic experiments on ‘Willenskraft’ in 1996. After a short silence between 2000 and 2004 the band returned with the album ‘Atlantis’ featuring the vocals of Liv Kristine, former singer of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY and wife of ATROCITY singer Alexander Krull. For many metal fans ATROCITY is known not only for their own songs, but also for two albums ‘Werk 80’ and ‘Werk 80 II’ with cover versions of 1980s pop-hits. http://www.atrocity.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/atrocitypage
Music & Performance
From the beginning of the festival a metallic frame took a big part of the stage. And as the drummer Seven Antonopolous jumped to the instruments, it was clear, that such an eccentric and active guy really needs a cage to keep him more or less at one place. At the same time this frame served as a pole for two half naked girls, who began to dance at the first sounds and a long haired shape known as Alexander Krull run to the microphone, which form resembled at the same time the Mayan sacrifice stone and an old tractor wheel after seven joints. Directly before me I saw the setlist. Well, it was pretty disappointing - the whole gig consisted completely of cover versions from two ‘Werk’ albums.
Maybe I'm too old to remember the 80ies very well, but although I was a hard-boiled metal fan in those years, my opinion is that all this songs sound incomparable better in their original versions, even the annoying ‘Smalltown boy’. Not sure if ATROCITY even played a gig on Oktoberfest in Munich, but it surely will be a good business idea - with their dancing girls, loud and disco-like metal sound and popular hits from the old dusty music chest, they would certainly make more profit in one day of Oktoberfest than during the whole tour. But anyway, Alexander Krull knows how to turn the audience on and most of the people in the club were dancing and singing with him. Perhaps Alexander just wanted to avoid stealing the show from his wife, so the gig of ATROCITY was meant just like some fun before the serious music. All in all, poor music with good sound and even better performance!
02. The Great Commandment
03. Smalltown Boy
04. Don't You Forget About Me
05. Tainted Love
06. Fade to Grey
07. Send me an Angel
08. The Sun Always Shines On TV
Total 6.8 / 10
LEAVES’ EYES was formed by Alexander Krull, Liv Kristine's husband, and members of his band ATROCITY after Liv's departure from THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. Alexander Krull also contributes growling vocals on some compositions. The debut album of the band, ‘Lovelorn’ was released in 2004. One year later, on 30th of May 2005, the second album ‘Vinland Saga’ was released. This album tells the tale of North America's discovery by Leif Erikson. Their third album ‘Njord’ was released in August 2009. http://www.leaveseyes.de/ / http://www.myspace.com/leaveseyespage
Music & Performance
I guess it was in 1999, as I saw Liv Kristine live first time. It was the year as THEATRE OF TRAGEDY released their wonderful alum ‘Aégis’ and this day on the Dark Storm Festival in Berlin they shared the stage with at that time almost unknown band L'ÂME IMMORTELLE, rapidly gaining popularity IN EXTREMO and gothic legend GOETHES ERBEN. The years passed by and as many stubborn metal fans I've lost my interest to THEATRE OF TRAGEDY after their industrial-influenced ‘Musique’. And all the more I was happy to listen to the first album ‘Lovelorn’ of Liv's new band LEAVES’ EYES, returning to pure symphonic metal roots.
The beginning of the tour was overshadowed by the problems with Liv's voice caused by injection against the New Influenza. Liv didn’t want to cancel the tour and as she stated in an interview, she was struggling to get through the songs. But during the show in Berlin her voice sounded strong and clear, the illness was gone meanwhile. The show started with powerful ‘Njord’ and ‘My Destiny’, accompanied by growling vocals of Alexander Krull, whose Viking-like appearance formed a strong contrast to his clown-like show with Atrocity twenty minutes ago. In the middle of the concert the club was left to the mercy of Seven Antonopolous with his drum solo and one song later the calm sounds of ‘Irish Rain’ in acoustic version put the audience in smooth mood. With ‘Froya's Theme’ and short outro this concert came to its end. The band left the stage and a couple of minutes later came down to the hall, where fans had a chance for a friendly talk to Liv and the band. It was a perfect ending for a really wonderful concert.
01. Intro + Njord
02. My Destiny
03. Emerald Island
04. Farewell Proud Men
05. Take the Devil in Me
06. Norwegian Lovesong
07. Drum Solo
09. Irish Rain (Acoustic)
11. Froya's Theme
12. Outro - Nine Wave Maidens
Total 9.5 / 10
More pics at http://www.blyg.de/concerts/beauty_and_the_beast_2009.php